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Side Dishes

Good job. You just found copycat recipes for all of your favorite famous foods! Bestselling author and TV host, Todd Wilbur shows you how to easily duplicate the taste of iconic dishes and treats at home. See if Todd has hacked your favorite side dishes here. New recipes added every week.

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    Score: 4.67. Votes: 6

    Don Gordon and Dean Biersch's vision of a fun place for delicious food and great beer became a reality in Palo Alto, California in 1988. Now there are more than 40 Gordon Biersch locations in 17 states serving custom-brewed beer, and an extensive menu of entrees and appetizers including these easy-to-clone, flavorful French fries. No need to make this Gordon Biersch garlic fries recipe from scratch. Just grab a bag of frozen French fries at your local supermarket, and bake or fry a pound of them following the directions on the bag. When the fries are done, toss them with the secret garlic mixture and serve.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.57. Votes: 14

    If you like traditional BBQ beans, you've got to love El Pollo Loco's sweet-and-spicy variation with black beans. The light smokiness in this clone comes from bacon fat, then cayenne pepper and green chiles give the beans a Southwestern flavor that's perfect on burritos or as a delicious side. The prep is a breezer, since you conveniently combine two 15-ounce cans of black beans with the other secret ingredients in a saucepan and just let it simmer for an hour or so. When the beans are soft and the mixture is thick, on with the eating.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.50. Votes: 4

    This great side was on the menu for a "limited-time-only." But now the dish is here to stay in the form of a Top Secret Recipe. Even better, this cloned version is twice as big as what you get in the restaurant. And the preparation is super simple: peel and slice a couple russets and bake the slices on a sheet pan, combine the baked slices with the cheese sauce in a casserole dish, sprinkle with cooked bacon, and broil to finish. 

    Click here for more copycat recipes of your favorite Outback dishes. 

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 3.00. Votes: 2

    Menu Description: "Fried sweet potato chips, dusted with our seasoning blend."

    The same company that runs Outback Steakhouse operates this 39-outlet chain inspired by the Jimmy Buffet song of the same name. As you would guess, the freshly-ground beef burgers here are great. But you'll also find many Caribbean island-inspired dishes on the menu such as BBQ Jerk Ribs, Tropical Talapia, St. Barts Citrus Chicken, and amazing island cocktail creations served at the Tiki Bar. One of the specialties of the house is the Sweet Potato Chips that are fried to a golden brown, sprinkled with a secret sweet/salty seasoning, and served alongside the joint's sandwich selections, or ordered as an appetizer. For a home version, sweet potatoes are sliced thin using a vegetable slicer that is set on 1/16th of an inch, and the slices are fried in canola oill. After a sprinkling with the special seasoning blend, you'll have a big bowl of sweet, crispy chips that will serve four or more people. And these go great as a side with the BBQ Jerk Ribs clone.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.75. Votes: 8

    Similar to cloning the cole slaw at KFC, the secret technique for duplicating Cracker Barrel's delicious slaw starts with slicing the cabbage into very small pieces. A mandoline works great for this or use whatever slicing contraption you have. Slice the heads of green and red cabbage on the thinnest setting, and then chop those strips into small bits. The carrot can be shredded using a cheese grater. Mix it all up and then let the cole slaw chill out for several hours so the mixture can get its flavor on. An overnight chill is even sweeter.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 3.20. Votes: 10

    No mix that comes in a box tastes as good as macaroni and cheese that's made from scratch. It seems crazy that these boxed mixes are so popular when making really good mac 'n cheese the old-fashioned way is so easy. The 562-unit Cracker Barrel Country Store restaurant chain serves up an awesome version that's offered as a side dish with any meal. We'll whip up this cool clone in a 10-inch skillet and then brown it just a bit on top under the broiler before presenting it to the crew.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    In 2008 Chef Kerry Simon packed up his knives at the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel and moved across the Las Vegas Strip into the Palms Place tower at the Palms. The new restaurant features some of the same comfort food favorites as the old joint, such as truffled & cheese and cotton candy for dessert, but Kerry has now added a sushi bar and a broader menu which includes breakfast, lunch and a must-try Sunday brunch where you may be eating alongside the likes of Avril Lavigne or Hugh Hefner and his girlfriends. When you're noodling over which appetizers to try you must check out this delicious addicting edamame starter: A pile of soybeans are cooked over high heat in a wok until their pods are blackened in spots, then they're tossed in fresh lime juice and a Japanese 7-spice seasoning called shichimi togarashi. Togarashi is a spicy blend of orange peel, sesame seeds, seaweed and chili that you can purchase in most Asian markets or online. The blend usually doesn't include salt, so you'll have to add some of that as well before you dig in. Or, you can use Szechwan seasoning such as one made by Sun-Bird that's found in most grocery stores where the Asian foods are parked. These blends will usually have salt in them, so you probably don't need to add additional salt if you use the Szechwan seasoning. You'll want to cook these in a wok that's been preheated over a flame on a gas stove, or you can use a cast-iron skillet that's been preheated for at least 10 minutes - you should see a lot of smoke when you drop those beans in the pan! Turn on the vent over your stove before you start cooking unless you need to test your smoke detectors.

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    Not rated yet

    The secret to cloning this chicken chain's popular carrot raisin salad lies in proper carrot shredding technique. A standard shredder, like the type you might use to shred a hunk of cheddar cheese, creates a coarse shred that makes the salad taste much too "carroty." Instead, find yourself the type of fine shredder that is often used for Parmesan cheese. Sure, it'll take a little more elbow grease to reduce 5 or 6 carrots to ultra thin strips, but I guarantee you'll end up with a superior finished product that will help you forget all about the extra effort.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    By the end of 1997, there were 1,166 Boston Market outlets in 38 states. It took only ten years for the company to reach this number of units—pretty impressive growth. The cinnamon apple side dish has been on the menu since the company opened the doors to its first outlet. The dish from the chain is fairly low in fat—only 4.5 grams of fat per serving—but there is apparently some butter or oil in there. Using the right cooking cooking techniques and some Butter Buds, we can easily take that fat all the way down to zippo, while still getting all of the same great flavors. 

    Nutritional Facts
    Serving size–1/2 cup 
    Total servings–4 
    Calories per serving–177 (Original–250)
    Fat per serving–0g (Original–4.5g)

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    This is a simple little recipe that is healthy and delicious. Along with your chicken order from this fast-growing West Coast chain, comes your choice of side orders. Pinto beans is the most popular choice. But the real thing has some fat that you won't need to include in this light version. And this recipe will give you pintos that taste just like the original, along with a little heat from finely minced jalapeno peppers. Spoon some of these beans into a tortilla along with chicken. Or maybe just serve them on the side.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1/2 cup
    Total servings–4
    Calories per serving–96 (Original–145)
    Fat per serving–0g (Original–3g)

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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