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Spice Blends

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 11

    This is a clone for the stuff you buy in 1-ounce packets to create, as the package says, "a fun-filled Mexican fiesta in minutes." Ah, so true. In fact, thanks to Lawry's, my last Mexican fiesta was filled with so much fun that I had to take a siesta. And I promise you just as much fun with this TSR clone. Maybe even a tad more. Just mix the ingredients together in a small bowl, then add it to 1 pound of browned ground beef along with some water and let it simmer. Before you know it you'll be up to your nostrils in good old-fashioned, taco-making fun.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.75. Votes: 8

    Louisiana chef Paul Prudhomme, America's number one Dom DeLuise look-a-like, hit it big in supermarkets with his magical brand of Cajun spice blends. Chef Paul developed his seasonings after years of making little batches and passing them out to customers in the restaurants where he worked. Now his Magic Seasoning Blends come in several varieties and are produced in a whopping 30,000-square-foot plant by 38 employees. Fortunately, it'll take only one of you in a small kitchen to make a clone of one of the most popular versions of the blend. Use it when you barbecue, roast, grill, or saute your favorite chicken, turkey, duck, or Cornish game hens.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    One of the best tools I have for analyzing seasoning blends—besides the old tastebuds—is a video microscope. With this microscope I was able to clearly see that the salt used in an acquired sample of Mastro’s secret steak seasoning was fine salt like the stuff used on popcorn, and that there was some flour in there, probably to help the seasoning stick to the meat. Identifying those ingredients plus a few more made it very easy to assemble a clone of the blend that you can now use on your favorite cuts at home.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.22. Votes: 9

    This seven-ingredient clone of Lawry's Seasoned Salt can be made in a small bowl, but it's best used when poured into an old spice bottle that you've cleaned out and saved. You've got one of those somewhere, right?

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.87. Votes: 15

    Peruse a menu at one of the 270-unit LongHorn Steakhouses located throughout the eastern half of the U.S. and you'll find this seasoning blend on battered onion petals, spicy fried shrimp, pork chops, and steaks. Just combine these eight common ingredients in the comfort of your home, and you will have quickly cloned a versatile seasoned salt that can be added to everything that needs flavor, from steaks to chicken to seafood. It's also good sprinkled over eggs, burgers, even popcorn.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 3.88. Votes: 8

    When you sit down for Italian-style grub at one of the more than 168 nationwide Carrabba's restaurants, you're first served a small plate with a little pile of herbs and spices in the middle to which the waiter adds olive oil. Now you're set up to dip your sliced bread in the freshly flavored oil. To craft a version of this Carrabba's olive oil bread dip recipe, you'll need a coffee bean grinder or a small food processor to finely chop the ingredients.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.61. Votes: 18

    Since the Spatini Italian Foods Company discontinued production and sale of its spaghetti sauce mix in December 2006, Internet discussion groups have organized petitions pleading to bring the product back. For more than forty years generations of families have enjoyed spaghetti made by mixing a packet of top secret powder with canned tomato sauce. But after Spatini disappeared from grocery store shelves, the only way to get that same flavor on spaghetti required locating leftover stock on the Internet, and paying dearly for it. On eBay, 10-box lots of Spatini sold for up to ten times what they originally cost in stores. Now you can save your hard-earned lira and still get real Spatini flavor, because after analyzing a packet of the mix, I've discovered a great way to clone this "Dead Food" at less cost than the product's retail price. The secret ingredient is a crushed-up beef bouillon cube, which contains the precise quantity of salt and natural flavors, plus autolyzed yeast extract—a flavor enhancer—to mirror the original blend. Add a couple ground herbs, onion, garlic, powdered sugar, and cornstarch, and you'll have the exact amount of mix you need to recreate the spaghetti sauce you grew up with.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 1.00. Votes: 1

    The spicy seasoned salt mash-up that Lawry's and Tabasco created several years ago garnered a cult following. Unfortunately the number of fanatics that celebrated the delicious salty, sour, and spicy blend was too small to satisfy the manufacturer, and today this tasty blend has joined the growing list of Dead Foods. The good news is I've discovered a technique for a home version, and the process is a simple one. We can duplicate the sourness that comes from vinegar powder in the real thing by adding Tabasco pepper sauce, which contains vinegar, to a handful of dry ingredients and then letting the blend dry overnight. The hardened chunks are then ground with a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder, producing a fine blend that can be poured into a spice shaker and sprinkled on anything from French fries to eggs. It's back.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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