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Wendy's Chicken Caesar Fresh Stuffed Pita Reduced-Fat copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur

Wendy's Chicken Caesar Fresh Stuffed Pita Reduced-Fat

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Publicity stunt alert. For one day in 1997, St. Petersburg, Florida, became "St. Pitas-burg" to celebrate the introduction of Wendy's Fresh Stuffed Pita sandwiches. Over 40,000 balloons formed a giant pita sandwich at a local Wendy's restaurant, while local residents and Wendy's staff learned the "art of eating a pita" from pita eating experts.

The Chicken Caesar Fresh Stuffed Pita was one of those pitas introduced on that glorious day. See if you can figure how to eat this clone version, made with much less fat, all on your own.

Nutrition Facts
Serving size–1 sandwich
Total servings–4
Calories per serving–283 (Original–490)
Fat per serving–5g (Original–18g)

Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

Get This

Dressing
  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon finely minced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • Pinch dried parsley
  • Pinch dried oregano
  • Pinch dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon grated Romano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon egg substitute
_main
  • Oil cooking spray
  • 2 skinless chicken breast fillets
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 6 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red cabbage, shredded
  • 1/4 cup carrot, shredded
  • 4 large pita breads
  • 4 teaspoons shredded, fresh Parmesan cheese
Do This

1. Make the dressing by dissolving the arrowroot in the water. Heat the water in the microwave for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until it begins to boil. Add the remaining ingredients except the Romano cheese and egg substitute, and let the mixture cool. When the mixture has reached room temperature, add the cheese and egg substitute. Cover and chill this dressing until it's thick.

2. Preheat a barbecue or indoor grill to medium heat. Spray a little oil cooking spray on each chicken breast. Salt and pepper the chicken, then grill it for 5 minutes per side or until done. Remove the chicken from the grill and dice it.

3. While chicken cooks, prepare the salad by combining the romaine lettuce, red cabbage, and shredded carrot in a large bowl and toss.

4. Prepare the sandwiches by first microwaving each pita for 20 seconds. Fold each pita in half like a taco, then fill them with 1 to 1 1/2 cups of romaine salad each.

5. Add about 1/3 cup of diced chicken on top of the salad in the pita.

6. Pour about a tablespoon of dressing over each sandwich.

7. Sprinkle about a teaspoon of shredded fresh Parmesan on top of each sandwich, and serve.

Makes 4 sandwiches.

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  • Score: 4.67 (votes: 6)
    Panda Express Chow Mein

    I got lucky on the day I picked up a box of chow mein from this huge Chinese chain because they had just run out. This meant that I could watch from the sidelines as they whipped up a fresh batch in a giant wok over a high flame in the completely visible kitchen, and I was able to take plenty of mental notes. The whole dish took just a few minutes for the enthusiastic chef to prepare, and before I knew it I was out the door with a huge box of hot chow mein ready for hacking. 

    Just like the real Panda Express Chow Mein, the beauty in this re-creation is its simplicity. There are only seven ingredients, and the prep work is low-impact. I used dry chow mein noodles (also called Chinese stir fry noodles) which are easy to find and cheap, and dark soy sauce to get that great caramel color. And if you don’t have a wok for this, a large skillet with sloped sides for tossing will work just fine.

    Find more of your favorite Panda Express copycat recipes like fried rice and firecracker chicken here.

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  • Not rated yet
    The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Vanilla Ice Blended

    Starbucks’ Frappuccino, the most famous blended coffee drink in the world, is actually a clone of this blended concoction invented at the California-based chain, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. In the mid-80s, a store manager at the Westwood, California location mixed diet drink powder with ice, milk, and coffee in a blender and was pleasantly surprised by how delicious it was. They tweaked the recipe to include the chain’s chocolate powder instead of the diet powder, and a new hit product was born.

    To make a clone of the popular Coffee Bean vanilla ice blended, we must first make the secret flavoring powder that starts with a base of dry coffee creamer. I recommend using superfine sugar (Baker’s sugar) and superfine salt (popcorn salt) if you can find them. The fine crystals will dissolve better in the cold drink. You’ll also need vanilla extract powder, which can be found online.

    Once your secret powder is made, measure 1/3 cup of it into a blender with ice, cold espresso, and milk, and blend on high until smooth. In a matter of just a few minutes, you will have a 16-ounce re-creation of the original blended coffee drink now served at 1,200 Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf locations in 30 countries.

    Craving something tasty to eat with this? Check out my hack for these copycat Starbucks petite vanilla scones.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Panda Express Fried Rice

    A popular staple of any Chinese chain is fried rice, so it better be good, and the version served at Panda Express most certainly is. Here's my easy Panda Express Fried Rice recipe for when you need a stress-free, low-cost side for your entrées. But I do suggest that you cook the white rice several hours or even a day or two before you plan to make the finished dish. I found that the cooked rice called for in this recipe works best when it's cold. 

    As for a shortcut, bagged frozen peas and carrots will save you from the hassle of petite-dicing carrots since the carrots in those bags are the perfect size to produce an identical clone. And they're already cooked. 

    Now, how about some Honey Walnut Shrimp, or Beijing Beef to go with that rice? Find all my Panda Express copycat recipes here

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  • Not rated yet
    Outback Steakhouse Firecracker Salmon

    If you like sweet with a little bit of heat, and if you like salmon, then you'll love my Outback Steakhouse Firecracker Salmon recipe. 

    Grilled salmon is brushed with the restaurant's top secret Firecracker Sauce and then it's topped with simple-to-make mango salsa. Those fabulous formulas are all here, and I’ll also show you how to cook the salmon the same way the restaurant does for a perfectly awesome kitchen clone.

    Find recipes for more of your favorite Outback dishes here

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 4)
    Thomas' English Muffins

    Samuel Bath Thomas immigrated from England to New York City and opened his first bakery there in 1880. That is where Thomas created skillet bread that would one day become the famous muffins known for their craggy texture when split in half. This hack for Thomas’ English Muffins uses a special kneading process to give the muffins the "nooks and crannies" they are famous for, making craters in the finished bread to better hold on to melted butter and jam.

    I have seen several recipes that claim to re-create these muffins, but none produce the large air pockets that a proper Thomas' English Muffin recipe requires, in addition to great flavor and a perfectly cooked interior. To ensure proper nooks and crannies and muffins that are cooked all the way through, I've included some important steps.

    The dough you'll make here is like a ciabatta dough in that it is very wet. So rather than kneading the dough, you stretch and fold it over several times on a well-oiled surface. Then, when the portioned-out dough has proofed on baking sheets for another 1½ to 2 hours, you par-bake the muffins.

    After baking, the muffins are cooked on a griddle or in a pan until dark brown on both sides, then they must cool. This is the hardest part. The muffins will be too soft to open for at least four hours, and now you have to fight off the temptation to eat one. It’s hard, I know. The muffins smell great and you’ve waited all this time, but resist for now and your patience will be rewarded.

    When the muffins have had their rest, split them with a fork and toast them as you would any English muffin.

    Check out all my top secret recipes for famous bread here

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  • Not rated yet
    Kraft Jet-Puffed Marshmallows

    The most popular recipe circulating on the internet and among Food Network chefs who claim it as their own makes decent marshmallows, but the ubiquitous formula won’t pass as a hack for America’s favorite marshmallows, Jet-Puffed. I know this for sure because my eleven-year-old daughter says so, and she’s the House Marshmallow Expert (HME).

    According to our HME, the internet recipe makes marshmallows that are too sweet, and they don't have the right flavor. After testing the sweetness for myself I decided she was right, so I reduced the sugar for my Jet-Puffed Marshmallow recipe. I also adjusted the flavor by adding more vanilla, and after another taste test, my batch of fresh marshmallows got the HME seal of approval.

    But the shape was still wrong.

    One thing you’ll notice about homemade marshmallow recipes is that they all make cubic marshmallows, which are hand-sliced from one sheet of marshmallow that has set up in a square pan. But Jet-Puffed Marshmallows aren’t cubes, they’re cylindrical, and I wanted marshmallows like that. So, borrowing a technique for cornstarch molds used by candy manufacturers, I came up with a way you can make cylindrical marshmallows just like the big boys do. All you need is cornstarch and a muffin pan. You’ll find instructions for cylindrical marshmallows at the bottom of the recipe in the Tidbits if you want to give the more authentic shape a try.

    Regardless of what shape you decide to make, a stand mixer and a candy thermometer will help you turn out the best-ever homemade marshmallows—which, by the way, make fantastic s'mores.

     

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  • Score: 4.81 (votes: 16)
    Islands Tortilla Soup

    The entire process for making this soup which Islands serves in "bottomless bowls" takes as long as 3 hours, but don't let that discourage you. Most of that time is spent waiting for the chicken to roast (up to 90 minutes -- although you can save time by using a precooked chicken, see Tidbits) and letting the soup simmer (1 hour). The actual work involved is minimal -- most of your time is spent chopping the vegetable ingredients. This recipe produces soup with an awesome flavor and texture since you'll be making fresh chicken stock from the carcass of the roasted chicken. As for the fried tortilla strip garnish that tops the soup, you can go the hard way or the easy way on that step. The hard way makes the very best Islands tortilla soup recipe and it's really not that hard: Simply slice corn tortillas into strips, fry the strips real quick, then toss the fried strips with a custom seasoning blend. The easy way is to grab a bag of the new habanero-flavored Doritos, which happen to be similar in spiciness to the strips used at the restaurant. Simply crumble a few of these chips over the top of your bowl of soup, and dive in.

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  • Score: 4.40 (votes: 15)
    Chili's Honey Mustard Salad Dressing

    One of America's favorite casual chains brings us a popular salad dressing that you can't buy in stores. Instead, buy these six simple ingredients at a store and use my Chili's Honey Mustard Salad Dressing recipe below to make your own version cheaply and quickly.

    Find more of my Chili's copycat recipes here

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 3.60 (votes: 5)
    Popeyes Buttermilk Biscuits

    In 2007 America's number one Cajun-style restaurant celebrated its 35th birthday with 1,583 stores worldwide. But Popeyes didn't start out with the name that most people associate with a certain spinach-eating cartoon character. When Al Copeland opened his first Southern-fried chicken stand in New Orleans in 1972, it was called Chicken On The Run. The name was later changed to Popeyes after Gene Hackman's character in the movie The French Connection. In addition to great spicy fried chicken, Popeyes serves up wonderful Southern-style buttermilk biscuits that we can now easily duplicate to serve with a variety of home cooked meals. The secret is to cut cold butter into the mix with a pastry knife so that the biscuits turn out flaky and tender just like the originals.

    Source: "Top Secret Recipes Unlocked" by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 2)
    Del Taco Crispy Fish Taco

    The number two Mexican fast food chain nicely duplicates the delicious fish tacos you'd find in coastal towns south of the border: two corn tortillas wrapped around a fried halibut fillet that's topped with cabbage, fresh salsa, and a creamy "secret sauce." It's practically impossible to eat just one—they're that good. And, thanks to the availability of breaded frozen fish sticks in just about every market, a home version of Del Taco Crispy Fish Tacos is stupidly simple. If you can't find crispy halibut sticks in your local store, the more common breaded pollock will work just fine here. You can also use frozen fish portions that are grilled if you're not into the breaded (fried) stuff. The real recipe at Del Taco comes with two thin corn tortillas, but sometimes the only available corn tortillas in consumer markets are the thicker ones. If that's the case, you'll need just one per taco.

    How about a cold margarita to wash down those tacos? Find your favorite famous drink recipes here

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.82 (votes: 17)
    Top Secret Steak Rub

    Just like the pro chefs use. A secret blend of herbs and spices that will make your homemade steaks taste like they came from a famous steakhouse chain. All-natural. Contains no MSG or preservatives. Great for anyone who likes a truly amazing steak.

    Top Secret Steak Rub is created by Food Hacker Todd Wilbur who has spent the last 30 years reverse-engineering popular menu items at the most-loved restaurant chains across America. By identifying the herbs, spices and other ingredients that make great restaurant food taste so good, Todd created this custom Top Secret Steak Rub to help you make restaurant-style steaks at home. All it takes is just a few shakes. Then cook the steaks your favorite way. Our Top Secret Steak Rub is also great on hamburger patties, vegetables, French fries, and popcorn!

    Buy up to 5 bottles to ship for one low price!

    7-ounce bottle. Money back guarantee. Kosher certified. Gluten-free.

    You may also like our Top Secret Chicken Rub, and Top Secret Fish Rub.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 2)
    Outback Steakhouse Chocolate Thunder from Down Under

    Menu Description: “An extra generous pecan brownie is crowned with rich vanilla ice cream, drizzled with our classic warm chocolate sauce and finished with chocolate shavings and whipped cream. A chocolate lover’s dream.”

    The gluten-free brownie under the ice cream and homemade whipped cream is a flourless chocolate pecan cake cut into squares. Once the brownie is baked, it is chilled and sliced, then each serving is nuked for about 45 seconds until gooey hot. The fun really starts when you load a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of the hot brownie and then drizzle some warm fudge sauce over the top. Outback cooks make the sauce from scratch each day, but it tastes similar to Hershey’s Hot Fudge Topping that you can get in just about any market. The homemade whipped cream formula here is easy and better than anything that comes out of a can. Put it all together with my Outback Chocolate Thunder from Down Under recipe below. 

    Complete the Outback experience with more of my recipes here

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 3)
    Top Secret Restaurant Recipes

    Exclusive signed copy. It's no longer necessary to stand in line for a table at T.G.I. Friday's or Red Lobster, Olive Garden or Outback. You can make the menu items you love right at home—with ingredients from your local supermarket. Included in this book are some of the best-kept restaurant secrets that let you eat in with the great taste of eating out!

    In this unique cookbook Todd Wilbur re-creates more than 100 signature dishes from America's most popular chain restaurants—including such hot theme eateries as the Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood.

    Wilbur's easy-to-make knock-offs, the product of years of research, are indiscernible from the originals—and the most ingenious way we know of to cut down on the cost of eating out. But watch out, once you start cooking, people may start calling for reservations at your dinner table!

    Find out how to make home versions of Applebees Oriental Chicken Salad, Benihana Hibachi Chicken & Steak, California Pizza Kitchen BBQ Chicken Pizza, The Cheesecake Factory Cajun Jambalaya Pasta, Chi-Chi's Sweet Corn Cake, Cracker Barrel Hash Brown Casserole, Hard Rock Cafe Famous Baby Rock Watermelon Ribs, Hooters Buffalo Wings, Marie Callenders Famous Golden Cornbread, Olive Garden Hot Artichoke-Spinach Dip, Outback Steakhouse Alice Springs Chicken, Pizza Hut Original Stuffed Crust Pizza, Planet Hollywood Chicken Crunch, Ruth's Chris Creamed Spinach, T.G.I. Friday's Potato Skins, and many more.

    Other books you may like: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 and Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3.

    Contents
    Applebee's Club House Grill
    Applebee's Oriental Chicken Salad
    Applebee's Pizza Sticks
    Applebee's Quesadillas
    Applebee's Tijuana "Philly" Steak Sandwich
    Benihana Hibachi Chicken
    Benihana Hibachi Steak
    Benihana Mustard Dipping Sauce
    Benihana Ginger Dipping Sauce
    Benihana Japanese Fried rice
    Bennigan's Buffalo Chicken Sandwich
    Bennigan's California Turkey Sandwich
    Bennigan's Cookie Mountain Sundae
    Big Boy Cream of Broccoli Soup
    Big Boy Original Double-Decker Hamburger Classic
    Big Boy Club Sandwich
    California Pizza Kitchen Original BBQ Chicken Pizza
    California Pizza Kitchen Thai Chicken Pizza
    California Pizza Kitchen Southwestern Burrito Pizza
    Cheesecake Factory Bruschetta
    Cheesecake Factory Avocado Eggrolls
    Cheesecake Factory Cajun Jambalaya Pasta
    Cheesecake Factory Pumpkin Cheesecake
    Cheesecake Factory Key Lime Cheesecake
    Chi-Chi's Beef Nachos Grande
    Chi-Chi's Chicken Nachos Grande
    Chi-Chi's Sweet Corn Cake
    Chi-Chi's Twice Grilled Barbecue Burrito
    Chi-Chi's "Fried" Ice Cream
    Chili's Grilled Caribbean Salad
    Chili's Fajitas for Two
    Chili's Peanut Butter Cheesecake
    Cracker Barrel Hash Brown Casserole
    Cracker Barrel Eggs-in-the-Basket
    Cracker Barrel Chicken & Dumplins
    Denny's Scram Slam
    Denny's Moons Over My Hammy
    Denny's The Super Bird
    Dive! Carrot Chips
    Dive! Sicilian Sub Rosa
    Dive! Brick Oven Mushroom & Turkey Cheese Sub
    Dive! S'mores
    Hard Rock Cafe Filet Steak Sandwich
    Hard Rock Cafe Grilled Vegetable Sandwich
    Hard Rock Cafe Famous Baby Rock Watermelon Ribs
    Hard Rock Cafe Orange Freeze
    Hooters Buffalo Chicken Wings
    Hooters Buffalo Shrimp
    Hooters Pasta Salad
    Houlihan's Houli Fruit Fizz
    Houlihan's 'Shrooms
    Houlihan's Smashed Potatoes
    IHOP Banana Nut Pancakes
    IHOP Cheese Blintz
    IHOP Fajita Omelette
    IHOP French Toast
    Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon Amarillo Cheese Fries
    Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon Black Bean Soup
    Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon Texas Rice
    Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon Sweet Bourbon Salmon
    Marie Callender's Famous Golden Cornbread
    Marie Callender's Chicken Pot Pie
    Marie Callender's Banana Cream Pie
    Olive Garden Italian Salad Dressing
    Olive Garden Hot Artichoke-Spinach Dip
    Olive Garden Toscana Soup
    Olive Garden Alfredo Pasta
    Outback Steakhouse Bloomin' Onion
    Outback Steakhouse Gold Coast Coconut Shrimp
    Outback Steakhouse Walkabout Soup
    Outback Steakhouse Alice Springs Chicken
    Perkins Family Restaurants Potato Pancakes
    Perkins Family Restaurants Granny's Country Omelette
    Perkins Family Restaurants Country Club Omelette
    Pizza Hut Original Stuffed Crust Pizza
    Pizza Hut Pepperoni & Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza
    Pizza Hut TripleDecker Pizza
    Planet Hollywood Pizza Bread
    Planet Hollywood Chicken Crunch
    Planet Hollywood Pot Stickers
    Red Lobster Broiled Lobster
    Red Lobster Broiled Bacon-Wrapped Scallops
    Red Lobster Grilled Scallop & Bacon Skewers
    Red Lobster Stuffed Shrimp
    Red Lobster Stuffed Mushrooms
    Red Robin No-Fire Peppers
    Red Robin BBQ Chicken Salad Red Robin Mountain High Mudd Pie
    Ruby Tuesday Potato Cheese Soup
    Ruby Tuesday Smokey Mountain Chicken
    Ruby Tuesday Sonora Chicken Pasta
    Ruby Tuesday Strawberry Tallcake for Two
    Ruth's Chris Steak House Barbecued Shrimp
    Ruth's Chris Steak House Petite Filet
    Ruth's Chris Steak House Creamed Spinach
    Ruth's Chris Steak House Potatoes Au Gratin
    Shoney's Country Fried Steak
    Shoney's Slow-Cooked Pot Roast
    Shoney's Hot Fudge Cake
    Sizzler Cheese Toast
    Sizzler Chicken Club Sandwich
    Sizzler Southern Fried Shrimp
    Stuart Anderson's Black Angus Cheese Garlic Bread
    Stuart Anderson's Black Angus Western T-bone
    Stuart Anderson's Black Angus Whiskey Pepper Steak
    T.G.I. Friday's Potato Skins
    T.G.I. Friday's Nine-Layer Dip
    T.G.I. Friday's California Chargrilled Turkey Sandwich
    T.G.I. Friday's Spicy Cajun Chicken Pasta
    T.G.I. Friday's Friday's Smoothies--Gold Medalist
    T.G.I. Friday's Friday's Smoothies--Tropical Runner
    Tony Roma's World Famous Ribs
    Tony Roma's Original Baby Backs
    Tony Roma's Carolina Honeys
    Tony Roma's Red Hots
    Western Sizzlin' "Teriyaki" Chicken Breast

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  • Not rated yet
    Wendy's Classic Greek Fresh Stuffed Pita Low-Fat

    In 1997, Wendy's announced its IPO—also known as the Initial Pita Offering—on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Wendy's CEO Gordon Teter rang the bell to open the day of trading while Wendy's stock traders on the floor munched out on four varieties of the pita sandwiches, including this one, the Classic Greek Fresh Stuffed Pita.

    For our low-fat clone, well cut a gaggle of grams by making the dressing fat-free, and then well use low-fat feta cheese. Following this secret formula below, you can turn what is normally a 20-fat-gram sandwich into one that weighs in with only 2.5 grams.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 sandwich
    Total servings–4
    Calories per serving–240 (Original–440)
    Fat per serving–2.5g (Original–20g)

    Source: Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 5)
    California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) California Club Pizza

    Menu Description: "Applewood smoked bacon, grilled chicken and Mozzarella cheese, hearth baked, then topped with Roma tomatoes, chilled chopped lettuce tossed in mayonnaise and fresh sliced avocados."

    There's no better way to clone the great pizzas from this creative chain than to start with dough made from scratch. Since the best way to re-create commercial-style pizza dough at home is to use the same slow-rising technique the pros use, you're going to have to plan ahead at least 24 hours. This is the length of time it will take for the gluten in the flour to work its magic while resting comfortably in your refrigerator. And, if you've got the patience, 48 hours is even better. 

    Once the dough is ready to go, you should bake your pizzas—my CPK California Club Pizza recipe makes two—on a pre-heated pizza stone in your oven. If you don't already have one, you can find one of the round or rectangular stones in just about any housewares store. This cooking method is the absolute best way to produce an evenly baked finished product with a texture and taste that mirrors the amazing pies CPK whips out of rocket-hot brick pizza ovens.

    CPK makes great soups and salads too. Get my copycat recipes here.

    Source Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 3)
    Olive Garden Toasted Ravioli

    No one is sure exactly which restaurant invented toasted ravioli, but we do know the dish originated in St. Louis sometime in the 40s. Olive Garden's delicious take on the appetizer can be cloned with ease using one of several varieties of pre-made raviolis carried in just about any supermarket. It's best to use the fresher raviolis found in the refrigerated section, but you can also use frozen ones in this copycat toasted ravioli recipe; you just have to let them thaw first before breading them. The original Olive Garden toasted ravioli recipe has a beefy inside, but you can use any ravioli that tickles your fancy including chicken, sausage, vegetarian, or cheese. As for the breading, find Progresso brand Italian style breadcrumbs. Contadina is another popular brand, but their version is much too salty for a good clone.

    Now you've got that appetizer going, what's for dinner? Try more of my Olive Garden copycat recipes here.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.28 (votes: 18)
    Taco Bell Burrito Supreme

    To copy the Taco Bell Burrito Supreme at home, you first must assemble the meaty foundation of many of the chain's top-selling products: the spiced ground beef. Toss it and seven other tasty ingredients into a large flour tortilla and fold using the same technique as taught to new recruits to the chain. Add your favorite hot sauce for a bit of heat, or clone Taco Bell Mild, Hot, Fire Border, Diablo, Baja, or Lava sauce with my recipes here.

    You might also want to try my improved Taco Bell beef recipe here.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.55 (votes: 44)
    Girl Scout Cookies Thin Mints

    If those cute little cookie peddlers aren't posted outside the market, it may be tough to get your hands on these thin mint cookies—the most popular cookies sold by the Girl Scouts every spring. One out of every four boxes of cookies sold by the girls is Thin Mints. 

    My Girl Scout cookie thin mint recipe uses an improved version of the chocolate wafers created for my Oreo cookie clone in the second TSR book, More Top Secret Recipes. That recipe creates 108 cookie wafers, so when you're done dipping, you'll have the equivalent of three boxes of the Girl Scout Cookies favorite. That's why you bought those extra cookie sheets, right? You could, of course, reduce this recipe by baking only one-third of the cookie dough for the wafers and then reducing the coating ingredients by one-third, giving you a total of 36 cookies. But that may not be enough to last you until next spring.

    Click here for more of your favorite Girl Scout Cookies

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

    Update 11/16/17: You can make an even better clone using a chocolate product that wasn't available when I created this recipe. Rather than using the semi-sweet chocolate chips combined with shortening and peppermint for coating the cookies, use Ghirardelli Dark Melting Wafers. You will need 2 10-ounce bags of the chips, mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract (and no shortening). Melt the chocolate the same way, and dip the cookies as instructed.

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  • Score: 4.18 (votes: 28)
    Benihana Japanese Fried Rice

    The talented chefs at Benihana cook food on hibachi grills with flair and charisma, treating the preparation like a tiny stage show. They juggle salt and pepper shakers, trim food with lightning speed, and flip the shrimp and mushrooms perfectly onto serving plates or into their tall chef's hat.

    One of the side dishes that everyone seems to love is the fried rice. At Benihana this dish is prepared by chefs with precooked rice on open hibachi grills, and is ordered a la cart to complement any Benihana entrée, including Hibachi Steak and Chicken. I like when the rice is thrown onto the hot hibachi grill and seems to come alive as it sizzles and dances around like a bunch of little jumping beans. Okay, so I'm easily amused.

    My Benihana Japanese fried rice recipe will go well with just about any Japanese entrée, and can be partially prepared ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator until the rest of the meal is close to done.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.40 (votes: 5)
    Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken

    Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken and Biscuits has become the third-largest quick-service chicken chain in the world in the twenty-two years since its first store opened in New Orleans in 1972. (KFC has the number-one slot, followed by Church's Chicken). Since then, the chain has grown to 813 units, with many of them overseas in Germany, Japan, Jamaica, Honduras, Guam, and Korea.

    While making my Popeyes Fried Chicken recipe, I tested several spices and I found that the right blend of cayenne and white pepper bring the same heat as the original. Try my recipe below and see what you think. 

    You might also like to get your hands on my recipes for Popeyes Chicken Sandwich and Popeyes biscuits.

    Source: More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Not rated yet
    Outback Steakhouse Cinnamon Apple Oblivion

    Roll a scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream in homemade candied pecans. Surround the ice cream with warm cinnamon apples and drizzle caramel over the top. Sprinkle fresh cinnamon-butter croutons on the dessert and you've got an irresistible copy of Outback Steakhouse Cinnamon Apple Oblivion that will make your diet cry "uncle!"

    For the croutons, the restaurant uses leftover Honey Wheat Bushman Bread (the clone is here). If you don't have plans to make the bread from scratch, you can use any sweet bread from the store, such as Hawaiian Sweet Bread or Pillsbury Honey White Bread.

    Find more of my Outback Steakhouse copycat recipes here.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.91 (votes: 11)
    Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookies (TV)

    I jumped at the chance to get another crack at hacking one of America's most famous chocolate chip cookies when I was faced with the challenge for my show, Top Secret Recipe. After all, this was the very first recipe I cloned over twenty-five years ago, and I've learned many new tricks for replicating the famous foodstuffs since then. Getting the chance to improve on my old secret recipes with new information was a golden opportunity to craft the best Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookie clone recipe ever revealed. So I hopped on a plane and headed to Salt Lake City to meet with Tim Casey, president and CEO of Mrs. Fields Cookies.

    Tim showed me around the flavoring labs and test kitchens of Mrs. Fields HQ. I watched cookie dough being mixed, noting the oven temperature and length of time the cookies were baked. I was also able to discover one important trick I missed in my first recipe: after the dough was portioned out onto baking sheets, it was frozen. This way, when the cookies were baked, they came out crispy on the edges and soft and gooey in the middle. It made a huge difference!

    The company was understandably vague on the specifics of the proprietary vanilla and chocolate chips they use in the cookies, but I discovered through taste tests that Madagascar vanilla extract and high-quality chocolate chips such as those made by Guittard (or even Ghirardelli) are the way to go.

    Mission accomplished! What follows is my much-improved re-hack of the classic recipe that started it all, and perhaps one of the best chocolate chip cookies to ever come out of your oven. 

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step by Todd Wilbur.

     

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I'm Todd Wilbur, Chronic Food Hacker

For over 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

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