- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
- 2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles
- 2 teaspoons mild-flavored (light) molasses
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Mix butter, orange juice concentrate, chipotle chiles, molasses, and salt in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high until melted, about 20 seconds (or melt butter in saucepan with next 4 ingredients over medium-low heat). Stir in cilantro. Grill corn until beginning to blacken in spots, turning occasionally, about 3 minutes. Brush generously with glaze. Grill until glaze sets, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to platter and brush corn with additional glaze. Serve, passing remaining glaze and additional salt separately.
Cedar Planked Salmon with Jalapeño-Corn Salsa
2. Coat corn and jalapeños with 2 teaspoons oil. Place corn and jalapeños on hot grill rack cover and cook 5 minutes, turning frequently to brown all sides. When cool enough to handle, cut corn from cob. Cut jalapeños lengthwise in half with knife, scrape out seeds and veins then finely chop.
3. In medium bowl, toss onion, cilantro, lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, smoked paprika, corn and jalapeños. Makes about 2 cups.
4. Place salmon, skin side down, on plank and rub remaining 2 teaspoons oil over top sprinkle with remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and brown sugar. Place plank with salmon on hot grill rack cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes or until salmon turns opaque throughout and internal temperature reaches 145°. Drizzle salmon with lemon juice and top with salsa to serve.
Approximate nutritional values per serving:
376 Calories, 18g Fat (3g Saturated), 107mg Cholesterol,
534mg Sodium, 14g Carbohydrates, 2g Fiber, 40g Protein
Here’s how it goes down:
Grill your corn. Or heck, even roast it. Doesn’t matter to me. I love the charred, smoky bite that you get from a grilled ear of corn. But whatever works! Just cook it.
Then, slather it with a mixture of mayo, crumbled cotija cheese and lime zest. This is good enough to eat with a spoon. Super flavorful! Spread it all over the ear of corn because it acts as “glue” (ew?) for the cheetos.
I know, I know. I still can’t get over the cheetos either.
Then, roll it in the cheetos crumbs. Add a sprinkle of cotija, a spritz of lime.
Sous Vide Honey-Chipotle Glazed Country Style Ribs Instructions
For the Country Style Ribs
At least 24 hours before serving
Preheat a water bath to 140°F (60°C).
Mix together the spices in a bowl. Salt and pepper the country style ribs and then coat them with the spices. Place the pork in a sous vide bag then seal. Cook the pork for 24 hours.
For the Honey-Chipotle Glaze
At least 20 minutes before serving
Blend all of the ingredients together then bring to a boil. Let simmer for 10 minutes while stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat
The honey-chipotle glaze can be stored in the refrigerator for about a week.
For the Honey Butter
At least 20 minutes before serving
To make the butter place all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix and mash thoroughly using a fork. The butter will last in the refrigerator for several days or in the freezer for a month.
Preheat a grill to high heat or the broiler in the oven.
Remove the ribs from the sous vide bag and pat dry. Brush the country style ribs with the honey-chipotle glaze and sear them on the first side for a minute. Brush the glaze on the side facing up and turn the ribs. Repeat several times until it is coated with the glaze, cooking about 30 to 60 seconds per turn. Remove from the heat, brush once more with the glaze, and place on a plate.
Add the corn to the plate, sprinkle with the parsley and orange zest then serve.
Top 7 BBQ Brisket Rub Recipes
A great barbecue brisket is built by having layers of flavor, and those layers begin with a barbecue rub. Brisket rubs can be simple or complex in a wide range of barbecue styles, from wet to dry rubs that span from sweet to spicy.
But before you choose a barbecue rub for your brisket, there are a few things to consider, like how much rub you need and when to apply it. When it comes to the amount, there really is no special formula—you can put on as much rub as the meat will hold. Pat dry your brisket with paper towels and then sprinkle with the rub (you don't actually have to rub it on). Whatever adheres to the brisket is the amount needed.
The timing, however, does need some consideration. If the rub you are using contains a lot of salt, you will want to apply it right before you put the brisket in the smoker. If the rub is low in salt or doesn't have any, then you can apply it several hours in advance to let the flavors sink in. Leaving a large amount of salt on meat will cause it to cure and the flavor will be more like jerky and less like barbecue brisket.
Breaded and Grilled Shrimp and Scallops
I’m fortunate enough to live on the Gulf of Mexico, so that means we have access to fresh seafood and the grill all year long. There is nothing better than our Gulf shrimp, so I am always looking for a new recipe or technique for grilling these shrimp. You must be sure to oil the grates for this recipe or you will have bread crumbs stuck to the grill.
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- zest from 1/2 lemon
- Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1/2 lb. U.S. Gulf Shrimp
- 1/2 lb. U.S. Gulf Sea Scallops
Peel and devein the shrimp, removing the tail as well.
Mix the lemon juice, zest, olive oil and garlic together in a glass bowl.
Place the shrimp and the scallops in the marinade and place in the refrigerator for 45 minutes (no longer or the lemon juice will cook the seafood).
Remove the shrimp and scallops from the marinade and place them on skewers. Use double skewers to prevent the shrimp and scallops from rotating when you move them around the grill.
Cover the bottom of a plate with the breadcrumbs and then roll each skewer into the crumbs, covering all sides with the breadcrumbs while pushing them into the seafood to make them stick.
Let the breaded shrimp and scallop skewers sit in the refrigerator for about 20 more minutes while the grill heats. (This aids in the crumbs adhering to the shrimp and scallops).
Heat the grill to high heat and oil the grates The best way is to use a folded paper towel dipped in oil and then use tongs to rub down the grates.
Place the breaded shrimp and scallop skewers on the grill and grill for about 3 – 4 minutes. Don’t move the skewers once they are on the grill or you will lose a lot of breadcrumbs.
Flip the skewers over and continue to grill for another 3 minutes and then remove the skewers from the grill to a serving platter.
Grilled Corn on the Cob with Chipotle, Molasses, and Orange Glaze - Recipes
Cedar Planked Salmon with Jalapeño-Corn Salsa
Prep: 15 minutes plus soaking
Grill: 20 minutes • Serves: 4
1. Immerse plank in warm water at least 30 minutes. Prepare outdoor grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat.
2. Coat corn and jalapeños with 2 teaspoons oil. Place corn and jalapeños on hot grill rack cover and cook 5 minutes, turning frequently to brown all sides. When cool enough to handle, cut corn from cob. Cut jalapeños lengthwise in half with knife, scrape out seeds and veins then finely chop.
3. In medium bowl, toss onion, cilantro, lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, chipotle powder, corn and jalapeños. Makes about 2 cups.
4. Place salmon, skin side down, on plank and rub remaining 2 teaspoons oil over top sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place plank with salmon on hot grill rack cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes or until salmon turns opaque throughout and internal temperature reaches 145°. Drizzle salmon with lemon juice and top with salsa to serve.
Approximate nutritional values per serving:
374 Calories, 20g Fat (5g Saturated), 74mg Cholesterol,
526 mg Sodium, 12g Carbohydrates, 1g Fiber, 30g Protein
Equipment Needed For Crock-Pot Express Mexican Elote Corn Salad Recipe:
- 6 Quart Crock-Pot Express
- Wooden Spoon
- Can Opener
- Cutting Board
- Liquid Measuring Cup
- Dry Measuring Cups And Spoons
State Fair: Winning Hog (and Corn) Heaven recipes
Susie Jones (Photo: The Register) Buy Photo
My second go at hosting the Des Moines Register's Hog (and Corn) Heaven Iowa State Fair cooking contest is now a distant, porky memory. There was the good, the bad and the ugly. But mostly it was good, and the top three dishes were all delicious. It was a tough call.
My fellow judges and colleagues Michael Morain and Kyle Munson aided me in the Porkulean task of tasting 27 entries and in the end, it shook out like this:
Rebecca Howe of Des Moines took home 300 bills for her gorgeous, innovative and so good Tamarind Pork Tacos with Grilled Corn Crema and Corn and Bacon Slaw.
A close second was Waukee cook Susie Jones' $200 Iowa Pot Pies, decadently rich and porky filling happily ensconced in some killer pie crust. Two of the crust's secrets to success, she told me, are bacon fat (oh yeah) and vodka, which evaporates in the oven very quickly, leaving tender little pockets of flakiness.
Taking home 100 clams was Des Moines' Joshua Calhoun, who went a little nuts, but ended up with a killer dish of Ginger-Maple Pork Tenderloin with Polenta Bites and Sweet Corn and Edamame Salsa. Yeah, it's a mouthful, but it was a good mouthful.
Some advice for next year's hopefuls: Remember, presentation is part of the score and played a role in each of the winners' selection I eat plenty of ugly food at home. Also, though I've heard that Spam is meat/pork, and I know it's not cheap, it is not the way to this judge's heart. Think outside the can. And don't forget, kale is neither pork nor corn. Nor food.
P.S. I have copies of the recipes from Rekha Basu's Can You Curry That? contest, which Rebecca Howe also won. Email me at [email protected] if you'd like me to pass them on.
1 st Place: Tamarind Pork Tacos with Grilled Corn Crema and Corn and Bacon Slaw
Winner Rebecca Howe of Des Moines
To assemble tacos, fill warm corn tortillas with sliced pork tenderloin, top with Corn and Bacon Slaw, and Grilled Corn Crema. Serve additional slaw and crema alongside.
1 pork tenderloin, silver and fat removed
Tamarind Marinade (recipe follows)
Put pork tenderloin in a large, re-sealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Refrigerate overnight, turning the bag occasionally. Remove the pork from the marinade, allowing the excess to drip off. Cook on a medium-hot grill 15-20 minutes, or until pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Let pork rest for a few minutes before cutting crosswise into thin slices.
¾ cup Spanish sherry vinegar
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1½ cups canned tomato sauce
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced
1½ teaspoons peeled and mince fresh ginger
1½ teaspoons grated orange zest
1/8 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1. Combine all ingredients except tamarind pulp in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
2. Combine 1¼ cups of the marinade (discard remaining marinade) with tamarind pulp in a small pan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring to dissolve the tamarind. When the mixture just begins to simmer, remove from the heat and pass through a coarse strainer. Let cool.
1 tablespoon Spanish sherry vinegar
6 ounces smokey bacon, diced
1 poblano pepper, seeded and minced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 bay leaf, broken in half
½ cup fresh orange juice (from about 1 orange)
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1. Rub the corn with a little olive oil and cook on a preheated grill until nicely charred. Cool. Cut kernels from the cobs. Set aside 1/3 cup of the kernels for the Corn and Bacon Slaw (recipe follows).
2. Toast the guajillo chile in a small skillet over medium heat. Cool and remove the stem and seeds. Combine the vinegar and toasted chile in a small bowl and set aside to soften.
3. In a medium pot, cook the bacon in the olive oil over medium-low heat and set aside for Corn and Bacon Slaw (recipe follows). Raise the heat to medium and add the add the corn kernels (minus the 1/3 cup), poblano pepper, onion, carrot, garlic and jalapeno season with salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes.
4. Add the annatto seed and stir in guajillo and vinegar mix, the paprika, bay leaf, cumin and the teaspoon of black pepper. Simmer until almost all of the liquid has evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the orange juice and simmer until only a small amount of liquid remains. Add the stock and reduce until the liquid has a glaze consistency, about 7 minutes. Add the cream and vanilla bean and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, until the cream is quite thick.
5. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer and discard solids. Refrigerate crema until needed (it will keep 4 to 5 days).
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons ground chipotle pepper
½ cup blood orange olive oil (from Allspice)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
1 carrot, peeled and grated
Reserved corn kernels from Grilled Corn Crema
Reserved bacon from Grilled Corn Crema
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1. Whisk together the orange juice, vinegar, chipotle and honey in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil slowly and season to taste with salt and pepper. (Dressing may be made one day in advance and kept refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before using.)
2. Combine the vegetables and reserved corn and bacon in a large bowl pour dressing over and toss to coat well. Stir in cilantro. Serve at room temperature.
Iowa Pot Pies (Photo: The Register)
2 nd Place: Iowa Pot Pies
12 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
Combine dry ingredients, cut in butter and bacon grease until coarsely mixed and the dough looks like pea-sized crumbs. Slowly add vodka and water and mix until dough forms a ball. Divide into three disks, wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least one hour.
5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled reserve 3 tablespoons fat and set bacon aside for garnish
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups fresh Peaches and Cream sweet corn, cut from cob
1. In a large, heavy saucepan, brown sausage over medium-high heat until no longer pink and meat and a browed crust has formed. Sprinkle with the 3 tablespoons of flour and stir in, cooking for 1 minute. Slowly add milk and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until thickened set aside in a medium mixing bowl.
2. In the same saucepan, cook red pepper and onion in bacon fat until softened. Mix the 1 tablespoon of flour, sugar, salt and pepper and stir into pan. Add corn and 1 cup of cream. Cook until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Add up to ½ cup cream if mixtures seems too thick. It should be creamy, but not runny. Stir into sausage mix and set aside.
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll out dough and fit eight 5-inch mini pie pans with crust. (Use extra dough for decorative cutouts to top the pot pies sprinkle with coarse salt and paprika and cook alongside the pie crusts.) Put pie tins on a cookie sheet. Prick crusts all over with a fork and paint with beaten egg. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until lightly browned. Cool.
2. Fill pot pies with filling and return to oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Top with decorative cut outs and garnish with crumbled bacon and serve hot.
Maple-Ginger Pork Tenderloin with Polenta Bites and Corn and Edamame Salsa (Photo: The Register)
3 rd Place: Ginger-Maple Pork Loin with Polenta Sweet Corn and Soybean Salsa Bites
Joshua Calhoun, Des Moines
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon minced fresh gingerroot
1 tablespoon diced crystallized ginger
1. Combine chili powder, cinnamon, pepper, salt and allspice in a small bowl rub blend over tenderloin, covering completely.
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet brown pork on all sides (2 to 3 minutes) transfer to a 11x17-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake, uncovered for 15 minutes (pork should be slightly underdone).
3. In a small skillet, saute onion in butter until tender add fresh grated ginger and saute 1 to 2 additional minutes.
4. Stir in broth, syrup and candied ginger. Bring to a boil and cook until sauce is reduced to about ½ cup. Pour over pork loin.
5. Return pork to the oven and bake for 5-10 additional minutes or until pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Top each portion with a spoonful of the sauce. Serve with Polenta Bites with Sweet Corn and Edamame Salsa (recipe follows).
Polenta Bites with Sweet Corn and Edamame Salsa
8 ounces coarsely ground corn meal
Grease an 11x17 baking pan. In a large pot, bring broth, water and sea salt to a boil. Add olive oil, cumin and coriander and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-high and slowly stir in corn meal, whisking rapidly and continuously for 3 to 4 minutes. When mixture is thick and smooth, pour into prepared pan.
Refrigerate until firm. Cut into 2-inch squares.
1 cup shelled edamame (soybeans), steamed
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process on high for 10-15 seconds, until mixture is smooth.
3 ears Iowa sweet corn, kernels cut from cob
1 cup diced Vidalia onion
1 cup diced, multicolor sweet peppers
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and saute the onion over medium-high heat until soft and caramelized. Transfer to a large bowl.
2. In the same skillet, saute the corn and sugar over medium-high heat until golden brown (add more olive oil as necessary).
3. Stir in edamame and peppers and saute for 2 to 3 more minutes. Add vegetable mixture to the bowl with the onions.
4. Stir in lime juice, cilantro, cumin, coriander and cayenne and black peppers, coriander and salt and mixed until well combined.
To assemble: Spread edamame spread evenly on top of polenta squares and top with a generous spoonful of salsa. Garnish with sour cream and cilantro.
I'm Todd Wilbur, Chronic Food Hacker
For 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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Every brand of hummus I've tried over the years has been just so-so in taste and texture, until I discovered Sabra. Now this ultra-smooth hummus—which has been rated number one in a blind taste test—is the only hummus in my fridge, unless I've made this clone. Hummus is an awesome snack as a dip for vegetables or pita chips, since it's rich in protein, soluble fiber, potassium, and Vitamin E. The secret to duplicating Sabra's smooth and creamy quality is to let your food processor work the stuff over for a solid 10 minutes. Also, when getting your Sabra hummus ingredients ready, don't use all of the liquid from the can of garbanzo beans or the hummus will end up too runny. Strain off the liquid first, then measure only 1/2 cup back into the food processor. Sabra uses canola and/or soybean oil, but you may think olive oil tastes better. Look for a jar of sesame tahini in the aisle where all the international foods are parked, and while you're there find the citric acid, which may also go by the name "sour salt." The clone below will not have the proper acidic bite without this secret ingredient, and citric acid also works as a preservative to help the leftover hummus stay fresh and tasty.
In early 1985, restaurateur Rich Komen felt there was a specialty niche in convenience-food service just waiting to be filled. His idea was to create an efficient outlet that could serve freshly made cinnamon rolls in shopping malls throughout the country. It took nine months for Komen and his staff to develop a cinnamon roll recipe he knew customers would consider the "freshest, gooiest, and most mouthwatering cinnamon roll ever tasted." The concept was tested for the first time in Seattle's Sea-Tac mall later that year, with workers mixing, proofing, rolling, and baking the rolls in full view of customers. Now, more than 626 outlets later, Cinnabon has become the fastest-growing cinnamon roll bakery in the world.
Anyone who loves Olive Garden is probably also a big fan of the bottomless basket of warm, garlicky breadsticks served before each meal at the huge Italian casual chain. My guess is that the breadsticks are proofed, and then sent to each restaurant where they are baked until golden brown, brushed with butter and sprinkled with garlic salt. Getting the bread just right for a good Olive Garden breadstick recipe was tricky—I tried several different amounts of yeast in all-purpose flour, but then settled on bread flour to give these breadsticks the same chewy bite as the originals. The two-stage rising process is also a crucial step in this much requested homemade Olive Garden breadstick recipe. Also check out our Olive Garden Italian salad dressing recipe.
By sneaking around to the back of a HoneyBaked Ham store I witnessed the glazing process through an open door. The hams are delivered to each of the 300 HoneyBaked outlets already smoked, but without the glaze. It is only when the ham gets to your local HoneyBaked store that a special machine thin-slices the tender meat in a spiral fashion around the bone. Then, one at a time, each ham is then coated with the glaze—a blend that is similar to what might be used to make pumpkin pie. This sweet coating is then caramelized with a blowtorch by hand until the glaze bubbles and melts, turning golden brown. If needed, more of the coating is added, and the blowtorch is fired up until the glaze is just right. It's this careful process that turns the same size ham that costs 20 dollars in a supermarket into one that customers gladly shell out 3 to 4 times as much to share during the holiday season.
For this HoneyBaked Ham glaze copycat recipe, we will re-create the glaze that you can apply to a smoked/cooked bone-in ham of your choice. Look for a ham that is pre-sliced. Otherwise you'll have to slice it yourself with a sharp knife, then the glaze will be applied. To get the coating just right you must use a blowtorch. Get the kind that is used for creme brulee from almost any kitchen supply store. They're usually pretty cheap. And don't worry—I didn't leave out an ingredient. No honey is necessary to re-create this flavorful glaze.
There are many acceptable ways to formulate good queso, but to make this specific queso the ingredients must be correct, and most copycat recipes seem to get it wrong. A few recipes get one of the peppers and two of the cheeses right, but pretty much every recipe out there is a bit of a mess that I will now save you from.
Quesos can be made with a variety of cheeses that include queso fresco, asadero, and Muenster, but this particular queso includes a cheese you probably didn’t expect: Swiss. That cheese is slow to melt, so we’ll shred it first, along with the Jack. And you won't need to gum up the queso with flour or cornstarch by making a roux because the white American cheese in the mix contains sodium citrate or sodium phosphate—additives that help the cheese melt smoothly and stay that way.
Authors of recipes that call for tomatoes in this dish haven’t looked closely. Those are red bell peppers and they are roasted, peeled, and seeded along with the poblano and jalapenos before they are diced and added to the cheese sauce. The sauce cooks on low heat, never bubbling, so that it stays smooth and creamy.
When done, the queso might seem thin in the pan, but it will thicken as it cools to a perfect consistency for dipping tortilla chips, or as a topping for tacos and burrito bowls.
Menu Description: "Quickly-cooked steak with scallions and garlic."
Beef lovers go crazy over this one at the restaurant. Flank steak is cut into bite-sized chunks against the grain, then it's lightly dusted with potato starch (in our case we'll use cornstarch), flash-fried in oil, and doused with an amazing sweet soy garlic sauce. The beef comes out tender as can be, and the simple sauce sings to your taste buds. I designed this recipe to use a wok, but if you don't have one a saute pan will suffice (you may need to add more oil to the pan to cover the beef in the flash-frying step). P. F. Chang's secret sauce is what makes this dish so good, and it's versatile. If you don't dig beef, you can substitute with chicken. Or you can brush it on grilled salmon.
I've cloned a lot of the best dishes from P.F. Chang's. Click here to see if I coped your favorite.
I never thought dinner rolls were something I could get excited about until I got my hand into the breadbasket at Texas Roadhouse. The rolls are fresh out of the oven and they hit the table when you do, so there’s no waiting to tear into a magnificently gooey sweet roll topped with soft cinnamon butter. The first bite you take will make you think of a fresh cinnamon roll, and then you can’t stop eating it. And when the first roll’s gone, you are powerless to resist grabbing for just one more. But it’s never just one more. It’s two or three more, plus a few extra to take home for tomorrow.
Discovering the secret to making rolls at home that taste as good as the real ones involved making numerous batches of dough, each one sweeter than the last (sweetened with sugar, not honey—I checked), until a very sticky batch, proofed for 2 hours, produced exactly what I was looking for. You can make the dough with a stand mixer or a handheld one, the only difference being that you must knead the dough by hand without a stand mixer. When working with the dough add a little bit of flour at a time to keep it from sticking, and just know that the dough will be less sticky and more workable after the first rise.
Roll the dough out and measure it as specified here, and after a final proofing and a quick bake—plus a generous brushing of butter on the tops—you will produce dinner rolls that look and taste just like the best rolls I’ve had at any famous American dinner chain.
Look at what F. W. Rueckheim started. He was the guy who, back in the late 1800s, made candy-coated popcorn a national treasure with the invention of Cracker Jack. Now we've got Fiddle-Faddle, Screaming Yellow Zonkers, Crunch 'n Munch so many other candy-coated popcorns. Sure, these other varieties don't have the traditional prize inside the box, but let's face it, those prizes are pretty weak compared to what used to be found at the bottom of a box of Cracker Jack when I was a kid. And the old-fashioned molasses formula used on Cracker Jack just doesn't have the appeal of some of the other tantalizing candy coatings on popcorn today. Butter toffee is a good example, so that's what I've reverse-engineered for you here. It's a simple recipe that makes a finished product so tasty you'll have to beg someone to take it away from you before you finish the whole bowl by yourself. All you need is a candy thermometer, some microwave popcorn, and a few other basic ingredients to re-create a home version of popcorn heaven.
In 1880s France, oranges were quite rare and exotic. When Louis Alexandre Marnier-Lopostolle traveled to the Caribbean in search of ingredients, he came back with bitter oranges to combine with his family's fine cognac. Other orange-flavored liqueurs such as triple sec and curacao are mixed with a neutral alcohol base. Grand Marnier took it to the next level with a more complex flavor that makes it today's top-selling French liqueur.
Now you too can combine cognac with a real orange to make a home version of the tasty—and pricey—stuff. By using an inexpensive cognac that costs around 18 to 20 dollars a bottle, you can create a clone cousin of the real thing that normally sells for around 30 bucks a bottle. All you need, in addition to the cognac, is some sugar, an orange, and a little patience to wait at least 2 weeks.
Try more of my copycat cocktail and liquor recipes here.
There's no chocolate in it. Or coffee. Or Coca-Cola. The ingredient rumors for the Skyline Chili secret recipe are plentiful on the Internet, but anyone can purchase cans of Skyline chili from the company and find the ingredients listed right on the label: beef, water, tomato paste, dried torula yeast, salt, spices, cornstarch, and natural flavors. You can trust that if chocolate were included in the secret recipe, the label would reflect it—important information for people with a chocolate allergy. All it takes to recreate the unique flavor of Skyline is a special blend of easy-to-find spices plus beef broth and a few other not-so-unusual ingredients. Let the chili simmer for an hour or so, then serve it up on its own or in one of the traditional Cincinnati-style serving suggestions (the "ways" they call 'em) with the chili poured over spaghetti noodles, topped with grated Cheddar cheese and other good stuff:
3-Way: Pour chili over cooked spaghetti noodles and top with grated Cheddar cheese.
4-Way: Add a couple teaspoons of grated onion before adding the cheese.
5-Way: Add cooked red beans over the onions before adding the cheese.
If you're a fan of this hearty dish, you may also like my clone recipes for other popular soups and chilis here.
Menu Description: "Delicious blend of buttermilk and real Cream of Wheat."
This nationwide chain, which is known for its big bargain breakfasts, serves an impressive number of non-breakfast items as well. In 1997, IHOP dished out over 6 million pounds of french fries and over half a million gallons of soft drinks. But it's the Country Griddle Cakes on the breakfast menu that inspired this Top Secret Recipe. The unique flavor and texture of this clone comes from the Cream of Wheat in the batter. Now you can have your pancakes, and eat your cereal too.
Check here for many more of my IHOP copycat recipes.
Getting a table at the 123-year-old original Rao’s restaurant in New York City is next to impossible. The tables are “owned” by regulars who schedule their meals months in advance, so every table is full every night, and that’s the way it’s been for the last 38 years. The only way an outsider would get to taste the restaurant’s fresh marinara sauce is to be invited by a regular.
If that isn’t in the stars for you, you could buy a bottle of the sauce at your local market (if they even have it). It won't be fresh, and it's likely to be the most expensive sauce in the store, but it still has that great Rao's taste. An even better solution is to copy the sauce for yourself using this new and very easy hack.
The current co-owner of Rao’s, Frank Pellegrino Jr., told Bon Appetit in 2015 that the famous marinara sauce was created by his grandmother many years ago, and the sauce you buy in stores is the same recipe served in his restaurants. The ingredients are common, but correctly choosing the main ingredient—tomatoes—is important. Try to find San Marzano-style whole canned tomatoes, preferably from Italy. They are a little more expensive than typical canned tomatoes, but they will give you some great sauce.
After 30 minutes of cooking, you’ll end up with about the same amount of sauce as in a large jar of the real thing. Your version will likely be just a little bit brighter and better than the bottled stuff, thanks to the fresh ingredients. But now you can eat it anytime you want, with no reservations, at a table you own.
You might also like my #1 recipe of 2019, Texas Roadhouse Rolls.
"Biscotti" is Italian for "twice baked." The dough is first baked as one giant rectangular cookie loaf, then the loaf is removed from the oven while it's still soft, and it's sliced. These slices are arranged on a baking sheet and cooked once again until crispy. That's how the cookies get their thin profile and crunchiness that makes them the perfect coffee-dunking pastry. These homemade biscotti cookies are actually best the next day after they completely dry out, as long as you live in a dry climate. If your weather is more humid, be sure to seal up the cookies in a tight container after they cool so that they stay crunchy.
Find more cool Starbucks copycat recipes here.
Jerrico, Inc., the parent company for Long John Silver's Seafood Shoppes, got its start in 1929 as a six-stool hamburger stand called the White Tavern Shoppe. Jerrico was started by a man named Jerome Lederer, who watched Long John Silver's thirteen units dwindle in the shadow of World War II to just three units. Then, with determination, he began rebuilding. In 1946 Jerome launched a new restaurant called Jerry's and it was a booming success, with growth across the country. Then he took a chance on what would be his most successful venture in 1969, with the opening of the first Long John Silver's Fish 'n' Chips. The name was inspired by Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. In 1991 there were 1,450 Long John Silver Seafood Shoppes in thirty-seven states, Canada, and Singapore, with annual sales of more than $781 million. That means the company holds about 65 percent of the $1.2 billion quick-service seafood business.
It’s about time for Top Secret Recipes to hack one of Starbucks all-time bestselling baked snacks. For this banana bread knock-off, I settled on a blend of both baking powder and baking soda for a good crumb and dark crust that perfectly resembles the original. And I decided it best to go big on the dark brown sugar, not only for flavor but also because the extra molasses in the darker brown sugar triggers a helpful leavening boost from the baking soda. It’s also important to know that an accurate clone must have both walnuts and pecans in the mix, because that’s what’s really in it, according to the official Starbucks website ingredients info. All other copycats I saw got it wrong when it came to the nut blend, so if you want a true clone, this is the hack to bake.
I've cloned a ton of drinks and treats from Starbucks. See if I hacked your favorite here.
Menu Description: "Select pork, hickory-smoked then hand-pulled, so it's tender and juicy. 'An old Southern delicacy' with our famous vinegar-based bar-b-que sauce. Served with fries, ranch beans and homemade coleslaw."
Take a big honkin' bite out of one of these and you'll soon know why it's the Hard Rock Cafe's most popular sandwich. The pork is hickory smoked for 10 hours, but since we're impatient hungry people here, we'll cut that cooking time down to under 4 hours using a covered grill and carefully arranged charcoal. Just sprinkle wet hickory chips over the hot charcoal arranged around the inside edge of a grill (such as a round Weber), and let the smoking begin. You can certainly use an actual smoker if you've got one, and go the full 10 hours. You should try to make your cabbage a day ahead of time so it has time to marinate.
Menu Description: "Our award-winning Baby Back Ribs are slow-roasted, then basted with Jim Beam Bourbon BBQ Sauce and finished on our Mesquite grill."
When your crew bites into these baby backs they'll savor meat so tender and juicy that it slides right off the bone. The slow braising cooks the ribs to perfection, while the quick grilling adds the finishing char and smoky flavor. But the most important component to any decent rack of ribs is a sauce that's filled with flavor, and this version of Roadhouse Grill's award-wining sauce is good stuff. I ordered the ribs naked (without sauce) so that I could see if there was any detectable rub added before cooking and I didn't find anything other than salt and a lot of coarse black pepper. So that's the way I designed the recipe, and it works.
Now, how about a copycat Roadhouse Grill Roadhouse Rita to wash down those ribs.
A requirement of any visit to Chicago is eating at least one slice of deep dish pizza in the city that perfected it. Deep dish pizza quickly became a Chicago staple after Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo opened the first Pizzeria Uno in 1943 and served a hearty new style of pizza constructed in a high-rimmed cake pan. The yeast crust was tender and flakey, like a pastry, and the cheese was layered under the sauce so that it wouldn’t burn in a hot oven for the long cooking time.
While researching a home hack of this now-iconic recipe, I discovered an unexpected technique that I hadn’t seen in other deep dish recipes. Employees told me the pizza crusts are partially cooked each morning to cut down on the wait time for customers. Before the restaurant opens each day, cooks press the dough into a pan and then sprinkle it with a little shredded cheese. The shells are then partially baked and set aside. Later, when an order comes in, the pizza is built into one of the par-baked crusts and finished off. This way customers get their food faster, and the tables turn over quicker.
Copying that delicious, flakey crust was the task that took me the longest. After two weeks of baking, I finally settled on a formula that was a mash-up of yeast dough and pie crust and made a perfectly tender deep dish crust, with great flavor that exactly mimicked the original. If you like Uno, you will love this.
Regarding the cheese: be sure your cheese is at room temperature, not cold, or it may not melt all the way through. Also, it’s best if you buy cheese by the block and shred it yourself. Pre-shredded cheese is dusted with cornstarch so that the shreds don’t stick together in the bag, and it won’t melt as smoothly as cheese you shred by hand.
This recipe will make enough sauce for two pizzas. I just thought you should know that in case you get the urge to make another deep dish after this one disappears.
This recipe was our #4 most popular in 2019. Check out the other four most unlocked recipes of the year: Texas Roadhouse Rolls (#1) KFC Extra Crispy Fried Chicken (#2), Olive Garden Braised Beef Bolognese (#3), Bush's Country Style Baked Beans (#5).
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.
Hooters debuted a new flavor and style of their famous chicken wings in 2013 with the introduction of Daytona Beach Style Wings—naked wings (not breaded) that are fried, sauced, and grilled. The new menu item was a sales success, eclipsing the famous buffalo-style wings the chain had become known for, and making it imperative that we have a delicious and accurate Hooters Daytona Beach style wings copycat hack. And now we do.
To build an identical home version you’ll first need to make a knockoff of the delicious Daytona sauce to brush over the wings. It’s a combination of barbecue sauce and the same cayenne sauce used to coat traditional buffalo wings, plus a few other important ingredients that make the sauce special—and things you won’t find in other hacks—like Worcestershire sauce and minced jalapeños. The wings are coated, grilled for just a minute on each side, then sauced again for maximum flavor. Stack the napkins close by and get something tall to drink, because these messy wings are guaranteed to deliver a super-spicy kick to your food hole.
After the success of Panera Bread’s Cinnamon Crunch Bagels, the popular sandwich chain went back into the development kitchen and came out with these incredible scones, filled with the same crunchy cinnamon drops found in the bagels and drizzled with cinnamon icing.
When first released, these scones were cut as triangles and frosted, but in 2018 the shape was changed to more “rustic”-shaped round blobs with drizzled or piped icing on top. I like to hack the latest recipe, so the newer version of this pastry is the version I’ve re-created here.
These are cream scones, so cream is the main wet ingredient that holds the dough together—but keep the dough crumbly as you mix it, and try not to compress it much, or you risk making the final product too dense. The best way to form the scones is to use both hands and shape the dough like you’re making a loose snowball. Then use one hand to place the dough onto the baking sheet and form it into a rough dome shape. The scones will flatten and spread out a little bit as they bake.
Braised and shredded pork shoulder is a staple of Mexican cuisine that Chipotle prepares with a simple blend of flavors, and a surprising ingredient you may not have expected: juniper berries. Once you track those down (they’re easy to find online), the berries are combined with thyme and bay leaves in a braising liquid that will transform your own pork roast into an easily shreddable thing of beauty in under 3 hours. Then you can use your freshly cloned carnitas on tacos, in burritos, or in a bowl over rice and beans just like they do in the restaurant.
When picking your pork roast, try to find one without too much fat. If your roast has a thick cap of fat on it, trim off the excess. You want some fat in your braising liquid, but if the cap of fat is too thick, it may not fully render down and you’ll get chunks of fat in the shred.
It’s often assumed that the pork butt is from the rear end of the pig, even though cuts from the back region already have a name: ham. The pork butt, also known as a Boston butt, is cut from the other end, the upper shoulder of the pig. It’s called a “butt” because in pre-Revolutionary War New England the roasts were stored and transported in barrels called “butts”, and the confusing name stuck.
Before he became America's sausage king, Jimmy Dean was known for crooning the country hit "Big Bad John." That song came out in 1962 and sold more than 8 million copies. His singing success launched a television career on ABC with The Jimmy Dean Show, where Roy Clark, Patsy Cline, and Roger Miller got their big breaks. The TV exposure led to acting roles for Jimmy, as a regular on Daniel Boone, and in feature films, including his debut in the James Bond flick Diamonds are Forever. Realizing that steady income from an acting and singing career can be undependable, Jimmy invested his show-biz money in a hog farm. In 1968 the Jimmy Dean Meat Company developed the special recipe for sausage that has now become a household name. Today the company is part of the Sara Lee Corporation, and Jimmy retired as company spokesman in 2004.
This clone recipe re-creates three varieties of the famous roll sausage that you form into patties and cook in a skillet. Use ground pork found at the supermarket—make it lean pork if you like—or grind some up yourself if you have a meat grinder.
Check out more of my famous breakfast food clone recipes here.
When 20-year old Rocky Aoki came to New York City from Japan with his wrestling team in 1959 he was convinced it was the land of opportunity. Just five years later he used $10,000 he had saved plus another $20,000 that he borrowed to open a Benihana steakhouse on the West Side of Manhattan. His concept of bringing the chefs out from the back of the kitchen to prepare the food in front of customers on a specially designed hibachi grill was groundbreaking. The restaurant was such a smashing success that it paid for itself within 6 months.
The most popular items at the restaurant are the Hibachi Chicken and Hibachi Steak, which are prepared at your table on an open hibachi grill. But, since most home kitchens are not fitted with an hibachi grill, you'll have to improvise. You will likely have to use two pans for this Benihana hibachi chicken and steak recipe one for the meat and mushrooms, and the other for the remaining vegetables. And since many of today's cooking surfaces are coated with scratchable, nonstick coatings, we won't be slicing the meat and vegetables while they are sizzling on the hot cooking surface as the Benihana chefs do.
Grab my clone recipes for the Ginger and Mustard Dipping Sauces here!
Menu Description: "Chicken breast tenderloins sauteed with bell peppers, roasted garlic and onions in a garlic cream sauce over angel hair."
This dish is a big favorite of Olive Garden regulars. Chicken tenderloins are lightly breaded and sauteed along with colorful bell peppers and chopped red onion. Angel hair pasta is tossed into the pan along with a healthy dose of fresh scampi sauce. The sauce is really the star, so you might think about doubling the recipe. If you're cooking for two, you can prepare this dish for the table in one large skillet, saving the remaining ingredients for another meal. If you're making all four servings at once, you need two skillets. If you can't find fresh chicken tenderloins (the tender part of the chicken breast), you can usually find bags of them in the freezer section.
Find more delicious recipes for Olive Garden's most famous dishes here.
Along with your meal at this huge national steakhouse chain, comes a freshly baked loaf of dark, sweet bread, served on its own cutting board with soft whipped butter. One distinctive feature of the bread is its color. How does the bread get so dark? Even though this recipe includes molasses and cocoa, these ingredients alone will not give the bread its dark chocolate brown color. Commercially produced breads that are this dark—such as pumpernickel or dark bran muffins–often contain caramel color, an ingredient used to darken foods. Since your local supermarket will not likely have this mostly commercial ingredient, we'll create the brown coloring from a mixture of three easy-to-find food colorings—red, yellow and blue. If you decide to leave the color out, just add an additional 1 tablespoon of warm water to the recipe. If you have a bread machine, you can use it for kneading the bread (you'll find the order in which to add the ingredients to your machine in "Tidbits"). Then, to finish the bread, divide and roll the dough in cornmeal, and bake.
Check out more of my copycat Outback Steakhouse recipes here.
Menu Description: "The classic Italian dessert. A layer of creamy custard set atop espresso-soaked ladyfingers."
In Italian, tiramisu means "pick me up" or "cheer me up." And when you taste the delicious combination of mascarpone cheese (sometimes referred to as Italian cream cheese), cream cheese, ladyfingers, espresso and Kahlua it will be hard not to smile. So get out your double boiler for the egg yolks (a metal bowl over a saucepan of simmering water will also do) and get some ladyfingers (ladyfingers are miniature cakes about the size of two fingers side-by-side). You can either make your own espresso, use extra strong coffee as a substitute, or, next time you're at Starbucks, order up a quadruple shot of espresso to go.
Menu Description: “Creamy potato soup topped with melted cheese, bacon, and green onions.”
It’s not called baked potato soup because the potatoes in it are baked. It’s called baked potato soup because it’s topped with shredded cheese, bacon, and green onion, and it tastes like a baked potato. Other hacky hacks for this recipe miss that point and add over an hour to the preparation process by preheating an oven and baking the potatoes, all while hungry stomachs are growling on the sidelines. My version skips that part by adding the raw potatoes directly into the pot with the other ingredients, where they cook in 20 minutes, and the soup is ready to eat in less time than other recipes take just to get the potatoes done.
Also, other clones add way too much flour to thicken the soup—¾ cup! Sure, flour is good at thickening, but it doesn’t add any flavor, so I found a better way. I ended up using just a little flour to make the roux, then later thickening the soup mostly with dehydrated potato flakes, which are usually used to make quick mashed potatoes. The flakes not only do a great job of thickening the soup, but they also add more delicious potato flavor to the pot.
Top your finished soup with shredded cheese, crumbled bacon, and green onion, and every spoonful will taste like a fully loaded baked potato.
Finish off your meal with a famous entrée from Outback like Alice Springs Chicken, or Toowoomba Steak.
Menu Description: "Lightly-dusted, stir-fried in a sweet Szechwan sauce."
The delicious sweet-and-spicy secret sauce is what makes this dish one of P. F. Chang's top picks. Once the sauce is finished all you have to do is saute your chicken and combine. You'll want to cook up some white or brown rice, like at the restaurant. If you can't find straight chili sauce for this recipe, the more common chili sauce with garlic in it will work just as well.
Check out my other P.F. Chang's clone recipes here.
Menu Description: "Our marinated chicken breast coated with Parmesan cheese and crunchy panko breadcrumbs, lightly pounded and pan fried to a golden brown. Served with white cheddar mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli and topped with a lemon Chardonnay butter sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil and Parmesan cheese."
This re-creation lays out a great way to prepare that 4-pack of chicken breasts you dropped into your shopping cart. While you're at the market, head down the aisle where the Asian foods are parked and pick up some Japanese breadcrumbs, also called "panko" breadcrumbs. Combining these coarse breadcrumbs with shredded Parmesan cheese makes a crispy breading for the chicken that doesn't even need a sauce to taste good. Still, the lemony Chardonnay butter sauce used at the restaurant is cloned here too, so you'll have the complete flavor experience. You'll want to plan ahead a bit for this dish since the chicken fillets will need to marinate in the brine solution for 2 to 3 hours. This dish goes great with the clone recipe for BJ's White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes.
Carnegie Deli's huge pastrami sandwiches were selected as the best in New York by New York Magazine in 1975, but it's the cheesecakes, which can be shipped anywhere in the country, that really put this famous deli on the map. The secret to accurately cloning a traditional New York cheesecake is in creating the perfect not-too-sweet sugar cookie crust and varying the baking temperature so that you get a nicely browned top before cooking the cheesecake through. Get ready for the best deli-style cheesecake to ever come out of your oven.
Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.
This delicious crispy chicken in a citrusy sweet-and-sour chicken is the most popular dish at the huge Chinese take-out chain. Panda Express cooks all of its food in woks. If you don't have one of those, you can use a heavy skillet or a large saute pan.
Menu Description: "Fresh vegetables, beans and pasta in a light tomato broth—a vegetarian classic."
This copycat Olive Garden minestrone soup recipe is jam-packed with beans, zucchini, onion, tomatoes, carrots, pasta, and spices but O.G.'s secret formula doesn't include chicken broth. Canned vegetable broth found in the soup aisle of most markets works as a base here in this secret formula that bursts with flavor as a purely vegetarian dish.
Check out my other Olive Garden copycat recipes here.
According to legend, in 1683 a Jewish baker shaped dough into the form of a riding stirrup to honor King Sobieski of Poland, a skilled horseman who had saved the Austrian people from Turkish invaders. Three hundred years later, this Boulder, Colorado chain is the biggest seller of what has become Americas favorite bagel brand. Since the first Einstein Bros. Bagel store opened in 1995, the chain has quickly expanded into 38 states. Today there are around 450 Einstein Bros. Bagel stores serving 16 varieties of the chewy bread snack. The company also owns Noah's Bagels, giving them another 140 stores. Each company has its own style of bagel, but both brands often win awards in local bagel contests. The company strives to open a new Einstein Bros. or Noah's somewhere in the country each business day.
Here are clone recipes for three of the chains most popular bagels plain, everything, and jalapeno. You'll notice the special ingredient that sets these bagels apart from others is molasses. That gives the bagels a sweet flavor as well as a slightly dark tint.
Serving size–1 bagel
Calories per serving–Plain 337, Everything 356, Jalapeno 340
Fat per serving–Plain 1g, Everything 2g, Jalapeno 1g
Menu Description: "Tossed in our honey-chipotle sauce."
After cloning the plain version of these breaded chicken fingers in Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2, I received requests to knockoff this more flavorful sweet-and-spicy version. If you like big flavor and some heat, this is the clone for you. The breading technique is the big secret: first use a wet batter and then toss the tenders in a dry breading. When the chicken tenders are fried to a golden brown they are gently tossed in the honey-chipotle sauce and served either as an appetizer, or with corn on the cob and French fries as an entree.
Find more recipes for your favorite dishes from Chili's here.
The secret to perfect pan pizza is pressing the dough into a well-oiled pan (Pizza Hut uses soybean oil), then the pan is covered and the dough rises in a heated cabinet for 45 to 60 minutes. When the dough is topped, the edge is sprayed with a butter-flavored “food release” and the pie is baked at 500 degrees F until perfectly browned on top. You can use a 9-inch, 12-inch, or 15-inch deep dish pizza pan or cake pan for this recipe, and you’ll want to preheat your oven with a pizza stone in it to simulate the type of oven used at the chain. The hot ceramic surface of the pizza stone will cause the oil in the pan to cook the bottom of the dough so that it’s brown and crispy like an authentic pan pizza crust should be. I tried making the dough with cake flour, all-purpose flour, superfine “00” flour, bread flour and many combinations of these different flours which all contain varying amounts of gluten. I even tried rising the dough slowly in the refrigerator for various lengths of time as long as up to four days. But after a month of testing and about 30 pan pizzas later, I found the best dough to be straight bread flour, and to let the dough rise at room temperature. I did find that if you let the dough rest for at least 4 hours before the final rise in the pizza pan you will get the best texture with the perfect chewy bite to it.
The 729-unit chain did not start its life as Qdoba. When the Mexican food chain was first founded by Robert Miller and Anthony Hauser in Denver, Colorado in 1995, it was called Zuma Mexican Grill, named after a friend’s cat. As it turned out, a restaurant in Boston had that same name and threatened to sue, so the partners changed the name to Z-Teca. It wasn’t long before two different restaurants threatened to sue for that name—Z’Tejas in Arizona and Azteca in Washington—and the partners were forced to change the name yet again. This time they called their restaurant Qdoba, a completely made-up name that was unlikely to be used by anyone else.
A signature item and consistent top seller is this marinated adobo chicken, offered as a main ingredient in most of the chain’s selections. Make this chicken by marinating thigh meat for a couple of days in the secret adobo sauce (a worker there told me they let it soak for up to 8 days), then grill and chop. Use the flavorful chicken in burritos, tacos, bowls, on nachos, and in tortilla soup.
I bet your craving some Qdoba Fiery Habanero Salsa right about now. Get my recipe here.
Menu Description: "Spicy, shredded beef, braised with our own chipotle adobo, cumin, cloves, garlic and oregano."
The original Mexican dish barbacoa was traditionally prepared by cooking almost any kind of meat goat, fish, chicken, or cow cheek meat, to name just a few, in a pit covered with leaves over low heat for many hours, until tender. When the dish made its way into the United States via Texas the word transformed into "barbecue" and the preparation changed to incorporate above-ground techniques such as smoking and grilling. The good news is that we can recreate the beef barbacoa that Chipotle has made popular on its ginormous burritos without digging any holes in our backyard or tracking down a local source for fresh cow faces. After braising about 30 pounds of chuck roasts, I finally discovered the perfect Chipotle Mexican Grill barbacoa burrito copycat recipe with a taste-alike adobo sauce that fills your roast with flavor as it slowly cooks to a fork-tender delicacy on your stovetop over 5 to 6 hours. Part of the secret for great adobo sauce is toasting whole cumin seeds and cloves and then grinding them in a coffee grinder (measure the spices after grinding them). Since the braising process takes so long, start early in the day and get ready for a big dinner, because I've also included clones here for Chipotle's pico de gallo, pinto beans, and delicious cilantro-lime rice to make your burritos complete. You can add your choice of cheese, plus guacamole and sour cream for a super-deluxe clone version. If you prefer chicken burritos, head on over to my clone recipe for Qdoba Grilled Adobo Chicken.
Two friendly Atlanta, Georgia neighbors built the first Waffle House in 1955. With the dimpled breakfast hotcake as a signature item, the privately held chain grew into 20 Southern U.S. states. Today tasty food at rock-bottom prices, plus 24-hours-a-day service, makes Waffle House a regular stop for devoted customers any time of the day or night. And don't even think about referring to your server as a waitress—they're called "associates."
For the best clone of the 50-year-old secret waffle recipe you should chill the batter overnight in the fridge, just as they do in each of the restaurants. But sometimes you can't wait. If you need instant gratification, the recipe still works if you make the waffles the same day. Wait for at least 15 to 20 minutes before using the batter so that it can thicken a bit. That'll give you time to dust off the waffle iron and heat it up.
How about some homemade Jimmy Dean Breakfast Sausage to go with those waffles? Check out all of my famous breakfast copycat recipes here.
When you check in at one of more than 250 hotels run by this U.S. chain, you are handed a bag from a warming oven that contains two soft and delicious chocolate chip cookies. This is a tradition that began in the early 80s using a recipe from a small bakery in Atlanta. All of the cookies are baked fresh every day on the hotel premises. The chain claims to give out about 29,000 cookies every day. Raves for the cookies from customers convinced the hotel chain to start selling tins of the cookies online. But if you've got an insatiable chocolate chip cookie urge that can't wait for a package to be delivered, you'll want to try this cloned version. Just be sure to get the cookies out of the oven when they are barely turning brown so that they are soft and chewy in the middle when cool.
Now that you're in the swing of things, try baking more famous cookies from my recipes here.
Update 1/13/17: I like to drop the baking temperature to 325 degrees F for a chewier (better) cookie. Cook for about the same amount of time, 16 to 18 minutes.
Update 4/10/20: In April, Hilton Hotels released the actual recipe for the DoubleTree Hotels Signature Cookie for the first time. You can open that recipe in another window to see how close the real recipe revealed in 2020 comes to this clone recipe I created in 2002.
IHOP claims to sell over 400,000 pancakes each day. That's a lot of pancakes. So many, in fact, what if all of those flapjacks were served up on one plate, it would make a giant stack taller than the Sears Tower in Chicago. And much tastier.
According to servers, of all the pancakes flavors and varieties, the Banana Nut Pancakes are one of the most often requested. I've included a recipe for the banana-flavored syrup here, but you can use any flavor syrup, including maple, on these dudes. Check out my other IHOP recipe clones here.
Update 2/8/17: Rather than combining all of the ingredients together in this IHOP banana nut pancake recipe in step #2, use two bowls. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in one bowl. In the other bowl combine the buttermilk, egg, oil, sugar, and banana flavoring with an electric mixer on medium speed. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, mix until smooth, and move on to step #3.
There’s one copycat recipe for these famous biscuits that’s posted and shared more than any other, and it’s downright awful. The dough is formulated with self-rising flour, baking powder, powdered sugar, shortening, and buttermilk, and many complain that the recipe creates dough that’s much too loose and the resulting biscuits are a complete disaster. Yet there the recipe remains on blogs and boards all over the interweb for unsuspecting home cloners such as yourself to waste time on. But that won’t happen anymore, because I have made a good copycat Bojangles' buttermilk biscuits recipe that works the way it should, guaranteeing you’ll get amazing golden buttermilk biscuits that look and taste just like a trained Bojangles’ pro made them.
In addition to the obvious overuse of buttermilk, the popular recipe I found online has many problems. The author gets it right when calling for self-rising flour, which is flour containing salt and a leavening agent (aka baking powder), but why would the copycat Bojangles biscuit recipe be designed to use self-rising flour and then add additional leaving? Well, it probably wouldn’t. Biscuits are job number 1 for self-rising flour, and the leavening in there is measured for that use, so there’s no need to add more. If you were planning to add your own leavening, you’d probably start with all-purpose flour, which has no leavening in it. And let's just be clear: baking powder tastes gross, so we want to add as little as possible, not more than necessary.
It’s also important to handle the dough the same way that workers at Bojangles’ do. They make biscuits there every 20 minutes and there are plenty of YouTube videos showing the preparation technique. In a nutshell, the dough is mixed by hand (in the restaurant they use their hands because the quantity is so large, but for this recipe use a mixing spoon), then it’s folded over a few times on a floured countertop before it’s rolled out. This gentle handling of the dough prevents the gluten in the flour from toughening and adds layers, so your biscuits come out of the oven tender and flakey.
For the best results, find White Lily flour. This self-rising flour is low in gluten and makes unbelievably fluffy biscuits. If you use another self-rising brand, you’ll still get great biscuits, but the gluten level will likely be higher, the biscuits will be tougher, and you’ll probably need more buttermilk. Head down to the Tidbits below for details on that.
And I noticed another thing most copycat Bojangles biscuit recipes get wrong. For biscuits that are beautifully golden brown on the top and bottom, you’ll want to bake them on a silicone baking mat (or parchment paper) at 500 degrees F. Yes, 500 degrees. That may seem hot, but this high temp works well with self-rising flour, and in 12 to 15 minutes the biscuits will be perfectly browned.
Counterintuitively, it’s the lower temperatures that end up burning the biscuits, while the higher temperature cooks them just right. At lower temps the biscuits must stay in the oven longer to cook through, which exposes the surfaces to more heat, and they end up too dark on the outside, especially the bottom. For even better results, if you have a convection setting on your oven, use that and set the temp to 475 degrees F. Your biscuits will look like they came straight from the drive-thru.