Wednesday, December 31, 2008

How to Find Top Secret Restaurant Recipes

Do you find yourself eating out more because you just cannot make the same kinds of foods at home? Restaurants tend to have the added touch to some basic meals that keep us coming back for more. You can make some of those recipes right in your own home and save yourself a lot of money too.

Decide on a few things that you love to eat at popular restaurants that you want to try and make from home. It can be anything from an appetizer to your favorite dessert. Whatever may be your favorite out to eat item, put it down on the list. This will help you remember what you are looking for later.

There are a lot of profession bakers out there who love to strive to recreate restaurants secret recipes. They have tried out several versions and they are not satisfied until they have made the perfect recipe. You can usually find their recipes on the internet, as they are more than willing to share their creation with you.

Talk to some of the wait staff about how the item is cooked and prepared when you are ordering. This will give you a little inside information of how the prepare it, which you can incorporate these tips at home. They may not give everything away, but you can find out what ingredients they use, as well as how it is prepared.

Make sure when trying to recreate the recipe that you use high quality ingredients. You will not get the same flavor from generics, as they seem to be less flavorful. Shop at a grocery store that sells quality ingredients and one store that you can trust.

Scour the internet in search of restaurant quality recipes. There are even people who formally worked for these restaurants and they are willing to share the secrets of creating the same dishes at home. There are thousands of websites that will help you recreate the same thing at home. Once you have found the recipe you are looking for, print out a copy for future reference.

Trial and error. You may not get the exact flavor you were looking for, but it is all about trial and error. The more you cook, the more knowledge you will gain and you will learn from your mistakes. After trying to recreate the recipe several times, you can adjust it to the flavor you were looking for.

You can make restaurant quality recipes at home if you have some time for research and trial and error. It can be a lot of work, but you can save a lot of money on food if you can learn to make the same food at home.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Top Secret Recipes - Waffle House

I knew a guy who enjoyed Waffle House hash browns so much that he begged and begged the manager at a local one to sell him a case of the potatoes to cook at home! If you like them as well and would love to create the delicious food at home, here is a great copycat recipe you can use, taken from Razzler Dazzler Recipes.
Waffle House Hash Browns

4 cups peeled and shredded potatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup ice
Vegetable oil for frying

Place prepared potatoes in a 2-quart bowl, and add salt. Add ice and pour enough water to cover potatoes. Stir to mix salt and ice in the potatoes. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Place shredded potatoes in a colander, rinse with cool tap water and drain completely. At this point you can place potatoes back in the refrigerator covered until ready to fry. The uncooked potatoes will keep up to 5 hours.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add enough vegetable oil to lightly cover bottom. When skillet is hot and oil has been heated, place two cups of drained shredded potatoes in skillet. Fry until crisp, shaping with a spatula. Fry about 12 to 15 minutes, without turning. Time depends on the temperature and size of the shredded hash browns. When potatoes are golden, flip over carefully and fry tops of potatoes for 2 - 3 minutes. Do not cover hash browns while frying or stir through them.

Waffle House Hash Browns Scattered all the Way!

1 slice American cheese (covered)
1/4 cup diced yellow onion (smothered)
Sliced jalapeno peppers, to taste (peppered)
1/4 cup diced fresh tomatoes (diced)
1/4 cup mushrooms (capped)
1/3 cup diced lean ham (chunked)
1/3 cup chili with beans, heated
1 serving Waffle House Hash Browns

Prepare Waffle House Hash Browns as directed. Leave them in the skillet, and add cheese, onion, jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and ham. When done, add chili on top of all.

This is a great recipe and makes for a delicious meal, however – it’s not dead on as far as the consistency and taste of the Waffle House hash browns. This is especially true if you like them ‘scattered all the way!’ The difference probably lies in the preparation and although it isn’t enough to really matter – there is a difference worth mentioning. Still, this is a delicious dish that you can make for a brunch or even a different dinner idea.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Top Secret Recipes - More Copycat Recipes

If you love finding recipes which mimic your favorite restaurant’s dishes, you’re going to love the following ones. These are copycat recipes from some of the best restaurants and some of the most popular dishes!

Sometimes, when a guy says the only reason he visits Hooter’s is for the hot wings – he’s telling the truth! Hooter’s has some very delicious hot wings and below, you will find a copycat recipe taken from Robbie’s Recipe Collection which really hits very close to Hooter’s secret recipe.

Prep. Time: 1:45
Serves: 4
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. black pepper
20 chicken wing segments
1/2 cup butter OR margarine
1/2 cup hot sauce (see Notes, below)
In a shallow dish, combine flour, salt, paprika, garlic powder, and peppers.
-Coat chicken entirely in the flour mixture; refrigerate coated wings for 1 hour; coat chicken again with remaining flour mixture.
-In a 2-quart saucepan, heat butter and hot sauce just until butter melts; turn heat to low and keep warm on stove top.
-Deep-fry chicken, 8 - 10 pieces at a time, in 375 degree oil (vegetable oil, canola oil, or peanut oil) for 13 minutes, turning once or twice.
-Drain chicken on a wire cooling rack for 30 seconds, then immediately toss fried chicken in buffalo sauce mixture and remove with a slotted spoon.
-Repeat with remaining chicken.

Adjusting the spiciness of the sauce: As is, the recipe produces a medium sauce. To change the amount of spiciness, simply adjust the butter-to-hot sauce-ratio:

Mild: Use 3/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup hot sauce.

Hot: Use 1/4 cup butter and 3/4 cup hot sauce.

Notes: I use Frank's® Buffalo Wing sauce in the recipe, as I enjoy the flavor of Buffalo sauce, but not the heat. If you like spice, you can use regular Frank's® Hot Sauce. I'm sure another hot sauce like Tabasco® would work fine, but Frank's® has a great flavor, not just heat. Use ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing as a dip for these fabulous wings!

This is a delicious recipe! The only point that should be made is that the longer the hot wings sit after you cook them, the ‘mushier’ they get. If you’re preparing these for a large group, its best if you use a large deep fryer so you can get them all completed in one or two batches. Served fresh, these hot wings are delicious. Add some cheesy fries and you’re good to go!

Benefits of Eating at Home

Cooking a meal at home for the family can be quite a task. It is much easier to pack up the family in the car and go out to eat. It is a lot more convenient, and is common to go in a busy lifestyle. Eating at home and making a meal has a lot of benefits to the whole family.

The main benefit to eating at home is the amount of money you will save over time if you eat regularly at home. Depending on the type of restaurants you choose to eat out at, it can amount to hundreds or even thousands of dollars every year.

It is important to plan your meals you are going to cook at home ahead of time. While this can take some careful planning, you will also know what you are going to make ahead of time so that you can shop sales and deals at the grocery store. Carefully planning your meals ahead of schedule can really save you a lot of money.

Quality time together as a family is another big benefit to eating at home instead of going out to eat. It is the one time during our busy lives to be able to sit down as a family and bond. People are too busy these days to be able to plan an event for the whole family, and simple things like dinner make these happen.

Your family will be much healthier when you eat more at home. You know what kind of food and ingredients you are putting into your meals, therefore, you know the choices that your family is eating. There is less grease and fat, making your family lead a lot healthier lifestyle.

Also when you are cooking your own meals from home, you can control the portions of everyone’s food. Everybody knows that when you order a meal at a restaurant, you typically get a lot more food than you can handle. You find yourself stuffing your face just to make it look like you ate something. At home, you will eat a lot less and have the same “full” feeling.

Eating at home has a lot of benefits for the whole family. If you are feeling pressed for time, have the whole family chip in on the cooking, and keep the cook time down to a minimum. You can even purchase cookbooks that can help you prepare a meal in no time.

There is nothing wrong with going out to eat once and awhile with the family, it can be a lot of fun. With these tips you can save yourself a lot of money on food, and keep your family healthy and happy.

Photo: Suat Eman

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Top Secret Recipe Expert - Todd Wilbur

Apparently it all started with Mrs. Fields cookies (which are great, by the way) and Todd Wilbur was on his way to a career copycatting top secret restaurant recipes. From recreating a Big Mac to giving away his secret recipes in 8 bestselling top secret recipe books – Todd Wilbur is a busy guy! That’s great for those of us who want to be able to recreate our favorite restaurant foods but don’t have the ability to figure out the recipes ourselves. He even knows how to clone a twinkie – gotta love a guy who can do that!

Make Your Own Twinkie

Make Your Own Big Mac

Cheesecake Factory Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake Recipe

Can you say ‘yum’ enough to the following recipe? This is absolutely perfect for a party when you want to wow the guests. Alright, so you don’t have all those ‘prep’ chefs to help you create this masterpiece but one bite and all the work will have been worth it!

Cheesecake Factory Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake Recipe

1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (filling removed) or 20 crumbled Oreo cookies (filling removed)
1/3 cup margarine, melted
1/2 cup raspberry preserves
1/4 cup water
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese at room temperature
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup sour cream at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 eggs at room temperature
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped into chunks
2 ounces shaved white chocolate (optional)
whipped cream (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
2. Place a large pan or oven-safe skillet filled with about 1/2-inch of water into the oven while it preheats.
3. This will be your water bath.
4. Combine the raspberry preserves with 1/4 cup water in a medium microwave-safe bowl.
5. Heat for 1 1/2 minutes on high in your microwave.
6. Stir until smooth.
7. Strain to remove the raspberry seeds, and discard seeds.
8. Allow strained preserves to cool, then put the bowl in the refrigerator until later.
9. Measure 1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (or crush 20 Oreo cookie wafers-- with the filling scraped out-- in a resealable plastic bag) into a medium bowl.
10. Mix in 1/3 cup melted margarine.
11. Press the crumb into a 9-inch spring form pan that has been lined on the bottom and side with parchment paper.
12. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press the crumb mixture flat into the bottom of the pan and about 2/3 the way up the side.
13. Wrap a large piece of foil around the bottom of the pan to keep the cheesecake in the water bath and prevent it from leaking.
14. Put the crust in your freezer until the filling is done.
15. Use an electric mixer to combine the softened cream cheese with the sugar, room temperature sour cream, and vanilla.
16. Mix on the lowest setting for a couple minutes or until the ingredients are smooth and creamy.
17. You don't want to beat too much air into the mixture, or it will fall and be grainy.
18. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
19. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl and then add them to the cream cheese mixture.
20. Blend the mixture just enough to integrate the eggs.
21. Remove the crust from the freezer and sprinkle 4 ounces of white chocolate chunks onto the bottom of the crust.
22. Pour half of the cream cheese filling into the crust.
23. Drizzle the raspberry preserves over the entire surface of the filling.
24. Use a butter knife to swirl the raspberry into the cream cheese.
25. Just a couple passes is fine, you don't want to blend the raspberry and cream cheese together too much.
26. Pour the other half of the filling into the crust.
27. Carefully place the cheesecake into the water bath in the oven.
28. Bake for 12 minutes at 475 degrees, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the top of the cheesecake turns a light brown or tan color.
29. Remove the cheesecake from the oven to cool on a cooling rack.
30. When the cheesecake is completely cool, cover cheesecake with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to sit overnight.
31. Before serving, sprinkle the entire top surface of cheesecake with 2 ounces of shaved white chocolate.
32. To serve, slice the cheesecake into 12 equal portions.
33. Apply a pile of fresh whipped cream to the top of each slice and serve.

Makes: 12 servings

Let me know what you think of these top secret recipes! Do you have any you’d like to share?

Original Recipe Source:

Outback Steakhouse’s Alice Springs Chicken

One of my favorite foods is the Alice Springs Chicken at Outback Steakhouse. Thanks to top secret recipes and copycat recipes, I’ve recently discovered that I can make the exact same thing at home. That’s the point of these ‘top secret’ recipes – to allow us the benefit of eating at home and still getting the delicious flavors we love. Try the copycat recipes above and determine whether they really are like the real thing!

The following recipe is absolutely delicious. While this does involve a bit of prep time, this is a perfect recipe for entertaining dinner guests or when you just want to fix something delicious and special for your family. However, rather than just using the honey mustard, mix 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard with a tablespoon of honey. Add just a pinch of sugar and you’ve got that delicious outback sauce that is so good!
Outback Steakhouse’s Alice Springs Chicken
• 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, 1/2 " thick
• honey mustard
• 6 slices bacon, sliced in half
• 1/2 teaspoon McCormick's Season All
• 1 cup sliced mushrooms, drained
• 3 cups shredded Colby or Monterey Jack cheese
1. Rub chicken breast with Seasonal All and set aside to marinate for 1 hour.
2. While the breast is marinating fry bacon crisp and drain.
3. Sauté chicken breasts on medium heat in pan with just enough oil to prevent sticking.
4. Cook on both sides until a slight golden color and cooked in the middle but not dry.
5. Remove from pan and place in a 9 x 13 dish.
6. Spread chicken breast with honey mustard, cover with a layer of mushrooms, three pieces of bacon and then sprinkle with shredded Colby/jack cheese, chicken should be covered with shredded cheese.
7. Bake at 350 degrees about 15 minutes or until cheese melts.
8. Sprinkle with parsley and extra honey mustard may be served on the side.

This recipe is absolutely delicious and tastes just like the real thing! Add some French fries and you’re good to go!

Can you say ‘yum’ enough to the following recipe? This is absolutely perfect for a party when you want to wow the guests. Alright, so you don’t have all those ‘prep’ chefs to help you create this masterpiece but one bite and all the work will have been worth it!

Recipe Source:

Top Secret Recipe Books Here!