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- Root vegetables
- Potato side dishes
- Mashed potato
Good cooks can fall down making creamed potatoes in particular if they have them ready too early. By following this simple recipe you can avoid this common pitfall.
County Antrim, Northern Ireland, UK
37 people made this
- 900g potatoes
- 30g to 60g butter
- 140ml milk
- salt and pepper
MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:30min
- Wash and peel the potatoes and cut them into even sized chunks. Cook in salted water until tender.
- When the potatoes are tender, tilt the lid of the pan and pour off the water. Return to a gentle heat and with the lid half on continue cooking for 2 or 3 minutes until the potatoes are dry.
- Add the butter (as much as you like) and either crush the potatoes with a fork or a potato masher. Press them down firmly and pour over 0.25 pint of boiling milk which is enough for 1.5 to 2 lbs of boiling potatoes.
- Do not stir yet. Instead put the lid on the saucepan and let stand in a warm place until the main coarse is dished up. Just before sering beat the potatoes well with a wooden spoon until they are light and fluffy.
Cut the potatoes into even sized pieces. Take care to cook the potatoes in water and not let the water boil away.Do not stir the mixture until ready to serve.
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I have made this recipe several times with pearl onions for a little added flavor. Sometimes my kids don’t love the onions, but because they are big and easy to see, they just brush the onions to the side. To add onion, you can just get a small bag of frozen pearl onions and boil them for 5 minutes (or according to package instructions). Add the cooked onions when you add the potatoes in the recipe.
This is a healthy, delicious alternative to mashed potatoes. I followed the recipe exactly, and found that I only needed the 1/4 c of milk, if that. I pulsed the batch in the food processor until it was a chunky purée and then turned it in to purée for approximately 1 1/2-2 minutes. Creamy, Dreamy, just Divine. I served it as a bed for chicken cacciatore.
Simple & tasty. I did not puree the garlic. I do like to add some fresh thyme to this when I have it.
Can't rave about this one. had a heavy raw garlic taste and I even smashed the cloves before boiling. I'll make again but I'll roast the garlic separately.
This is good, but the texture is much more like mashed potatoes if you process about a cup of cooked white beans with the cauliflower. I cook a cup or 2 of dried beans, drain them and freeze them in a ziplock bag.
EXCELLENT I love to add Smokey Sea Salt instead of regular salt. Gives it a GREAT flavor.
Easy and delicious. No need for milk.
Would give it 3 1/2 forks -- very good, basic recipe that makes cauliflower an easy side dish that goes with almost anything.
Easy, tasty, and almost healthy. This goes with everything.
This was fabulous! We made it to accompany our braised short ribs. FYI, leftovers of this dish heat up beautifully. Will absolutely make it again!
Made this to go with the Sweet Balsamic Glazed Chicken. It was gorgeous. Easy to make and a nice alternative to cauliflower and cheese sauce. Definitely make this again
Notes About Cream Peas and Potatoes:
- My cream peas and potato recipe uses frozen peas but you can use fresh shelled peas too.
- Peas can easily be over cooked. Be sure to add to the boiling water, and then immediately drain the water. Put peas and potatoes back into the same skillet and cover. The residual heat will perfectly cook the peas.
- Taste the white sauce before adding to the vegetables. If it is bland, add more salt and pepper.
- If you want to fancy this dish up, use a potato peeler and remove a narrow strip of the skin on each potato before boiling.
- I have a many creamy pea recipes. Try my old fashioned recipe and my canned pea recipe.
Delicious, Creamy Mashed Potatoes
Mmmm&hellipcreamy, steamy, flavorful, delicious mashed potatoes. They&rsquore as much a part of Thanksgiving dinner as tryptophan and whiskey.
russet or Yukon Gold potatoes
package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
(to 1 teaspoon) Lawry's Seasoned Salt
(to 1 teaspoon) black pepper
- Peel and cut the potatoes into pieces that are generally the same size. Bring a large pot of water to a simmer and add the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 to 35 minutes. When they&rsquore cooked through, the fork should easily slide into the potatoes with no resistance, and the potatoes should almost, but not totally, fall apart.
- Drain the potatoes in a large colander. When the potatoes have finished draining, place them back into the dry pot and put the pot on the stove. Mash the potatoes over low heat, allowing all the steam to escape, before adding in all the other ingredients.
- Turn off the stove and add 1 ½ sticks of butter, an 8-ounce package of cream cheese and about ½ cup of half-and-half. Mash, mash, mash! Next, add about ½ teaspoon of Lawry&rsquos Seasoning Salt and ½ a teaspoon of black pepper.
- Stir well and place in a medium-sized baking dish. Throw a few pats of butter over the top of the potatoes and place them in a 350-degree oven and heat until butter is melted and potatoes are warmed through.
When making this dish a day or two in advance, take it out of the fridge about 2 to 3 hours before serving time. Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes or until warmed through.
Sigh. Mashed potatoes. They&rsquore as much a part of Thanksgiving dinner as pecan pie and Uncle Festus.
But mashed potatoes are labor-intensive, and on Thanksgiving Day, that&rsquos not necessarily an asset. The wonderful thing about these mashed potatoes is, they can be made ahead of time, then warmed in the oven when you&rsquore ready. This has made a world of difference in my Thanksgiving Day sanity, peace, blood pressure readings, and hormone levels. The fact that they&rsquore wonderfully delicious is simply the icing on the cake. So let&rsquos go make &rsquoem!
With a vegetable peeler (i.e. carrot peeler), peel 5 pounds of regular Russet or Yukon Gold potatoes. After peeling, rinse under cold water.
Now, I always like to chop the potatoes in half or in fourths before throwing them into the pot. They cook more quickly and more evenly this way.
No need to freak and wig out here&mdashjust cut them so they&rsquore generally the same size.
Now, bring a pot of water to a healthy simmer&hellip
And go ahead and throw &rsquoem in.
Now, bring to a boil and cook for a good thirty minutes&mdashpossibly more.
That&rsquos just enough time to give yourself a nice paraffin manicure or, in my case, haul all your trash to the dump.
What did I just say? Ah, country life. It&rsquos so beautiful and idyllic.
Now. You have to give the potatoes the ol&rsquo fork check to make sure they&rsquore done. When they&rsquore cooked through, the fork should easily slide into the potatoes with no resistance, and the potatoes should almost&mdashbut not totally&mdashfall apart. Remember, if the fork meets with any resistance, that means there&rsquoll be little hard pieces of potatoes in the final product. Translation: LUMPS!
Drain the potatoes in a large colander and give yourself a nice steam facial while you&rsquore at it.
When the potatoes have finished draining, place them back into the dry pot and put the pot on the stove.
Turn the burner on low. What we&rsquore going to do is mash the potatoes over low heat, allowing all the steam to escape, before adding in all the other ingredients. That way, the potatoes won&rsquot be watery or &ldquomealy.&rdquo
Do you have a potato masher? You need one! They&rsquore relatively inexpensive and so much better to use than an electric mixer, the sharp blades of which can break down the starch in the potatoes and make the final product gummy. Also, you&rsquoll need a masher later when we make Butternut Squash Puree and Sinful Sweet Potatoes.
Until most of the steam has escaped and most of the chunks of potato have been mashed well, about three minutes.
Are you ready to get serious? Good. Find the butter you&rsquove been softening&hellip
And just slice it right into the hot potatoes. For five pounds of potatoes, I use 1 1/2 sticks.
Or, if I&rsquove had a particularly stressful week, I bump it up to 2 sticks. Butter, you may not be aware, is an effective psychological salve.
Now. Are you ready to get SERIOUS? Okay, I&rsquom just making sure. This, my friends and cohorts, is THE secret ingredient of delectable, delightful, creamy, perfect mashed potatoes. Do not be afraid. Do not scream and run. You must trust Pioneer Woman. I know of what I speak.
To five pounds of potatoes, I add an 8 oz package of cream cheese. It&rsquos best if it&rsquos softened.
Now, let me just say that Marlboro Man would never&mdashNEVER&mdashtouch cream cheese with a ten-foot pole. Never. He&rsquod sooner have his gums scraped than eat cheesecake or spread cream cheese on a cracker. But he loves my mashed potatoes. And he ate them for years before he ever got wind of the secret ingredient. He cried for a few days when he found out he&rsquod consumed cream cheese, but now he doesn&rsquot even bat an eye.
In terms of culinary repertoire, it&rsquos all about baby steps with these cowboys.
Now, to make the texture just right, we need to add a little Half & Half.
Hey, I COULD have used heavy cream. But this is a low-fat dish, people. I have to make healthy choices.
Begin with 1/2 cup. You can always add another splash later.
Now it&rsquos time to mash away again! If your butter and cream cheese were softened to begin with, everything should come together perfectly.
Oh, my. Did someone say &ldquocreamy?&rdquo Oh. I guess that was me.
Okay. That&rsquos the basic mashed potato recipe. From here, you can add whatever seasonings make your skirt fly up: onion powder, salt, fresh ground pepper, garlic salt&hellipeven mashed roasted garlic cloves (my personal favorite.)
For Thanksgiving, though, because the mashed potatoes will be served with gravy and all the other stuff, I like to keep it pretty simple. And Lawry&rsquos, to me, is just right. It provides salt content as well as just a hint of some other flavors.
It&rsquos important not to oversalt the potatoes, so start small and you can work your way up. I usually add about 1/2 teaspoon to start, then wind up adding another 1/2 teaspoon later.
In a perfect world, I would now reach over and grab my wooden pepper grinder. But in my world, my pepper grinder is outside, filled with gravel. Don&rsquot ask.
Go ahead an add as much pepper as you like. Again, I start with about 1/2 teaspoon, then add more later.
Now, stir or mash everything together.
Then TASTE the potatoes, and adjust the seasonings. The seasoning process should take a little time, as it&rsquos important to get it just right. Try really hard NOT to undersalt the potatoes. They need seasoning, man.
Now, butter a medium-sized baking dish.
And plop the mashed potatoes right in.
I&rsquom hungry. For mashed potatoes.
Now, to make it look reeeeeal puuuuurrrrty, smooth out the surface of the potatoes with a knife.
Ha! You just THOUGHT this was a low-fat dish, didn&rsquot you? Fooled you once again.
And place them all over the top. This just screams rebellion, doesn&rsquot it? Hey, look. It&rsquos Thanksgiving. And I just happen to be thankful for butter.
Now, the great thing here is, you can cover it with foil and refrigerate for one or two days before Thanksgiving! Then, just pop it in the oven when you&rsquore ready. It&rsquos amazing how much trouble this saves on Thanksgiving day. That peeling, boiling, draining, and mashing thing can really get in the way of your holiday joy.
When you&rsquore ready, remove it from the fridge at least an hour before baking (a couple of hours before eating) so the center won&rsquot be so cold. Bake in a 350-degree oven, covered, for 20-30 minutes, or until warmed through.
Here&rsquos mine. I actually forgot to cover mine with foil because my boys were dressing the dog in my favorite jeans and I had to intervene. But they turned out fine the top had a nice little buttery crust, which didn&rsquot bother me one bit.
- Put the potatoes in a medium saucepan add enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Add 1 tsp. salt and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are just tender enough to pierce with a small sharp knife, about 25 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a plate and let cool completely (do not rinse).
- Cut the green portions from the onion bulbs reserve the greens. Put the onion bulbs in a medium saucepan with 3 cups of cold water and 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and then reduce the heat and simmer until the onions are tender when pierced with a knife, 10 to 15 minutes for spring onions, 4 to 5 minutes for scallions.
- Transfer the onions with tongs to a plate, and then boil the cooking liquid until reduced by half (about 1-1/2 cups), about 2 minutes. Pour the onion broth into a liquid measuring cup and cover to keep warm. Reserve two whole onion tops for garnish, and then finely chop enough of the remaining greens to get a generous 1/2 cup.
- Return the pot to the stove and melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onion greens and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, 1 minute. Add the wine, if using, and cook, stirring, until nearly evaporated, about 20 seconds. Gradually whisk in 1-1/2 cups of the reserved warm onion broth, and cook until the mixture begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Gradually whisk in the cream. Continue whisking until the mixture simmers, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat slightly and simmer, stirring constantly, until thick and creamy, about 2 minutes. Season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. white pepper, and remove from the heat.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 350°F. Peel the cooled potatoes and cut lengthwise into quarters. Add the potatoes and whole onions to the sauce and toss to coat. Transfer the mixture to a 2-quart baking dish, and bake until hot, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle the reserved onion greens on top, and serve.
The dish can be prepared but not baked up to 3 days. Cover and refrigerate, then bring to room temperature before baking.
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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In 1991 Kentucky Fried Chicken bigwigs decided to improve the image of America's third-largest fast-food chain. As a more health-conscious society began to affect sales of fried chicken, the company changed its name to KFC and introduced a lighter fare of skinless chicken.
In the last forty years KFC has experienced extraordinary growth. Five years after first franchising the business, Colonel Harland Sanders had 400 outlets in the United States and Canada. Four years later there were more than 600 franchises, including one in England, the first overseas outlet. In 1964 John Y. Brown, Jr., a young Louisville lawyer, and Jack Massey, a Nashville financier, bought the Colonel's business for $2 million. Only seven years later, in 1971 Heublein, Inc., bought the KFC Corporation for $275 million. Then in 1986, for a whopping $840 million, PepsiCo added KFC to its conglomerate, which now includes Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. That means PepsiCo owns more fast food outlets than any other company including McDonald's.
At each KFC restaurant, workers blend real buttermilk with a dry blend to create the well-known KFC buttermilk biscuits recipe that have made a popular menu item since their introduction in 1982. Pair these buttermilk biscuits with KFC's mac and cheese recipe and the famous KFC Original Recipe Chicken, and skip the drive-thru tonight!
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.
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.
Menu Description: "Here they are in all their lip-smacking, award-winning glory: Buffalo, New York-style chicken wings spun in your favorite signature sauce."
Since Buffalo, New York was too far away, Jim Disbrow and Scott Lowery satisfied their overwhelming craving in 1981 by opening a spicy chicken wing restaurant close to home in Kent, Ohio. With signature sauces and a festive atmosphere, the chain has now evolved from a college campus sports bar with wings to a family restaurant with over 300 units. While frying chicken wings is no real secret—simply drop them in hot shortening for about 10 minutes—the delicious spicy sauces make the wings special. There are 12 varieties of sauce available to coat your crispy chicken parts at the chain, and I'm presenting clones for the more traditional flavors. These sauces are very thick, almost like dressing or dip, so we'll use an emulsifying technique that will ensure a creamy final product where the oil won't separate from the other ingredients. Here is the chicken wing cooking and coating technique, followed by clones for the most popular sauces: Spicy Garlic, Medium and Hot. The sauce recipes might look the same at first, but each has slight variations make your sauce hotter or milder by adjusting the level of cayenne pepper. You can find Frank's pepper sauce by the other hot sauces in your market. If you can't find that brand, you can also use Crystal Louisiana hot sauce.
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.
Menu Description: "Made from scratch in our kitchens using fresh Grade A Fancy Russet potatoes, fresh chopped onion, natural Colby cheese and spices. Baked fresh all day long."
In the late sixties Dan Evins was a Shell Oil "jobber" looking for a new way to market gasoline. He wanted to create a special place that would arouse curiosity, and would pull travelers off the highways. In 1969 he opened the first Cracker Barrel just off Interstate 40 in Lebanon, Tennessee, offering gas, country-style food, and a selection of antiques for sale. Today there are over 529 stores in 41 states, with each restaurant still designed as a country rest stop and gift store. In fact, those stores which carry an average of 4,500 different items apiece have made Cracker Barrel the largest retailer of American-made finished crafts in the United States.
Those who know Cracker Barrel love the restaurant for its delicious home-style breakfasts. This casserole, made with hash brown-sliced potatoes, Colby cheese, milk, beef broth, and spices is served with many of the classic breakfast dishes at the restaurant. The recipe here is designed for a skillet that is also safe to put in the oven (so no plastic handles). If you don't have one of those, you can easily transfer the casserole to a baking dish after it is done cooking on the stove.
Love Cracker Barrel? Check out my other clone recipes here.
They're the world's most famous French fries, responsible for one-third of all U.S. French fry sales, and many say they're the best. These fried spud strips are so popular that Burger King even changed its own recipe to better compete with the secret formula from Mickey D's. One-quarter of all meals served today in American restaurants come with fries a fact that thrills restaurateurs since fries are the most profitable menu item in the food industry. Proper preparation steps were developed by McDonald's to minimize in-store preparation time, while producing a fry that is soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. This clone requires a two-step frying process to replicate the same qualities: the fries are par-fried, frozen, then fried once more to crispy just before serving. Be sure to use a slicer to cut the fries for a consistent thickness (1/4-inch is perfect) and for a cooking result that will make them just like the real thing. As for the rumor that you must soak the fries in sugar water to help them turn golden brown, I also found that not to be necessary. If the potatoes have properly developed they contain enough sugar on their own to make a good clone with great color.
Now, how about a Big Mac or Quarter Pounder to go with those fries? Click here for a list of all my McDonald's copycat recipes.
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.
Cayenne pepper and white pepper bring the heat to this crispy fried chicken hack.
Did you like this recipe? Get your hands on my secret recipe for Popeyes Chicken Sandwich and other Popeyes dishes here.
This soup happens to be one of Chili's most raved-about items, and the subject of many a recipe search here on the site. Part of the secret in crafting your clone is the addition of masa harina—a corn flour that you'll find in your supermarket near the other flours, or where all the Mexican foodstuffs are stocked.
In the early 90's Boston Chicken was rockin' it. The home meal replacement chain's stock was soaring and the lines were filled with hungry customers waiting to sink their teeth into a serving of the chain's delicious rotisserie chicken. So successful was the chain with chicken, that the company quickly decided it was time to introduce other entree selections, the first of which was a delicious barbecue sauce-covered ground sirloin meatloaf. But offering the other entrees presented the company with a dilemma: what to do about the name. The bigwigs decided it was time to change the name to Boston Market, to reflect a wider menu. That meant replacing signs on hundreds of units and retooling the marketing campaigns. That name change, plus rapid expansion of the chain and growth of other similar home-style meal concepts sent the company into a tailspin. By 1988, Boston Market's goose was cooked, and the company filed for bankruptcy. Soon McDonald's stepped in to purchase the company, with the idea of closing many of the stores for good, and slapping Golden Arches on the rest. But that plan was scrapped when, after selling many of the under-performing Boston Markets, the chain began to fly once again. Within a year of the acquisition Boston Market was profitable, and those meals with the home-cooked taste are still being served at over 700 Boston Market restaurants across the country.
How about some of those famous Boston Market side-dishes to go with your copycat meatloaf recipe? I've cloned all the best ones here.
To copy Taco Bell's most famous burrito 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 a Taco Bell hot sauce, such as the Taco Bell Fire Border Sauce with the clone recipe here.
One of the most protected, discussed, and sought-after secret recipes in the food world is KFC's Original Recipe Fried Chicken. Long ago I published my first hack of the famous formula, but the recipe, which was based on research from "Big Secrets" author William Poundstone, includes only salt, pepper, MSG, and flour in the breading, and not the blend of eleven herbs and spices we have all heard about. The fried chicken made with my first recipe is good in a pinch, but it really needs several more ingredients to be a true clone. That is why, over twenty years later, I was happy to get another crack at the secret when we shot the pilot episode for my CMT TV series Top Secret Recipe. In the show, I visited KFC headquarters, talked to friends of Harlan Sanders who had seen the actual recipe, and even checked out the Corbin, Kentucky, kitchen where Harland Sanders first developed his chicken recipe. During that four-day shoot I was able to gather enough clues about the secret eleven herbs and spices to craft this new recipe—one that I believe is the closest match to the Colonel's secret fried chicken that anyone has ever revealed.
The easy-melting, individually-wrapped Kraft Cheddar Singles are a perfect secret ingredient for this Panera Bread broccoli cheddar soup recipe that's served at this top soup stop. In this clone, fresh broccoli is first steamed, then diced into little bits before you combine it with chicken broth, half-and-half, shredded carrot, and onion. Now you're just 30 minutes away from soup spoon go-time.
Click here for more of my copycat Panera Bread recipes.
Here's a clone for another of KFC's famous side dishes. We'll use easy-to-melt Velveeta, with its very smooth texture, as the main ingredient for the cheese sauce. Then a bit of Cheddar cheese is added to give the sauce a perfect Cheddary sharpness like the original. This KFC mac and cheese recipe is an easy one that will take you only around 15 minutes to prepare.
Order an entree from America's largest seafood restaurant chain and you'll get a basket of some of the planet's tastiest garlic-cheese biscuits served up on the side. For many years this recipe has been the most-searched-for clone recipe on the Internet, according to Red Lobster. As a result, several versions are floating around, including one that was at one time printed right on the box of Bisquick baking mix.
The problem with making biscuits using Bisquick is that if you follow the directions from the box you don't end up with a very fluffy or flakey finished product, since most of the fat in the recipe comes from the shortening that's included in the mix. On its own, room temperature shortening does a poor job creating the light, airy texture you want from good biscuits, and it contributes little in the way of flavor. So, we'll invite some cold butter along on the trip -- with grated Cheddar cheese and a little garlic powder. Now you'll be well on your way to delicious Cheddar Bay. Wherever that is.
Menu Description: "Our appetizing cheese dip with seasoned beef. Served with warm tostada chips."
Take your chips for a dip in this top-secret Chili's skillet queso copycat recipe that comes to your table in a small cast iron skillet along with a big bowl of tortilla chips. A popular recipe that's been circulating calls for combining Velveeta with Hormel no-bean chili. Sure, it's a good start, but there's more to Chili's spicy cheese dip than that. Toss a few other ingredients into the saucepan and after about 20 minutes you'll have a great dip for picnic, party, or game time.
Now, what's for dinner? Check out my other Chili's copycat recipes here.
What is it about Stouffer's Macaroni & Cheese that makes it the number one choice for true mac & cheese maniacs? It's probably the simple recipe that includes wholesome ingredients like skim milk and real Cheddar cheese, without any preservatives or unpronounceable chemicals. The basic Stouffer's Mac and Cheese ingredients are great for kitchen cloners who want an easy fix that doesn't require much shopping. I found the recipe to work best as an exact duplicate of the actual product: a frozen dish that you heat up later in the oven. This way you'll get slightly browned macaroni & cheese that looks like it posed for the nicely lit photo on the Stouffer's box. Since you'll only need about 3/4 cup of uncooked elbow macaroni for each recipe, you can make several 4-person servings with just one 16-ounce box of macaroni, and then keep them all in the freezer until the days when your troops have their mac & cheese attacks. Be sure to use freshly shredded Cheddar cheese here, since it melts much better than pre-shredded cheese (and it's cheaper). Use a whisk to stir the sauce often as it thickens, so that you get a smooth—not lumpy or grainy—finished product.
If you're still hungry, check out my copycat recipes for famous entrées here.
Menu Description: "Nearly world-famous. Often imitated, hardly ever duplicated."
"Hooters is to chicken wings what McDonald's is to hamburgers," claims promotional material from the company. True, the six fun-loving Midwestern businessmen who started Hooters in Clearwater, Florida, on April Fool's Day in 1983 chose a classic recipe for chicken wings as their signature item. But while some might say it's the buffalo wings that are their favorite feature of the restaurant, others say it's the restaurant chain's trademark Hooters girls—waitresses casually attired in bright orange short-shorts and skin tight T-shirts.
Today there are over 375 Hooters across the United States serving more than 200 tons of chicken wings every week. The original dish can be ordered in 10-, 20-, or 50-piece servings or if you want to splurge, there's the "Gourmet Chicken Wing Dinner" featuring 20 wings and a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne, for only $125. To further enhance the Hooters experience when you serve these messy wings, throw a whole roll of paper towels on the table, rather than napkins, as they do in the restaurants.
Menu Description: "Parmesan, Romano and mozzarella cheese, clams and herb breadcrumbs baked in mushroom caps."
Breadcrumbs, clams and three types of cheese are baked into white mushroom caps in this clone of a top pick from Olive Garden's appetizer menu. Mix all the stuffing ingredients together in a bowl, fill the mushroom caps, sprinkle on some minced red bell pepper, cover the mushrooms with a blanket of mozzarella cheese slices, and bake. After 15 minutes you'll have a great appetizer or hors d'oeuvre for 4 to 6 people—that's twice the serving size of the dish from the restaurant.
Did you love this copycat Olive Garden stuffed mushrooms recipe? Check out more of my clone recipes here.
This super simple Chili's salsa recipe can be made in a pinch with a can of diced tomatoes, some canned jalapeños, fresh lime juice, onion, spices, and a food processor or blender. Plus you can easily double the recipe by sending in a larger 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes, and simply doubling up on all the other ingredients. Use this versatile salsa as a dip for tortilla chips or plop it down onto any dish that needs flavor assistance—from eggs to taco salads to wraps to fish. You can adjust the Chili's salsa recipe heat level to suit your taste by tweaking the amount of canned jalapeños in the mix.
Now, what's for dinner? Check out some copycat entrees from your favorite restaurants here.
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.
The first Auntie Anne's pretzel store opened in 1988 in the heart of pretzel country—a Pennsylvanian Amish farmers' market. Over 500 stores later, Auntie Anne's is one of the most requested secret clone recipes around, especially on the internet. Many of the copycat Auntie Anne's soft pretzel recipes passed around the Web require bread flour, and some use honey as a sweetener. But by studying the Auntie Anne's home pretzel-making kit in the secret underground laboratory, I've discovered a better solution for re-creating the delicious mall treats than any clone recipe out there. For the best quality dough, you just need all-purpose flour. And powdered sugar works great to perfectly sweeten the dough. Now you just have to decide if you want to make the more traditional salted pretzels, or the sweet cinnamon sugar-coated kind. Decisions, decisions.
Nicknamed "Sliders" and "Gut Bombers," these famous tiny burgers were one of the earliest fast-food creations. It all started in 1921 when E.W. Ingram borrowed $700 to open a hamburger stand in Wichita, Kansas. Ingram chose the name White Castle because "white" signified purity and cleanliness, while "castle" represented strength. permanence, and stability. White Castle lived up to its name, maintaining that permanence and stability by growing steadily over the years to a total of 380 restaurants.
Ingram's inspiration was the development of steam-grilling, a unique process that helped the burgers retain moisture. The secret is grilling the meat over a small pile of onions that give off steam as they cook. Five holes in each mini-burger help to ensure that the meat is completely cooked without having to flip the patties. Today customers can buy these burgers "by the sack" at the outlets, or pick them up in the freezer section of most grocery stores, but hey, making them at home is fun!
Now, how about some fries and a milkshake to complete the meal.
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.
Once a regular menu item, these sweet, saucy wings are now added to the KFC menu on a "limited-time-only" basis in many markets. So how are we to get that sticky sauce all over our faces and hands during those many months when we are cruelly denied our Honey BBQ Wings? Now it's as easy as whipping up this KFC honey BBQ wings recipe that re-creates the crispy breading on the chicken wings, and the sweet-and-smoky honey BBQ sauce. "Limited-time-only" signs—we laugh at you.
How about some famous coleslaw or wedge potatoes? Check out my collection of KFC clone recipes here.
Older than both McDonald's and Burger King, Jack-in-the Box is the world's fifth-largest hamburger chain, with 1,089 outlets by the end of 1991 in thirteen states throughout the West and Southwest. The restaurant, headquartered in San Diego, boasts one of the largest menus in the fast food world.
Now taste for yourself the homemade version of Jack's most popular item. The Jack-in-the Box Taco has been served since the inception of the chain, with very few changes over the years. If you're a fan of the Jumbo Jack or any of Jack's Shakes click here for my clone recipes.
I first created the clone for this Cajun-style recipe back in 1994 for the second TSR book, More Top Secret Recipes, but I've never been overjoyed with the results. After convincing a Popeyes manager to show me the ingredients written on the box of red bean mixture, I determined the only way to accurately clone this one is to include an important ingredient omitted from the first version: pork fat. Emeril Lagasse—a Cajun food master—says, "pork fat rules," and it does. We could get the delicious smoky fat from rendering smoked ham hocks, but that takes too long. The easiest way is to cook 4 or 5 pieces of bacon, save the cooked bacon for another recipe (or eat it!), then use 1/4 cup of the fat for this hack. As for the beans, find red beans (they're smaller than kidney beans) in two 15-ounce cans. If you're having trouble tracking down red beans, red kidney beans will be a fine substitute.
Can't get enough Popeyes? Find all of my recipes here.
A good chicken pot pie has perfectly flakey crust and the right ratio of light and dark meat chicken and vegetables swimming in a deliciously creamy white sauce. KFC serves up a pie that totally fits the bill, and now I'm going to show you how to make the same thing at home from scratch. You'll want to start this recipe a couple hours before you plan to bake the pies, since the dough for the crust should chill awhile and the chicken needs to soak in the brine. When it comes time for baking, use small pie tins, ramekins, or Pyrex baking dishes (custard dishes) that hold 1 1/2 cups. The recipe will then yield exactly 4 pot pies. If your baking dishes are smaller, there should still be enough dough here to make crust for up to 6 pot pies. And don't forget to brush egg whites over the top of the pies before you pop them into the oven to get the same shiny crust as the original.
This is a simple recipe to clone the contents of the seasoning packet that bears the Taco Bell logo found in most grocery stores these days. You probably expect the seasoning mix to make meat that tastes exactly like the stuff you get at the big chain. Well, not exactly. It's more like the popular Lawry's taco seasoning mix, which still makes good spiced ground meat, and works great for a tasty bunch of tacos.
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 entree, 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.
This Benihana Japanese fried rice recipe will go well with just about any Japanese entree and can be partially prepared ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator until the rest of the meal is close to done.
You've got a hankerin' for pancakes or biscuits, but the recipe calls for Bisquick, and you're plum out. Not to worry. Now you can make a clone of the popular baking mix at home with just four simple ingredients. Store-bought Bisquick includes shortening, salt, flour, and leavening, so that's exactly what we need to duplicate it perfectly at home. This recipe makes about 6 cups of the stuff, which, just like the real thing, you can keep sealed up in a container in your pantry until it's flapjack time. When that time comes, just add milk and eggs for pancakes or waffles, or only milk if it's biscuits you want. You'll find all those recipes below in the "Tidbits."
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: "This succulent 10 oz. steak is jazzed up with Cajun spices and served with sauteed onions, mushrooms, garlic mashed potatoes and garlic toast."
This Cajun-style dish is named after the famous street in the French Quarter in New Orleans, so you won't need any booze for this recipe unless it's for you to drink while you're making it. Plan to make this dish 12 to 24 hours in advance, so the steaks have time to soak up the goodness. This marinating time will also give the meat tenderizer a chance to do its thing, but don't go longer than 24 hours or the protein fibers may become so tender that they turn mushy. I used McCormick brand tenderizer, which uses bromelian, a pineapple extract, to tenderize the meat. Lawry's (Adolph's) meat tenderizer, uses papain from papayas, to tenderize the proteins, but this brand also brings other spices into the mix and will alter the flavor of your finished product. Both of these tenderizers contain a lot of salt so we won't need to include salt in the marinade formula.
Try my copycat recipe for Applebee's almond rice pilaf as great side-dish.
Ah, chicken gizzard. It took me more than eighteen years to find a recipe that requires chicken gizzard -- not that I was looking for one. But I've seen the ingredients list on the box that comes from the supplier for the Cajun gravy from Popeyes, and if we're gonna do this one right I think there's got to be some gizzard in there. The gizzard is a small organ found in the lower stomach of a chicken, and your butcher should be able to get one for you. After you saute and chop the gizzard, it is simmered with the other ingredients until you have a thick, authentic Southern gravy that goes great over the Popeyes Buttermilk Biscuits clone, or onto whatever begs to be swimming in pure flavor. Get ready for some of the best gravy that's ever come off your stovetop.
Complete your meal with my recipe for Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken.
Menu Description: "Tender, crispy wild gulf shrimp tossed in a creamy, spicy sauce."
Bonefish Grill proudly refers to this appetizer as the "house specialty." And why not, it's an attractive dish with bang-up flavor, especially if you like your food on the spicy side. The heat in this Bang Bang Shrimp recipe comes from the secret sauce blend that's flavored with chili garlic sauce, also known as sambal. You can find this bright red sauce where the Asian foods in your market—and while you're there, pick up some rice vinegar. Once the sauce is made, you coat the shrimp in a simple seasoned breading, fry them to a nice golden brown, toss them gently in the sauce, and then serve them up on a bed of mixed greens to hungry folks who, hopefully, have a cool drink nearby to mellow the sting.
You might also like my recipes for Bonefish Grill's Saucy Shrimp and Citrus Herb Vinaigrette.
The real version of this chili sauce comes to each Wienerschnitzel unit as concentrated brown goo in big 6-pound, 12-ounce cans. After adding 64 ounces of water and 15 chopped hamburger patties the stuff is transformed into the familiar thick and spicy chili sauce dolloped over hot dogs and French fries at America's largest hot dog chain. The proper proportion of spices, tomato paste, and meat is crucial but the real challenge in hacking this recipe is finding a common grocery store equivalent for modified food starch that's used in the real chili sauce as a thickener. After a couple days in the underground lab with Starbucks lattes on intravenous drip, I came out, squinting at the bright sunshine, with a solution to the chili conundrum. This secret combination of cornstarch and Wondra flour and plenty of salt and chili powder makes a chili sauce that says nothing but "Wienerschnitzel" all over it.
Since Panera Bread makes all its ingredients known, it's not hard to find out that there’s no chicken broth in the original recipe, yet every copycat recipe I located online calls for chicken broth, as well as other ingredients clearly not found in Panera's version. Unlike those other recipes, this hack uses the same or similar ingredients to those listed on the company’s website.
One of the ingredients in the soup, according to the posted list, is yeast extract. This tasty ingredient adds an MSG-like savoriness to Panera’s soup, and we can duplicate it by using nutritional yeast—often called "nooch"—now found in many stores, including Whole Foods. A little bit of nooch will provide the umami deliciousness that replaces chicken broth or bouillon.
Panera keeps its soup gluten-free by thickening it with a combination of rice flour and cornstarch, rather than wheat flour. I’ve included those ingredients as well so that your clone is similarly gluten-free. Use the steps below and in about an hour you’ll have 8 servings of a soup that is a culinary doppelganger to Panera Bread's all-time favorite soup, and at a mere fraction of the cost.
El Pollo Loco, or "The Crazy Chicken," has been growing like mad since it crossed over the border into the United States from Mexico. Francisco Ochoa unknowingly started a food phenomenon internacional in 1975 when he took a family recipe for chicken marinade and opened a small roadside restaurante in Gusave, Mexico. He soon had 90 stores in 20 cities throughout Mexico. The first El Pollo Loco in the United States opened in Los Angeles in December 1980 and was an immediate success. It was only three years later that Ochoa got the attention of bigwigs at Dennys, Inc., who offered him $11.3 million for his U.S. operations. Ochoa took the deal, and El Pollo Loco grew from 17 to more than 200 outlets over the following decade.
Re-create the whole El Pollo Loco experience at home with my copycat recipes for avocado salsa, pinto beans, Spanish rice, and bbq black beans.
The automated process for creating Krispy Kreme doughnuts, developed in the 1950's, took the company many years to perfect. When you drive by your local Krispy Kreme store between 5:00 and 11:00 each day (both a.m. and p.m.) and see the "Hot Doughnuts Now" sign lit up, inside the store custom-made stainless steel machines are rolling. Doughnut batter is extruded into little doughnut shapes that ride up and down through a temperature and humidity controlled booth to activate the yeast. This creates the perfect amount of air in the dough that will yield a tender and fluffy finished product. When the doughnuts are perfectly puffed up, they're gently dumped into a moat of hot vegetable shortening where they float on one side until golden brown, and then the machine flips them over to cook the other side. When the doughnuts finish frying, they ride up a mesh conveyor belt and through a ribbon of white sugar glaze. If you're lucky enough to taste one of these doughnuts just as it comes around the corner from the glazing, you're in for a real treat—the warm circle of sweet doughy goodness practically melts in your mouth. It's this secret process that helped Krispy Kreme become the fastest-growing doughnut chain in the country.
As you can guess, the main ingredient in a Krispy Kreme doughnut is wheat flour, but there is also some added gluten, soy flour, malted barley flour, and modified food starch plus egg yolk, non-fat milk, flavoring, and yeast. I suspect a low-gluten flour, like cake flour, is probably used in the original mix to make the doughnuts tender, and then the manufacturer adds the additional gluten to give the doughnuts the perfect framework for rising. I tested many combinations of cake flour and wheat gluten, but found that the best texture resulted from cake flour combined with all-purpose flour. I also tried adding a little soy flour to the mix, but the soy gave the dough a strange taste and it didn't benefit the texture of the dough in any way. I excluded the malted barley flour and modified food starch from the Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut recipe since these are difficult ingredients to find. These exclusions didn't seem to matter because the real secret in making these doughnuts look and taste like the original lies primarily in careful handling of the dough.
The Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut recipe dough will be very sticky when first mixed together, and you should be careful not to over mix it or you will build up some tough gluten strands, and that will result in chewy doughnuts. You don't even need to touch the dough until it is finished with the first rising stage. After the dough rises for 30 to 45 minutes it will become easier to handle, but you will still need to flour your hands. Also, be sure to generously flour the surface you are working on when you gently roll out the dough for cutting. When each doughnut shape is cut from the dough, place it onto a small square of wax paper that has been lightly dusted with flour. Using wax paper will allow you to easily transport the doughnuts (after they rise) from the baking sheet to the hot shortening without deflating the dough. As long as you don't fry them too long—1 minute per side should be enough—you will have tender homemade doughnuts that will satisfy even the biggest Krispy Kreme fanatics.
Creamed Potatoes and Peas
It just wouldn’t be a summer picnic season without this dish. Tender new potatoes and fresh peas in a homemade cream sauce. This recipe is big, so you might want to halve it.
- 4 pounds Small Red Potatoes (i Like Baby Pontiacs)
- 1 pound Fresh Shelled Garden Peas
- 1 stick Butter
- ¼ cups Minced Onion
- ½ cups Flour
- 2 cups Milk Or Cream
- ½ teaspoons Salt
- ½ teaspoons Ground White Pepper
Slice potatoes into halves or quarters to ensure even size. Place them in a large stock pot with enough cold water to cover them by about 1″. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes until fork tender, drain and place in a serving bowl with the peas.
In a sauce pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter until it starts to foam. Add minced onions and cook a few minutes until translucent and fragrant. Slowly stir in flour 1 tablespoon at a time (you may not need all of it) until you form a roux. Cook for 2–3 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk or cream and stir until it starts to boil. Add salt and pepper, cook an additional 3–4 minutes until sauce starts to thicken.
- Serving Size: 1 (250.5 g)
- Calories 217.4
- Total Fat - 8.9 g
- Saturated Fat - 5.5 g
- Cholesterol - 22.9 mg
- Sodium - 680.6 mg
- Total Carbohydrate - 30.3 g
- Dietary Fiber - 5.9 g
- Sugars - 0.4 g
- Protein - 6.2 g
- Calcium - 74.7 mg
- Iron - 7.4 mg
- Vitamin C - 26.6 mg
- Thiamin - 0.1 mg
Cut peeled potatoes into quarters (I don't peel mine if they are red, I do if they are russet). Place in saucepan and cover with COLD water. Add salt and bring to a slow boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Cook on low heat (cooking on high heat with cause them to mush and not keep their shape,russets do this more than reds ).
Add onion slice for flavor, when you add potatoes remove it later if you don't want to serve the onion in the potatoes.the water is going to boil out, you need just enough at end to cream the potatoes.
When tender, add butter and flour mixed together mine looks like a mix of mashed and boiled this is what you are looking for add thickening. Add to potatoes and bring to a low boil.