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It’s probably not any of the restaurants that you’d expect
A meal at Sublimotion will seriously mess with your head.
Most of us have our own definitions of what makes a restaurant expensive. But what’s the most expensive restaurant on earth?
There’s a restaurant in Ibiza, Spain that makes other exorbitantly priced restaurants — like New York City’s Masa and Paris’ Le Meurice, where tabs can stretch beyond $500 per person — look like child’s play. At Sublimotion, which opened last year, a meal costs 1,500 euros ($1581 USD) per person.
Located at an undisclosed “magical point on the island” at the Ibiza Hard Rock Hotel, this avant-garde restaurant seats only 12 guests at a time, and the restaurant’s goal is to be “where the best Spanish avant-garde cuisine and the most surprising and magical show come together in a single unique experience.”
The restaurant refers to its dining room, where guests enjoy 20 courses at a single large table, as a “microenvironment.” Computers control the lighting, scents, music, patterns on the tables, scenic views on the walls, and even the humidity.
Paco Roncero, the chef and visionary behind the restaurant, has been awarded with two Michelin stars, so you know that the main event — the food — will be good as well. But is the experience worth 1,500 euros? We’ll let you be the judge of that. All we know is that Sublimotion is the most expensive restaurant in the world.
What Are The Fanciest (and Most Expensive) Restaurants in Paris?
Paris is the Capital of Fashion, but it’s not only that! France and Paris are well-known worldwide for their outstanding cuisine. In Paris, you can find the fanciest restaurants and the most famous ones, with the best chefs that are known all over the world. They know how to give real pleasure to your taste buds with their grandiose, sophisticated and exquisite menus that are real works of art thanks to their talent and imagination.
NB: Most of the prices stated might differ, and usually do not include the cost of drinks.
10 Most Expensive Meals from Michelin Starred Restaurants
What are the most expensive meals from Michelin-starred restaurants? The multi-sensory experience and 20-course meal priced $1,761 SubliMotion dominates our 2021 ranking, costing almost twice the price of the second most expensive meal in our list. Here&rsquos a quick look:
While most citizens would normally be looking for the most affordable, and great tasting meals on the market, some would be willing to pay a pretty penny for unforgettable dining experiences. With Michelin-starred restaurants serving as a premier indicator for the best of the best, gourmands can take a glance at the most expensive meals from Michelin-starred restaurants in 2021 to determine the top meals that doesn&rsquot skimp on exquisite ingredients and luxurious decors for the ultimate dining experience.
If looking to dine at a restaurant that serves exceptionally made dishes, taking a quick look at the Michelin Guide will help you choose where to book your next dinner reservation. Having a list of hundreds of restaurants around the globe, the Michelin Guide has a simple restaurant star rating system to help gourmands find the best tasting meals: one star for &ldquoa very good restaurant in its category,&rdquo two stars for places that are &ldquoworth a detour&rdquo due to &ldquoexcellent cooking,&rdquo and three stars for those that offer an &ldquoexceptional cuisine, worth a special journey.&rdquo
Thousands of restaurants vie for a Michelin star thanks to the prestige it gives businesses. And when they win the coveted ranking, they can&rsquot rest on their laurels as they must competitively and consistently maintain the quality of meals served unless they want to have their Michelin star removed. Michelin reviewers judge restaurants on a yearly basis, removing stars or awarding them to deserving restaurants. To ensure fair, objective reviews, they act as regular customers to avoid receiving special treatment.
Due to the reputation of Michelin ratings, many travel far and wide to eat at these vetted restaurants. If you&rsquore looking to travel and spend money for an ultimate food trip, it&rsquos best to travel to either Japan or France, as they hold 28 and 27 Michelin 3-star restaurants respectively , according to a 2017 report by Statista. These countries are followed by the United States (14), Germany (11), China (10), Italy (9), Spain, and UK (5).
Contrary to popular opinion, granting of Michelin stars is not affected by the luxurious decor and setting of a restaurant, as they solely focus on the quality of food and a restaurant&rsquos consistency. Nonetheless, the Michelin Guide also displays spoon and forks to indicate the comfort and quality of the dining experience, and they also award a bib gourmand status for restaurants that offer &ldquoexceptionally good food at moderate prices&rdquo based on local economic standards. Criteria for their main Michelin-star rating include the quality of ingredients used, rich flavor and cooking techniques, value for money, consistency, and chef personality in the dining experience. This is why there are affordable Michelin-starred restaurants such as a one Michelin-starred stall in a Singapore hawker center that offers a SGD $4-priced chicken rice dish. However, considering that quality ingredients largely influence the rating system as well as bringing out the flavor of food, extremely expensive restaurants largely dominate the two and three star bracket.
While the Michelin Guide is looked upon by many individuals and restaurants, it has its fair share of controversy. Some allegations include French restaurant bias and chef favoritism. A few chefs and restaurant owners also expressed regret in receiving a Michelin star and denounced their distinction after their award caused unsurmountable expectations from customers dining at their place. Meanwhile, there are those that have criticized the Michelin Guide for its &ldquoabsurd&rdquo standards for restaurants and found it difficult to maintain food costs to remain profitable. Who would have thought back then that a tire company founded back in 1889 would have such a huge impact on businesses?
Because of the high requirements to stay on top of the competition, some restaurants strive to provide the best meals available through high-priced meals that only deep pockets can afford. With this, it&rsquos worth looking at the top 10 most expensive meals from Michelin-starred restaurants.
10. The French Laundry (Yountville, California) &ndash $310 for a twelve-course tasting meal
In The French Laundry, each dish is served in a small enough amount to get your taste buds riled up for more. The French Laundry aims to replicate this sensation and make you experience something new and unique in each of the twelve-course tasting meal by never using the same ingredient throughout. The menu also changes daily to based on the season as well as the freshest ingredients available on the market, thus, making each visit worthwhile. Expect various bread selections, season-specific salads, fresh fish courses, and an assortment of desserts, among others.
Three Michelin-starred restaurant The French Laundry is considered by many as one of the world&rsquos best restaurants in the 1990&rsquos and early 2000&rsquos, winning awards left and right for several years.
This three Michelin-starred restaurant is ran by Thomas Keller, a reputed American chef who was considered one of the most important chefs in the 1990&rsquos. He is also known for the 1994 debuted restaurant The French Laundry as it was considered one of the world&rsquos best restaurant for a certain period of time. He also a three Michelin star with Per Se, while his other restaurant Bouchon holds a one star. The French Laundry underwent a $10 million-worth renovation in 2017 with a large wine cellar, 9000 square feet landscaping, feminine kitchen design with vaulted ceilings and higher countertops, wrap-around windows to peer in the kitchen, and windows overlooking a garden.
9. Per Se &ndash $340 for a nine-course tasting meal (New York City)
Leading to the entrance of Per Se is the iconic blue door of The French Laundry sandwiched by two equally sized contemporary glass panels. However, the blue door doesn&rsquot actually open. The glass panels are actually the main doors. This playfulness hints at the unique dining experience that awaits customers of Per Se.
Run by Thomas Keller and bearing similarities to his established restaurant The French Laundry, Per Se seeks to make each of the nine-course meal bring an exciting, unique, and playful twist by ensuring no ingredient is repeated throughout the course. This applies whether you pick the chef&rsquos tasting menu or vegetable tasting menu that both costs $340, a laudable feat considering they change their menu daily based on ingredient availability in the market.
Located in New York City, Per Se has a simple but refined contemporary interior with a gorgeous view of Columbus Circle and Central Park. Its upscale and relaxing atmosphere is said to make each meal feel timelessly soothing, regardless if you&rsquore delighting on ice cream and house chocolates or eating away at sea scallops and wagyu beef.
8. Restaurant de l&rsquoHotel de Ville Crissier (Crissier, Switzerland) &ndash $400 for an 11-course meal
With a large roster of 25 chefs headed by reputed chef Franck Giovanni, Restaurant de l&rsquoHotel de Ville Crissier serves authentic French dishes that match the season. This means that you can experience a unique course five times a year. As of writing, served on the 11-course menu priced 390 CHF or $400 includes scallops from the Somme Bay, Duck Foie Gras powdered with pistachios, and grilled suckling lamb, among others. Be prepared to spend much more if tempted by their 40-page wine list.
Restaurant de l&rsquoHotel de Ville Crissier has a great reputation, holding several Michelin-starred chefs in its history as well as the prestigious &ldquobest restaurant in the world&rdquo distinction from The List and 2021 best restaurant of the year from Gault & Millau.
7. Le Meurice Alain Du Casse (Paris, France) &ndash &euro380 for a three-course tasting menu or &euro580 to include wine pairings
Le Meurice by Alain Du Casse, a classy three Michelin-starred restaurant that has a luxurious French 18th century decor, is highly recommended if looking to spend big bucks on on fine dining in an elegant and romantic place with your loved ones. Its three-course, artifice-free tasting menu includes three dishes, cheeses, and dessert.
6. Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee (Paris, France)- &euro395 for a three half-course meal
A posh, crystal filled dining room will make you feel like a king as you delight yourself with Alain Ducasse&rsquos trilogy largely composing of fish, vegetables, and cereals. This three Michelin-starred restaurant features a posh decor with thousands of suspended crystals. There&rsquos a &euro 395 Jardin-Marin menu and &euro 210 Naturalite menu, both of which does not include drinks. Similar to Alain Du Casse&rsquos Le Muerice, the &euro 395 jardin marin dish includes three half dishes, cheeses, and dessert.
5. Guy Savoy (Paris, France) &ndash &euro415 for a 12-course meal
If you&rsquore looking for a sumptuous three Michelin-starred French restaurant that has a fine, Michelin-vetted &ldquoexcellent standard&rdquo wine list, Guy Savoy is worthy of a detour. The set menu comes with a concasse of raw oysters, green & blue lobsters, caviar with smoked sabayon, a four-week duck breast that was aged and marinated with spices, and much more.
Three Michelin-star chef and owner of the titular restaurant, Savoy, has amassed multiple Michelin stars in the past. He&rsquos also the mentor of superstar and Michelin-starred chef Gordon Ramsay.
4. Masa (New York City) &ndash $595
Run by the titular three-Michelin starred sushi chef Masa Takayama, this New York City situated restaurant serves fresh ingredients sourced from Japan for authentic-tasting meals. You&rsquoll definitely pay more than the advertised $595 per head as this fee doesn&rsquot include tax or drinks.
If you&rsquore looking for something specific to eat, you&rsquoll have to twink twice before going to Masa because there&rsquos no menu. Masa is an Omakase-style restaurant, which means the chef decides what to serve on a daily basis. Though you can definitely expect dishes with high-quality ingredients such as fresh fish and Kobe beef.
3. Kitcho Arashiyama (Kyoto, Japan) &ndash $646
Dining at Kitcho Arashiyama is a treat for both the eyes and your palate. This three Michelin-starred Kitcho Arashiyama will greet you with a serene, elegant scenery of nature housed inside a tea ceremony house-styled restaurant. This great scenery is complemented by the freshest and seasonally-selected Japanese food that not only tastes well, but are also a pleasant to look at due to their eye-catching colorful layout and plating.
2. Ultraviolet (Shanghai, China) &ndash 4000RMB or $900 dollars
Similar to the most expensive Michelin-starred restaurant, Ultraviolet greatly enhances the way you perceive and taste your food through a multi-sensory experience, complete with HD panels, thumping multi-channel speakers, always-changing neon lights to complement or contrast your meal, and much more. For about $900, you will experience a 22-course journey from a three-Michelin starred restaurant that touts an Avant-garde set menu set in an exclusive place limited to ten seats.The walls are painted bright white to better project and control the intricate lighting technology in immersing you on your 22-course journey.
1. SubliMotion (Ibiza, Spain) &ndash $1,761 for a 20-course meal per head (Ibiza, Spain)
Do you fancy eating at a Spanish avant-garde meal while immersing yourself in a place that stimulates all your five senses? If so, this restaurant is the right choice for you. Topping our most expensive meals from Michelin-starred restaurants is SubliMotion. For a whopping $1,761 per head, you can experience an immersive multi-sensory eating experience at SubliMotion located at the Hard Rock Hotel in Ibiza, Spain. It comes complete with a few 2-star Michelin chefs, musical directors, fashion designers, DJ, illustrators, screenwriters, choreographers, and other essential staff you&rsquod see in a big-budget production. This three-hour production is designed to tickle all of your five senses throughout a 20-course journey.
SubliMotion is run by two-star Michelin chef Paco Roncero, and his expertise in molecular gastronomy greatly complements the restaurant&rsquos multi-sensory experience. In 2017, Roncero partnered with fellow Michelin-starred chefs, thus making it an eight Michelin-starred food experience all in all.
We checked: At $390, this is the most expensive steak in Dallas
When Georgie by Curtis Stone opened in Knox-Henderson a couple of weeks ago, it revealed a menu of French classics, a meaty selection of tenderloins, strip steaks and chops and one serious jaw-dropper: A 42-ounce bone-in rib-eye priced at a colossal $390.
Even in a town that loves great beef and is willing to pay top dollar for it, I couldn’t recall seeing a steak that even approached that sticker price. And a round of calls to Dallas’ meat palaces — Town Hearth, Knife, Pappas Brothers, Al Biernat’s, Bob’s Steak and Chop House, and Nick and Sam’s — confirmed it.
Georgie’s $390 slab of Australian Blackmore Wagyu is the most expensive steak in town, by a long shot.
The next highest is $255 for “the Dirk,” a 41-ounce, 41-day dry-aged chateaubriand at Nick and Sam’s (named for Dirk Nowitzki, as if you need to be told).
It’s followed closely by the 240-day dry-aged rib-eye at John Tesar’s Knife, a 33-ounce bone-in cut that’ll set you back a mere $250.
Town Hearth, Nick Badovinus’ modern Texas steakhouse, tops out with the bistecca, a minimum 55-day dry-aged porterhouse that weighs in at about 44 ounces for $149.
Al Biernat’s prime tomahawk rib-eye is a 28-ounce, $125 indulgence.
Pappas Brothers limbos in at under $100, with a top price of $99.95 for a prime bone-in, 32-ounce New York strip steak, dry aged minimum 28 days in house.
And Bob’s best is slightly less, a wagyu tomahawk rib-eye that’s 28 ounces and $95.
There are, of course, potentially higher-priced steak specials and A5 Japanese wagyu, the buttery import that is sold by the ounce and generally purchased in diminutive portions.
But for pure menu sticker shock, Georgie takes the steak.
Check out the menu at Georgie, Curtis Stone’s new restaurant in Knox Henderson, before it opens tonight
It’s a statement-making move for Stone: The Australia-born, Los Angeles-based celebrity chef opened his first restaurant outside of L.A. in Dallas, focused it on meat and, just to let everyone know he means business, added a $390 cherry on top.
At his Los Angeles restaurant Gwen ― which Georgie is modeled on ― there are five Blackmore wagyu cuts on the menu, ranging from a $150, 12-ounce flat iron steak to the 42-ounce bone-in rib-eye, which is also $390 in L.A.
When Georgie’s butcher shop opens next year, it too will sell the massive bone-in rib-eye ― for $100 a pound. There is also a 10-ounce Blackmore strip steak on Georgie’s menu for $145.
So, what does it get you? Blackmore is one of the world’s most renowned beef producers, from a ranch in Victoria with a herd of more than 3,000 full-blood wagyu cattle that are slaughtered to order. It’s served by chefs including Heston Blumenthal in London and Neil Perry in Sydney, and Stone is the sole importer for the U.S.
Packages of the beef are delivered with the noseprint of the animal, Georgie chef Toby Archibald says. “The noseprint is like the fingerprint of a human,” he says. “So if you want, you can track the animal’s lineage and history.”
Sandwich nirvana: Why we love this wagyu cheesesteak at Niwa Japanese BBQ
It’s too early for a review visit, so I haven’t tried the steak or even been to Georgie yet. But I’ve eaten Blackmore wagyu in Australia and at Stone’s restaurant Gwen, albeit in much smaller portions, and it was a memorable experience.
It is some of the most distinctly flavored beef I’ve ever had, with the complex flavors and lushness of wagyu, but more meatiness and chew than the top-tier Japanese version of the beef.
Phenomenal beef, yes, but phenomenal in a 6-ounce portion. Archibald says Stone and his partner at Georgie, Stephan Courseau, wanted a prestige item on the menu, and the rib-eye is the most premium Blackmore cut. “It’s got that fat cap, that flavor that comes from the bone,” he says. “It’s at least 2 inches thick, so it has more of a roast flavor, more of that primal warm feeling when you’re eating it.”
Unlike the strip steak, which cooks relatively quickly, the rib-eye is slowly grilled to medium-rare in three steps, seasoned simply with kosher salt and a medium-grind of black pepper, and garnished with a few leaves of endive and some béarnaise sauce. Side dishes are extra.
Frrrozen Haute Chocolate is the world’s most expensive dessert for $25,000
Who wouldn’t want to dig in some delectable dessert after eating a yummy hotdog? And when some rich diner has just gobbled up the most expensive hotdog, only the most expensive dessert can satiate his sweet craving! Recently, we stopped by New York’s famous Serendipity 3 restaurant to report about the $69 hotdog. We are back at the same venue as it is in the news for dishing out the most expensive puddings in the world. According to Guinness, the £630 Grand Opulence Sundae and the mind-boggling £15,730 ($25,000) Frrrozen Haute Chocolate are the world record-breaking desserts. Stealing the tag of the most expensive dessert is the Frrrozen Haute Chocolate. It is served in a baccarat Harcourt crystal goblet with 18-carat gold and white diamond bracelet attached to the neck. The goblet is further laced with 23-carat edible gold. The recipe includes Serendipity frozen hot chocolate mix that contains 14 rare and secret cocoas, 14 of the world rarest and most expensive cocoas from Africa and South America, milk, ice cubes whipped cream, and shavings from the world’s most expensive truffle, the La Madeline au Truffle ($2,500 a pound). Topping it with five grams of 24 carats edible gold, this opulent dessert is served with an £8,800 ($14,000) jewel-encrusted spoon. The bracelet and the spoon belong to the sweet-toothed customer who ordered this bejeweled dessert.
Serendipity’s head chef Joe Calderone states that “All profits from this dessert would go to children’s charities in New York, so we are definitely looking for someone to come in, be generous and to enjoy the Haute Chocolate.” DailyMail reports, “Created by one of Serendipity’s specialist chefs to order at your table, the Grand Opulence Sundae is available at 48 hours notice and the Frrrozen Haute Chocolate at a whopping two weeks.”
Benu, San Francisco, 2010
From the day it opened in 2010, chef Corey Lee’s Benu was greeted with accolades. Lee, formerly chef de cuisine at The French Laundry under Thomas Keller, combined that restaurant’s micro-attention to technique and detail (and multi-course tasting menu) with influences drawn from a palette of Asian influences and ingredients. Groundbreaking at the time, Lee’s food now feels prescient ditto the restaurant’s serene, elegant design with its black, white, and grey hues𠅊 now much-replicated Japanese-ryokan-meets-The Matrix vibe. Yet it also feels as though Benu helped usher in the era of San Francisco ultra-high-priced destination restaurants: the menu, with its included service charge, runs $390 per person. Eating at Benu is an amazing experience, but “sell your tech startup first” might be useful advice. —Ray Isle, Executive Wine Editor
Eat Chic: This is The World's Most Expensive Macaron
The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort has launched a series of guest experiences in partnership with French jeweler and objet label Lalique&ndashone of which has yielded the world's most expensive macaron.
The Crystal Macaron&ndashpriced at $9,703 as a nod to the hotel's address, 9703 Collins Avenue&ndashis made with white tea, decorated with edible gold leaf and rests on a cushion of sugar crystals within a keepsake crystal box. Think that's all your getting for a price tag just shy of $10,000? Think again. The macrons come with an overnight stay at one of the hotel's new four-bedroom Sky Palace Suites, which houses up to eight guests, comes with a complimentary butler and features four 210 square-foot balconies to gaze upon uninterrupted views of the Atlantic ocean.
Lalique and the St. Regis aren't stopping at macarons in their quest for high-priced edible treats. Their collaborative cocktail program consists of three signature drinks served in Lalique stemware, priced at $200 each. Guests can take their flute, glass or coupe home with them once they finish sipping, but the hotel plans to engrave the names of regular guests into their glasses to keep at the bar for exclusive use during their stays.
Wondering what you'll sip for a round of drinks that could rival the cost of a night's stay? The signature drink list includes the Muses, a cocktail comprised of gin, fresh lemon, chamomile, honey and raspberry as well as the Eternal, a gin, elderflower and grapefruit concoction. The last cocktail in the series&ndasha Hennessy, calvados, amaro, hibiscus and angostura bitters drink&ndashis called the Sensory Awareness.
Both the decadent almost $10,000 macaron and the $200/glass cocktail program can be enjoyed during the last of the hotel's super-luxurious offerings, where the kitchen creates a tailored menu for an intimate dinner party with pairings at a private meal served in the hotel wine vault.
Pied à Terre
Pied à Terre has held at least one Michelin star since 1993, making it one of the oldest Michelin-starred restaurants in London. Restaurants need to evolve, however, and with an imaginative young chef at the helm in Asimakis Chaniotis, who mixes classical French and Greek cooking, it remains contemporary.
The 8 Culinary Traditions of China
Chinese cuisine is as diverse as their culture where every region writes up a new menu. Cooking styles, ingredients, flavours - all differ from region to region. The most prominent regional cuisines in China are Anhui, Cantonese, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Szechuan, and Zhejiang.
Zhejiang cuisine also thrives on seafood, but focuses more on soft, fresh flavours. Their food is known to have a delicate appearance. They are also fond of using bamboo shoots. This province is famous as the 'land of milk and honey'.
Similarly, the dishes from Jiangsu region are known for their soft texture. Back in the day, it was a prominent part of ancient China's royal cuisine. Their dishes offer a balance of sweet and salty tastes.
Szechuan cuisine stands out due to the bold, pungent and spicy flavours. The use of Sichuan peppercorn is what makes it unique. This one is for those of you who love the sting.
Anhui cuisine uses a wide variety of herbs and vegetables, especially, fresh bamboo and mushrooms. It also use a lot of wild herbs to enhance the flavour and aroma.
Fujian cuisine is often served in a broth or soup using cooking styles like braising, stewing, steaming and boiling. The most notable features of this cuisine are - the use of fresh ingredients from the mountains and sea, soup making and a a lot of focus on seasonings.
Hunan cuisine is well known for its hot spicy flavor, fresh aroma and deep color. This province is popularly known as the 'land of fish and rice'. It is renowned for its stews, but their cuisine also features a lot of braised and baked dishes.
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.
Includes eight (8) 79¢ recipes of your choice each month!
Save $12 vs. monthly
Includes eight (8) 79¢ recipes of your choice each month!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This clone recipe may be for the whole hamburger, but anybody who knows about Tommy's goes there because they love the chili that's on the burger—and that's the part of this clone they seek. Turns out it's an old chili con carne recipe created back in 1946 by Tommy's founder, Tommy Koulax, for his first hamburger stand on the corner of Beverly and Rampart Boulevards in Los Angeles. By adding the right combination of water and flour and broth and spices to the meat we can create a thick, tomato-less chili sauce worthy of the gajillions of southern California college students that make late-night Tommy's runs a four-year habit. And if you don't live near one of the two dozen Tommy's outlets, you can still get a gallon of Tommy's famous chili shipped to you. But I hope you really like the stuff, because you'll shell out around 70 bucks for the dry ice packaging and overnight shipping. And don't expect to see the ingredients on the label (drat!) since the chili comes packed in a gallon-size mustard jug.
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.
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.
To get their Extra Crispy Chicken so crispy KFC breads the chicken two times. This double breading gives the chicken its ultra craggy exterior and extra crunch, which is a different texture than the less crispy Original Recipe Chicken that’s breaded just once and pressure fried.
As with my KFC Original Recipe hack, we must first brine the chicken to give it flavor and moisture all the way through, like the real thing, then the chicken is double breaded and deep fried until golden brown. KFC uses small chickens which cook faster, but small chickens can be hard to find. If your chicken parts are on the large side, they may not cook all the way through in the 12 to 15 minutes of frying I’m specifying here. To be sure your chicken is cooked, start frying with the thickest pieces, like the breasts, then park them in a 300-degree oven while you finish with the smaller pieces. This will keep the chicken warm and crispy, and more importantly, ensure that they are cooked perfectly all the way through.
On my CMT show Top Secret Recipe I chatted with Winston Shelton, a long-time friend of KFC founder Harland Sanders. Winston saw the Colonel's handwritten secret recipe for the Original Recipe chicken, and he told me one of the secret ingredients is Tellicherry black pepper. It's a more expensive, better-tasting black pepper that comes from the Malabar coast in India, and you should use it here if you can find it. Winston pulled me aside and whispered this secret to me when he thought we were off-camera, but our microphones and very alert cameramen caught the whole thing, and we aired it.
I first published this hack in Even More Top Secret Recipes, but recently applied some newly acquired secrets and tips to make this much-improved version of one of the most familiar fried chicken recipes in the world.
This recipe was our #2 most popular in 2019. Check out the other four most unlocked recipes of the year: Texas Roadhouse Rolls (#1), Olive Garden Braised Beef Bolognese (#3), Pizzeria Uno Chicago Deep Dish Pizza (#4), Bush's Country Style Baked Beans (#5).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Crafting a clone of Olive Garden’s signature Lasagna Classico became the perfect opportunity to create a beautiful multi-layered lasagna hack recipe that uses up the whole box of lasagna noodles and fills the baking pan all the way to the top. This Top Secret Recipe makes a lasagna that tips the scale at nearly 10 pounds and will feed hungry mouths for days, with every delicious layer copied directly from the carefully dissected Olive Garden original.
I found a few credible bits of intel in a video of an Olive Garden chef demonstrating what he claims is the real formula on a midday news show, but the recipe was abbreviated for TV and the chef left out some crucial information. One ingredient he conspicuously left out of the recipe is the secret layer of Cheddar cheese located near the middle of the stack. I wasn’t expecting to find Cheddar in lasagna, but when I carefully separated the layers from several servings of the original dish, there was the golden melted cheesy goodness in every slice.
This clone recipe will make enough for 8 big portions, but if you make slightly smaller slices this is easily enough food to fill twelve lasagna-loving bellies. If you like lasagna, you're going to love this version.
Browse my other Olive Garden clone recipes here.
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.
“Don’t call them fries,” says KFC about its popular side made with sliced, skin-on russet potatoes. What sets these potatoes apart from all the others is the secret breading made with a similar seasoning blend to the one used for Colonel's Original Recipe Fried Chicken. To achieve the proper crispiness, the potatoes are par-fried, frozen, then fried again until golden brown.
One important ingredient that completes the flavor is MSG. Monosodium glutamate is a food additive derived from glutamic acid, which is an important amino acid found in abundance in nature, food, and in you right now. Over the last 60 years of study and use, MSG has not only been found harmless in normal amounts, but tests have shown glutamate to be a chemical messenger that benefits gut health, immunity, and brain functions such as memory and learning. In addition to all of that, it imparts a unique savoriness that enhances flavors in other ingredients and makes your food taste amazing. Using MSG in your food is, literally, smart cooking.
Another important ingredient is ground Tellicherry black pepper, a select black pepper from India. Winston Shelton, a friend of Harland Sanders who invented the first high-volume pressure fryers for KFC, confirmed this. Shelton recalled seeing the ingredient when Sanders showed him the secret formula for the fried chicken seasoning he had scribbled on a piece of paper.
While we were shooting the first episode of my TV Show, Top Secret Recipe, Winston pulled me aside and whispered to me that Tellicherry pepper is crucial to creating the unique KFC aftertaste. It was a great tip, and fortunately, we caught that moment on camera and you can see it in the show. Later, I conducted a side-by-side taste test with common black pepper and Tellicherry black pepper and discovered Winston was right. If you want the best taste for your clone you'll need Tellicherry pepper, which you can find online and in some food stores. Be sure to grind it fine before using it.
For this recipe, just two russet potatoes are all it takes to make the equivalent of a large serving of fried potato wedges, which will be enough for at least four people.
Get more of my KFC copycat recipes here.
This 220-unit downscaled version of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro targets the lunch crowd with a smaller menu that features bento boxes, bowls, and small plates. The bestseller on the menu is this orange chicken, which I have to say is pretty damn good orange chicken. Obviously, a clone is needed for this one, stat.
The name “Wei Better Orange Chicken” is a competitive callout to Panda Express's signature orange chicken, which is made with pre-breaded and frozen chicken. Pei Wei claims its orange chicken is prepared each day from scratch with chicken that is never frozen, so we’ll craft our clone the same way. But rather than assemble the dish in a wok over a high-flame fast stove like they do at the restaurant, we’ll prepare the sauce and chicken separately, then toss them with fresh orange wedges just before serving.
By the way, this dish goes very well with white or brown rice, so don’t forget to make some.
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!
The little red packets of viscous hot sauce at the fast food giant have a cult following of rabid fans who will do whatever it takes to get their hands on large quantities. One such fan of the sauce commented online, "Are there any Wendy's employees or managers out there who will mail me an entire case of Hot Chili Seasoning? I swear this is not a joke. I love the stuff. I tip extra cash to Wendy's workers to get big handfuls of the stuff." Well, there's really no need to tip any Wendy's employees, because now you can clone as much of the spicy sauce as you want in your own kitchen with this Top Secret Recipe.
The ingredients listed on the real Hot Chili Seasoning are water, corn syrup, salt, distilled vinegar, natural flavors, xanthan gum, and extractives of paprika. We'll use many of those same ingredients for our clone, but we'll substitute gelatin for the xanthan gum (a thickener) to get the slightly gooey consistency right. For the natural flavor and color we'll use cayenne pepper, cumin, paprika, and garlic powder, then filter the particles out with a fine wire-mesh strainer after they've contributed what the sauce needs.
This recipe makes 5 ounces of sauce— just the right amount to fit nicely into a used hot sauce bottle—and costs just pennies to make.
Several puzzles had to be solved to make this burger a satisfying hack of the signature sandwich from the rapidly expanding New York chain. First, our burger must include a spot-on facsimile of the secret ShackSauce. I got a sample of the sauce from one of our Las Vegas Shake Shacks and determined the seven common ingredients, including pickle juice, to combine for a great clone.
Second, the burger must be made with a special ground mix of four different cuts of beef and the patties need to be cooked the right way. I tested many combinations of meat until I landed on a flavorful blend of chuck, brisket, skirt steak, and short ribs. If you don't have a meat grinder at home, you can have your butcher grind these for you. At the restaurant, the ground beef blend is formed into ¼-pound pucks that are smashed onto the grill with a metal press. Grab a strong spatula and heat up a heavy skillet.
And third, you'll need some soft, buttered and toasted potato buns to hold it all together. Shake Shack uses Martin's rolls, which are not cut all the way through, allowing the buns to be hinged open for loading. If you can’t find Martin’s, any soft potato rolls will do.
Use these secrets and follow the easy steps below and soon you’ll be biting into a perfect re-creation of the famous cheeseburger that helped this chain grow from a single food cart in New York City to over 162 stores.
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.
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.
For many years this entree has been a top menu choice at Maggiano's, the 54-unit Italian chain from Brinker, the same company that operates Chili’s Grill & Bar. The $30 restaurant dish consists of three 2½-ounce tenderloin steaks, swimming in a fantastic balsamic cream sauce with sliced portobello mushrooms—but a home version of the signature dish is only seven easy steps away, and it won't hit you in the wallet as hard as the pricey original.
Cracking this dish required a perfect hack of the sauce, and that came quickly after obtaining some very reliable information from my incredibly helpful server/informant at a Las Vegas Maggiano’s. Let’s call him Skippy.
According to Skippy, the balsamic cream sauce is as simple as mixing a sweet balsamic glaze with the chain’s creamy alfredo sauce. So, I first got a sample of Maggiano’s alfredo sauce and figured out how to replicate it. Once that was done, I measured increments of balsamic glaze into the alfredo sauce until the color and flavor matched the original. The rest of the recipe was easy.
This recipe will make two servings of the dish and includes preparation for the tenderloins and sauce. If you’d like to complete the dish the way it’s served at the restaurant (as in the photo), add some garlic mashed potatoes on the side, using my hack for Olive Garden Garlic Mashed Potatoes.
Samuel Bath Thomas immigrated from England to New York City and opened his first bakery there in 1880. That is where Thomas created skillet bread that would one day become the famous muffins known for their craggy texture when split in half. This hack for Thomas’ English Muffins uses a special kneading process to give the muffins the "nooks and crannies" they are famous for, making craters in the finished bread to better hold on to melted butter and jam.
I have seen several recipes that claim to re-create these muffins, but none produce the large air pockets that a proper clone requires, in addition to great flavor and a perfectly cooked interior. To ensure proper nooks and crannies and muffins that are cooked all the way through, I've included some important steps.
The dough you'll make here is like a ciabatta dough in that it is very wet. So rather than kneading the dough, you stretch and fold it over several times on a well-oiled surface. Then, when the portioned-out dough has proofed on baking sheets for another 1½ to 2 hours, you par-bake the muffins.
After baking, the muffins are cooked on a griddle or in a pan until dark brown on both sides, then they must cool. This is the hardest part. The muffins will be too soft to open for at least four hours, and now you have to fight off the temptation to eat one. It’s hard, I know. The muffins smell great and you’ve waited all this time, but resist for now and your patience will be rewarded.
When the muffins have had their rest, split them with a fork and toast them as you would any English muffin.
Check out all my top secret recipes for famous bread here.
Over the years I've hacked a bunch of items from Chili's menu, including their Fajitas, Baby Back Ribs, Salsa, Chili Queso, Southwestern Eggrolls, Chicken Crispers, Boneless Wings, and more, but it wasn’t until recently that I got the chance to work on a hack for the chain’s award-winning Original Chili. Why it took so long, I have no idea.
The chili served at Chili’s is a Texas-style con carne recipe, which traditionally means no beans and no tomato. You won’t find any beans in this recipe or chunks of tomato, but their chili does have a tomato base to boost flavor, so I’m adding that into the mix by including one 6-ounce can of tomato paste. As it turns out, that small can is just the right amount.
The preparation technique is simple: brown the beef, drain off the fat, then add some of the fat back to the empty pan to sauté the onions and peppers in. When those are done, you add the beef back to the pan along with the remaining ingredients and simmer for 1½ hours. That will be just long enough to braise the beef and tenderize it, and to thicken the chili to a perfect consistency.
When the chili’s done, top each serving with a cheddar/pepper Jack blend, and some crispy tortilla bits. Then pass out the spoons.
Check here more of my Chili's copycat recipes.
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.
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 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.
Menu Description: “Two lightly fried parmesan-breaded chicken breasts are smothered with Olive Garden’s homemade marinara sauce and melted Italian cheeses. We serve our Chicken Parmigiana with a side of spaghetti for dinner.”
Chicken parmigiana is a forever favorite, and it’s not a difficult dish to whip up at home. But for it to taste like the Olive Garden signature entree, we’ll need to take some very specific steps.
Olive Garden’s chicken is salty and moist all the way through, so we must first start by brining the chicken. Give yourself an extra hour for this important marinating step. The marinara sauce used on the chicken is an Olive Garden specialty and no bottled sauce compares, so we’ll make our own from scratch using canned crushed tomatoes and the formula below.
While the sauce cooks, filling your house with its intoxicating aroma, the chicken is breaded and browned. When the marinara is done, top the chicken with the sauce and mozzarella and stick it under your hot broiler until bubbling.
Hopefully, everyone at your house is hungry, because the Olive Garden dinner portion is two chicken fillets, and this recipe will yield a total of four 2-piece servings. Add a small serving of spaghetti on the side, topped with more of the delicious sauce, and you'll have a perfect match to the restaurant plate.
Can't get enough Olive Garden? Click here for more of my copycat recipes.
When sales of this once limited-offering sandwich exceeded expectations, Wendy's made it a permanent menu item. Now you can re-create the spicy kick of the original with a secret blend of spices in the chicken's crispy coating. Follow the same stacking order as the original, and you will make four sandwich clones here at a fraction of the cost of the real thing.
Check out more Wendy's copycat recipes like their famous chili here.
Braised Beef Pasta Menu Description: “Slow-simmered meat sauce with tender braised beef and Italian sausage, tossed with ruffled pappardelle pasta and a touch of alfredo sauce—just like Nonna’s recipe.”
It’s a mistake to assume that a recipe posted to a restaurant chain’s website is the real recipe for the food served there. I’ve found this to be the case with many Olive Garden recipes, and this one is no exception. A widely circulated recipe that claims to duplicate the chain’s classic Bolognese actually originated on Olive Garden’s own website, and if you make that recipe you’ll be disappointed when the final product doesn’t even come close to the real deal. I won’t get into all the specifics of the things wrong with that recipe (too much wine, save some of that for drinking!), but at first glance it’s easy to see that a few important ingredients found in traditional Bolognese sauces are conspicuously missing, including milk, basil, lemon, and nutmeg.
I incorporated all those missing ingredients into this new hack recipe, tweaked a few other things, and then tested several methods of braising the beef so that it comes out perfectly tender: covered, uncovered, and a combo. The technique I settled on was cooking the sauce covered for 2 hours, then uncovered for 1 additional hour so that the sauce reduces and the beef transforms into a fork-flakeable flavor bomb. Yes, it comes from Olive Garden, but this Bolognese is better than any I’ve had at restaurants that charge twice as much, like Rao’s where the meat is ground, not braised, and they hit you up for $30.
As a side note, Olive Garden’s menu says the dish comes with ruffled pappardelle pasta, but it’s actually mafaldine, a narrower noodle with curly edges (shown in the top right corner of the photo). Pappardelle, which is the traditional pasta to serve with Bolognese, is a very wide noodle with straight edges, and it’s more familiar than mafaldine, so perhaps that’s why the menu fudges this fact. In the end, it doesn’t really matter which pasta you choose. Just know that a wide noodle works best. Even fettuccine is good here.
For the little bit of alfredo sauce spooned into the middle of the dish I went with a premade bottled sauce to save time. You can also make this from scratch if you like (I’ve got a great hack for Olive Garden’s Alfredo Sauce), but it’s such a small amount that premade sauce in either a chilled tub from the deli section or in a bottle off the shelf works great here.
This recipe was our #3 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), Pizzeria Uno Chicago Deep Dish Pizza (#4), Bush's Country Style Baked Beans (#5).