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Jun 30, 2008 09:24 AM

Have you ever successfully recreated a fast food or chain food item at home?

This thought came to my mind while reading the thread about discontinued favorite fast food items. My favorite that no longer exists is the triple decker pizza hut pizza.

There are numerous websites devoted to recreating the taste/flavor/texture/look of a fast food item. Not to mention the series of books "Top Secret Recipes" by Todd Wilburn, of which I have several and enjoy reading. In fact, there IS a recipe for the triple decker pizza hut pizza in "Top Secret Restaurant Recipes" which I've owned for years.... but have yet to try.

The only one I've tried is the Shoney's Country Fried Steak from Wilburn's book. And it was a huge success. (However, i can't say it tasted like Shoney's.... as we don't have those where I live. But my dad loved it.... and he rarely compliments any type of food).

I'm curious if anyone else has tried these, particularly the triple decker pizza..... and if so, how did it come out?

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  1. I made the french toast from IHOP from that Top Secret Recipe book. Like you, I never had the real IHOP french toast, but it was pretty good. I know ppl who've made the avocado egg rolls from Cheesecake Factory and they said they were great.

    1. wife likes the Chicken Parmesan at Buca. I pretty much nailed it on the first try by luck. It so happens that our local grocery store carries a garlic lovers' spaghetti sauce and that, with some chopped fresh roma tomatoes is almost identical in flavor and consistency to Buca's dish.

      1. The Chick-Fil-A sandwich knockoff from one of the Top Secret Recipes books is very good and pretty much indistinguishable from the original. (I seem to recall, though, that there was some sort of misprint about the amount of salt in the edition I had — I'm sure it's since been corrected.)

        1. I've made the TGI Friday's Jack Daniels glaze/sauce and it is delicious, although it has a lengthy ingedient list and takes hours to simmer down. I got the recipe from Top Secret Recipes.

          I also made the KFC Coleslaw with low-fat mayo and it tasted like I remembered it. Got to chop the cabbage, not slice it.

          2 Replies
          1. re: NJFoodie

            My mom loves that TGIF Jack Daniels glaze. All the TGIF's around here recently closed or burnt down(really...two closed and one completely burnt to the ground during dinner service).

            Anyway, she'd be thrilled if I showed up with some for her(she used to buy big cups of it to take home and freeze). I"ve seen the Top Secret recipe but haven't tried it yet. Is it really a pretty close replica?

            1. re: ziggylu

              Yes, it is. I must admit it is a lot of waiting, roasting the garlic and all, but soooo.... worth it! ( I did once make it with fresh unroasted garlic and it was still very good, but not quite the same. If you have the time, make the original recipe. )

          2. kfc cole slaw (hits the spot-- and yes, must chop cabbage finely!)

            carrabbas spice mix (for olive oil dipping)
            I make a good size recipe, without adding the wet ingredients, give to friends, and keep the rest handy in the pantry to mix up with the oil....

            hidden valley ranch dressing mix:
            (this dressing is so easy to make, and is great just drizzled over cold iceberg lettuce, fresh juicy summer tomatoes, and farm-fresh crispy cukes!) i also keep extra dry mix in the cabinet, ready to blend up as needed.

            13 Replies
            1. re: alkapal

              I like recreating a lot of this stuff and even trying to improve on it, a bit. I always wondered what the point of making salad dressing is, though, since I don't think you can make it for less money? Just curious.

              1. re: jwagnerdsm

                The reason is, it tastes better then bottled.

                1. re: michele cindy

                  And you can make a small amount so you don't end up tossing an entire bottle, when you are the only salad eater in a household.

                  1. re: michele cindy

                    Than you aren't replicating it, you are improving it. I'm not suggesting that's a bad thing, I was just curious.

                    1. re: jwagnerdsm

                      well, hidden valley originally was not bottled, but a spice blend to which buttermilk and mayo is added. the hidden valley people still do the dry mix. nothing beats making it fresh -- without the gums and additives in the bottles.

                      and, it is less expensive to make your own -- another benefit!

                      1. re: alkapal

                        I remember back in the days when Hidden Valley came with a plastic bottle to mix it in, along with the spice blend. Or am I dreaming this? Or is that still available?

                        1. re: danhole

                          you mean like the seven seas bottle to mix up dressing? i don't recall that, but we always mixed it up (in the '70s) in a mayo jar.

                          1. re: danhole

                            You aren't dreaming it. It was a big plastic cup with a cap that has a spout with a cover. Just like ones from Tupperware. I still have one. Green top and writing.
                            Don't know if they're still available. Nothing beat the Hidden Valley made from the packet.
                            I mostly use the shaker now for mixing Margaritas.

                            1. re: danhole

                              HV calls it a cruet (I think) and I still see them.

                                1. re: Bobfrmia

                                  The one I have is not as high-tec. I got it within the past 5 years at my local grocery store when I bought several envelopes of dressing mix. I don't think I ever used the dressing mix but the cruet has come in handy.

                                2. re: southernitalian

                                  Thanks! That's the word - cruet! I couldn't put my finger on it for anything. Thought I had lost my mind. Now I have to see if they are still around.

                                  1. re: danhole

                                    Just for the record, I'm pretty sure it was neither Hidden Valley nor Seven Seas that gave you a "Cruet" to mix up their Dressing mix in -- it was (and still is) Good Seasons.