Monday, August 9, 2010

Sometimes, I'm a CopyCat

You can find copycat recipes all over the Internet. And I Have to admit, I never really thought about trying any. I guess I never really found a dish I liked enough to look up the copycat recipe. But, in the last year, I have tried a couple. Here they are.

Panera Bread Broccoli Cheese Soup

1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half (I used fat free)
2 cups chicken stock or bouillon
1/2 pound fresh broccoli
1 cup carrots, julienned
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
8 ounces grated sharp cheddar

Saute onion in butter. Set aside. Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and slowly add the half-and-half (this is called making a roux). Add the chicken stock whisking all the time. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat until the veggies are tender for 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper. The soup should be thickened by now. Pour in batches into blender and puree. Return to pot over low heat and add the grated cheese; stir until well blended. Stir in the nutmeg and serve.

This was SOOOO good...even my kids liked it! I'm not a huge broccoli fan but I thought it was great.

Olive Garden Zuppa Toscana

1 Lb. Italian sausage ( I used hot turkey sausage)
2 large Russet baking potatoes, sliced in half, and then in 1/4" slices.
1 large onion chopped
1/2 can oscar meyer bacon bits (or crumbled fresh cooked bacon. I used turkey bacon)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups kale or swiss chard, chopped (The restaurant uses kale so that's what I used)
2 cans chicken broth
1 quart water
1 cup heavy whipping cream (I used 1% milk)

Brown sausage and crumble. Drain and set aside. Place onions, potatoes, chicken broth, water, garlic in pot and cook on medicum heat until potatoes are done. Add sausage and bacon and then add salt and pepper to taste

Simmer for another 10 minutes. Turn to low heat and add the kale and cream. Heat through and serve.

Even with my modifications, this tasted EXACTLY like the restaurant version. I was VERY impressed.

I think I need to do this more. If you can make these things almost as good at home, why go out? It's probably cheaper to make it at home too!

1 comment:

copycat recipe said...

I on the other hand love doing copycat recipes. I feel like it's a challenge to really figure out a particular dish and try to make it yourself. I do try a lot of copycat recipes and see for myself how they compare to the original dish. Oftentimes, though, I have to make certain adjustments to make it taste closer to the original. Anyway, it's fun, so no harm done I guess, lol!