I’m a big fan of battered fried fish. Add in some fries, a side of tartar sauce, and give me a bottle of malt vinegar and I’m one happy guy. This copycat of Captain D’s batter dipped fish checks all my boxes. Slightly crunchy. Tasty. Oh, and easy. Crazy easy. This is just like the great fish you can get at the restaurant.
I use a little FryDaddy when I cook my copycat Captain D’s batter dipped fish. It’s perfect for small pieces of fish and it heats the oil to the perfect temperature. But for larger pieces or when making dinner for more than just a few people, I use a Dutch oven or a bigger deep fryer.
No matter what you use to cook your fish, make sure that you don’t overcook it. The fish will dry out and not be good at all. Also make sure you get the oil temperature high enough. Low temperatures won’t cook the fish correctly. Low oil temperature will also saturate the fish with oil. That’s not good either.
2poundscod filletscut into bite-sized chunks if desired
Heat 3" of oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl add the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and cayenne. Whisk to combine.
Slowly whisk in the water. You want a pancake-like batter. If it's too thick add a bit (a very small bit!) more water and whisk.
Rinse and pat the fish dry. I prefer to cut mine into bite-sized pieces.
Working in batches, add the fish to the batter and turn to coat completely. Transfer to the oil and deep fry 3-4 minutes, turning once, until golden brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. If desired, sprinkle the fish with salt.
Note: If you like to cut your fish into bite-sized pieces before frying, you might need more batter to fully coat them. I usually double the batter ingredients just to make sure I have enough.
I ate my share of Manwich Sloppy Joes as a kid. I was quite sure I never ate enough of them. Well, I can certainly make up for lost time (and meals) now by making this copycat Manwich Sloppy Joes at home. And you know what? It’s even better than I remember. Perfect thick tomato-y sauce. Just a hint of onion and green bell pepper. And the light tang of mustard. And messy. The messier the better!
I do not add garnish to my copycat Manwich Sloppy Joes. Nothing. Nada. No pickles. Skip the extra mustard. And no cheese. Nothing needs to come between me and my Sloppy Joes.
If you think of Sloppy Joes as ‘kid food’ this will change your mind.
Easy and delicious. That’s exactly what this copycat of the crab salad at Golden Corral is. You can easily up-size this to make a batch for a crowd without breaking the bank. That’s the point. This is a good, inexpensive dish that is perfect as a side and even better piled up on a bun or bread as a sandwich. Either way, you won’t be disappointed!
You can also serve this copycat Golden Corral crab salad as an appetizer. It’s great on crackers. Or grab some mini-croissants and serve it as finger food at your next party.
I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m betting this salad would be good with imitation lobster too! And hey, if you want to put in real crab or lobster instead, go for it!
Years ago, Taco Bell was my food craving after a night of bowling. Nothing beat grabbing a 10-pack of crunchy tacos from the drive-thru. Yes, 10. Bowling is hard work you know. Well, it turns out that making copycat Taco Bell tacos at home is about as easy as you can get. The key is the rinsing and draining of the ground beef and of course, a great seasoning mix. You end up with great beef flavor without the fat. Most grocery stores now carry masa harina, but if you can’t find it you can grind tortillas or just use finely-ground corn meal instead. Or, visit your local Hispanic grocery store which is quite sure have some on the shelves. The flavor and texture are distinct and really cannot be accurately duplicated by something else. Masa harina really makes these copycat Taco Bell tacos the perfect after-bowling meal!
Only one thing is going to happen when you put a plate of a copycat Applebee’s Peppercorn and Garlic shrimp in front of me. They are going to disappear so fast you’re head will spin. The coating is amazing. The perfect crunch. With a hint of garlic. And the batter is the best kind, the kind that sticks. No one wants batter holes. You know what I mean. Missing batter. That’s not good.
Although I have a big fryer for when I’m cooking for more than two people at a time, or am frying something large like fish fillets, my preferred fryer is a Presto FryDaddy. The FryDaddy is perfect for making a batch of copycat Applebee’s Peppercorn and Garlic shrimp. The shrimp cook up perfectly in no time. The FryDaddy also doesn’t use much oil so I’m not being as wasteful as when I use my big fryer.
For a little kick, mix in a good pinch or two or more of cayenne pepper into the breading before coating the shrimp.
I like my burgers griddled. But sometimes, that just isn’t an option. Time for Plan B, and this time Plan B was to make a copycat of the famous sliders from White Castle. White Castle burgers are rather addicting. Even though you know you should stop eating them at some point, you just can’t. They’re about as easy to make as you can possibly get, and just as easy to devour. It’s possible that I often double the cheese on my copycat White Castle burgers. It’s also possible that I sometimes add a bit of BBQ sauce. Beyond that, White Castle sliders should not be messed with.
Give me some perfectly cooked shrimp in a wonderful tasty broth and I’m one happy guy. This copycat Bubba Gump tangy honey shrimp is what regular ole shrimp stir fry wishes it could be. Packed with flavor, it’s the kind of dish that disappears before you know it. And hey, it’s from one of my favorite restaurant destinations, Bubba Gump.
We’ve had the joy of eating at a number of the Bubba Gump restaurants. It’s always been a good experience. This copycat Bubba Gump tangy honey shrimp is just one example of all the great food on the menu. You should stop by one near you for lunch or dinner soon. You’ll have a blast! Oh, and watch the movie classic Forrest Gump again so you’re ready for the trivia questions you’ll be asked at the restaurant!
Boy, talk about something that flew off the table so fast that I was starting to wonder if we’d been robbed. We all thought that this copycat Red Lobster Cheddar Bay biscuits was even better than the restaurant favorite. They aren’t quite as crumbly. They held up to dunking in pot roast gravy, and that’s saying something. Granted, you probably can’t find pot roast gravy at Red Lobster.
I admit that when I made these copycat Red Lobster Cheddar Bay biscuits that I used a bit more parsley than the recipe below calls for. The biscuits are a little sweet (I’m not saying that in a bad way). The parsley gave a nice little herby contrast to that.
Next time I might try cutting back on the parsley, but increase the cayenne. I do like a little heat!
Whenever we are in the Cincinnati area we make a stop at Quaker Steak & Lube for wings. They have the best sauces and service around. Anita’s favorite sauce there is Thai ‘R’ Cracker, a somewhat sweet chili sauce. We also usually pick up a few bottles of sauce to take home. Those bottles don’t normally last long, so I decided to make a copycat of the sauce. Just like the original, this chili sauce-based mixture combines a bit of sweet and a bit of heat all with a slight Asian zing. It’s really, really good stuff. The kind of stuff that makes you want to lick your wings, which is borderline weird. The secret to this copycat Thai ‘R’ Cracker sauce is in the chili sauces you choose. Both garlic and sweet chili sauces come in a lot of different variations, making it difficult to match the original taste exactly. I recommend getting a few bottles of each different sauce and mix them and try them to find the combination that you prefer. Our local grocery store had several different brands of each. You can also try your local Asian market for others.
I absolutely love chicken wings, cooked any way, with any sauce (or without). I love them so much that I created a free eCookbook that is full of my favorite wing recipes.
We absolutely love meatloaf. We don’t consider it to be just a cold-weather dish, either. Heck, one of our favorite meatloaf recipes involve smoking it, which isn’t that much fun to do when it’s -20 F and windy out (although I’ve done it). That’s why I’m always excited when I come across a new-to-me recipe, like this copycat Cracker Barrel meatloaf.
This is great meatloaf. It has the perfect balance of texture and flavor. It’s not crazy different than what grandma would make. It’s old school and it’s incredibly great. Great on a plate sliced or on bread as a meatloaf sandwich. You can’t beat it.
This is the part of my blog posts where I suggest ways to change up a recipe. Add a bit of kick. Do things differently. Not this time. Not for this copycat Cracker Barrel meatloaf. I wouldn’t change this. Ever. The idea to change it never entered my mind. We loved this meatloaf just as it is.