Copycat Jimmy John’s Avocado Sandwich Spread

Sometimes you just need a little reminder to step outside of your box of usual sandwich spreads and use something you might not think of. This copycat of the avocado sandwich spread from Jimmy John’s is essentially guacamole with a few twists thrown in. It’s fantastic on a sandwich and for that matter, equally as great as a dip for tortilla chips. That’s why I doubled the recipe. Sandwiches and chips. Lunch is done.
Every sandwich needs a little spiciness in my opinion. Which is why I was happy that this avocado sandwich spread includes a jalapeno. Now, granted, it’s a small jalapeno so you’re not going to get overwhelming heat. But you don’t want that kick to be front-and-center. Just there, in the back. Noticed but not overwhelming.

Copycat Jimmy John's Avocado Sandwich Spread
Recipe type: Sauce
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded, chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 Roma tomato, chopped
  • 2 medium avocados, peeled, pitted, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
Instructions
  1. Place the jalapeno, onion, garlic and tomato into a blender or food processor. Process until smooth.
  2. Place avocado into a large bowl. Drizzle with the lime juice and smash with the back of a fork. Transfer to the blender.
  3. Add the salt and mustard to the blender and pulse until the mixture reaches the desired thickness.
  4. Slather on bread for sandwiches. If you do have any extra spread it makes for a great chip dip!

Copycat Long John Silver’s Hush Puppies

Making a copycat of Long John Silver’s hush puppies was the crowning moment in my efforts to duplicate my childhood memories of eating at the fast food restaurant. I’ve made the fish. I’ve made the fries. And I’ve made the chicken planks. And now, I’ve made the hush puppies. And what fantastic hush puppies they are. The perfect texture and the perfect corn flavor. Get out the ketchup because it’s time for some hush puppy dunkin’!
People often tell that the origin of the name ‘hush puppies’ can be traced back to hunters and fishermen who would toss the fried cornmeal to their dogs to stop them from barking. But, if you have a few minutes, I recommend the article The Real History of Hushpuppies by Robert Moss over on Serious Eats. It’s a great read.

No matter why they’re called hush puppies, this copycat of Long John Silver’s treats is fantastic.

Copycat Long John Silver's Hush Puppies
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 Servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • Canola oil, for frying
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl whisk together the milk and egg.
  2. In a large bowl combine the remaining ingredients except for the oil.
  3. Whisk in the milk and egg mixture. You want the batter to be somewhat thick. If too thin add more cornmeal.
  4. Heat a few inches of oil to 375 F in a deep fryer or Dutch oven.
  5. Working on batches, drop batter into the hot oil. I used a 1/2 tablespoon measuring spoon. If you want smaller hush puppies use a teaspoon measuring spoon.
  6. Fry until golden brown, flipping after the bottom is brown.
  7. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate or cooling rack.
  8. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce (ketchup!).

Copycat Royal Red Robin Burger

I’ve been in a sort of burger ‘rut’ lately, making your standard griddle burgers. Now, they are great, and I will keep making them, but I decided I’d better up my game a bit. So I made a copycat of the Royal Red Robin burger, which I’ve had a few times at Red Robin and have always enjoyed. This copycat is spot-on. It’s a pretty standard burger, but topped with a fried egg. A fried egg can make all the difference in the world to a burger. As does mayonnaise. I wish I’d known that a long, long time ago.
Red Robin has a lot of great burgers. For a limited time, years ago, they offered the Mount Vesuvius Burger, which is crazy good and crazy big.  But for a simple, flavor-packed burger, the Royal Red Robin burger is the way to go. Just try to not bust your egg like I did!

Copycat Royal Red Robin Burger
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 slices American cheese
  • 4 eggs, cooked over-medium
  • Ketchup
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked, halved
  • 4 this slices tomatoes
  • Iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • Mayonnaise
  • 4 hamburger buns, toasted
Instructions
  1. Divide beef into 4 equally sized patties. Season with salt and pepper and cook as desired. I prefer mine cooked over high heat on a griddle so they get a bit of a crust to them.
  2. Place cheese on bun bottoms.
  3. Add the burger, egg, ketchup, bacon halves, tomato, and lettuce.
  4. Slather top bun with mayonnaise and serve.

Copycat Hooters Asian Wings

This copycat of the Asian wings from Hooters is beyond incredible. These are easily my favorite Asian-flavored wings. I could not possibly eat too many of them. I quickly regretted not making a bigger batch as they disappeared in minutes. The sauce is the boss here. It’s a bit sweet with a bit of soy flavor. Reduced to a thick glaze, the sauce is almost candy-like in texture. And like candy, it’s impossible to resist.
These copycat Hooters Asian wings are not spicy in any way, shape, or form. I’m usually a ‘hot’ hot wings guy, but these opened my eyes to wings with a sweeter inspiration. If you want your wings to have some kick, add dried red pepper flake or cayenne to the sauce as you reduce it down. I would not add hot sauce as it would change the color of the sauce.

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.

Copycat Hooters Asian Wings
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 3-4 pounds chicken wings, flats and drumettes separated, tips discarded
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste (don't be shy with the pepper)
For the Asian sauce
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger (or use 1 teaspoon dried ginger)
Instructions
  1. Place wings in a large resealable baggie or container.
  2. Add the oil, salt and pepper. Seal and toss to coat.
  3. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Cook wings as desired. Click here for our guide on cooking wings in a grill, smoker, deep fryer, oven, or a Char-Broil Big Easy.
  5. Toss wings with sauce before serving.
For the sauce (start cooking when you start the wings)
  1. Combine ingredients in a sauce pan.
  2. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and continue simmering, stirring often, until the sauce forms a thick glaze, about 30 minutes.

Copycat McDonald’s Hamburger

Just because I don’t eat fast food doesn’t mean I can’t make it at home. The last time I had an original McDonald’s hamburger, I believe Star Wars was just out in the movie theaters. Yep it’s been a while. But you know, this copycat version really brought back memories. It takes just like I remember the original burger to be. Now mine might be a tad larger, but then, so am I. The key to this burger is the seasoning. Make a batch and keep it on hand for any burger, not just this McDonald’s burger.
To make the burger feel even more like the original McDonald’s burger I served it with a copycat of McDonald’s French fries. The fries definitely make you think you just pulled out of the drive-thru at your local McDonald’s, opened the bag, and grabbed and ate a handful of hot fries. Admit it, when they’re hot and crunchy, they’re good. Really good. And a great pairing with this hamburger.

Copycat McDonald's Hamburger
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 servings
 
Note: Just like the original, these hamburgers will be very thin which can be a bit challenging to make and cook. Don't be afraid to double the size of the patties.
Ingredients
For the burgers
  • 1 pound ground chuck (use 80/20 for the best results)
  • 1/4 cup dried minced onions
  • 10 small hamburger buns
  • 10 hamburger dill pickle slices
  • Ketchup and prepared mustard
  • Wax paper
For the seasoning (makes more than you'll need)
  • 4 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons Accent
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Instructions
  1. Divide the beef into 10 equally-sized balls. Form into thin patties 4" in diameter and 1/4" thick. Place onto wax paper and freeze for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, place the dried minced onions into a small resealable container. Add enough water to cover by 1". Seal and refrigerate until time to make the hamburgers.
  3. When ready to make the burgers, fire up a grill or heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Working in batches, season the patties liberally on both sides and cook until done.
  5. Toast buns.
  6. Assemble burgers by placing cooked patties on bun bottoms. Add a squirt each of ketchup and mustard, along with a slice of dill pickle and a teaspoon of the re-hydrated onions.
  7. Add the top bun and serve.
For the seasoning
  1. Combine all ingredients.

Copycat Long John Silver’s Chicken Planks

When I was a kid Long John Silver’s was my favorite place on earth. I always got the Fish N’ More meal (with extra crispies… the little pieces of fried batter left floating around in the deep fryer basket). The ‘More’ of the meal was a few hush puppies, sides, and oh yes, chicken planks. Fried in the same great crunchy batter as the fish planks, chicken planks were just as addicting as the fish. And oddly (for me as a kid), just as good with malt vinegar sprinkled on them.
I don’t get my deep fryer out that often but when I do, a copycat of at least one thing from Long John Silver’s is on my menu. Everything is easy to make, takes almost no time at all, and always gives me an excuse to get out the malt vinegar.

Copycat Long John Silver's Chicken Planks
Author: 
Recipe type: Side
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
Note: You can use this same batter to make copycat Long John Silver's fish. Just substitute cod for the chicken.
Ingredients
For the chicken
  • 1 pound chicken tenderloins
  • Canola oil, for frying
For the batter
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 cup water
Instructions
For the batter
  1. Combine all but the water in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk in the water until the batter is smooth. If too runny add a bit more flour.
For the chicken
  1. Heat a few inches of oil in a deep fryer or Dutch oven to 375 F.
  2. Working in batches, dip chicken pieces into the batter and turn to coat completely.
  3. Slowly lower the chicken into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, 3 minutes per side.
  4. Remove to a rack to cool slightly before serving.

Copycat Applebee’s Buffalo Wings

I’m sitting here trying to describe how I felt when I devoured this copycat of the Buffalo wings from Applebee’s. It was more than love. It was an unstoppable obsession. An addiction. As soon as I was done eating I started to plan making them again. And again. So what makes them so different? It’s the addition of flour to what is a pretty typical Buffalo wing sauce. You wouldn’t think that it would make that big of a difference, but it helps the sauce stick to the wings. You don’t usually get that with Buffalo wings. They may be sauced, but a lot of that sauce ends up on your plate or shirt and not in your mouth.

There’s no such thing as making too many Applebee’s Buffalo wings or making them too often. No matter how you cook them, everyone will love them. I’ll end my thoughts there because I’m off to make another batch…

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.

Copycat Applebee's Buffalo Wings
Author: 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8 servings
 
Note: If you are baking the wings you can pour the sauce over the wings and then bake them or bake the wings first and then toss with the sauce.
Ingredients
  • 3-4 pounds chicken wings, flats and drumettes separated, tips discarded or saved for making chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce
  • 1 (12 ounce) bottle Louisiana hot sauce
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 heaping teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Place wings into a large resealable bag.
  2. Add the oil.
  3. Add the salt and pepper. Seal the bag, and toss gently to coat.
  4. Refrigerate for 1-3 hours before cooking.
  5. Cook wings as desired. Click here for our guide on cooking wings in a grill, smoker, deep fryer, oven, or a Char-Broil Big Easy.
  6. While the wings are cooking, make the sauce (see below).
  7. Serve wings tossed in the sauce.
For the sauce
  1. Heat the hot sauce in a small saucepan.
  2. Add the butter and melt.
  3. Whisk in the vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne and garlic powder.
  4. Bring to a simmer.
  5. Slowly whisk in the flour and continue simmering until the sauce has thickened.
  6. Reduce heat and keep sauce warm until ready to use.


Copycat Chick-fil-A Sauce

I was busy. Way too busy to even think about making a lunch that took more than 5 minutes of my time. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so I heated up some pre-made chicken nuggets. Don’t judge me, I had to do it. Plus, truth be told, I like them. I can’t help it. But I wasn’t just going to dip them in ketchup or mustard. No, I took an extra 30 seconds and whisked up a copycat of the Chick-fil-A dipping sauce and tossed it into the fridge so that the flavors got happy while the chicken was heating.
copycat-chick-fil-a-sauceFor a nice twist on this Chick-fil-A sauce swap out a spicy BBQ sauce for the smoky hickory BBQ sauce. Or just add a few splashes of hot sauce to the recipe below.

Copycat Chick-fil-A Sauce
Recipe type: Sauce
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1/2 cup
 
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon hickory barbecue sauce (I recommend Weber's Hickory BBQ)
Instructions
  1. Whisk all ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using as a dip for chicken fingers, fries, or just slathering on burgers!