Appetite For Life: Copykat Recipes

So, this published back in March, but I just now found that it was published in the Leander Ledger’s sister publication, the Cedar Park Citizen.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011 | Special to the Citizen

As I sit at my desk, having just finished a rather unsatisfying dish from our building cafeteria, I find myself flipping through a recent cookbook I picked up, “Dining Out At Home.” Written by long-time food blogger Stephanie Manley, “Dining Out At Home” offers a variety of her “copycat” recipes from favorite restaurant dishes. Craving some Cheddar Bay biscuits from Red Lobster? How about coconut cream pie from Luby’s? With “Dining Out At Home,” you can make these dishes for yourself any time!
The recipes are easy to follow and are categorized by meal course and include icons such as, “Dinner For One,” “Make Ahead,” and “Quick and Easy”. My favorite category is “Tailgating,” which offers recipes perfect for your favorite sports event or any party. Combine that with a beverage from the “Cocktail Party” recipes, and you’ve got one heck of a celebration!
Cooking your favorite restaurant recipes at home offers a more budget-friendly option, gives you the opportunity to cook with your kids and family and lets you make your dream restaurant menu. As Stephanie says in the book’s introduction, she can “make a salad dressing from Sweet Tomatoes, combine it with her favorite pasta dish from the Olive Garden, and finish with a dessert from The Cheesecake Factory.” How fun is that? I’m thinking my menu would include a Sonic Cherry Limeade, Chili’s Skillet Queso, Joe’s Crab Shack Coconut Shrimp, and La Madeleine Strawberries Romanoff.’s Red Lobster Crab Alfredo
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons cream cheese
2 cups (1 pint) half-and-half
½ to ¾ cup Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
8 ounces dry fettuccine pasta
4 to 6 crab legs
1 teaspoon salt

In a saucepan, melt the butter, then add the cream cheese. When the cream cheese is softened, add the half-and-half and the parmesan cheese. Add the garlic powder and stir well. Simmer the sauce for 15 to 20 minutes on low heat. You may wish to season it with a little salt and pepper. Prepare the pasta according to the package directions. Prepare the crab legs by cooking them in a large pot of boiling water seasoned with 1 teaspoon of salt. Cook the crab legs for 5 to 7 minutes, then remove them from the pot of boiling water. Crack open the legs, lightly dry off the excess water with a paper towel, and place the crab on top of the Alfredo sauce and pasta.
Yield: 4 servings

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