CLEVELAND - You can make your favorite restaurant foods right from home. It's easy. It's cheaper. But the question is, what about taste?
To help answer that, we put CopyKat.com recipes to the test.
"People love avocado," said Travis Hawk, who is a cooking student at Polaris Career Center. He was making guacamole that's supposed to be just like Chipotle's guacamole. People love that, too. "Chipotle is known for their organic and quality material and the amount of effort they put into it,” said Hawk.
He was following a recipe from CopyKat.com, which is a website that claims to have the recipes to your favorite restaurant foods.
“Honestly, [it’s] really simple,” said Hawk during his demonstration. The recipe calls for three large pitted (without seed) avocados. Mince half a red onion, one jalapeno pepper and one clove of garlic. Add a pinch of salt to taste and two tablespoons of lime juice. Hand mix it all together. Hawk showed us it takes five minutes to make. "And you have a guacamole Chipotle will cry for," Hawk told us with a smile.
After a blind taste test, our tasters couldn't tell the difference.
"Which one do you think is from Chipotle?” we asked. “I don't know,” said one taster.
“What do you think?” we asked the second tester. “I kind of think the second one is," she replied. But the Chipotle guacamole was the first dish each tester tried.
The cost for one cup from Chipotle is $2.95 (with chips). The batch that Hawk made without chips was $6.74 but it made 5 servings. The average cost per serving is $1.35.
How about a breakfast meal? Try making the buttermilk pancakes from IHOP ssing the CopyKat.com recipe. Senior student Briana Spence said it took her five minutes of prep time and cook time was about two minutes per pancake.
We had fellow student Allie Leiher taste the IHOP and Spence’s pancakes. In our unscientific test, she chose Spence’s. "I personally think [Spence’s] are better…They're fluffier and crispier," Leiher told us. The cost at IHOP is $5.99 for five pancakes. Spence’s averaged $2.28 for five. “It's pretty simple. I think anyone can do it,” said Spence.
And, how about lunch or dinner? Applebee's Grilled Chicken Oriental Salad is one of that restaurant's most popular meals. "I think it's very nice. Nice flavors. I love Asian cuisine,” said senior Polaris cooking student Katarina Liska. She was replicating the dish with chopped romaine lettuce, shredded cabbage, shredded carrots, twisted almonds, crispy noodles and chicken already prepared. The recipe instructions can be found on CopyKat.com.
Liska said the salad dressing is made up of 1/2 cup of mayonnaise, a dash of honey, a little bit of rice vinegar, a tablespoon of Grey Poupon and a half cup of water.
Our tasters enjoyed both salads, but liked Liska's more.
Cost from Applebee's $9.79. Doing it on your own costs $5.61.
Make sure you check out our interactive recipe book for more recipes and a video of another yummy restaurant food being made.