This GIVEAWAY is now closed.
A while back, I signed up to participate in the Great American Taste Test - it is a publicity event for Ron Douglas's new book America's Most Wanted Recipes. Ron reveals copycat versions of restaurant favorites so that families can now enjoy the meals they love most at prices they can afford. The book includes favorites from Olive Garden, KFC, Cheesecake Factory, Red Lobster and PF Changs, among others.I was tasked with making one of the recipes and comparing to the original dish from the restaurant. There were lots of dishes I wanted to try - but we have limited restaurant options around here, and then our restaurants didn't carry some of the dishes any longer. So after much indecision, I settled on making Macaroni Grill Focaccia Bread. This is Josh's and my FAVORITE restaurant bread. I have been trying to avoid the excess carbs lately, but after a long run this morning, I deserved a treat :)Macaroni Grill Focaccia Bread
from America's Most Wanted Recipes by Ron Douglas; serves 8
1/2 c. olive oil, divided
3 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. semolina flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbsp quick-rising dry yeast
1 1/2 c. hot milk (120-130 deg F)
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
1. Pour 1 1/2 tsp. of olive oil into a 9" square cake pan (I used a glass pan), spread to cover the bottom and sides. Lightly dust with a little flour.
2. Place the ap flour, semolina flour, 2 Tbsp of olive oil, 1/4 tsp of salt, and all of the yeast into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook (or you can mix by hand).
3. Mix on medium speed until all the ingredients are blended. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the hot milk. Increase the speed to medium and continue mixing for 5 minutes, then knead for about 10 minutes by hand.
4. Remove the dough from the bowl and spread evenly in the pan. Cover with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
5. Preheat oven to 400 deg F.
6. Remove the towel and brush the dough with 1-2 Tbsp olive oil. Top with remaining salt and fresh rosemary leaves. Bake for 20 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and drizzle with a little olive oil (we prefer some on a plate for dipping). Enjoy!
This bread was very good. We had spinach pesto pasta with grilled chicken for dinner, and enjoyed some of the bread on the side with a plate of olive oil and balsamic vinegar or dipping. While this recipe was similar to the original, it wasn't exact. The flavors were there, but this recipe was much more dense. The Macaroni Grill bread is definitely more airy - J and I usually have no problem polishing off a loaf at the restaurant, but we could barely manage sharing a similar size portion of this recipe. I do want to try some of the other recipes in the book though, even if I don't have the original dishes to compare them too. We don't go out to eat very much and I do enjoy cooking when I have the time, so this book is a great resource to try dishes we wouldn't otherwise have.
Now for the fun part: I'm giving away a copy of America's Most Wanted Recipes to one lucky reader!
I accidentally received two copies from the publisher, and they gave me the go-ahead to give the other one away (Thanks Atria Books!).
So here's the drill:
Leave me a comment telling me one restaurant dish you would love to be able to duplicate at home by 11:59pm on Friday Sept. 18, 2009 (based on comment time stamp).
***To earn an extra entry, become a Follower of my blog, and leave a second comment telling me you are a Follower. (If you are already a Follower, just leave a second comment saying so.)
Be sure to include your email if its not public on your profile. The winner will be randomly selected via www.random.org on Saturday.