Restaurant Dishes from Home

rowing up there was a place called Tony Roma’s in Tulsa.  It was for special occasions only, but it was soooo good.  It was the best place to go.  The ribs were tender.  The BBQ sauce was perfectly seasoned.  You couldn’t eat it without getting it all over your face if you ate it right-you know, with your hands.  I was upset when they closed the Tulsa location. 

We all have our favorite dishes to eat at our favorite restaurants.  The dishes differ based on what establishment you are eating at that time.  Then there are things that everyone loves.  Baby back ribs from Tony Roma’s were the best!  Nothing says comfort food like chicken and dumplings from Cracker Barrel.  Long John Silver’s fish has a batter that is unlike any other.  You get what I am saying.  There are just some things that can’t be beat from certain places.  Fortunately, these days you can find all kinds of recipes that are ‘Copycat’ recipes of your favorite dishes.  

There are whole websites dedicated to these recipes like There are also individual blogs by at home chefs like who do lots of other recipes but will throw in their favorite restaurant recipes once in a while as well. Want something in particular, look it up.  You just might find it.  If you are of the type that prefers a cookbook, those are available as well.  There are several cookbooks on the Amazon that boast of copycat recipes.  

Make your grocery list and let’s cook this weekend!  Meet me in the kitchen for some easy main dishes that are sure to have you ditching the drive through.  

CB Chicken and Dumplings

2 cups flour

½ tsp. baking powder

1 pinch salt

2 Tbsps. unsalted sweet cream butter

1 cup buttermilk

2 quarts chicken broth

3 cups cooked chicken, shredded

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in medium bowl.  Cut butter into dry ingredients with fork or pastry blender. Stir in buttermilk with fork until dough forms ball.  Heavily flour work surface. The ball of dough will be a bit sticky and you don't want it sticking to the counter. Roll dough out thin with rolling pin. Be sure to dust your rolling pin with flour before using to prevent sticking. Cut dumplings in squares about 2 inches. These do not have to be perfect, but you want them about the same size so they cook evenly.  Use spatula to put them back in bowl dough just came from. If you notice any sticking, dust them with a little more flour. Don't worry about using too much flour. The extra flour dust helps create thicker soup sauce.  To cook, bring broth to boil. Drop dumplings in a few at a time, stirring so they don’t stick. Cook for about 15-20 minutes or until they are not doughy. Add cooked chicken to pot and heat through about 5 minutes.

Recipe adapted from


Crunchwrap Supreme

1 lb. ground beef

1 tsp. chili powder

½ tsp. ground paprika

½ tsp. ground cumin

tsp salt

Freshly ground black pepper

4 large flour tortillas

4 small street taco size tortillas

½ cup nacho cheese sauce

4 tostada shells, prepared as directed on box

1 cup sour cream

2 cup shredded lettuce

1 cup chopped tomatoes

1 cup shredded cheddar

1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

In large nonstick skillet over medium heat, combine ground beef and spices and season with salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Drain fat and wipe skillet clean.  Add scoop of ground beef to center of large flour tortillas, leaving generous border for folding. Drizzle cheese sauce over each, then place tostada shell on top. Spread sour cream over each shell.  Top with lettuce, tomato, and cheeses. Place smaller flour tortilla on top and tightly fold edges of large tortilla toward center, creating pleats. Quickly invert Crunchwraps so pleats are on bottom and they stay together.  In skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add Crunchwrap seam-side down and cook until tortilla is golden, 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining Crunchwraps.

Recipe adapted from


RL Shrimp Scampi

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 Tbsp. olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 ½ cups white wine

2 Tbsps. freshly squeezed lemon juice

¼ tsp dried basil

¼ tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp dried rosemary

¼ tsp dried thyme

½ cup unsalted sweet cream butter, at room temperature

2 Tbsps. chopped fresh parsley leaves

¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan

Season shrimp with salt and pepper, to taste.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until pink, about 2-3 minutes and set aside.  Add garlic to skillet, and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in wine and lemon juice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme.  Stir in butter, 2 tablespoons at a time, until melted and smooth.  Sir in shrimp and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Serve immediately, garnished with Parmesan, if desired.

Recipe adapted from


TR Baby Back Ribs

2.5lbs Baby Back Ribs



BBQ Sauce

¼ cup light brown sugar

1 cup warm water

½ cup ketchup

2 Tbsps. molasses

1 Tbsp. Liquid Smoke

Preheat oven to 500°F.  Wash and dry ribs. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper and rub to coat.  Prepare broiler pan by adding 1 inch of water to the bottom pan and placing grate on top.  Place ribs on grate, making sure they don’t overlap. Build foil tent over ribs. Make sure foil is not touching ribs and tent is sealed so steam from water cannot escape.  Bake for 1 hour. Remove pan from oven, but leave covered! Let completely cool down with foil tent still in place – about 2-3 hours. Then, wrap ribs in aluminum foil and place in refrigerator overnight. This will help re-solidify them so that they don’t fall apart when you try to grill them. Next day: Preheat grill or broiler (I broiled).  Place racks of ribs on grill grate. When they have reached a golden, bubbly stage, about 3-4 minutes, coat bbq sauce and broil another 2-4 minutes, then turn and repeat the process. Remove from broiler and slather on some extra sauce.

Recipe from


LJS Fish

Canola oil (for frying)

2 pounds cod sliced into 3 ounce pieces 

2 cups flour

¼ cup corn starch

2 tsps. sugar

¼ tsp salt

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp onion salt

½ tsp paprika

¼ tsp ground white pepper

16oz club soda

If you are not using a fryer, heat 8 cups of canola oil in a heavy pot until temperature reaches 350°F. Make batter by combining flour, corn starch, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, onion salt, paprika and pepper. Stir to combine all dry ingredients. Add club soda to dry ingredients. The batter will foam, continue to stir just until mixed. Drop pieces of fish into batter. Coat fish with batter, drop into hot oil. Fry fish for 2 to 3 minutes or until batter is golden and fish pieces begin to float to top of oil. Drain fish on paper towels.


Recipe from