With over 100 company-owned and franchised restaurants throughout the Eastern and Midwestern United States, RARE Hospitality International Inc. has a fast-growing presence in the steakhouse segment of the dining industry. This relative newcomer to the market--at scarcely 15 years in business, compared to such 1960s-era chains as Ponderosa and Bonanza--RARE's irreverent style of "cowboy cuisine" shook up the segment. By 1996, the company's core chain of LongHorn Steakhouses numbered 81 units. Following its initial public offering in 1992, the company acquired the Bugaboo Creek Steak House chain and its smaller The Capital Grille group of pricey eateries. Founder George W. McKerrow, Jr. continued to serve the company as chairman through the mid-1990s.



Lone Star Steak and Potatoes

Lone Star Restaurant Recipe

2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 baking potatoes, washed and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
1 pound boneless beef top sirloin steak (about 1 inch thick)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper, if desired; mix well. In a large bowl, combine olive oil and 2 teaspoons of spice mixture. Add potatoes and toss until evenly coated.

Place potatoes on a baking sheet and bake 20 minutes; turn potatoes over and bake 15 more minutes, or until fork tender and crispy. Cover with foil and place on bottom rack in oven. Turn oven to broil. Sprinkle steak on both sides with seasoning mixture. Place on a baking sheet and broil 6 to 7 minutes; turn over and broil 4 to 5 more minutes, or to desired doneness.

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Lornhorn Steakhouse Copycat Recipe

Serves 12

Cake and Mousse:
1 (18.25 oz.) box devil's food cake mix (plus required ingredients)
14 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks)
unsalted butter, diced
1/4 cup strong coffee
10 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups plus 6 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups cold heavy cream

Shell and Sauce:
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
5 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

To Serve:
1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pint vanilla ice cream

Make the cake: Prepare the cake mix as the label directs for a 9-by-13-inch cake. Bake; cool slightly in the pan, then invert onto a rack to cool completely.

Clean out the cake pan and line it with plastic wrap. Cut the cake in half lengthwise, then in thirds crosswise to make 6 rectangles. Using a serrated knife, slice each rectangle in half to make two layers. Arrange half of the pieces snugly in the cake pan. Crumble the remaining pieces and press tightly into 6 small balls; arrange 1 cake ball in the center of each cake rectangle in the pan.

Make the mousse: Heat the chocolate, butter, coffee and 1/4 cup water in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water), stirring, until melted. Remove the bowl from the pan; stir until cool. Reserve the simmering water. Fill a large bowl with ice water.

Whisk the egg yolks, 1 1/2 cups sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a separate large heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water and whisk until pale yellow, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the chocolate-coffee mixture and the vanilla and whisk until combined, about 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the pan and set in the bowl of ice water; whisk until slightly cool but not thick, about 4 minutes.

Beat the egg whites and salt in a bowl with a mixer until foamy. Add 2 tablespoons sugar and beat until almost stiff; gently fold into the chocolate-yolk mixture to make a dark chocolate mousse. Spread 5 cups over the cake and cake balls. Freeze until firm on top, about 30 minutes.

Beat the heavy cream and the remaining 4 tablespoons sugar until soft peaks form; fold into the remaining mousse. Remove the cake from the freezer; spread with the light chocolate mousse, cover with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours or overnight.

Make the chocolate shell: Stir the chocolate, heavy cream and 4 tablespoons corn syrup in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (do not let the bowl touch the water) until melted. A spoonful at a time, spread half of the shell mixture over the frozen mousse. Return to the freezer.

Make the chocolate sauce: Add the remaining 1 tablespoon corn syrup and the butter to the remaining chocolate shell mixture. Microwave 30 seconds, then stir until glossy.

To serve the cake, beat the heavy cream with a mixer until foamy. Add the sugar and beat until soft peaks form. Remove the cake from the freezer; invert onto a baking sheet and unmold, then invert again onto a platter, chocolate shell-side up.

Cut the cake in half lengthwise using a warm knife, then cut into thirds crosswise to make 6 rectangles; cut each rectangle in half diagonally to make 2 triangles. Top each triangle with whipped cream, ice cream and the prepared chocolate sauce.

OctoberFest Mussels

Longhorn Steakhouse Copycat Recipe

Serves 4-6

8 ounces (1 cup) Samuel Adams Boston Ale
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon minced shallot
2 tablespoons finely sliced celery
1 1/2 pounds fresh mussels, well rinsed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, optional

In a medium sized saucepan, combine the ale with 1/2 cup of water, the garlic, shallots, and celery. Add the mussels, bring to a simmer over medium high heat, cover the pan and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until the mussels open. Adjust the heat up or down to maintain the simmer.

Using a slotted spoon, lift the mussels from the broth and set aside in a serving bowl.

Add the butter to the broth in the pan and whisk in the butter, a tablespoon at a time, until incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper, as needed. Pour the hot broth over the mussels and serve right away.

Grilled Vegetables

Longhorn Steakhouse Recipe

Serves 4

1 large zucchini
1 large red onion
2 large red peppers
1 bunch asparagus
2 large portobello mushroom caps
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 sprigs rosemary (optional)

Wash vegetables under cold running water and pat dry. Cut zucchini in 1/2 inch thick diagonal planks. Snip off the woody ends of the asparagus leaving about 6 inch spears. Stem and seed the pepper and cut into 4 quarters. Skin the red onion and cut into 1/2 inch thick slabs. Leave the Portobellos whole as these will be sliced after grilling (remove stem). Line the vegetables on a tray and brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.

Place vegetable on a hot, oiled grill and don’t move for 5 minutes to ensure nice grill marks. Add a few sprigs of rosemary on grill for extra flavor. Turn vegetables once and remove after 2 minutes. Transfer to serving platter; discard any leftover rosemary. Slice the Portobello’s into 1/2 inch long strips. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar on vegetables and serve immediately.

Grilled Lime Shrimp

Longhorn Steakhouse Recipe

Serves 4

20 large shrimp, peeled with tails intact
3 limes (2 for juice, 1 for wedges)
4 bamboo skewers

1/4 cup salad oil
juice from 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon cumin

Guacamole Ranch Dipping Sauce:
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1 ripe avocado
juice from 1 lime
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt

Soak bamboo skewers in water for 30 minutes, cut lime into 6 wedges.

Take each skewer and put a lime wedge on first, followed by 5 shrimp in a U-shape; repeat for next 3 skewers.

Whisk together the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl. Reserve half marinade. Brush both sides of the shrimp skewers with the remaining marinade.

Blend together the ingredients for the guacamole ranch dipping sauce in a blender or food processor and refrigerate.

Place the shrimp skewers on a medium heat grill. Grill 3 minutes on each side till the shrimp are firm and pink. Transfer shrimp to platter, pour some reserved marinade and squeeze the grilled limes on the skewers. Serve with dipping sauce.

Grilled Caesar Salad

Longhorn Steakhouse Recipe

Serves 4

2 hearts of Romaine lettuce, split into 4 halves
4 lemons (2 for dressing, 2 for grilling)

Caesar Dressing:
2 garlic cloves
juice from 2 lemons
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup olive oil

For the Caesar dressing, combine all the ingredients for dressing except oil and parmesan in blender or food processor. Pulse till mixed and then run while adding oil to emulsify. Stop and add parmesan cheese and pulse till dressing thickens. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Wash the romaine in cold water. Pat dry. Use olive oil to coat both sides of the hearts of romaine and season with salt and pepper. Cut 2 lemons in half. Place the cut side of the hearts of romaine and lemon halves on a medium grill and grill 2 minutes or until grill marks appear. Turn over and grill 1 more minute Transfer to serving dish and drizzle some of the dressing over the lettuce. Garnish with grilled lemon halves and shaved parmesan.

Grilled Bananas Foster

Longhorn Steakhouse Recipe

Serves 4

4 bananas, firm and unpeeled
1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup dark rum
1/4 cup banana liqueur
4 large scoops ice cream
melted butter for brushing bananas

Turn grill to med high heat. Place a 10 inch saute pan on one side of grill to preheat. Leaving skin intact, cut bananas in half. Then cut each half lengthwise into quarters. Place bananas on sheet pan, cut side up, and brush each with melted butter. Place bananas cut side down (still in peels) and grill 5 minutes until grill marks can be seen.

While bananas are grilling, place stick of butter into saute pan. When butter is melted, add brown sugar and cinnamon. Heat until sugar dissolves. Remove grilled bananas and remove skins. Place all banana pieces into the saute pan. Carefully add rum and banana liqueur to the saute pan.

Using a grill lighter, light the alcohol and let cook until the flame dies. Evenly distribute hot sauce and bananas over 4 dishes of vanilla ice cream and serve!

Note: Rum and Vanilla extracts may be substituted for alcohol.

Bourbon BBQ Ribs

Longhorn Steakhouse Recipe

Serves 4

Baby Back Ribs:
4 (2 lb.) racks of baby back ribs

Seasoning for Ribs:
1 teaspoon liquid smoke

Bourbon BBQ Sauce: (Makes 3 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
2 tablespoons molasses
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)

For Bourbon BBQ sauce, saute onions and garlic in olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat, until softened (about 5 minutes). Stir in all other ingredients and simmer until thickened (about 10 minutes). BBQ sauce is ready to use and can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks in a sealed container.

Set oven on 325 degrees. Season each rack of baby back ribs generously on both sides with the “Big Four”—Salt, Pepper, Garlic and Onion Powder or any other seasoning such as a BBQ seasoning or seasoning salt.

Place 2 racks, bone side down, in a 9 x 13 baking sheet pan. Combine about 2 cups of water with 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke and pour into pan, being careful not to wash off the seasoning. Wrap ribs tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil and place in oven for 2 hours 15 minutes.

Remove from oven, loosen foil and cool for 30 minutes at room temperature. Drain the liquid, wrap the ribs and refrigerate until ready for grilling.

Place racks of ribs “north to south”, bone side down on a clean, well-oiled grill, at medium heat. Allow ribs to grill about 5 minutes. Carefully roll entire rack over to continue grilling another 3 to 4 minutes. Brush a generous amount of Bourbon BBQ sauce on the bone side of the ribs. Turn the ribs again after 3 or 4 minutes and brush with more BBQ sauce.

Allow the ribs to grill 1 to 2 more minutes until the bones sizzle and sauce becomes heated on top Transfer ribs to serving platter.