Have you ever attempted to recreate your favorite restaurant meal at home? If so, you will probably admit that it, "wasn't quite the same." This book, "A Treasury of Top Secret Recipes" by Todd Wilbur, can make all the difference. Is it exactly the same taste? Many times it is not. But it is so close that you'll hardly notice. Most of the recipes in this book are clones of recipes that restaurants like, McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Arby's, Applebees, Big Boy, etc. do not give out to the public (or to Mr. Wilbur.) Mr. Wilbur however, being a master chef, was able to reproduce almost perfect (and sometimes absolutely perfect) recipes.
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This edition of the book is a combination of collections from other Top Secret Recipe books that he has authored. He also maintains a website at www.topsecretrecipes.com It is published by A Plume Book (http://www.penguinputnam.com
I found this book at a book sale that was held at our school. I scanned through some of the listings and found Kentucky Fried Chickens Cole Slaw recipe and bought the book at once. To me, cole slaw is always judged by how closely it resembles the taste of KC's. I was not disappointed with this cole slaw clone. In fact, I think he's hit upon the exact ingredients in this one. I really like that at the end of each recipe, he gives a TIDBIT which is a hint about things that you can do to insure the taste is the same. On the cole slaw recipe for example, he says you must refrigerate the slaw for at least two hours prior to serving to allow the sauce to penetrate it correctly. Is each recipe the EXACT taste? No. Making Twinkies at home is not the same as the factory made boxed ones, but are most of them REALLY close? Yes. He calls them clones and that is correct. Have I cooked all 500 pages of recipes? No, but I've used enough to know that he does an excellent job.
My one big disappointment was that Bennigan's Restaurant didn't have the recipe I wanted most included. I really want to find out how to make the Monte Cristo sandwich. I have yet to try the website, so maybe it will be included there. The book leaf does state that Bennigans is included in one of his editions, so I can hope.
If you like Big Boy's sauce, it's included. Others are T.G.I.Friday's Nine Layer Dip; Tony Roma's Ribs; Ruby Tuesday's Potato Cheese Soup; Outback Steak Houses' Bloomin' Onion (with cutting directions illustrated!);Hard Rock Cafe's Grilled Vegetable Sandwich; Hooter's Buffalo Wings;Chili's...Denny's...well, you can see some of the variety.
Throughout this great cookbook are illustrations of how to prepare the food. Tips of ingredients and substitutes to lower calories or fat content. A real plus is that most of the recipes use "real" people ingredients...you know the ones...the ones we actually have in our kitchen and that don't require a special trip to the store to purchase.
That's one of the top criteria when I rate a cookbook (or use one for that matter.)
I think that you'd really enjoy owning a copy of this book. It's fun to try the recipes and makes for great eating. (You have to try the recipe for Outback Steakhouse Gold Coast Coconut Shrimp and ......
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