There is a fellow by the name of Ron Douglas, who goes around to different restaurants all over the country, sits down and orders dinner. He has a good meal and when they bring the check he mentions that he is a nationally know author in search of Americas most wanted recipes, and that he would like to interview the chef. So the waitress or manager takes him back and he talks to the chef for a while and exclaims over the fantastic meal that he has just consumed. He mentions that his business is to promote “Secret Recipes of Famous Restaurants and adds a little “you know what I mean…” Viola, Ron has managed to rescue another top secret restaurant recipe from obscurity.
We have all been there, you go into your favorite local chain restaurant and order your favorite specialty. Then one night you are at home and you decide to try that same combination of flavors that you had at the restaurant, it should be simple enough right? But lo and behold there must be some special ingredient or perhaps method of preparation that you are missing and try as you might you just can’t seem to get it right. How many times have you had that experience?
Now in one sense it is going to be difficult to duplicate restaurant style foods because you will not have a restaurant style kitchen. They have the monster immersion blender, the latest Robo-coupe with all the attachments, and most probably an assortment of mixers. The huge deep fat fryer and the slow-roasting alto-sham oven, or even the steam-injected convection are not normally part of the average residential kitchen. It is still possible to duplicate the recipes, it just takes a little longer to do some of the things by hand that a restaurant has a machine or toy to finish more quickly.
The really cool thing about the cook books that Ron has assembled is that the institutional portions have been reduced to home-maker portions. I can’t tell you the number of times over the years, that I have been asked for a recipe and I struggled to get it down from something that would feed 50 or a 100 people. Most chef’s are so used to developing recipes for large volumes of clients that they can’t just fix enough for 2 or 4. Using less than one onion or a pound of carrots, celery or whatever is an alien concept to most chef’s who are used to working with 10-25 pound quantities of such items.
These new recipe books will show you the step by step techniques for preparing your favorite dishes from several national chains. I don’t know how he did it, I have worked with several chef’s who would keep their back to you when they seasoned a sauce or soup or stew. So Ron Douglas has done a fine job of tracking down the right person to ask and getting publishing permission. Like I said, I would like his job, dining out and collecting recipes along the way sounds like a fine occupation to me.
The collection has grown to two volumes over the years, you will find recipes from Applebee’s to Starbuck desserts. The Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, Chili’s, T.G.I. Friday’s, P F Chang’s and Red Lobster are heavily represented with their recipes. You will see many other chain and famous restaurants as well. One of the real beauties of this is the fact that the whole series will be on your computer and you will only have to print out the recipe you are working with. I don’t know how many chocolate or tomato stained cookbooks you have but I have a bunch. The ability to quickly print a new recipe is great versus paying $20 for the whole new cookbook.
– America’s Secret Recipes 1
– America’s Secret Recipes 2
– 5 Star Restaurant Secret Recipes
– Plus Several Free Bonus Cookbooks
In addition to that Ron has added a super cool weekly mailing of new recipes as he comes across them. Here is an example of one of his weekly recipe offerings.
New Secret Recipe
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=Panera Bread Pudding with Apples, Pecans and RaisinsDelight guests with this fruity bread pudding made with their
signature Cinnamon Raisin bread.4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 loaf Cinnamon Raisin White Bread torn into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup pecan halves
Zest and juice of 1 large orange
1/4 cup apple cider
1 tablespoon vanilla extract or rum
8 small baking apples (about 2 pounds) such as Fuji, Gala or Granny
Smith, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup apple, quince, or blackberry jam or jelly
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
3. Add the bread and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until well coated.
4. Add the sugar, pecans, orange zest and juice, cider, and vanilla
5. Cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes until a sauce begins to form.
6. In a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, layer the bread mixture with the
apples and dot the top with the jam or jelly.