Monday, 29 February 2016

Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step: Secret Formulas with Photos for Duplicating Your Favorite Famous Foods at Home by Todd Wilbur

Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step: Secret Formulas with Photos for Duplicating Your Favorite Famous Foods at HomeTop Secret Recipes Step-by-Step: Secret Formulas with Photos for Duplicating Your Favorite Famous Foods at Home by Todd Wilbur

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A knockout full-color cookbook from America's Clone Recipe King

For more than twenty-five years, Todd Wilbur has been obsessed with recreating America's most iconic brand-name foods at home. In his first cookbook with color photos, the New York Times bestselling author brings you 125 new clone recipes: 75 first-time hacks and 50 overhauled all-time favorites. Each recipe comes with easy-to-follow step-by-step photos so that even novice cooks can perfectly recreate their favorite famous foods with everyday ingredients. And your homemade versions cost just a fraction of what the restaurants charge! The result of years of careful research, trial-and-error, and a little creative reverse-engineering, Top Secret Recipes® Step-by-Step hacks:

• KFC® Original Recipe® Fried Chicken and Cole Slaw
• Cinnabon® Classic Cinnamon Roll
• IKEA® Swedish Meatballs
• Pinkberry® Original Frozen Yogurt
• Raising Cane's® Chicken Fingers and Sauce
• Arby's® Curly Fries
• Lofthouse® Frosted Cookies
• Wendy's® Chili
• Panera Bread® Fuji Apple Chicken Salad
• Starbucks® Cake Pops
• Cafe Rio® Sweet Pork Barbacoa
• McDonald's® McRib® Sandwich
• The Melting Pot® Cheddar Cheese Fondue
• P.F. Chang's® Chicken Lettuce Wraps
• The Cheesecake Factory® Stuffed Mushrooms
• Ben & Jerry's® Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream
• Chick-fil-A® Chicken Sandwich
• Chili's® Baby Back Ribs
• Chipotle Mexican Grill® Adobo-Marinated Grilled Chicken & Steak
• Cracker Barrel® Hash Brown Casserole
• Mrs. Fields® Chocolate Chip Cookies
• Ruth's Chris Steakhouse® Sweet Potato Casserole
And over 100 more delicious dishes, from snacks and appetizers to entrees and desserts!

When I was offered this to review I jumped at the chance. Having a husband that loved food and eating out is one of his favourite past times I couldn't wait to try this out on him.

This is beautifully presented on high glossy paper and easy steps to follow. I love that the recipes are easy to follow and they have been rated on difficulty to prepare the meals. I found this really useful to choose one that I thought I would be able to achieve. Majority of the recipes in the book seemed to be easy or medium, this was good as a novice.

The ingredients and weights are set out in cups, this was useful as I could create the meals without the need for scales. Some of the ingredients were unusual and perhaps you wouldn't have in the kitchen cupboards, occasionally I substituted certain items for things in the kitchen, this didn't effect the overall flavour of the dish. Some of the ingredients you may have to go to a larger supermarket for.

Some of the Top Secret recipes come from American fast food chain restaurants, some of these I had heard here in the UK and I have even tried, however some were totally new to me. Due to this I can't actually comment on the likeliness of the flavour compared to the original, however the recipes I have tried so far I thought were excellent.

I would recommend this to others, especially if you are a fan of American food chains.

I would like to thank the publisher for sending this in exchange for an honest review.

Seasoned Ground Beef (Taco Meat Filling)

I decided to give this one ago as I love Mexican food and although I have never been to a Taco Bell I know I would love it. This is a picture of what the taco should look like. 

I began following the instructions exactly as it stated. I put the meet plus onion into a pan, along with the spices and water. This simmered for a while until the spice had mixed in with the meat. 

I then moved on to getting a tortilla - here is where I made some substitutions. I didn't have any cheese sauce and my local didn't have any either so I decided to use some grated cheese and put that onto the tortilla instead. I think this worked perfectly fine and it tasted very good. Whether this was like the original I am not sure as I haven't eaten there before but it seemed to be a good substitute. 

Following the recipe I then placed the meat on top of the cheese before adding a layer of nachos on the top, I also added sour cream on the top before folding the tortilla up. 

Finally I folded the tortilla up and cooked this on top of an aga. The heat stuck the tortilla to make it into a little pocket.I cooked it on either side for about 1 minute just to make sure the tortilla was nice and brown. 

When I served this up everyone was amazed at how tasty this is, since I have made it I have had more orders from the family coming in to make this again. I thought it was delicious, it had a perfect mix of crunchy with the nachos and soft with the meat. I added some salsa on the tables for everyone to dip this into, which I think really made it. 

I would recommend this to others and think once you have had one you would want to repeat the experience. If I ever am able to go to Taco Bell I would love to try this one, just to see how it compared to mine. As I can't give this a rating on how close the recipe is to the original I have given this a rating on taste and enjoyment and I would give this 5*. 

I also had a go at making a berry smoothy from McDonald's. McDonald's in the UK don't serve this so yet again I can't make a comparison on how this tastes against the original, however once again after following the instructions from this cook book I give this 5* the flavours are amazing. Here are some pictures from the smoothie I made. 

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