Do you ever wish that you could make the same dishes that you get at your favorite restaurants at home? I do all the time, which is why I usually take a picture of the menu and/or the dish itself so I can try and make it at home, but it is never the same. So, when I was asked to review a copy of Todd Wilbur’s new book, Top Secret Recipes 3, I jumped on the opportunity.
I’m not usually very good at following a recipe, which is why I asked D.J. to use this cookbook to find his favorite restaurant dishes, and try to make them at home. Since D.J. is the breakfast guru around the house, and always cooks breakfast, when he chose the iHop Corn Cake Pancakes, I just knew they would be delicious, and boy oh boy was I right! I really think that he chose this recipe because of this one episode of The Sopranos, when Vito is in Vermont, and keeps going back to the same diner for “Johnny Cakes.”
Todd Wilbur has been creating homemade versions of restaurant favorites for over 20 years using everyday ingredients to prepare these amazing taste-alike dishes. By making your restaurant favorites at home you’ll be paying up to 75% less than eating out! Top Secret Recipes 3 has over 150 new recipes from popular restaurant chains like iHop, T.G.I. Friday’s, Margaritaville, Outback, Famous Dave’s, P.F. Chang’s and more.
There have been over 4 million copies of Top Secret Recipes sold, and it’s easy to see why… the recipes are delicious and spot on, and the cookbook is easy to read and easy to follow. There isn’t a lot of pictures, or junk in the book that I really don’t care to read, there is a short introduction, a list of recipes by chain name and then the recipes themselves.
Each recipe has a menu description as listed on the menu at the restaurant and a short description written by Todd. The recipes even have “tidbits”, which are quick little tips about each recipe, and what you can do with the leftovers, or other general tips on cooking the recipe.
After flipping through the book, and marking each recipe that sounded good, or I wanted to try or have tried before, we narrowed it down to three:
Margaritaville Jerk Salmon
iHop Corn Cake Pancakes and
T.G.I. Friday’s Crispy Green Bean Fries
Since salmon and fish in general in Colorado isn’t really an option, and we didn’t see any fresh green beans at the grocery store, we decided to go with the iHop Corn Cake Pancakes. I’m not even sure this was really an option to be honest, I knew whether or not we were going to share this recipe on my blog, we were cooking these corn cake pancakes. I made sure to take a picture of the green bean fry recipe and send it to my Mom though because she is a HUGE fan of those babies.
Like I mentioned above, D.J. said the recipe was very easy to follow, and the corn cake pancakes tasted absolutely delicious. I’m not usually a fan of pancakes, or anything sweet for breakfast (unless it’s coffee and a donut), but I devoured three of these in under 5 minutes, and went back for more!
Top Secret Recipe: iHop Corn Cake Pancakes Recipe
Menu Description: “These fluffy, moist, and savory pancakes are made with just the right amount of cornmeal.”
Todd’s Description: “If you like the taste of fresh cornbread, you will definitely dig this new twist on pancakes brought to us from America’s largest flapjack factory. Cornmeal plus extra helpings of sugar and butter are added to delicious buttermilk pancake batter for a clone that will turn on the smiles. This new breakfast specialty is easy to make, crazy delicious and any leftovers freeze well for several months.”
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup buttermilk (Make your own by adding 1 tbsp lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup and filling to the one cup mark with whole milk. Let this rest 5 minutes, and measure out what you need for the recipe.)
1/3 cup salted butter, melted
On The Side:
Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium dish.
In another medium bowl, blend together eggs and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add milk, buttermilk and melted butter and mix well. (D.J. just used a whisk for this part)
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Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with your mixer (or whisk) until smooth. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes.
Preheat a large skillet or griddle to medium/low heat.
Spray the skillet or griddle with nonstick spray. Spoon 1/4 cup portions of the batter onto the griddle and cook for 2-3 minutes per side until brown. Serve pancakes hot with butter and maple syrup on the side.
Makes 16-18 pancakes.
You can freeze leftover pancakes in stacks of 2 or 3 in sandwich size ziplock bags. When you’re ready to reheat, simply take the frozen stack of pancakes out of the bag, put them on a plate and microwave for 1 minute on high, or until hot.
You can buy a copy of Todd’s Book on his website or on Amazon. Top Secret Recipes 3, where this recipe and 149 other can be found is $16. I’m very excited to try some more of my restaurant favorites at home with Todd Wilbur’s clone recipes.
I received a copy of Top Secret Recipes 3 for my review. All opinions are 100% my own.