Thursday, July 26, 2012

Backstage in Chain Restaurants

"Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 - More Amazing Clones of Famous Dishes from America's Favorite Restaurant Chains" by Todd Wilbur   Penguin   395 pages   $15 

This would be a very handy book for people who live in small towns and don't normally have access to such as Chili's, P.F. Chang, California Pizza Kitchen, Tony Roma's, Houston's or Joe's Crab Shack, to mention only a few of the kitchens included in this book.  It would also suit bone-idle lazy people like me;  too blase to sling on my cleanest pair of dirty jeans, get in the car and actually go there. 

In addition to the cloned recipes, I learned that Chevy's motto is:  No cans in the kitchen."  Now either they mean "from scratch only" or they have a separate building to store the cans.

I did like the sound of this -- Chevy's Sweet Corn Tomalito (aka "Sweet Corn Cake" at Chi-Chi's and El Torito.)

4 cups frozen corn ("frozen" - crafty devils)
1/3 cup softened butter (2/3rds of a stick)
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup masa harina
1/2 cup corn meal
/2 teas. baking powder

Preheat oven to 325.
Cream the butter and sugar together, then beat in the milk and masa harina and mix well.

Puree two cups of the corn and add that to the butter-masa mixture.

Add the corn meal, baking powder and the rest of the corn and stir together.

Pour this into an un-greased 8 x 8 in. baking pan, cover it with foil and then put it into a 9 x 13 in. baking pan.  Fill the second pan with hot water to about the 1/3 full mark and bake it all for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until it's firm in the center.  Let it sit for 10 minutes and then scoop out half-cup portions and serve. 

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