Never try and repeat or recreate a dining experience. A rule I made several years ago, and one that I completely and utterly disregarded when I bought the book ‘America’s Most Wanted Recipes’ by Ron Douglas. The amount of times I’ve had an amazing meal out, and then gone back weeks, months, years later to repeat the amazing meal, and it’s been a huge disappointment. This usually happens to me on holiday in America, I’ve been to Orlando several times over the last few years and I never seem to learn that high expectations equal disappointment. There is one exception to this rule, this exception being the Cheesecake Factory. Oh how I love, love, love the place! I don’t know how Americans feel about it, but as a tourist and regular eater while being said tourist , I adore it. The menu is huge, yet the food is great. Its not too expensive, and it makes what may be the best thing I’ve ever had the fortune to put in my mouth – the Banana Cream Cheesecake. If you go to the Cheesecake Factory and don’t try the banana cream cheesecake then there is no hope for you. Its delicious and once you have it, you’ll never forget it. True love on a plate! But what, you may be asking, does this have to do with Chicken Fettucine? Glad you asked. While on a shopping trip in Orlando, I happened upon the above book, which gives you recipes to replicate recipes from some of Americas biggest restaurants. I saw that it included the banana cream cheesecake and knew I.Had.To.Have.It. After all, there’s no Cheesecake Factory in the UK and how else am I to sustain an addiction without a recipe???
I haven’t used the book all that much, but what I have cooked from it has been pretty good. The banana cheesecake is very tasty indeed, but not a patch on the original. Which I’m fine with, I’ll just have to go to America as much as possible and be close to a Cheesecake Factory at all times. The chicken fettucine recipe that I cooked tonight is a replica of a Cheesecake Factory meal, one that I haven’t had so I have nothing to compare it, which means I can judge it objectively. And I can confirm after cooking it that it is delicious. I didn’t have fettucine so I went with fusilli. The sauce is creamy and garlicky and smooth, and coats the pasta really well. While cooking it it just looks like a watery sauce, but then you add a truckload of butter (it is an American restaurant recipe after all!) and it turns golden and velvety and takes it from an average sauce to a fantastic sauce. I would definitely recommend this book, I’ve not had a single dud with it and even though a lot of the measurements are in American style, its still easy to work out and you get great results every time. For my first cooked recipe from the challenge list, I’m impressed! Visit their website for a sample of some of their recipes: http://www.recipesecrets.net/forums/secret-recipe-archive/
PS: If you’re wondering what happened to the Empire Chicken, it sadly got chucked away as the heating element has gone in the oven and we’re waiting for it to be fixed. I’ll return to it one day!