Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits

What you see here are the beginnings of something wonderful: Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits!!!.

(*except it didn't quite work out that way.)

Like everybody who ever set foot in a Red Lobster, I live for the Cheddar Bay biscuits and it's one of the five things Sean will eat that contains cheese. So I promised for Christmas, I would make some. I found that Food Network recipe and figured, Hey, they're reputable. Let's go for it.

Note: I do not own a food processor. I should, yes, but I'm trying to wait to see if I get one when I register. In the meantime, I make magic happen with my trusty $30 blender and my trusty 20-year-old hand mixer.

So anyways. You blend flour, baking powder and salt and then add shortening. Pulse for a bit. That wasn't working for me in the stupid blender, so I switched to hand mixing.

Cut four tablespoons of cold butter into 1/2-inch pieces and blend until they roll into pea-size balls.

At which point, you add 1 and a 1/4 cups of cheddar cheese. Seriously...with the exception of the mixing delay, this was the easiest thing ever. Which is shocking considering the biscuits are literally the only reason I go to Red Lobster. Never again, Sean.

Add milk and mix until it forms "a shaggy dough" according to the recipe.

Dump onto a clean surface and gently knead. I read on both Red Lobster and Food Network's web sites that overkneading the bread could equal disasters, so I was very careful about this step.

And pop in to bake for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, I melted butter and garlic, then added parsley.

Finally, I brushed the garlic mixture on the biscuits.

So how did it all turn out? Well, we each took a bite and both said, "It needs more salt."
My first thought was that the recipe needed garlic powder; I double-checked, but no, Food Network says I should use real garlic.

And this is where I go to bat for, once in a blue moon, using the crap version of something. I'm sure an actual garlic clove gives a more authentically garlicky, subtle flavor but with this, I wanted that salty, powdery explosion of flavor.

Other recipes I found also suggested using Bisquick mix...I'm not sure how much of a difference that would make. The consistency of those biscuits was pert near perfect (in my Appalachian speak, "pert near" is pretty close), so I don't feel particularly motivated to change that part of the recipe. But garlic powder? I'm totally on board.

Any other clues for what might have been missing? Suggestions for ways to improve are always welcome.


Paige said...

Well, I use the Bisquick method, and though from scratch might be (darn? is that what "pert" means? lol) close to perfect, I stand behind the Bisquick as being perfection as well. They also take about a nanosecond to throw together. No cutting butter, no butter at all... nothing needed but one bowl and your saucepan. Additionally, THAT recipe calls for garlic powder/salt - can't remember which - but you are so right about that, the garlic doesn't give it the same "kick"! You'll feel cheated at Red Lobster from now on, knowing you can make them so easily and you don't have to wait for your stupid waiter to bring you refills... lol

rcerimele said...


Haha, I happen to work at a Red Lobster right now, while I'm in school! Your biscuits look good, quite close to ours! People come in all the time, saying they try to make the biscuits themselves, and I've never heard the same recipe twice, lol! I can investigate a little, if you like, to figure out the garlic situation.... =)