Posts Tagged ‘biscuits’

Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

I like seafood, and my family likes seafood, but unfortunately, I’ve got a circle of friends who don’t care much for it, as a rule. In college, even though I could share an employee discount from my part-time job at The Olive Garden, most of my friends weren’t interested in Red Lobster–until I introduced them to the biscuits.

Red Lobster calls them Cheddar Bay Biscuits. They’re soft and fluffy in the middle, crispy at the edges, flavored with garlic and cheddar cheese throughout, and finished with butter and fresh parsley. Best of all, they come in a bottomless basket, like chips & salsa at a Mexican restaurant or more standard dinner rolls at a steakhouse. They truly are crave-able.

So you can imagine how excited I was when the most recent issue of Food Network Magazine claimed to have cracked the secret recipe. I couldn’t wait to try them.

And you know what? They’re really good. I thought they tasted just like the real thing! Next time, I think I’d take more care to make smaller biscuits. The larger ones that I made didn’t get as crispy as I would’ve liked. I ended up with an even dozen, but I’d probably aim for 14 or 16 next time to get the proper size.

Almost-Famous Cheddar Biscuits
From Food Network Magazine, October 2009

For the Biscuits:

  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 3/4 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 6 ounces grated yellow cheddar cheese (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk

For the Garlic Butter:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

1. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Lightly mist a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Make the biscuits: pules the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add the shortening and pulse until combined. Add the cold butter cubes, pulse 4 or 5 times, or until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Add the cheese and pulse 2 or 3 times. Pour in the milk and pulse just until the mixture is moistened and forms a shaggy dough. Turn out onto a clean lightly-floured surface and knead gently until the dough comes together. Do not overwork the dough, or the biscuits will be tough.

3. Drop the dough onto the baking sheet in scant 1/4-cup portions, 2 inches apart, and bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. While the biscuits are baking, make the garlic butter. Melt the butter with the garlic in a small sauce pan over medium heat; cook for 1 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. When the biscuits are finished, brush them with the garlic butter and serve warm.

Note: I like that this recipe is made in the food processor, but I don’t have any experience with how it would work without the food processor. I do have an instinct that everything up to the vegetable shortening could be replaced with Bisquick–but I haven’t tried that either.

Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

This biscuit recipe was one of the first things to catch my eye in the Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics cookbook. In fact, it’s been mentioned and planned a few times around here, but for some reason, it kept getting pushed to the back burner. Finally, we tried it last week.

First of all, I loved how easy the recipe was. I threw everything together and baked them all for a weeknight dinner. The recipe was super simple, but the biscuits were beyond delicious. The texture was perfect–moist and flaky, with a great crumb, and the slightest crunch of cheese on top. I also used my new fancy MaldonĀ  sea salts to finish the biscuits, which added an extra level of tasty crunch.

Buttermilk Cheddar Biscuits
Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics cookbook

  • 2 cups of flour, plus more for kneading the dough
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup cold buttermilk, shaken
  • 1 cold extra-large egg
  • 1 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar (I used Tillamook Special Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar), plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water or milk
  • 1 teaspoon Maldon Sea Salt, for finishing

1. Preaheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Place 2 cups of flour, the baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. WIth the mixer on low, add the butter and mix until the butter is the size of peas.

3. Combine the buttermilk and egg in a small glass measuring cup and beat lightly wth a fork. With the mixer still on low, quickly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and mix only until moistened. In a small bowl, mix the Cheddar with a small handful of flour and with the mixer still on low add the cheese to the dough. Mix only until roughly combined.

4. Dumb out onto a well-floured board and kneed lightly about six times. Roll the dough out to a rectangle 5×10 inches. With a sharp, floured knife, cut the dough lengthwise in half and then across in quarters, making 8 rough rectangles. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops with the egg wash, sprinkle with sea salt and extra cheese, and bake for 20-25 minutes until tops are browned and the biscuits are cooked through. Serve hot or warm.

Note: I’m sure I’ll make these again. The Back to Basics cookbook has these in the breakfast section, and I understand that completely. They were very tasty as a bread alongside dinner, but they did bring to mind images of ultimate bacon, egg, & cheese biscuits or even some amazing biscuits and gravy. Maybe next time.