Better Than Red Lobster
I can’t believe I haven’t posted this recipe before. I mean I really, truly, cannot believe that it didn’t cross my tiny little mind to share this with y’all. Because WOW. And not just “Wow that’s good!” wow. But “Wow omg I might have a foodgasm RIGHT HERE!!!11eleventy!” wow.
That’s what these Red Lobster-esque biscuits are: a foodgasm in biscuit form.
Think I’m kidding? You’ve just got to try them for yourselves. Then thank me–and you will want to. So will your husband, your friends, your UPS man, and your dog. (don’t you usually share food with your UPS man and dog?)
But first, some backstory:
waaaay back in the day, back when I was still (mostly) concerned about these things, I decided that I needed to impress Jeff. Oh, how young I was. Anyway, I had noticed his affection for those biscuits you get at any Red Lobster restaurant. I think they call them “Cheddar Bay biscuits” or something. So I took it upon myself to try and duplicate the recipe, so I could prepare Red Lobster biscuits for my dear then-boyfriend at a moment’s notice. So of course I hopped on the Internet and started looking for recipes. But, alas, the only ones I could find called for *Bisquick*! Blugh! I wasn’t about to feed *my* dear boyfriend anything made from *Bisquick*! (always hated the stuff, y’know). I ended up taking a few bits and pieces from different recipes as guidelines, and set out on my own. After many batches’ worth of experimenting, tweaking and perfecting I have developed what is considered by Jeff (and by my family, friends, UPS man and dog, tyvm) to be a biscuit that is not only equal to those served at Red Lobster, but is actually superior.
I’ll give you a moment to collect yourselves. We’ll move on when you’re ready.
Now, these biscuits have pretty much become a staple in our household. They’re easy and quick to prepare, and Jeff, of course, loves ’em. A batch of twelve won’t last 24 hours around here. And the smell when they’re baking? Heavenly. If there were one smell I could bottle up and send over the Internet tubes for you, this would be the one. Seriously. However, when I got the bright idea to make this tutorial as I was whipping them up last night, I neglected to be aware of the fact that it was, indeed, quite dark out. As a result, all these photos are, erm, flashy. For that I apologize, and I beg you to forgive me and still try this recipe anyway!
So are you ready to make some Better Than Red Lobster biscuits?
Slice 8 oz from the block using what is probably the wrong knife but I don’t care (or be a rebel and buy an 8 oz block to start out with):
Just whatever you do, do NOT buy the pre-shredded stuff. Seriously. It’s an unnecessary convenience, pre-shredded cheese isn’t as delicious–it tastes old and stale–and it’s a waste of packaging. I am against pre-shredded cheese whenever possible. Really.
Now, if you have a Maxie (or other canine) handy, they’re always happy to take this bit of cheese off your hands. As I’m currently lacking in any available dogs, however, I had no choice but to make a monster face and do the job myself:
Now you also know that my hair is unwashed, I have a sinkfull of dirty dishes, and I’m nutso enough to actually post this photo on the internets. Someone cart me away now. Srsly.
If you’ve recovered enough from that above photo to move on in the recipe, it’s time to set aside all that delicious cheddar–for now–and move on to the biscuity part of the, erm, biscuits.
Measure out 2/3c shortening (much as I dislike shortening, I just can’t figure out a substitute that’s better for these biscuits. So I suck it up (my pride, not the shortening), use it, and move on with my life. So can you.):
And pretty soon all the shortening will be mixed in. The resulting product will look like a whole bunch of little itsy bitsy flour-covered “clumps” or shortening. You don’t want any of your clumps to be larger than pea-sized–the shortening really needs to be mixed in there well.
It’ll sort of look like streusel topping, I guess (another thing I use my pastry cutter for!)
Then you’ll want to *gently* stir the milk in, preferably using a stained (but yes, it’s clean) spatula:
Ok just kidding about the stained part. But not about the clean part. But you knew that. Because you’re smart. OK I’m shutting up now. Really. Now.
But the most important thing is NOT to overmix the dough! That’s the best way I know of to get tough, chewy biscuits. Blech.
Pull out about 4 cloves of garlic–give or take. If you’re not really a ‘garlic person’, then 2 or 3 is enough. If you’re me, you may want to go with 5. But for gawd’s sake, do not be one of those pansy asses who just puts in one. Seriously. Don’t. 2 is your official minimum. For realz.
If you’re fancy, you can probably use a flat edge of a knife blade to accomplish this. Or back it over with your Mercedes, or have the butler do it. Whatever. But smashing it with a baking powder can is good enough for me.
Now it’s time to put Mr. Butter and a good dash of Mr. Parsley (maybe 2t of the dried stuff, more of the fresh stuff if you’ve got it) into a microwave-safe bowl, and crush Mr. Garlic on top:
(bonus points if you have an all-metal, industrial strength garlic press like mine. I splurged hardcore on that baby, knowing I’d use it in practically every meal I prepare).
While that’s going, divide your dough up and roll it into 12 approximately equal-sized balls:
Don’t worry about attaining perfection here. “Rustic” is the descriptor we’re going for. Oh, and “delicious.” That’s an important one, too.
Instantly, your home will be filled with the most delicious smell ever. EVER. Better than a cinnamon candle or 3 dozen fresh roses. (Why don’t they make “garlic and parsley and butter” scented Glade plug-ins? Anyone? Anyone?)
At this point, you may decide to abandon the Better Than Red Lobster Biscuits project, and elect instead to drink the melted butter straight, then spend the rest of the evening in bed with a tummyache. It’s up to you. For this batch, though, I chose instead to pour it into a 9×13 pan:
All 12, in their happy little homes. There should be some of the butter mixture left over in the bottom of the pan, even after all your biscuits are thoroughly coated. This is what you want. This is good. This is VITAL.
Better Than Red Lobster Biscuits
4t baking powder
2/3 c shortening
1/2 to 2/3 c milk
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 c (1 stick) salted butter
2 t dried parsley OR 2 T fresh
garlic to taste (2-5 cloves)
Preheat oven to 450*F. In large bowl, stir dry ingredients together; cut in shortening. Stir in milk, adding more as needed, being careful not to overmix. Stir in cheese. Divide dough into 12 equal-sized balls. In separate, microwave-safe bowl, combine butter, parsley and garlic. Microwave until butter is melted. Pour butter mixture into a 9×13 pan; spread evenly across bottom. Roll each ball of dough in butter mixture, leave rest spaced equally in pan. Bake 10-12 minutes or until biscuits are light golden color. Consume with abandon.