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Thursday, May 19, 2011

As promised... Red Lobster Biscuits

I admit.  I'm not a huge fan of Red Lobster.  I've often said the only reason to go to Red Lobster is for the biscuits.  My husband has corrected this statement.  He argues that the bar has a lot to offer as well.  We rarely go for anything other than biscuits and Mai Tais, and when we do we're met with the usual disappointment.

Anyone who has visited a good seafood restaurant knows that Red Lobster pales in comparison.  I'm not even talking about the expensive seafood restaurants with white tablecloths.  Well prepared, fresh seafood is a treat unrivaled in a foodie's life.  

(Side Note:  One of the best places for seafood, in my opinion, is a small riverside restaurant open to the elements in Southport, NC called Yacht Basin Provision Company; but simply referred to by locals (of which I used to be) as Provisions.  The tables are plastic, as is the cutlery.  The beer, wine and soda is self serve.  But the steamed shrimp are cooked perfectly.  The grouper salad is refreshing and delicious after a day spent collecting too much sun on the boat, beach, or golf course.  Speaking of boats, you can dock yours right at the restaurant.  None of the dishes here are fancy, and the service certainly isn't what the name would imply, but the food is good and always fresh.  Locals and tourists alike line up outside the restaurant waiting for tables from May through September. It's a perfect place to enjoy a summer afternoon with some delicious seafood, drinks, and in good company.)

What I'm saying is there is no longer any reason to poison yourself with Red Lobster "seafood" in order to enjoy their delicious rolls.  I have a recipe that will fool your tastebuds into thinking you're at the garishly colored tables of this terrific (in the archaic sense of the word: "causing terror") restaurant.  

Almost Red Lobster Biscuits (from the Fayetteville Observer, 5/18/11)

2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
½ cup shortening
2/3 cup cold milk
8 ounces shredded cheddar (1 cup)
1 stick butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
¼ cup minced fresh parsley

Heat oven to 450°.  Stir together flour, salt, baking powder, and confectioner’s sugar in a large bowl. 
Cut in the shortening with a pastry blender or 2 knives (or use a food processor), until the mixture looks like small peas. 
Stir in the milk with a fork just until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl.  Stir in the cheese. 
Place butter and garlic in a 9” X 13” pan.  Place in the oven until butter melts and the garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes.  Remove pan from oven and stir in the parsley. 
Use about ¼ cup dough to form a ball.  Roll it in the butter mixture to coat and arrange in the pan.  Repeat with remaining dough.  Pat down top slightly so bottom of biscuit is flat.  Bake 10-12 minutes, until just golden. 
Spoon any remaining butter on top.  Serve warm.

 Makes 12

NOTE:  After making this recipe a few times I've tweaked it to work better for me.
*Instead of following the directions to cut in the shortening, I use my hands.  
*Add more milk that the recipe calls for, adding little by little until the dough comes together and is less flaky.
*Melt butter and garlic in a bowl in the microwave.  Transfer to 9"X13" dish and shift pan to cover bottom with melted butter.  Return butter and garlic to bowl and stir in the parsley.
*Form biscuit balls, roll in butter mixture and place in baking pan.  Reserve remaining butter for when the biscuits have finished cooking.  Brush finished biscuits with remaining butter.  Serve immediately.  So good!

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