Wednesday, February 23, 2011
I can count on one hand the number of times I've been to a Red Lobster restaurant, but one thing I remember about eating there is the delicious Cheddar Bay Biscuits. They aren't exactly health food, but they are garlicy, buttery, and cheesy... biscuit perfection.
This recipe is slightly adapted from Food Network Magazine's Almost-Famous Cheddar Biscuits and they are just as good as the restaurant original. There are other recipes for these biscuits that call for packaged mixes (like Bisquick). I have nothing against Bisquick, but I bake almost everything from scratch (it's not as complicated as it sounds, I promise), so I'd have to buy boxed mix to attempt those other recipes.
(Click "Read more" below.)
Although these biscuits are made with both butter and shortening, they aren't greasy and the texture is very fine and light. They have a silky mouth-feel and a huge flavor punch because of the sharp cheddar, chives, and garlic.
I suggest serving these biscuits with breakfast (why not carb it up with some cheese grits?) or with a soup or stew. Or you could just make them for no reason and enjoy them.
I know it can be a pain to pay $2-3 for fresh chives. I grow chives in the spring and summer (they're perennials), but I went ahead and paid for the fresh herbs for this recipe. If you don't want to use chives you can leave them out, or use dried chives.
This recipe utilzies a food processor. I find it easier to clean up and it keeps the dough from getting overheated due to too much handling. Since not everyone has a food processor, please consider making these biscuits by hand. You may have to put a little elbow grease in, but it's worth it.
These biscuits reheat well, so don't be afraid to save the leftovers and enjoy them the next day.
Slightly adapted from Food Network Magazine's Almost-Famous Cheddar Biscuits
yield 12 biscuits
For the biscuits:
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)
1/4 cup chopped chives
3/4 cup whole milk
For the garlic butter:
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Lightly mist a large baking sheet with cooking spray or cover it with parchment paper.
Make the biscuits: Pulse the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add the shortening and pulse until combined. Add the butter; pulse 4 or 5 times, or until the butter is in pea-size pieces. Add the cheese and chives 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 surface and gently knead until the dough comes together. Do not overwork the dough or the biscuits will be tough.
Drop the dough onto the baking sheet in scant 1/4-cup portions, 2 inches apart, and bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the garlic butter: Melt the butter with the garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley. Brush the biscuits with the garlic butter and serve warm.