I don’t think I’ve used a baking mix since I was in college. Senior year, when I was living with Mags and Shivani, we made brownies probably once a week, and since our priorities back then
involved watching CSI marathons were more studying oriented, our most frequent baking endeavors involved opening a box of mix, adding the requisite eggs and milk and throwing in half a bag of chocolate chips.
Similarly, I probably haven’t been to a Red Lobster* in at least six years. I see their commercials now and shudder- I don’t know how they manage to pack so many calories into a single lobster tail. And yet, when I saw America’s Most Wanted Recipes sitting on the shelf at the library, my first instinct was to check out the recipe for Red Lobster’s biscuits.
You see, before I lived in an adorable town with some great restaurants within walking distance of my apartment; before I lived in Brooklyn and my favorite restaurants were on the way home from the subway and served schwarma and pumpkin curry; before I attended college outside of DC and learned the joys of tapas and Middle-Eastern cuisine, I lived in a small town in western Ohio. And when you live in a small town in western Ohio the dining choices are Bob Evans, Cracker Barrel or, you guessed it, Red Lobster. A 15 minute drive will expand the choices to include Friendly’s, Applebee’s, Tuesday’s and a few non-chain-but-still-not-particularly-exotic restaurants. A 30 or 40 minute drive to Dayton will yield many more chains (hello Olive Garden, Max and Erma’s, Friday’s) but still, not a lot in the way of interesting new flavors.
And so, because the soup and salad lunch is convenient and one chain is as good as another (unless you listen to my father and boycott companies for their political contributions), Red Lobster was a fairly frequent mid-shopping lunch stop for me and my mother. Now, years later, the flavor of those hot, buttery biscuits lingers in the back of my mind, taunting me and my chain-shunning elitist tendencies.
Which brings us back to the baking mix. The recipe called for ‘2 cups biscuit mix.’ I have never owned a box of Bisquick, but I now have one sitting rather forlornly in the back of my refrigerator. I have a feeling I will end up using it exclusively to make these biscuits. Regardless of whatever other feelings I might have about Red Lobster, these biscuits are pretty tasty!
Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits
(adapted from America’s Most Wanted Recipes)
2 cups biscuit mix
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 cup milk
1/4 t garlic powder
finely chopped parsley**
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Stir together the biscuit mix, cheddar and milk until a soft dough forms. Beat with a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds.
Spoon onto a greased cookie sheet. Smooth down the tops to prevent hard points from forming.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the tops are brown.
Meanwhile, melt the butter and stir in the garlic powder.
Once the biscuits are out of the oven brush the butter on the tops, sprinkle with parsley and serve hot.
*Red Lobster is a registered trademark of Darden Restaurants, Inc.
**The recipe called for parsley flakes, but I had fresh parsley and it made me feel less guilty about making such a lazy recipe.