Monthly Archives: January 2011

Red Lobster Biscuits?


Every month, Food Network magazine does a feature on recreating a restaurant menu item that they cannot get the recipe for. I usually don’t pay much attention, until one time, it was Red Lobster’s cheddar bay biscuits. These are traditionally one of Travis’s favorite things ever, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

They actually came out amazingly, which is sort of miraculous since I’m not generally good at breads and such (other than cornbread I suppose). The only thing I would change if I made them again would be to add a little bit of salt to the garlic butter mixture. I really didn’t think that cooking a smashed clove of garlic in some butter for 60 seconds would do anything, but I was shocked. I should do that more often and brush it on rolls or something. Amazing.

I was also really surprised at how easy they were. This recipe taught me a nifty trick that I’ve used a few times now – use a food processor to cut in the butter! It’s so much easier, I can’t believe I ever tried to cut butter into flour in other ways. It also keeps the butter cold, because you aren’t touching it, which is important in biscuits. So, here you go.

Almost Famous Cheddar Biscuits

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups all-Purpose flour
1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoon vegetable shortening at room temperature
4 Tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
6 Ounce grated yellow cheddar cheese (about 1 1/4 cups)
3/4 Cup whole milk
FOR GARLIC BUTTER
3 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1 Clove garlic, smashed
1 Teaspoon fresh chopped parsley

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

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, until the butter is in pea-size 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 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 or 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 parsley. Brush the biscuits with garlic butter and serve warm.

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Waffles for Christmas

For Christmas, I got a waffle iron! So, New Year’s weekend, I decided to tackle the waffle iron and my ongoing whole wheat flour experimentation in one fell swoop. I settled on a recipe for Nutty Whole Wheat Waffles that was in the Cuisinart instruction booklet.


It was so much fun! I’ve never made waffles before, unless you count in the cafeteria at UT in college (where the waffle irons imprint a UT logo on your waffles). I thought it might get sort of boring, like the time I made pancakes, but it was really fun. It took some experimentation to get the batter amount right, as you can see below.


But, overall, they turned out amazingly. I didn’t bother trying to keep them warm in the oven while I went, because I was just planning to eat the last one and freeze the rest. I loved how the nuts made the waffles sort of crunchy. You can use several different types of nuts, but I love almonds and already had some on hand. I honestly couldn’t tell that there was whole wheat flour in them, but it did make me feel sort of superior for eating it, and isn’t that the point? I felt like this was a success all around.

Nutty Whole Wheat Waffles
makes eight 6 1/2 inch round waffles

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups reduced fat milk
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts

Place ingredients in a large mixing bowl and combine until well blended and smooth. Let batter sit 5 minutes before using. Preheat your waffle maker.

Pour 1/2 cup batter (in my case less, unless you love cleaning waffle batter off the counter) onto the center of the lower grid; spread evenly using a heat proof spatula. Close cover. (My waffle iron has an indicator light to let me know when they’re through. If yours doesn’t, just play with it, but don’t leave it more than a few minutes at first I’d say.)

Open cover and carefully remove baked waffle. I used a spatula for this, but it did split a couple of the waffles through the middle, so emphasis on “carefully” I think. Repeat with remaining batter.

Serve immediately or keep waffles warm in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve.

Random Blog Thoughts

I’ve decided that part of the problem with my food blog is that the photos are awful. I blame this mostly on the lighting in my kitchen. But, I don’t quite know what to do about it.

How do other people with food blogs take such fantastic photos? Maybe their kitchens just aren’t as poorly lit as mine. Perhaps I need some sort of secondary light source. Thoughts would be appreciated.

Now, I have to go fix some dinner. I just looked at too many other food blogs for inspiration, and now I’m starving.

Smores Cookies


I made these cookies for New Year’s Eve. They were really tasty; the cookie has a nice cinnamon flavor, and anything with marshmallows is fantastic in my book. They were best the first day, but they actually still tasted really good a few days later when I took the last few to work. I would definitely recommend giving this a shot. Just be sure that you keep a close on them during the broiler step – you can see that a few of the ones in the back of the photo are a bit on the dark side! I believe that the recipe came from Everyday Food magazine.

This is also part of my experiment in using whole wheat flour, which is working pretty well so far. You really can’t tell in these, other than the whole wheat offering sort of a nutty flavor, which I love. Although, that could also have been the oats.

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 Cup all-Purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 Cup whole wheat flour (spooned and leveled)
3/4 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 Cup light brown sugar
1 Large Egg
8 Ounce bittersweet chocolate or semisweet chocolate, cut into 30 squares
15 Large marshmallows, halved horizontally

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350. In a food processor, pulse oats until finely ground. Add flours, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; pulse to combine. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, scraping down side of bowl. With mixer on low, beat in flour mixture until just combined.

Drop dough by tablespoons, 1 inch apart, onto two baking sheets. Top each with a chocolate square. Bake just until lightly golden 11 to 13 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Remove sheets from oven, heat broiler. Top each cookie with a marshmallow. One sheet at a time, broil until marshmallows are lightly browned, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.