Years ago, when I was single and in the beginnings of when The Husband and I first started dating, a girlfriend and I used to meet at Red Lobster once a month for a regular chowdown and chatfest back when they had their All You Can Eat Crab Leg deal. We’d arrive at 6:30 and stake out a corner booth with our favorite two waiters. Over the course of several hours and a few cocktails, we would pound away at an embarrassing amount of crab legs and girl talk, and it was a highlight for both of us. Sometimes we’d forget and be brave and order a salad, an appetizer and some of their famous Cheddar Bay Biscuits … and then realize what we’d done when right about the fourth hour we started slowing down and just couldn’t eat any more. Then Red Lobster stopped their all-you-can-eat special and it just wasn’t the same.
Although we sometimes ordered Red Lobster’s appetizers, their Cheddar Bay Crab Bake wasn’t one that we had tried. So while the recipe below is supposed to be a copy-kat version of Red Lobster’s original, I can’t compare the two. What I can tell you is that this is one of those quiet recipes that sneak up on you. The Husband and Nick were out for the evening at a cub scouts event, so Madeline and I hung out in the kitchen, just having a picnic of sorts instead of a more formal sit-down dinner. I figured this would be a good recipe to try when the boys were out since I knew Nick wouldn’t touch it and I didn’t think it would do anything for The Husband, let alone fill him up.
It is crazy simple to make, taking just a few minutes of your time before you pop it into the oven. When it came out, I cut myself a wedge and sat on the floor with Madeline. Mmmm … and then I went back for another piece. And another. And before you knew it, I had eaten
half the pie a lot. Did I mention it sneaks up on you? The base of it is Red Lobster’s delicious (and infamous) Cheddar Bay Biscuits, with a smattering of crab and melted Cheddar on top of it. The melted butter and garlic powder on top of that just about did me in. The biscuit bottom makes it total comfort food and perfect for this kind of really intense snowstorm-every-time-you-turn-around Winter we’ve had this year in New Jersey. For those that aren’t into crab or have allergies (hi mom!), it would be just as good with a substitute like shrimp perhaps, or even doing without. Any excuse for the biscuit portion will do.
Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Crab Bake
Recipe from CDKitchen
2 cups Bisquick baking mix
1-3/4 cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
2/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon fine parsley flakes
1/3 cup crab meat (fresh or canned lump)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine baking mix, 1 cup of the cheddar cheese, milk, and 1 half of the melted butter in a medium bowl. Mix by hand until well-combined. Pat out the dough into circle approximately 8 inches in diameter, with a slight lip around the edge, like a pizza crust. Sprinkle the parsley over the top of the dough. Be sure the dried parsley flakes are crushed fine. You can easily crush the flakes in a small bowl with your thumb and forefinger. Sprinkle the crab over the top of the dough. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the crab. Don’t go all of the way to the edge of the dough – leave a margin of a half-inch or so around the edge. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until the cheese on top begins to slightly brown. Combine the remaining butter with the garlic powder and brush it over the top of the bake as soon as it comes out of the oven. Slice it like a pizza into pieces and serve.