When it comes to seafood restaurants, Red Lobster may be a bit polarizing. But one menu item that seems to somehow charm even their harshest critics is the chain's legendary Cheddar Bay Biscuits. Launched in the early '90s, these cheesy, garlicky bites of buttery dough have been a staple ever since, simultaneously replacing the underwhelming hush puppies the chain served previously and kicking off a national obsession.
Once restricted to being a pre-meal treat one could only acquire by making a trek down to the restaurant, these days Red Lobster sells Cheddar Bay Biscuits in grocery stores as a pre-made mix to be enjoyed at home anytime. And while their traditional preparation is all but perfect with little more than a humble pat of butter, one can't help but dream up a variety of uses for such a mighty base. Perhaps the most wonderfully creative choice is a pizza crust, which can be obtained by simply following the instructions on the box and adding a tweak or two.
Crust Is King, But Toppings Are Key
Getting the crust together is easy -- you want to mix your ingredients together and form a ball of dough to be rolled out and placed on a greased baking pan or pizza stone, which you will then top with anything your heart desires. The dough is quite sticky, so a bit of oil on your hands will help. To avoid a soggy crust, throw it in the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for eight to ten minutes before adding toppings. But be careful -- this pizza is centered around the biscuit's cheddar/garlic profile. When adding toppings and sauces, you want to be sure to find items that match up well with both of those.
With a bold cheddar cheese already baked into the dough, a kicked-up tomato sauce flavored with red pepper flakes could be a rockstar, as could anything dipping into more spicy territory -- think seasoned ground beef, pickled jalapeños, or even sriracha. Prefer a sweeter sauce? No worries -- that makes for a great flavor matchup too, as garlic and cheddar both play well with the sweetness of the tomato. Sprinkle some caramelized onions or scallions to intensify the flavors, or throw on a few crumbles of pancetta for a hint of smoke. If you are adding cheese (and why wouldn't you?), you might choose to double down with an extra-sharp cheddar, or add to the complexity of the cheese profile with the pleasant, nutty notes of a nice manchego.
For The Seafood Lover In You
With the central theme ingredient being a highly-recognizable staple of Red Lobster, adding seafood-centric toppings makes for an obvious choice, but a wise one nonetheless. Options here are nearly endless, so feel free to get creative. Lobster, scallops, calamari, and clams are all aces, and even canned tuna can work on a pizza, but avoid anything too out there (something like sushi seems like a clear miss in this case).
Those looking to skip the traditional red sauce can instead opt for a creamy alfredo, which can be paired with a dusting of parmesan, diced fresh tomatoes, and lump crab meat to create a fabulous crab alfredo pizza. You could also match the garlic flavor of the crust with a full-on shrimp scampi pizza — a little butter, chopped garlic, and shrimp will pull that theme together perfectly.
As with any pizza, it's all about experimentation and fun. And with Cheddar Bay Biscuits as the foundation, it's an easy mission to complete. Who knew a chain restaurant bread basket could bring this much joy to a home cook?
Read the original article on Daily Meal.