Three of my favorite foods together: steak, shrimp and bread (biscuits this time). T-bone steaks were on too good a sale to pass up (half off!) and shrimp were looking great! We were craving those biscuits from Red Lobster so why not make a homemade version to go along with our meal? And while we’re at it, why not make a homemade cocktail sauce instead of spending another $3 on a bottle of the kind we like at the store. I will admit we should have made a veggie to go along with this meal but somehow in the excitement of our sale shopping we lost track of that… Oops!
Anyway, let’s get to work- there’s a lot of ground to cover here but none of it is difficult and all of it is well worth it!
First I will start by admitting the shrimp purchased were already cooked. It is a very easy thing to boil raw in-shell shrimp in a salted water solution or seafood stock. It is also easy to grill them along with one’s steak. But sometime’s it’s nice to skip a step. However convenience is not the reason for purchasing pre-cooked shrimp on this occasion. Troy and I have a weakness for the shrimp that our local warehouse store displays in their “fresh seafood” case on select Friday afternoons. And today we happened to find this case set up- horray! I have been told that the shrimp, which they have nicely laid out over ice in this case, meant to look fresh, are actually nothing more than those from a bag of frozen shrimp they sell all the time, defrosted. But for some reason there is something magical about purchasing these shrimp from the “fresh” seafood case. Maybe it’s a mental trick where we believe we are getting fresh shrimp in Buffalo, NY (which rarely happens and never at such cheap a price) or maybe it’s the way they package them in a random zip-lock bag with a sticker printed out and slapped on the front.
Or maybe it’s the fact that I always have to hunt down an employee to weigh out these tasty little guys for us because there is never, never, EVER anyone attending the station. And maybe it’s the fact that the employee I find is always the same early-20’s-male who obviously doesn’t care to be at his job and always reminds me that yes, I can find these exact same shrimp in bulk bags in the seafood section. I always have to tell him, “no you only sell 3 pound bags over there and i want 2 pounds”. And he always thinks I’m wrong but upon inspection, realizes I am in fact 100% correct. Today I said, “I know I’m always harassing you for shrimp…” but I don’t think he remembered me so we went through the same charade, yet again. <sigh>
So perhaps this journey through retail-hoops laced with jaded employees makes the shrimp taste that much sweeter in the end… So sweet in fact that we always seem to savor one (or two) in the car before ever leaving the parking lot. Don’t judge us… It’s the little things in life that are to be savored (and amused by). 😛
So at the end of the day, today i have no shrimp recipe for you but I do have a wonderful cocktail sauce recipe that will rival anything you’ve ever had out of a jar! My favorite store-bought brand is Miller’s which is produced in western, NY so I doubt many of you have ever heard of it but this recipe is the closest thing I’ve had to it or made for that matter! It has a nice kick but feel free to cut back or increase the horseradish to taste! The more you add the spicier it will be!
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp. prepared horseradish (or more if you want it hotter)
- ½ lemon, juiced
- Dash of hot sauce (I used Cholula)
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Splash of tequila, optional (adds an extra kick for “grown-up” get-togethers)
- Mix all ingredients together
- Taste for seasoning and add more salt, hot sauce or horseradish to taste
- Chill until ready to use (for best results allow to chill at least 1 hour before serving)
(adapted from “BBQ Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce” by the Neelys)
Yum! I could just eat a bowl full of shrimp with some of this sauce and be happy but I suppose some bread would be a good thing to help wash all this protein (and iodine) down! I love cheddar bay biscuits from red lobster. Who doesn’t? What’s not to love? They are tender and buttery and cheesy and garlicky… nom nom…They sell a mix for it now too but this recipe is almost as easy and more tasty since the ingredients are fresh. It takes very little effort to put this one together and the leftovers are great (if you have any lol).
***PRINTABLE RECIPE (PDF FOR CHEDDAR BISCUITS)***
Cheddar Biscuits (Red Lobster copycat)
Ingredients For the Biscuits:
- 2 ½ cups baking mix (Bisquick)
- ¾ cup cold whole milk or half and half
- 4 tbsp. Unsalted, cold butter
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder or granulated garlic
- 1 heaping cup grated cheddar cheese (sharp or mild- your preference)
Ingredients for the Butter to be brushed on top:
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ tsp. dried parsley flakes
- ½ tsp. garlic powder or granulated garlic
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in center position
- Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper of silicone mats
- Combine baking mix with cold butter in a medium bowl using a pastry cutter or a fork until there are chunks of butter the size of peas- don’t overdo it
- Add cheese, milk and garlic and mix by hand until just combined
- Drop biscuits onto sheet pan using a tablespoon, ice cream scoop or cookie portioner (about ¼ cup portions), about 1 to 2 inches apart (they won’t spread a whole lot)
- Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until tops of biscuits begin to turn golden brown (if cooking two trays at once rotate bottom-to-top and back-to-front half-way through)
- Meanwhile make the butter mixture to brush on the tops: melt 2 tbsp. butter in a small bowl in the microwave, stir in the garlic powder, parsley and salt
- When biscuits are done baking, brush some butter mixture over the top of each one using a pastry brush. Use up all of the butter
(adapted from “Red Lobster’s Cheddar Biscuits” by Top Secret Restaurant Recipes)
I prepared the cocktail sauce first so that it would chill while I proceeded. I prepared the biscuits dough next and popped them in the oven right before I was ready to cook the steak, which is the next step. I let the steak rest at room temperature for about a half hour before beginning to cook it: this allows for a better sear on the outside. You should really do this whenever you want to achieve searing on any piece of meat. I also drizzled olive oil, salt, pepper and granulated garlic over my steak as soon as I took it out the fridge. I find that seasoning it from the beginning lends to a very tasty piece of meat in the end. Of course you can always add more later on, to taste. But beef does need a decent amount of S & P so don’t be too shy.
You will want to heat your grill or grill pan to medium-high with a bit of olive oil in it (or brushed on the grates) until just smoking. I like to cook my steaks on the stove-top in a grill pan and then finish in the oven. I find that this allows better control over the sear and crust on the outside of the steak, while still achieving the desired doneness on the inside (always medium rare for me! approximately 140 degrees in the center). This is especially convenient for the meal I prepared as described in this post, because the oven was already set at 400 degrees F for the biscuits and as they came out, I put the grill pan right in the oven. Make sure you use an oven-safe pan and remove any protective handle-guards as they could begin to melt at this temperature. Just don’t forget you removed them and use an oven mitt when you go to take the pan out! (I’ve learned this the hard way lol…)
So after the pan is heated, I like to give the fatty edge of the steak a few minutes to render and get some crispiness. With a steak as thick as the one I used (over an inch), it will actually stand on it’s side all by itself for a couple of minutes. Otherwise, hold it perpendicular to the pan with a set of thongs.
After you are satisfied with the way the edge of the steak looks (remember it too will continue to cook during the rest of this process) sear one side of the meat for about 2 minutes. Then turn it 90 degrees (keeping it on the same side) and cook another couple of minutes until you have gotten the color and grill marks you want. Flip the steak and repeat, except after the 90 degree turn, stick the whole pan in the oven. You will want to monitor the temperature of your steak with an instant read thermometer and remove it from the oven and from the pan when it registers 135 (for medium rare). Carryover cooking will cause the temperature to land on your perfect medium rare while it rests for 10 to 15 minutes (which you MUST let it do or all the juices will run out!) Medium rare is about 145 degrees, medium is 160 and well-done is 170. Never cook your steak well-done. Really, what is the point? I feel that you’ve ruined it at that point. To each their own I suppose…
The time that this process takes will vary depending on the thickness of your steak. The steak I used was a good 1 and a quarter inches thick. If yours is much thinner, searing won’t take as long and finishing in the oven will be brief or perhaps unnecessary. I always check the temperature of my steak before putting it in the oven.
You can serve your steak plain, with steak sauce or with a nice compound butter. I had some leftover “Horseradish and Onion Butter” in the fridge so I served my t-bone with a slice of this on-top. YUM. I had this leftover from my Ham and Egg Sandwich recipe.
Going out for a nice meal at a steakhouse is amazing but can be very expensive. And often times the steak will be of lesser quality and overcooked (depending on where you go). So why not treat yourself at home once in a while so you can afford to eat it more often? I am in no way suggesting this as a frequent dietary selection but occasionally we all deserve some red meat!
I will however eat shrimp more frequently, especially when I come across that “fresh seafood” case which is like a mirage in the dessert that I just can’t resist…