Cooking at home can save your family a lot of money if it is done properly. Savvy chefs can find ways to save money on ingredients while still preparing tasty, healthy alternatives to fast food or the oversize portions of chain restaurants.
Tremendous savings in the food budget can be made by cooking from scratch, compared to using pre-packaged, pre-processed convenience foods or eating at restaurants, even the cheapest and fastest ones. According to market research firms, there is a strong national trend of eating at home to save money...
Cooking at home for non-chefs who are all thumbs in the kitchen is easy -- if the recipes are easy...
And the savings are incredible, too!
As Ron Douglas, Author of one of my favorite cookbooks, AMERICA'S MOST WANTED RECIPES, says, "Of course, there's nothing wrong with spending money on top-class, mouth watering food which gets everyone salivating and craving for more... But what if you could cook these killer dishes on demand, from your very own kitchen whenever you felt like it -- make anyone, your friends or family, go all wild and gaga over your food at the next bash, party or gathering -- these dishes for a fee and start earning good money simply by following the surefire instructions in this recipe book..."
In the early 1970s, the Red Lobster had become the leader among seafood and casual dining restaurants. "Our biggest competition back then was the kitchen stove," said Joe Lee, a key member of that early crew who later went on to become CEO and chairman, leading the company through much of its growth.
As it reached more parts of the country, Red Lobster continually introduced guests to fresh dishes that quickly became favorites, with many guests getting their first taste of calamari, snow crab and Key lime pie there - not to mention the fact that it is where popcorn shrimp was invented.
Over the years, their passion for seafood and delicious experiences has kept Red Lobster evolving. Their menu has grown and changed with their guests' tastes and Red Lobster's ability to bring the best of the sea to their customer's table. The atmosphere has evolved to keep up with the times and to provide their guests a comfortable place to dine, enjoy and celebrate.
Here are the recipes for their most popular dishes:
--Red Lobster's Crab Au Gratin--
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
1/2 cup onion, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup milk, scalded
1/2 teaspoon salt
dash of white pepper
1/4 cup sherry
12 ounce crab meat
1 cup crackers, finely crumbled
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, finely grated
1) Crumble crackers between waxed paper with a rolling pin. Reserve just enough crumbs and cheese to top the casserole.
2) Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large heavy skillet.
3) Add onion and saut for about 5 minutes or until golden.
4) Slowly add flour, stirring constantly over low heat.
5) When flour is blended, gradually add hot milk (scalded) and blend with a whip.
6) Continue stirring over low heat until the sauce begins to thicken.
7) Add salt, pepper, and sherry, and continue stirring in a bowl.
8) Mix crab meat, sauce, and the extra cracker crumbs and cheese.
9) Place in a lightly greased baking dish.
10) Sprinkle reserved cracker crumbs and cheese on the top of the casserole.
11) Dot the top with the remaining 4 tablespoons butter.
12) Bake uncovered at 350F for about 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
--Red Lobster's Shrimp Diablo--
3 lb. Large Uncooked Shrimp In the Shells (no heads)
1/2 lb. Unsalted Butter
1 Jar Kraft BBQ Sauce
1/2 Cup Ketchup
1 Tablespoon Fresh Ground Pepper
1/4 Cup Frank's Red Hot Sauce
Wash shrimp in cool water and remove heads if needed. Soak shrimp in milk overnight. Mix all sauce ingredients in a sauce pan and stir until boiling.
Remove from heat and refrigerate for at least four hours. Drain milk from shrimp, place them in a baking pan, and cover evenly with the sauce. Let stand 1 hour.
Bake uncovered in preheated oven (450F) for 15 minutes (less time for smaller shrimp).
--Red Lobster's Crab Stuffed Mushrooms--
1 pound fresh mushrooms, approximately 35-40
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 pound crab claw meat
2 cups oyster crackers crushed
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, ground
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
6 white cheddar cheese, slices
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2) Saute celery, onion, and pepper in butter for 2 minutes, transfer to a plate and cool in the refrigerator
3) While vegetables cool, wash mushrooms and remove stems
4) Set caps to the side and finely chop half of the stems. Discard the other half of the stems or use elsewhere
5) Combine the sauteed vegetables, chopped mushroom stems, and all other ingredients (except cheese slices) and mix well
6) Place mushroom caps in individual buttered casseroles or baking dishes (about 6 caps each)
7) Spoon 1 teaspoon of stuffing into each mushroom
8) Cover with sliced cheese
9) Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes until cheese is lightly browned.
--Red Lobster Cheese Biscuits--
1 1/4 lbs. Bisquik
3 Oz. freshly shredded cheddar cheese
11 Oz. cold water
Garlic Spread: 1/2 cup melted butter
1 teas. garlic powder
1/4 teas. salt
1/8 teas. onion powder
1/8 teas. dried parsley
To cold water, add Bisquik and cheese, blending in a mixing bowl. Mix until dough is firm.
Using a small scoop, place the dough on a baking pan lined with baking paper. Bake in 375 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. While biscuits bake, combine spread ingredients.
Brush baked biscuits with the garlic topping.
--Red Lobster's Cheesecake--
10 oz. package Lorna doone cookies, crushed
1/4 lb. melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 envelope Knox gelatin
16 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. sour cream
2 eggs 2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
crushed cookie crumbs for garnish
Crust; mix crumbs with butter, sugar, and gelatin. Pat out evenly over bottom of a greased 9" springform pan. Bake at 350, for exactly 8 min.
Filling; beat with electric mixer: cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, butter, cornstarch, sugar and vanilla.
When filling is perfectly smooth and creamy, pour into crust. Return to 350 oven and bake 30-35 min. or until knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 20 min. before cutting. Sprinkle top with cookie crumbs.
See more of my articles at A CULINARY MYSTERY TOUR - A Literary Chef and at the #1 dog information site: PUPPY DOGS INFO - Dog Training, Breeds, Care & History
Brian Alan Burhoe has cooked in Atlantic Coast restaurants for over 30 years, and holds provincial and national certificates in the culinary trade.
A Graduate of the Holland College Culinary Course, Brian Alan Burhoe has cooked in Atlantic Coast restaurants for over 30 years. He is a member of the Canadian Culinary Federation. Brian's articles reflect his interests in food service, dreamstudy, imaginative literature and our best friends -- our dogs. His Home Page is A CULINARY MYSTERY TOUR - A Literary Chef
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