Red Lobster Cajun Shrimp Pasta and Cheddar Bay Biscuits
There was a time when my husband and I visited Red Lobster quite frequently for the Cajun Shrimp Pasta and Cheddar Bay Biscuits. It was in 2004 that I began searching for the recipes online, because the prices for these dishes at the restaurant were beginning to climb.
I came across several copycat recipes for Red Lobster’s Cheddar-Bay Biscuits and Cajun Shrimp Pasta, which were exactly that…copycats. I eventually happened upon both recipes posted by someone who claimed to be a former Red Lobster manager. They were different from the other copycat recipes, so I decided give them both a try. They were the real thing!
(Incidentally, the Cajun Shrimp Pasta at Red Lobster is not offered on the menu anymore and hasn’t been for many years. If you’ve never had it, and you like Cajun food, you MUST give this recipe a try.)
The other evening, I looked through my recipe book and found that I had lost the recipe. I went to search for it on the internet and was unable to locate that exact recipe. Instead, I found in the search results a multitude of copycat recipes that were completely different. I went into panic mode and tore apart my entire kitchen looking for the delicious, lost recipe. I finally found it. So not only am I posting these recipes for you, I am posting these recipes for myself, too.
The most important part of the Cajun Shrimp Pasta recipe is, obviously, the Cajun seasoning. This is not something that you can purchase in a store, although there are Cajun seasonings, it’s really not the same as the real thing.
Key to cooking abbreviations:
Red Lobster Recipe for Cajun Seasoning:
2 t cayenne pepper
1-1/2 t salt
1 t black pepper
1 t paprika
1 t cumin
1-1/4 t dry mustard
½ t thyme
½ t oregano
1 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder
Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container. A small sour cream container or small margarine container works really well. I usually triple or quadruple this Cajun spice recipe since it is a pain in the butt to make on a dish-by-dish basis, at least if your spice section of your cupboard looks like mine.
Ingredients for Red Lobster Cajun Shrimp Pasta:
1/3 C olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lb 30-40 count shrimp, shelled and deveined
2/3 C clam juice or chicken broth
1/3 C dry, white wine
1 C heavy cream
½ C Parmesan cheese
2 T lemon juice
2 T chopped, fresh parsley
¼ t basil and oregano
8 oz linguine
I always add green onions to this recipe, and I sometimes add fresh broccoli and/or slices of green or yellow squash. The instructions below will include these optional ingredients:
Heat olive oil on med-high heat in a large pan. Add garlic. Add green onions. Reduce heat to low and add shrimp, cooking until opaque and curled. Remove shrimp and set aside. Add squash and broccoli and lightly sauté so the vegetables are cooked, but still crisp. Remove vegetables.
Add clam juice and boil. Add wine and stir for three minutes over low heat. Remove pan from heat while adding the next ingredient, the cream, so it doesn’t curdle. Add the cheese and stir. Add the lemon juice, parsley, basil and oregano. Add the Cajun seasoning.
The Cajun seasoning will be to taste. I suggest that you try it a teaspoon at a time to figure out how your taste buds will react. Keep in mind that if you have leftovers the next day, the dish will be a tad spicier.
The mixture is very thin, so I always thicken it up a bit by adding a tablespoon or two of cornstarch to a quarter-cup of the leftover clam juice, chicken broth or cream. Keep in mind that when you add the cornstarch mixture to the pan, the liquid in the pan MUST be bubbling. While you pour the cornstarch, you must stir the mixture at the same time in order to incorporate the cornstarch mixture so the liquid thickens.
Once you reach your desired consistency, add the shrimp and vegetables. Gently fold.
Cook your linguine according to the package directions and drain. Add a few drops of olive oil to the cooked linguine in the colander after you drain the water. It helps to eliminate sticking noodles. Add half the linguine to the mixture and fold. Add the remaining linguine into the mixture and fold. By doing this, it is much easier to stir and incorporate all the ingredients.
If you don’t have a large pan that will hold the linguine, use a pot.
It sounds involved, but it isn’t bad at all. As long as you have all of your ingredients on the counter and ready to add, the dish is extremely easy to make and doesn’t take more then ten or fifteen minutes.
Red Lobster Cheddar-Bay Biscuit Recipe:
What’s Red Lobster without the delicious Cheddar-Bay Biscuits? Everyone loves these. The last time my husband and I dined at the restaurant, we were extremely disappointed when we uncovered the toweled-basket to find two biscuits. This was just not enough, and we had to ask for more. What’s great about making this at home is you don’t have to feel guilty about asking for more biscuits, and more biscuits.
2 C Bisquick
½ C cold water
¾ C sharp, cheddar cheese (not store brand cheese, do your taste buds a favor)
Mix the above ingredients and bake at 450 degrees for 8-12 minutes.
While the biscuits are cooking, you need to make the key component of the biscuits, which is the topping:
Melt ¼ C butter in the microwave and add:
1 t parsley flakes
½ t garlic powder
½ t Italian seasonings (found in the spice aisle at your grocery store)
Pour this delicious mixture over the Cheddar-Bay Biscuits as soon as they come out of the oven. Use 1-2 teaspoons for each biscuit. This recipe should easily serve four people with hearty appetites. If you are only serving two, cut the recipe in half.
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