Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sasha's Kitchen: New Orleans Style Beignets and Creole Bloody Mary

So, for the second time on this blog, I am sharing a recipe for beignets. But, as I discovered in the New Orleans Brunch class I took at The Brooklyn Kitchen in Williamsburg, this recipe is much, much better. First off, the beignets were much lighter - perfect and airy, just the way they should be using this recipe for the dough. I think this one is much closer to the classic Cafe Du Monde recipe. Furthermore, traditional beignets are closer to square shaped and much smaller that the giant donut-hole like beignets that I made last time. If you want them to be small, like I did, this recipe makes quite a few, still. So last week when I made these beignets for dessert of a nice brunch, I still cut the recipe in half. But I am posting the entire recipe here. In addition, I am including a recipe for creole bloody mary's that is a perfect brunch pairing that I learned in the class, but I recommend serving beignets with Cafe Du Monde's chicory coffee (a treat we had in the class).

Beignets (recipe from the Encyclopedia of Cajun and Creole Cuisine by John Folse)
1 package dry active yeast
4 T warm water
3 1/2 cups plus 2 T flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
 1 1/4 cups milk
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup melted butter
canola oil for deep frying
powdered sugar for dusting

Combine the yeast and warm water and set aside for about 10-15 minutes until it gets foamy and frothy. Stir in the yeast mixture, milk, eggs and butter. Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a separate bowl. Combine the dry and wet ingredients until it forms a dough. I did this using my mixer, but you could also do this by hand. Allow to rise in a warm place, covered with a damp dish towel, for one hour. Knead the dough once or twice on a floured surface, and then roll out to 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 3'' squares (2'' is really fine as well, remember ing that they get much larger when fried). Cover and let rest for ten minutes. Deep fry the beignets in canola oil (which is much healthier than vegetable oil - my substitution) in oil heated to 350 for about two minutes on each side until golden brown and puffed. Remove from oil and let drain on a paper towel. Dust with powdered sugar and serve right away. This full recipe makes about 30-40.

And for the perfect brunch, serve with the pickapeppa recipe for creole bloody marys:
3 oz vodka
1 1/2 cups tomato juice
2 1/2 oz bullion or beef stock
1 T lime juice
2 tsps pickapeppa sauce
2 tsps worcestershire sauce
2 drops hot sauce
1/4 tsp salt
celery stick (I actually recommend using spiced, pickled green beans instead if you can either make or buy some)

Combine all ingredients except the celery or green beans, shake and serve!


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