Then I saw Peggy’s post about Secret Recipe Club on her blog, My Fiance Likes It So It Must Be Good. She was assigned to another blogger’s site and she cooked something from their collection. That sounded like a great way to accomplish what I want, meet new bloggers and learn new recipes along the way. She was nice enough to let me know about the details and how I enter the club.
So here I am with my first post. I was assigned to A Bountiful Kitchen. I did not know her before so I loved spending time going through her recipes and see what I would like to try. Besides her great recipes, also loved “Bountiful Kitchen” series where she posts pictures of some cool kitchens since I am gathering ideas for our kitchen renovation, which will happen, hmmm…say 5 years from now,maybe?
After getting mad at the little bastards in my backyard for emptying the bird feeders, I seriously wanted to give her Fried Squirrels recipe a try. It turns out, in SC, if the animal is within 50 yards of my home, I can claim he is nuisance and have the right to kill it but since discharging firearms within the city limits is illegal, I had to let go off that recipe! So there are still little annoying animals in my backyard.
Then I saw her beignet recipe. And all my New Orleans memories came back, however limited they might be.
First and only time I was in New Orleans was in early 2000s. I was there for three days for a conference with my advisor. Everytime I had a free hour or two, I dashed out of the conference center, walked, walked and walked in the city. Sat on the benches and listened to the street jazz, saw artists painting some cool things, soaked the humidity and heat (it was June!), watched the river silently flow by the beautiful city and had beignets and coffee at Cafe Du Monde several times in that short time period.
My husband knew how much I had liked beignet when we started dating. On my birthday, then-my-boyfriend husband woke up way too early, made the dough and cafe latte. I woke up to the sizzling sound of the frying dough and soft coffee smell in the air. I wish I could say that it became a tradition but somehow he dropped the ball on the beignets on my other birthdays! Honey, maybe next year? :)
From the pictures you can tell that I fried a tad bit too long maybe. They are not golden brown but darker. I kept them two minutes in the oil, one minute per side, now thinking it should have been 30 seconds each side. It makes 12-14 pieces, depending on how small/big you want. The dough freezes well, so I divided up rest of the dough in serving portions, wrapped and put them in the freezer for the next birthday! Enjoy with your coffee :)
- 1 envelope dry yeast
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg – room temperature
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 3 1/2-3 3/4 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons solid shortening
- 2-3 cups vegetable oil for frying (depends on your pan, should fill it up to 2 inches or so)
- Powdered sugar (enough to cover them all, 3 cups or so)
1. Mix yeast, warm water and sugar in a bowl, set it aside for 10-15 min until the yeast becomes bubbly.
2.Slightly beat the egg in a big bowl, add salt, evaporated milk and the yeast mixture. Stir.
3. Add half of the flour, combine with the ingredients in the bowl.
4. Put the shortening in microwave, and soften it until it starts to melt. Add to the dough.
5. Add the other half of the dough gradually, then knead on the lightly floured surface.
6. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, let it rise (you can put in the fridge for next day’s frying at this step)
7. Once the dough is doubles, punch it down, on a floured surface, roll it out into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle.
8. Cut 2 inch by 4 inch portions or however small/big you want.Cover, let it rise again.
9. Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Add beignets without crowding the pan.
10. Once it turns golden brown, place them on paper towel. Sift powdered sugar on the beignets and enjoy with your coffee.
If you want to join the Secret Recipe Club, please visit the website. I am looking forward to visiting all the talented ladies below.