After celebrating dishes customary in New Orleans to commemorate Mardi Gras, I would be remise if I didn’t finish by honoring the Beignet. Even though it was created in Ancient Rome, it was the French settlers that introduced it to New Orleans in the 18th century. Simply put, a beignet is a fried French Donut. Many compare this wonderful treat to the Italian desert, the zeppole. To pay homage to this desert, I used the Café’ Du Monde’ beignet mix. I recommend using the mix of the restaurant that makes it unlike anywhere else and because of the ease of use. However, I’ve included my recipe for Beignets below if you are feeling inspired and want to make them from scratch.
If you have ever been to the French Quarter in New Orleans, you would come across Café’ Du Monde’ located on Decatur Street at the French Market. Café’ Du Monde’ is an open air coffee shop that was established in 1862. To this day the original location only serves a few beverages, coffee being the most popular and the only food item on the menu is beignets. Yet with this limited menu, when you arrive at this place of culinary history you still have to wait to get a seat. There is something to be said about sitting at Café’ Du Monde’ eating a beignet and enjoying a cup of chicory coffee which is the customary beverage to accompany the beignet
- 2 eggs
- 2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 7 cups enriched all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- vegetable oil for frying
- confection sugar
- Put the yeast and the water in a large bowl to dissolve the yeast.
- Add the milk, eggs, sugar and evaporated milk.
- Mix well until well blended.
- Mix in 4 cups of flour and mix until very smooth.
- Add the shortening and the remaining flour. Mix extremely well.
- Cover the mix and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- After the mix has been refrigerated, roll out till the mix is about 1/8″ thick over a floured surface.
- Cut into 2 1/2 inch squares. This is the traditional size for a beignet.
- Heat the oil . The oil needs to be hot enough for the beignets to pop up in about 8-10 seconds.
- I recommend to test the oil with a scrape piece of the mix.
- Once the oil is hot enough, fry the beignets in small batches.
- Make sure you baste them continually.
- Once the beignets rise to the top and are golden brown on both sides , they are done.
- Remove and drain off the oil on kitchen paper.
- Arrange on a plate and sprinkle the convection sugar.
- Best served with Chicory Coffee.