Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Beignet, Done That: Tribute to Treme’and New Orleans


We are watching an old TV series called Treme, created by the David Simon, the creator of The Wire (the best TV series of all time, IMHO). Treme is a neighbourhood of New Orleans – and this series is all about lives after Katerina in Treme and New Orleans and some episodes brought tears to my eyes. I have a very fond and vivid memory of this city and its food but never been back after the hurricane.

Beignet is one of my New Orleans’ favourites and it’s not difficult to make. This recipe is ample for 4 persons to have with an afternoon café au lait.

1 1/4 cup flour
A pinch of salt
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1 egg
100 ml milk (evaporate milk or UHT milk might be better on a hot day)
1 tablespoon melted butter
2 tablespoons very warm water
1 teaspoon dry yeast
A pinch of sugar to help activate yeast
Icing sugar

Mix yeast in warm water and a pinch of sugar in a jug and set aside for 10 minutes (I put it in my oven to rise as usual).

Place flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl and stir to combine, make well in the centre. In another jug, whisk egg and milk (I boil milk in the microwave first and leave to cool down to lukewarm) together then add melted butter. Pour the egg mixture into the yeast mixture and then into the well in the flour. Stir well until combine then turn out onto the floured board and knead the dough for a few minutes until smooth-ish. Place the dough in the well oiled bowl and leave in a warm dry place for about an hour.

Turn the dough onto the floured board and roll out to about 1 cm thick. Cut into squares (3 cm) and deep fry in hot oil on medium low heat. Drain well and serve warm with loads of sifted icing sugar. Viva New Orleans!

Note: I have to add that this dough is wet-ish so you need a bit of extra flour for you hands and to sprinkle on it as you are kneading and shaping.

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