I would like to thank Louisiana and Kentucky for the French donut and the distinctly American spirit, respectively. Without you, this dish of pillowy fried squares of sweet sorcery would have never been possible.
Beignets: You can make them from scratch, but Cafe Du Monde conveniently produces a boxed mix. I got to visit the original Café Du Monde location in New Orleans this past summer. Though it was the afternoon and felt like 100-degrees outside, I still thoroughly enjoyed a plate of fresh french donuts and a Café Au Lait and chickory under the giant porch fans. The ground at the outdoor café was practically covered in white powdered sugar, just like the donuts! This weekend our ground was covered in white, powdery snow – the perfect time to whip up some piping hot beignets.
I did a little more than beignets by deconstructing a dessert that I read online from Annisa Restaurant called Pecan and Salted Butterscotch Beignets with Bourbon Milk Ice (be still, my heart). I looked up Chef Anita Lo’s new cookbook, Cooking Without Borders, and sure enough, the recipe was detailed inside! I found out that she mixes pecans in the dough and then fills the fried donuts with butterscotch. Homemade bourbon milk ice is served alongside the dish.
First, I made the bourboned butterscotch sauce so it could cool and thicken. Then, I made the plain ol’ beignets and sprinkled them with powdered sugar. I stacked them up, drizzled them with sauce and topped them off with whipped cream and pecans. It was a butter pecan donut sundae cup!
My Bourboned Butterscotch Sauce Adapted from Anita Lo
1 C light brown sugar
3 T butter
1/2 T salt
1/2 C light corn syrup
2 T bourbon
1/3 C heavy cream
Plop together brown sugar, butter, salt, corn syrup and bourbon in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, mix ingredients together and lower the heat to med-high. W/o stirring, let cook. Once sauce is syrupy, remove from the heat and stir in cream until consistent. Let cool. Put some in a squeeze bottle for topping, and/or put in a small cup for dipping!
Knowing that I would have to extract myself for work this weekend, I had a holed up day yesterday that started with the easiest, tangiest biscuits on the planet. Last week my mom asked me, “have you ever used self-rising flour?” Me: Yes, in a supereasy baby food cupcake recipe. “Well, this biscuit recipe calls for just two ingredients: self-rising flour and sour cream.” Two ingredient (I suppose you can argue the case that self-rising flour is more than “one ingredient” but humor me) biscuits?! Say no more. I tried it out with an added lemon kick. They were so tender and tart and comforting with raspberry jam and hot tea. I have all sorts of plans for this biscuit base now.
Three Ingredient Lemon Biscuits
Enhanced from the recipe in Endangered Recipes
Makes 10 or so
Preheat oven to 425-degrees
(Using a fork) mix together 1 C self-rising flour, 1 C sour cream, juice & zest of 1 Lemon
Turn out onto floured surface and roll to preferred thickness (sticky dough – just keep extra flour on hand)
Bake about 12 minutes
You too can prevent recipe extinction!
After finding a ripe mango at the store the other night, I made a stripped down version of an Ottolenghi recipe. I have been salivating over the photos in his latest cookbook entitled Plenty since I got it a few weeks back. The dish I ended up with reminds me of the dried chile lime mango snacks I like so much, and the next time I make it I will use a hotter pepper. Maybe even add the thai/anise basil to mix it up a bit.
Tropical, hearty, zesty, hot/cold noodle bowl!
Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe with aubergines
On the stove top, warm together 1/2 C rice vinegar, 3 T sugar, and 1/2 t salt until the sugar dissolves.
Remove from the heat and add fresh red chile, chopped. Once cool, add the juice of 1-2 limes.
Cook 8 oz. soba noodles in salted boiling water about 7 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Dry on a dish towel.
Slice up a fresh mango and toss everything together. Good to eat right then and also cold out of the fridge.
“The refreshing nature of the cold buckwheat noodles, the sweet sharpness of the dressing and the muskiness of the mango that make it so pleasing…”
My niece and I did quick napkin portraits of each other at the kitchen table yesterday. She said, “look Aunt Amy, there’s a sun over your head.. and you have suns for eyes!” Hope you all have sunny eyes this year; I sure hope to live up to mine.
In other news, I think I will start up some drawings on fabric. I like the way it feels, and I need more practice.