Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Very Vegan Christmas: Beignets

Glorious powder sugar covered fried dough

You haven’t visited New Orleans until you’ve had late night beignets at Café du Monde in the heart of the French quarter and your clothes have been turned white by the avalanche of powdered sugar.  What qualms could anyone with a pulse possibly have with delightful fried dough? It’s the world’s greatest doughnut that instantly transports you to another place where nutrition doesn’t matter as much as having good conversation over even better eats (and possibly absorbing all that alcohol from Bourbon Street).

It’s become a Christmas morning tradition to have beignets and mimosas. Despite purchasing the wrong yeast, we were not going to let this put a damper on our day (I mean a brunch of only frittatas, rosemary potatoes and fruit would've just been depressing). My sister instead wisely chose an incredible pizza dough recipe to fry up and send our taste buds to Jackson Square.

Adapted from Cooks.com
Servings: 20 beignets
Time: 20 minutes

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup water
Grapeseed Oil 
Powdered sugar

Old, grumpy looking dough
  1. Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and water in a stand mixer at medium speed to form a dough (about 3 minutes).
  2. Knead on a floured counter until workable and spreadable (about two minutes). Roll out
  3. Cut into squares and fry in the oil until golden and puffy. These should float to the top once added, so be sure to flip halfway through to make sure both sides get cooked.
  4. Removed with a slotted spoon and let drain on a plate lined with paper towels.
  5. Generously sprinkle (read: douse) with powdered sugar and serve. 
Something is missing.

I was a little skeptical at first about using pizza dough, but I’ve learned over the course of my life to never question my sister (especially when it comes to fun games involving picking up her room… I was a gullible child). The fried deliciousness was exactly what our stomachs required, and the slight saltiness went magnificently with the sweet powdered sugar mountain in one perfectly replicated beignet.

Still a bit off
I didn't want to let any of the beignets go to waste (because no one is wasteful on Christmas), so I managed to fight through the pain (and gave into peer pressure from Erika and Bryan) and ate somewhere between 8 to 10 of these (and then immediately regretted my maturity level).

That's more like it.
There you have it. At long last the end of the most amazing three days of cooking (encompassing an unbelievable 9 posts) ever has arrived. I hope you enjoyed a Very Vegan Christmas as much as I did. It definitely eliminated any vegan stereotypes in my mind, and I look forward to continuing the vegan cooking tradition with a weekly vegan dish (first up: potato and kale enchiladas with Mexican millet).
When done properly, all of that should be on your clothes.

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