Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tuesday Timbits: Beignets

Okay, yes, I know, Timbits have absolutely NOTHING to do with Louisiana, and the nearest Tim Horton's is about 1500 miles north of Baton Rouge (in Thunder Bay, Ontario, just across the national divide--I Googled it--although apparently some lucky folks in Michigan can get some Tim Horton's products in their Coldstone Creamery locations...lucky buggers...) However, Timbits are one of those things that are inherently Canadian. All Canadians know what Timbits are, and so many Americans WISH they knew what Timbits tasted like. I'll be honest--if & when I ever get around to visiting our neighbors to the north, my first stop will be a Tim Horton's, I guar-an-tee.)

So, Tuesdays here will be about discussing products that are just as inherently LOUISIANIAN. The products Louisiana-folk know, love, & grew up with, and probably take for granted, but are a little more challenging to find outside that lovely state.

Given the Timbits reference, it's only appropriate that we start with Louisiana's own version of the Timbit, which of course would be the beignet (bin-yay!)

And the place in New Orleans most famous for these delicious (yet deadly*) treats is the world famous Cafe du Monde, in the French Quarter.

However, if you don't regularly get to visit New Orleans, and you're feeling ambitious, you CAN make your own "authentic" beignets at home, thanks to this box mix.

I have found this at my local Dillon's supermarket before, so there's a good chance it's lurking somewhere inside your own grocery store--probably in the specialty/ethnic food aisle.

The methodology is pretty simple--take the powdered mix, add water, stir, roll out flat(ish), cut into squares, toss into a pan of oil (Cafe du Monde uses cottonseed oil, if you're trying to be authentic), watch for them to puff up (and shake your fist at the pan when some of them don't seem to puff at all--a side effect of only being able to roll your dough flat-ish), flip once, remove when brown, then douse liberally with powdered sugar. Serve with coffee.

(*Deadly, because you have to be VERY cautious not to inhale while the beignet is close to your mouth, because you will snort up copious amounts of powdered sugar and be subjected to coughing and a sugar high. And you'll end up looking like a coke addict.)

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