this weekend was a big alumni party at the hopson commissary (which, btw, was the first location we scouted for our wedding 2.5 years ago) with lots of drinking, and talking, and dancing. we ended up with five wonderful friends staying with us after the party, and what kind of southern hostess sends her friends away without breakfast? the bad kind, which, if you ever call me know that "them's fightin' words." but of course, if it's true I want to know so i can fix it. ;)
annnnnyway, going out and drinking is synonymous with a visit to New Orleans, so it just makes sense to look there for the perfect hangover brunch. :) enter French Market Beignets.
until i met boone, i actually just bought the Cafe du Monde mix at the grocery store (and it's SUPER easy to find in south Mississippi, where i grew up) but boone's mom, a master baker, shirley, makes beignets from scratch every single Christmas morning as one of their most treasured family traditions and serves them on BEAUTIFUL milk class plates. merry christmas to us!
anyway, since we did Christmas in the Delta, boone didn't get any beignets (because the recipe in the Joy of Cooking is awful. DO.NOT. TRY. IT.) but after called boone's mom for the recipe before our friends came to town and were in dire need of brunch, we had the perfect chance to fix that.
if you're wondering, making them from scratch is pretty simple, and so, so, so delishy.
French Market Doughnuts (call them Beignets and they'll taste better)
Adapted from the Junior League of New Orleans Plantation Cookbook
What you need:
1 pkg (8 oz) yeast
1/2 cup warm water (just above your body's temp)
1 egg beaten (at room temp)
4 Tbs sugar
1 C evaporated milk (each can is 11/2 C)
3 C Flour
Vegetable Oil (11/2- 2" deep)
Powdered Sugar in a plastic bag
Note: you have to let this sit overnight, or at least for several hours, so plan accordingly!
What you do:
Mix water and yeast by sprinkling the yeas on top of the warm water. Add 2 Tbs of sugar until the yeast rises and doubles (about 10 minutes). It will froth and bubble.
Add the other 2 Tbs of sugar, the egg, and the milk, then add in the flour one cup at a time so you can actually stir it. When you're finished, the dough should be wettish ( a quote from Boone's mom). at this point cover the dough and refrigerate it overnight so it rises.
using a knife or a pizza cutter (Cafe du Monde's suggestion), cut the dough into 2 1/2" squares.
Heat the oil to 350 to 365 degrees (use a candy thermometer or your very own fry baby, which we DO have, but isn't getting very hot these days) and then drop the dough into the hot oil to fry it. (boone put 3 in at a time, and that seemed to work well. They should flip over by themselves, BUT we used thongs when they didn't.
this is jess's plate by the way. does she have a possible future in food styling? i think so.