We live so close to green fields and nice views, but we hardly even trip out to look at it… and the times we do I usually forget my camera. Last Sunday we went up to Whitley near Dewsbury to a little icecream shop that we visit in the sunnier months called Charlottes. The place is ace, with cows, peacocks, donkeys, sheep, pigs, bunnies & hens. The only downside is the staff in the shop are complete unsmiling angry wanks, bah! Look, pretty..!
Monthly Archives: May 2010
A few years ago Adam and I travelled the length and breadth of the USA on a set of amtrak trains and greyhound buses, one of our favourite stops was New Orleans. It was a couple of years after Katrina, but the devastation was still oh-so-very apparent. We stayed in a little hostel that was the only occupied residence on the street, and was home to a hurricane survivor kitty. One of the things we loved about New Orleans (alongside the music) was the cuisine, from oyster po’ boys to gumbo, we sampled a super tonne of it. So here’s another recipe from that huge cook-off we had at my house a few months ago, beignets!
What’s a beignet? Well, there’s this little café (read, supremely busy bustling canteen style café) in New Orleans called Café Du Monde who supply tourist folks with hot chicory flavoured coffee and delightful french square shaped doughnuts covered with a HEAP of confectioners sugar (for British folk, icing sugar). Read more about the on beignets wikipedia page.
3.5g Dry yeast (half a sachet usually)
200ml lukewarm water
60g caster sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
125ml evaporated milk
525g strong white bread flour
30g butter/trex/stork… any kind of cooking fat really
Oil for deep frying, or borrow a fryer
1 packet icing/confectioners sugar
Nice and easy, but kinda sticky!
- Combine the water, sugar and yeast in a big mixing bowl and wait for 10 minutes. If you’re using easy bake yeast, you can skip the ‘wait for 10 minutes’.
- In another bowl beat together the egg, evaporated milk & salt. Add this to the yeast mixture.
- Add half the flour to the mixture in the large bowl, and mix together.
- Add the fat and stir fully, then keep stirring while you add the remaining flour.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a floured surface, knead (if it’s not too sticky) until smooth. If you have a super sticky dough, just knead as best you can and add a little extra flour. It’s ok, everything’ll come up Milhouse in the end.
- Clean out your bowl and oil slightly, return the dough to the bowl and cover with cling film. Place in a warm place to rise for a few hours (ours turned into a gigantic beignet dough monster, amazing).
- Preheat you deep fat fryer or oil pan to 180ºc, put your icing sugar in a plastic food bag (you know, like a freezer bag) ready for beignet coating.
- Roll the dough if you can to about 1cm thick and cut into 5-7cm square pieces. If you can’t roll due to stickiness (we had this problem) then just tear off lumps and flatten/pull them into shape. Deep fry these until they’re golden brown, turning them over constantly for an even cooking.
- Remove from the oil and place on paper towels to drain away the excess oil. Place them in the bag of icing sugar and, keeping a firm grip on the opening!, shake to coat them fully.
- Serve them with a giant pile of icing sugar on top… and with coffee, of course!
Not a great photo because of low light and beer, but man, these were gooood.
When will it be warm again?!
Yesterday was pretty much written off, after heading to the pub straight from work on Friday and kinda.. well.. not eating, Saturday was a day spent recovering & watching Pirates of the Caribbean 2. We did head out later on to a birthday party, briefly entering said Pub again and having a diet coke.
Today was spent pottering around the garden and catching up on things that should’ve been done yesterday. We were going to head to a Folk Festival but the weather didn’t look promising. Instead I repotted my new Japanese acer tree, did some admin, bought another chili plant, washed my hair and did my nails. Woe is drinking on a Friday night and wasting the weekend recovering, but ya know, it was kinda nice doing nothing for a change. And now, I’m going to go watch Pirates of the Caribbean 3.
Last week we bought the new Jamie Oliver cook book, ‘Jamie Does’, in which he’s travelled to several countries and given a bit of a taste of the cuisine. This week on his TV show of the book he went to Stockholm, Sweden, and introduced us to Swedish food. I for one pretty much equated Sweden with dill, gravadlax, roll mop herrings and meatballs. It seems that the Swedish folk like their pastries, using interesting spice combinations and using crisp fresh ingredients. I decided to make the ‘sexy swedish buns’ this weekend, which is a sweet cardamon flavoured blueberry pastry. I won’t bother posting this as a recipe as you can get it on Jamie Oliver’s website, sexy swedish buns recipe, but I will let you in to a few trial/tribulation tips at the end.
This is the book, you should get it from Sainsbury’s where it’s only £8.99 at the moment!
Ingredients, the recipe called for an orange but I used two clementines with no serious consequences. I also ran out of caster sugar so had to make up the quantity with another sugar in the dough, and use icing sugar in its place in the blueberry mix.
Fresh blueberries cost like, a million pounds, instead I used frozen ones. After they defrosted I honestly couldn’t taste the difference and at half the price of the fresh ones? definitely be using these in the future!
GREASE PROOF PAPER, my nemesis. They stuck like motherfuckers to this paper, in future I’ll be using my super baking liner thing. These are the most messy, fun things to make in the world. Definitely wear an apron when you’re making though, blueberries stain.
After baking, nom nom!
The cardamon was definitely an interesting taste, very unfamiliar in something like this. In the future I think I’ll use a bigger tray, and make about 10/12 instead of just 8 as they were quite big. Fun recipe, though!