Foodie Travel: New Orleans Style Beignets CheapOair Staff July 26, 2011 general New Orleans Style Beignets When I think of New Orleans in terms of food, I think of crawfish, chicory coffee and beignets. I do have to confess, I’ve not ever eaten a crawfish. To me, it looks like a fiery red bug with eyeballs and tentacles. Some say it’s sort of a like a mini-lobster, but without much meat to it, the instructions for eating it are snap it in half with your fingers, “suck the head” and “eat the tail.” Ah … nope. Thank you very much, but I’ll stick to beignets, especially when they come with a cup of hot coffee. Beignets (pronounced been-yay) are a square shaped French-style fritter or donut made famous by New Orleans’ Cafe du Monde. Their flavor is similar to a fair-style funnel cake as they are typically served with a generous sprinkling of powdered sugar. Established in 1962, Cafe du Monde is also famous for their coffee and chicory. Chicory is the root of endive lettuce, and when roasted, ground and mixed with coffee, it creates strong, full-bodied flavor. It’s so strong, in fact, that it’s most popularly consumed as Cafe Au Lait, which is equal parts coffee to steamed milk. Before you plan the dream New Orleans vacation, why not whip up a little French-quarter style cafe flavor at home. Check out our recipe for beignets. New Orleans Style Beignets 1 envelope dry active yeast 3/4 Cup warm water 1/4 Cup sugar 1/2 tsp salt 1 egg, slightly beaten 1/2 Cup milk 7 Cups all purpose flour 1/4 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco) Vegetable Oil (for Frying) Powdered Sugar Directions In an extra large bowl, add yeast to warm water and dissolve. Add sugar, salt, eggs, milk, and blend well. Mix in 4 cups of the flour and beat until smooth. Add the shortening, and then the remaining 3 cups of flour. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 24 hours. Roll out dough until it’s 1/8 inch thick and cut into 2 1/2 inch squares. Fry dough squares in 360 degree F (180 degrees C) hot oil. If beignets do not pop up, oil is not hot enough. Set finished beinets on papertowels to drain oil. Generously shake powdered sugar on hot beignets. Serve with coffee.