March 05, 2019
Happy Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday
I am a big fan of pancakes and if you are a regular of my blog you will know I have done all sorts of pancake recipes to celebrate this day but this year I turned to New Orleans for my inspiration and found some new treats to try, Beignets and better yet sourdough ones, and to wash them down a glass of Milk Punch. Weirdly, both very southern USA but they also feel appropriate for our very snowy weather here in Nova Scotia at the moment.
In the bowl of your stand mixer or in a bowl with a hand mixer, combine:
1 cup sourdough starter 3 cups unbleached flour (bread flour is also okay)1/4 cup sugar1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt NOT IODIZED!)2 Tablespoons melted butter3/4 cup buttermilk
Knead with the dough hook for about 5 minutes, or try to continue mixing with your hand blender if now do it by hand. The dough should be firm and clear the bottom of the bowl. If it doesn’t, add a bit more flour. If it’s too dry and doesn’t come together, add a splash more buttermilk.
Transfer the dough to a bowl that’s been lightly sprayed or oiled, then cover with plastic wrap and let ferment on your countertop for 4-12 hours. For really great flavour and crust texture, after the initial ferment, place it in your fridge for up to 2 days before frying.
When you get ready to fry, pour about 2″ of canola oil into a heavy pot over medium heat (or preheat your deep fryer) and bring the oil to 325F. Pinch off a ball of dough about the size of 2 golf balls. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4″ thick. Then cut that flattened dough into 4 pieces with a knife or pizza roller. Don’t worry about making them look symmetrical. This is a rustic dessert. Drop the dough pieces into the hot oil and fry, 4 at a time, flipping often, until the beignets are golden brown on both sides, and nicely puffed up. Transfer to a cooling rack set over a baking sheet to drain for a few seconds, then dust with powdered sugar. Enjoy while still warm, they are a taste sensation. Thanks Ben Starr for this fantastic recipe.
In the spirit of New Orleans, a bourbon cocktail is a must, so I found this Milk Punch. My research also told me that it doesn’t take juice to make a punch, a “punch”, all it takes is 5 ingredients. So here it is as easy as punch, but tastes a bit like a hug.
4 ounces 2% milk2 1/2 tablespoons half-and-half1 teaspoon vanilla extract2 1/2 ounces good bourbon4 teaspoons powdered sugar or maple sugar but add 2 tsp then taste then add more.Ground nutmeg, for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour in milk, half-and-half, vanilla, and bourbon. Then add powdered sugar. Close shaker and shake vigorously for 30 seconds.Strain cocktail into a coupe glass. Sprinkle top with freshly ground nutmeg. Thanks Julie Espy at Bread Booze Bacon
Tonight, I will try it again but this time with vanilla ice cream and no sugar. Just in the name of research of course.
Photographed on Indaba dishes, with étoile home linen union napkins and vintage milk bottle all available at Main & Mersey Home Store.
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