Beignets: Frying 101

Yesterday was Mardi Gras. Beignets were calling my name. Because it was Mardi Gras, and seemed apropos. I turned to Paula Deen, queen of all things Southern food, and used her recipe.

It was pretty easy, and they turned out well. Simply follow her directions, and mix everything up. Once the dough has risen, roll it out, and cut into squares. A pizza cutter works really well for this.

Now things get interesting. Heat your oil (I used canola, but I don’t really think it matters) to 350 degrees.

Using a candy thermometer, attempt to stabilize the temperature of your oil at 350 degrees. Let it get hotter, and the outside of your beignets will burn, and the inside will be dough-y.

Slide a couple of them in at a time; keeping flipping them so that fry evenly. When they’re golden brown, they’re done. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon, and lay on paper towel to drain. After a minute, toss them in a ziploc bag with powdered sugar until they are covered. Serve immediately!  Reheated beignets just aren’t that great.

Lessons I learned while deep frying:

  1. The oil can and will heat up higher than you want it. And then your beignets will burn. Watch your candy thermometer
  2. Never, EVER let water come in contact with the hot oil. Bad things will result.
  3. A fan above your stove is always recommended. As is an open window.
  4. A metal slotted spoon is by far superior to a plastic one.

Good luck!

I wanna know: Do you fry food often? What else should I remember if I ever do this again?

6 thoughts on “Beignets: Frying 101

  1. If you plan on or think you might fry things often you might invest in an electric countertop fryer. They have a thermostat that regulates the temp of the oil in a more consistent, and therefore easier manner. They also have baskets which makes removal of the food safer.

    Another tip… Fish will release some of its oils into the frying oil. To use that oil to fry something else will result in the transfer of flavors (doughnuts that taste fishy).

  2. so i have to ask, does this mean you stuck a plastic spoon into the hot oil? does that mean it melted????? yikes!!!

    i miss new orleans. and beignets. and you. sorry we couldn’t talk friday night. i may try you again tonight 🙂

    • Well, the plastic spoon was fine, until I tried to scrape the bottom. So, maybe it’s not the oil, but the pot itself that burnt the plastic spoon. I have no idea. They didn’t end up Cafe du Monde wonderful, but they were pretty tasty 🙂

  3. Pingback: Recap: March | Balance and Blueberries

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