It may not be Mardi Gras, but beignets and New Orleans fare like Shrimp & Grits and Café Au Lait will be flowing this weekend here in Memphis.
The annual Café du Memphis benefiting the Dorothy Day House is Saturday May 1 at the Malco Summer Drive-In from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. This year’s event will be a drive-thru.
The Rotary Club of Memphis hosts this event annually, and Pierre Landaiche has been one of the organizers and lead cooks since day one.
Pierre offered his tips on cooking beignets at home.
The first thing you have to know about beignets is they’re best when eaten hot and fresh - right after you take them out of the grease and sprinkle them with powdered sugar. He says a flour sifter is a great way to evenly sprinkle the powdered sugar on the beignets.
But you have to get there first. Pierre says to find a good dough recipe and chill the dough for a couple of hours. The recipe he uses is on Louisianacookin.com.
Pierre said temperatures are very important too. When making the dough, be sure you use water that’s about 112 degrees so the yeast will do its thing. Your cooking oil should be 370 degrees. He suggests keeping a digital or candy thermometer handy when making beignets.
To make the beignets as fluffy as possible, there are three tricks:
- Don’t over work the dough.
- Roll it out to a thickness of ¼ inch. Not any less!
- Don’t fry too many at a time to keep your oil between 350-370 degrees.
Information about the event and how to purchase tickets can be found at dorothydaymemphis.org.
This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Bon Appetit!
For information about Café du Memphis and tickets, visit www.dorothydaymemphis.org/cafe-du-memphis.
Pierre’s go-to beignet recipe: www.louisianacookin.com/new-orleans-beignets