Going Coastal: Doughnuts

I think Danny DeVito put it best in the movie Other People's Money when he said, "Since when do you have to be hungry to have a doughnut?"  I'm not a huge fan of sweets (my favorite dessert is a second cheeseburger) but I do dig a fried doughnut or six.  It is hard for to ever pass a Krispy Kreme when the "Hot Doughnuts" sign is on.  I could eat my weight in French Kruellers from Dunkin' Doughnuts.  And when it N'Awlins it is all about the Beignets.  Though loosely defined as a doughnut, Beignets are brilliant in there simplicity - fried dough and a butt load of powdered sugar.  You can now make them from scratch by following my easy recipe or just buy the mix from Café Du Monde.

Classic French Quarter Beignets - from Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes from the Gulf of Mexico.

1 package active dry yeast
1½ cups warm water (105-110 degrees)
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
7 cups AP flour
1/4 cup canola oil
Oil for deep frying
Confectioner's sugar

In a large bowl sprinkle the yeast into the water and stir to dissolve. Add the sugar, salt, eggs and milk. Blend with a beater. Add 4 cups of the flour and beat until smooth. Add the canola oil then beat in remaining flour. Cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight in a greased bowl. Roll on a floured service to about 1/8th inch thickness. Cut into 3 inch squares. Deep fry at 360° for roughly 3 minutes or until lightly browned on each side. Drain and sprinkle generously with the powdered sugar. For added richness place a whole vanilla bean in with the powdered sugar over night then remove.
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