When having a simple lunch or dinner of soup or salad I like to offer a little "something" on the side to make the meal more interesting.
Homemade bread, crackers or sometimes these delicious morsels that go together fairly quickly. They also are terrific as an appetizer.
Savory, not sweet these are a fabulous warm, crispy nibble with a tender center ~ delicious with cold drinks, soups, or salads.
Hint: Make Plenty! They are always popular and disappear instantly.
These beignets are based on the French dough, pâte á choux. It’s the same dough used for profiteroles and éclairs. A very simple method which produces impressive results.
Beignets may be rolled out and cut then fried, however in this recipe the beignet dough is shaped with a spoon or a scoop, then dropped into hot oil to cook. You can also pipe them onto a baking sheet, brush with an egg wash and bake them.
Rather than the traditional sweet version, this time I added shredded Gruyère cheese, minced fennel bulb which I had sweated in a bit of butter, and toasted fennel seeds to the dough.
Next they are fried in hot vegetable oil for a few minutes, removed to drain then sprinkled with the highly fragrant and spicy Piment d'espelette. Cayenne, or another ground red pepper could be substituted as well.
I like to form the little balls with a very small food scoop (about 1-inch in diameter). This way the puffs cook quickly and perfectly, the exterior is crispy, crunchy, and the interior is moist and just cooked through.
They are best best eaten immediately after cooking, which is a good thing because it is an effort in futility to resist these crisp little morsels, as they drain on paper towels.
However, if necessary, you can keep them for a short time by placing them on a pan, in a warm (200* F) oven for up to about a half an hour.
I made them to go along with a warm, delicious, healthy and hearty tomato soup. I'll share that recipe very soon.
If you would like a printable copy for these beignets, it is available on the Once Upon a Plate recipe blog.
The recipe? Click HERE.
Cheers and thank you for stopping by to visit today!