I do have one post script to offer for the Mardi Gras celebrations. This year, I vowed to make Beignets. Yes, those wonder little pillows of deliciousness that seem to only taste right when you're sitting outside Cafe Du Monde with a cup of Chickory Coffee and New Orleans in the background. Ambitious goal for a newbee fry cook in Virginia - but what could go wrong? I mean it - really what could go wrong after I found a box of Cafe du Monde Beignet Mix at World Market? It's easy right? Hmmmm.... only if you read the directions carefully.
The trick to beignets (french doughnuts) is not just using the right ingredients - but being a vigilant fry cook. What do I mean by that? Well you have to baste your beignets after you drop them in the oil. First, make sure not to overcrowd them in the pot of bubbling oil; one or two in a stockpot is fine. After you drop them in, and they begin to float - that's when you become a very active participant. In order for the beignets to pillow up in the center - you must scoop hot oil into the center or they will simply puff around the edges and sink in the center. For your reference, I've posted pictures to show the difference between a basted and unbasted beignet.
So, the next time you feel adventurous and want to try the Southern French delight - pick up a box of Cafe Du Monde Beignet Mix, a gallon of oil, be safe and remember the trick for Timeless beignets is in the basting.