Thursday, May 1, 2014

Cookbook Thursday: Calas, a throwback to another age

            Here’s a fun recipe for “Calas,” almost a forgotten New Orleans specialty made from leftover rice from the cookbook, “New Orleans Classic Brunches” by Kit Wohl, published by Pelican Publishing of New Orleans.

From "New Orleans Classic Brunches"
6 tablespoons  flour
3 heaping tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of nutmeg
2 cups  cooked rice
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Vegetable oil for frying
 Confectioners’ sugar, honey, or
 Steen’s Cane Syrup for topping
            Directions: Heat oil to 350 degrees. A thermometer is a handy gauge unless you are Poppy Tooker, who successfully intuits when they are done. Teaspoon-size calas use 350°F oil. Tablespoon-size calas may brown too quickly. Lower the oil's temperature by 10°F and they will cook through.
             In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a separate bowl, thoroughly mix the rice, beaten eggs, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and combine. In a heavy bottomed skillet or fryer, bring the oil to 360 degrees. 
            Carefully drop teaspoons of batter into the hot oil without crowding and fry until brown on one side, 1 to 2 minutes. Using tongs or a spatula, turn and brown the second side. When frying several batches, let the oil cool back to the proper temperature. Using a slotted spoon or sieve, scoop out the loose browned bits. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle with syrup or honey, and serve hot, immediately.

Cheré Coen is a Lafayette freelance travel and food writer. She is the author of “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Tour of Historic Acadiana,” both from The History Press.