Thursday, November 12, 2015

Emeril Lagasse publishes 'essential' cookbook

Chef Emeril Lagasse has yet another cookbook out, this time focusing on iconic dishes and personal anecdotes behind each recipe in “Essential Emeril: Favorite Recipes and Hard-Won Wisdom from My Life in the Kitchen.” There’s also appearances from top chefs such as Mario Batali, Roy Choi, and Nobu Matsuhira along with family members and early influences such as Julia Child and Charlie Trotter.
The following is a sample recipe for Blueberry Beignets.

Blueberry Beignets
From “Essential Emeril”
1 cup fresh blueberries, picked over for stems
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup half-and-half
1 3/4 cups bleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
vegetable oil, for frying
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting as needed
Directions: In a medium bowl, combine the blueberries and granulated sugar and lightly mash together with a fork. Stir in the eggs and half-and-half. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center, pour in the blueberry mixture, and whisk until combined. Allow the mixture to rest 10 minutes before frying. Pour enough oil to come to the maximum line in an electric fryer or halfway up the side of a deep, large, heavy-bottomed pot. Heat the oil to 360 degrees. Using a 2-tablespoon scoop, carefully drop the batter into the hot oil, cooking 4 to 6 beignets at a time; don’t crowd them. If using a deep fryer, shake the basket to loosen the beignets from the bottom if they’re sticking. Cook the beignets until golden, about 6 minutes. If you’re frying them in a pot, the beignets will sink to the bottom, then float up to the top, where you can turn them for even coloring.
Using a slotted spoon, tongs, or a spider, transfer the fried beignets to paper towels to drain briefly, then add to a large bowl along with the confectioners’ sugar, and toss to coat. Set the beignets on a serving platter. Repeat the process with the remaining batter. To serve, dust the beignets a final time with confectioners’ sugar, and serve hot.

For smaller beignets, you can portion the batter by heaping tablespoonfuls.
If you’re not using an electric fryer, it is very important not to fill the pot more than halfway with oil, as the oil will expand when the beignets are added.
To prevent splashing, add the batter to the oil very close to the surface.