Friday, June 02, 2006


Since we've told you all how to make gumbo before, I thought I'd throw in a recipe for beignets. But first, a little lagniappe. The Cajuns have a breakfast pastry of their own. I really like them, and what they call them: oreilles de cochon. Pig's ears. The Cajun style isn't anything like city/Cafe du Monde beignets, but it's damn, damn good. So I'll give you both, starting with the pig's ears.

If you live in Louisiana, then you obviously don't need this. However, for the rest of us, here it is.

Oreilles de cochon

Pots and shit:
  • One large, deep saucepan. If you've got a cast-iron chicken fryer, then you are sitting pretty indeed. I suppose you could use a deep fryer, but that really seems like cheating to me. You bastard.
  • Slotted spoon or skimmer
  • Draining rack/paper towels
  • Deep-fry/candy thermometer
  • Another good, heavy saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • A fork, preferably with a long handle
  • Rolling pin
  • Knife (something small, like a paring knife)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for your rolling needs.
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt (not iodized, if possible)
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup water (don't overdo this)
  • Crisco for your fryer ( You could also use a good vegetable oil, like canola)--enough for at least 1/2" in your frying vessel
  • 1 can (12 oz.) Steen's Cane Syrup (or corn syrup, if you must)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans--ONLY pecans. I don't wanna see any silly shit like walnuts or almonds here. If you don't like pecans, or have nut allergies, then leave 'em out. But you'll be missing something irreplaceable.
Now what to do?

It's easy.

First, stir together the flour and salt. Easy enough, right? Now heat your shortening/oil to around 360 °F. Combine the flour/salt with just enough water to form a stiff dough. Then turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Roll it out thin. Thin, like you're rolling out pasta thin.

Now cut out squares that are just a little wider than your palm (including the thumb). Then cut those squares diagonally, so you'll have a bunch of little triangles.

Drop those suckers, one at a time, into the hot oil. As soon as one hits the oil, you stick that fork in the middle of it and give it a twist. This makes it an ear, not just a triangle. Flip once, to get it nice and golden brown on each side. Remove with your skimmer/slotted spoon and drain.

While you're finishing the frying, remove the thermometer and wipe it down, 'cause you're gonna need it for the glaze. Combine the cane syrup and pecans in your other saucepan, and cook over medium-low heat until the syrup gets to the soft ball stage (about 238 °F). Now's when you finally get to use that wooden spoon to stir occasionally. When it hits the right temperature, remove from heat and drizzle some of the mixture onto each ear.

Serve immediately, hopefully with Community Coffee.

That's some damn good eatin'.

Don't tell anyone, but this is a recipe you can actually serve to vegans. How about that?

I'll have beignets later. Maybe tomorrow. It's a more complicated dough, but there's no glaze.

Labels: ,