Vegetable Beignets

Vegetable Beignets, simplygoodcooking.comBeignets are, perhaps, better known as a dessert or cookie, but these savory beignets are a delicious variation on the theme.  It’s kind of fun to have friends over and serve these hot, right as they come out of the pot. Have a selection of dips and sauces available, and fry until everything has been consumed.  Kind of a splurge of a meal in terms of calories and fat, but every now and then everyone appreciates a really good splurge.  It’s wonderful!

 

Vegetable beignets are crispy and delicious and well worth the effort involved in making them perfect.  Don’t be intimidated by deep frying if you’ve never done it before.  Jump in, follow the directions, and you can’t go wrong.

 

Vegetable Beignets

1 quart of peanut oil

Batter:

1/2 c flour

pinch sea salt

1 c beer, chilled

  1. Whisk all ingredients in a bowl, adding the beer slowly so as not to make the batter too thin.  A good beignet batter should resemble a thin cake batter, not thick enough to make a heavy coating.
  2. Chill until ready to fry.

Vegetables:

Any vegetable that can be sliced or chunked is a candidate for beignets. Use your imagination, but avoid anything too wet (tomatoes) or too hard (carrots).  The best beignet vegetables are onions and eggplant, as they both slice well and keep their shape.

Eggplant Beignets:

  1. Peel the eggplant and slice it into thin slices, less than 1/4″ thick.
  2. Dip each slice into the batter, let the excess drip off, and drop the slices, one by one, into the hot oil.
  3. Cook only a few at a time, being careful not to let the slices touch each other — they’ll stick together! Turn the slices as they fry so that they will brown evenly on both sides.
  4. When the slices are golden brown, remove them with tongs and place on a paper towel-lined plate or folded brown paper grocery bag.
  5. Salt and serve immediately!

Onion Beignets:

  1. Slice an onion into thin slices, and break into individual rings.
  2. Drop the rings into the batter, and pull them out one by one, letting the excess drip off before dropping them into the hot oil.
  3. Cook only a few at a time, being careful not to let the rings touch each other — they’ll stick together!  Turn the rings as they fry so that they will brown evenly on both sides.
  4. When the rings are golden brown, remove them with tongs and place on a paper towel-lined plate or folded brown paper grocery bag.
  5. Salt and serve immediately!
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