23. February 2009 22:21
It’s Fastnacht time in Switzerland…which, like in many countries, is a license to indulge – and what better way to indulge than eating your own freshly-made Beignets de Carnaval!
We came across the idea to make this version of beignets while flipping through our favorite 1940’s Zürich cookbook. We were actually searching for some kind of alternative to the popular Fastnachtschüechli (fun for foreigners to pronounce). The recipe we landed on was involved and included instructions on stretching the dough over your knee.
Hmm…there must be an easier way!
Fortunately, the Zürcher liked everything …well, easier and another condensed recipe followed. This version, however, involved an entirely different twist.
It seems they enjoyed putting the freshly fried dough into a clay container to keep them soft. The next day, they would season the beignets with salt and cumin, then roll them up like a…hmm…swiss roll.
Interesting, but not at all what we were looking for. We wanted something crisp and sweet – not soft, spiced and rolled up.
After some deliberation (ok…not really a lot), we decided to pursue the second method…sort of. We went ahead with the recipe and fried the dough, then simply dusted them with sugar. Abbreviated – but very good. No…they were really, really good! Very similar, in fact, to the famous New Orleans beignets – which brings us to Mardi Gras…and this recipe. More...
20. February 2009 16:25
It’s easy to chase away drab winter days by unpeeling a ripe blood orange…it can also be a shocking experience – even if you know what to expect!
February in Switzerland tends to linger…
The cold and gray winter days sometimes seem endless as time just hangs in the air. It can’t be long until spring and longer days burst onto the scene with a fresh new look – or so the calendar says! But no, not just yet…it’s still February!
But wait…there is a way to escape the drab days of late winter – eat a blood orange!
I’ll never forget my first encounter with a blood orange. It seemed unnatural as I gazed at the intense deep purple flesh, and I will admit…I was not too excited about putting any of this into my mouth. It just seemed wrong.
But after a few sheepish moments, I decided to give it a go and preserve my reputation (self-created) as an adventurous eater.
I was rewarded.
The flavors erupted instantaneously. There were hints of raspberry and pine…and plenty of natural sweetness. The juices…well, they seemed extreme, leaving me confused and wondering if I was drinking or eating. Then…the acids arrived and all of my hibernating senses woke up at once. It was like feeling the sun as it disintegrates a thick layer of fog…and I smiled. More...