Saturday

Bite-size Beignets with Gruyère, Fennel & Piment d'espelette


When having a simple lunch or dinner of soup or salad I like to offer a little "something" on the side to make the meal more interesting.
Homemade bread, crackers or sometimes these delicious morsels that go together fairly quickly. They also are terrific as an appetizer.
Savory, not sweet these are a fabulous warm, crispy nibble with a tender center ~ delicious with cold drinks, soups, or salads.
Hint: Make Plenty! They are always popular and disappear instantly.




These beignets are based on the French dough, pâte á choux. It’s the same dough used for profiteroles and éclairs. A very simple method which produces impressive results.



Beignets may be rolled out and cut then fried, however in this recipe the beignet dough is shaped with a spoon or a scoop, then dropped into hot oil to cook. You can also pipe them onto a baking sheet, brush with an egg wash and bake them.





Rather than the traditional sweet version, this time I added shredded Gruyère cheese, minced fennel bulb which I had sweated in a bit of butter, and toasted fennel seeds to the dough.
Next they are fried in hot vegetable oil for a few minutes, removed to drain then sprinkled with the highly fragrant and spicy Piment d'espelette. Cayenne, or another ground red pepper could be substituted as well.




I like to form the little balls with a very small food scoop (about 1-inch in diameter). This way the puffs cook quickly and perfectly, the exterior is crispy, crunchy, and the interior is moist and just cooked through.
They are best best eaten immediately after cooking, which is a good thing because it is an effort in futility to resist these crisp little morsels, as they drain on paper towels.



However, if necessary, you can keep them for a short time by placing them on a pan, in a warm (200* F) oven for up to about a half an hour.




I made them to go along with a warm, delicious, healthy and hearty tomato soup. I'll share that recipe very soon.
If you would like a printable copy for these beignets, it is available on the Once Upon a Plate recipe blog.
The recipe? Click HERE.

Cheers and thank you for stopping by to visit today!


















28 comments:

  1. Ooh, I love the idea of a savory beignet. Pate a choux is one of my favorite doughs because it seems so magical the way it is prepared and cooked. How do these work in the oven?

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  2. Exquisite! Looks so crispy and delicious. Beautiful, tempting pix.

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  3. They looks so beautiful and have puffeed up well too. I am sure gonna check the recipe out.

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  4. I can imagine how very good these must taste. They look perfect!

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  5. These look stunning! These would be perfect for entertaining,served with an appetizer and cocktails. I have bookmarked tis recipe. This is great!

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  6. Oh dear, if I made a plate of these heavenly puffs I couldn't leave them alone. Love the contrast between the crispy outside and the tender center, and the addition of fennel. Beautiful photos, Mari.

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  7. Yumm, love the fennel you added. I can not wait to try these. Clarice

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  8. Could you please come to my house and make these for me? Pretty please?

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  9. Mari, These look marvelous, now if I could only pronounce the name! I knew I sould have taken french! I think I will have to make some for book club this month. The girls will love them! Thank you for this mouth watering recipe and gorgeous pictures!
    Yvonne

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  10. Oh my those look delicious!! Can't wait to make some. I definitely won't try to resist them.
    ♥ Rebecca

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  11. I have only made the sweet variety. These sound delicious and look beautiful. Thank you.

    Sue

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  12. Oh girl....
    I could eat these right now for breakfast!
    Beautiful!
    L~xo

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  13. These sound delicious! I am loving fennel more and more and I'm sure I'll be trying them :)

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  14. There's cheese and it's fried? What could go wrong? Looks delish!

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  15. Oh yum, these photos look good enough to eat :)

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  16. wow, you just have the most beautiful sight and I think I have gained ten pounds just looking at the pictures, such wonderful food. I sure wish you would do more tablescape thursdays, because you can sure set a mean table and I love to see all of your wonderful dishes and ideas, thanks Mari for making my visit to your sight so enjoyable....

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  17. The last time I had a beignets was in New Orleans - far too long ago. These look divine!

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  18. These sound delicious! I've never fried pate choux before - always baked them. I should give these a try - they sound divine! Love the idea of serving them with soup -

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  19. Sounds perfect with a bowl of soup. Will look forward to your tomato soup recipe!

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  20. These sound delicious! Anything with fennel calls my name :-)

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  21. Mari, I had a lot of beignets in N.O. but nothing that looked like this.
    In any case, anything bite size is my kind of food. I can eat all I want without guilt.

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  22. absolutely mouth watering and beautiful...i know I love these even b4 eating them...there are some things you just know :)and this is one of them!

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  23. Two words I really love to hear, gruyere and beignet. Although I am a little scared of deep drying at home, I am planning on getting over it, if only to make these. Thank you for a delicious suggestion, I will let you know how it works out.

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  24. absolutely beautiful and creative!

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  25. I love working with choux pastry, but have never tried these delicious little morsels. I will have to rectify this soon!!!!

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  26. I bought some piment d'espellete at a Paris food market and was so thrilled to see your recipe that uses it. And how unique to have it on a beignet.

    Your pics make me just want to reach out and taste one ;-))

    Diane

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  27. This is such a gorgeous dish. I would be honored if you would submit the recipe to our December's BATTLE FENNEL and participate in the fun!

    Please click here for more details: http://tiny.cc/ySuy6

    I love your blog by the way :) What fantastic recipes and photos. I added it to my reader.

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Thank you for your comments, friends ~ they make my day!

A Sampling of my food . . .

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