Pączki Day is one of the most delicious days of the year!
Today we had our annual Mardi Gras celebration. We started the day as we always do…with pączki. I’m still planning on making them from scratch one of these years! Like last year, we had red beans and rice for lunch. Much to everyone’s disappointment, I didn’t make beignets this year (there are only so many hours in the day!), but I did try a new recipe for dinner at Bunny’s request: shrimp gumbo. I even made my own shrimp broth, which was a new and entertaining experience. We finished the day with butterscotch bread pudding for dessert. I know,..that’s Southern, not Mardi Gras, but I really don’t like king cake, so I thought it was a decent substitute.
The celebration is over, and we’re ready for Lent to begin tomorrow!
“Laissez les bons temps rouler…Let the good times roll!”
I made beignets last Tuesday for our family Mardi Gras celebration (my first attempt at frying doughnuts of any kind), and I was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was, as well as how much fun! Make the dough a day ahead and refrigerate it for best results.
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup evaporated milk
- 7 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar for dusting
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tsp. sugar in warm water. Let stand 5-10 minutes. Add remaining sugar, salt, eggs, and evaporated milk; blend well. Mix in 4 cups of flour and beat until smooth. Add the shortening, and then the remaining 3 cups of flour. Cover and chill overnight or for up to 24 hours.
Heat oil to 360 F. Roll out dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 2 1/2 inch diamonds or squares. Fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Dust hot beignets with powdered sugar.. Serve warm.
I decided to go all out for Mardi Gras this year! We had pączki for breakfast (store bought…one of these years I’ll make them from scratch), red beans and rice with andouille sausage for lunch, beignet for an afternoon snack (my first-ever attempt at making donuts, and a very successful one at that!), jambalaya for dinner, and a King Cake for dessert. It was a delicious day!
Let the good times roll!
We got into the Mardi Gras spirit today with a few special food items…Pączki, Cajun shrimp pasta, and a Doberge cake (a New Orleans twist on the Hungarian Dobos torte), a six-layer cake filled with homemade double chocolate custard, frosted with chocolate buttercream, and topped with a chocolate ganache.
Laissez les bon temps rouler!