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Blue cheese beignets

Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Yields Serves 8 to 10
Blue cheese beignets
(Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)
1

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the milk and butter. Add the flour and salt, stirring constantly, until the dough comes away from the sides of the pan, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and place the dough in a medium bowl.

2

Beat the dough with a spoon or spatula until it cools down to lukewarm, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until when you dip your fingers in the batter, a 1-inch string develops between your fingers as you separate them. Beat in the blue cheese until incorporated and refrigerate 1 hour.

3

Using a pastry bag fitted with a straight tip, pipe dough onto parchment in rows of 8. The circles should be about 1 1/2 inches round and half-inch high. Cut the parchment in strips of 8 beignets each.

4

Pour enough vegetable oil into a large saucepan to come a few inches up the sides. Heat the oil to 350 degrees. Using metal tongs, carefully dip each strip of beignets into the oil, pulling the strip of parchment out of the pan as the beignets release. Cook until deep golden brown and cooked in the center, about 2 minutes (1 minute per side). Carefully remove and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil. (Makes about 40 beignets.)

Peppered honey gastrique and assembly

1

In a medium saute pan over medium heat, toast the cumin, pepper, fennel, clove and cardamom for 2 minutes, shaking occasionally and watching that the spices do not burn. Using a coffee or spice grinder, grind the spices to a powder and set aside.

2

In a small pot over medium heat, bring the honey to a foam, about 30 seconds.

3

Add the spice mixture to the foaming honey and cook until it is a thin, caramel-like consistency, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Carefully add the vinegar. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving. (Makes one-third cup gastrique.)

4

Place four or five beignets on a small plate and drizzle the gastrique over the beignets and serve.

From Blue Velvet executive chef Kris Morningstar, who recommends Cabrales blue cheese, available at fine cheese counters.

Noelle Carter is the former Los Angeles Times Test Kitchen director. She left in January 2019.
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