Thursday, November 08, 2007

WFD? Balinese Shrimp & Corn Beignets

It’s here! The much-anticipated cookbook: La Cuisine et le Gout des Épices! At a time when there are so many useless, fluffy cookbooks out there with pretty pictures, yet little content, there comes along a cookbook you can really sink your teeth into from Philippe de Vienne, local spice guru, chef extraordinaire, and my old boss. (Click here to see the insane menu from the last party we did together)

This cookbook gives you more than just something to nibble on, it’s like sitting down to a full five-course meal. It’s a literal spice bible that features much more then original recipes from the four corners of the world, but also a beautiful photo glossary of spices, an insightful look into the role spices play in the kitchen, and a few amusing anecdotes tucked here and there from the de Vienne’s extensive travels.

I am so excited to get my hand on so many of these recipes that I remember eating and serving when I catered for the de Viennes. Recipes such as Cari de noix de cajou (Cashew Curry), Tarte de figues au laurier (Fig Tart with Bay Leaves), Hummus chaud (Hot Hummus) and Poulet roti au berbere (Berbere Chicken).

The first recipe I chose to make was the amazing Beignets de mais et de crevettes that Philippe created after a trip to Bali. We used to serve them as bite size canapés for cocktails we catered, but Danny and I enjoyed them shaped slightly larger and served with a big salad for our dinner. With fresh pineapple spears for dessert, who needs to travel to Indonesia?!

There is a lovely blend of spices that go into these fritters, making them go from ho-hum to sensational and isn't that the beauty of spices? So much flavor for so little effort.
Here they are pictured below, clockwise from the nutmeg:
Thai Chili, Coriander, Cardamom, White Pepper, Cumin and a whole Nutmeg.
It is always best to buy your spices whole and then grind them yourself. I use an old Braun coffee grinder and that works well.

There is a note in the cookbook that says this blend of spices is wonderful with other corn dishes, such as a soufflé, soup or gratin. I am getting some good ideas already!

Shrimp and Corn Beignets

3 cups fresh kernel corn or frozen corn, thawed
5 green onions, sliced

1 bunch fresh basil, chopped

3 branches of coriander, chopped
1 cup shrimp

1 egg

1-2 cups all purpose flour
Vegetable oil

Ground Spices:

4 dried Thai peppers or Cayenne peppers
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
3 cardamom pods, seeds removed and ground
¼ nutmeg seed, grated

Place corn, green onions, basil, coriander, shrimp, salt and egg in a bowl. Add spices and mix well. Add one cup of flour, mix well. Slowly add more flour to the mix until the batter reaches a consistency of muffin batter. Heat a large pot with 1/8th inch of oil in the bottom. When the oil is hot, put a large spoonful of batter in the pot. With the help of the spoon, form a galette of ½-inch thick and 3-4 inches in diameter. Form other galettes. Cook over medium heat just until the bottoms are well colored (4-5minutes). Turn and cook the other side until golden. Repeat with the rest of the batter, and add, if needed, more oil in the pot. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Makes about 24 beignets

Ed Note: If you are interested in purchasing this cookbook, I believe it is available at Librairie Gourmand at the Jean Talon Market, or you can find it online here. For more information on Philippe and Ethné de Vienne or their products, visit their website.


Patricia Scarpin said...

These are mouthwatering, Aimée!

Peter M said...

Congrats! What an exotic twist on a beignet and og so tasty. Bookmarked!

Anita said...

A very intriguing combination of ingredients and *spices*. I recently found your blog and look forward to following along. The book will make a great addition to my kitchen. :)

winedeb said...

Too fun Aimee! It is great to have a book that means so much to you. I look forward to more goodies that you "whip up" from your new book!

Angel said...

That looks so tasty. It is nice to find a good cookbook. I hear you on the ones with barely any good content.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Yum! It must have been amazing to work with him. Just checked out their website and got lost in all the spice pics. Loved your post on your final time of cooking with him too.

Kelly Mahoney said...

Beautiful photos!

Cedar said...

Oh my! That looks so incredible! Great photos too!

Cookie baker Lynn said...

How fun to have a new cookbook and even better that it's from someone you know and have cooked with!

Graeme said...

It's quite a task making fried things look good, but these look so bright and cheerful.

Great choice of Template btw. Great choice.

Aimée said...

Hi Patricia- Merci! They had a bit of a kick too, with that Thai chili in there.

Hi Peter- Glad you approve. I can't take any credit, though, as is clear in the blog. Don't you just want to visit Bali now?

Hi Anita- I'm so happy you've found us here at UtHC. You are most welcome.

Hi Deb- Stay tuned, it's going to be a great winter!

Hi Angel- It seems you don't need any credentials these days to put out a cookbook, eh?

Hi Amanda- it's a whole world of spices, eh? You see why I get a little excited!

Hi Kelly- Thanks so much. wasn't too happy with them...shooting fried food is no picnic.Oh well!

Hi Cedar- see my comment above...however you are too kind.

Hi Lynn- Yes, it's pretty cool and very personal.

Hi Graeme- Why thank you! :)

chef ledarney said...

Oh wow these look delicious!.



Valli said...

Amazing entry Aimee! I will have to keep a look out for this cookbook.

Melanie said...

Those look wonderful! I will definitely be trying them!!! :D

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