Beignets are commonly referred to as the “Southerner’s doughnut.” In this family recipe, the dough should be stiff — add just enough water so that you can press the dough flat. To make cutting the stiff dough easier, use a floured pizza cutter.–Editors of Vegetarian Times
LC Gotcha! Note
Beignets tend to conjure thoughts of New Orleans and the French Quarter and confectioners’ sugar galore. Not these savory babies. Gotcha!
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Stir together the flour, sage, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
Whisk together the eggs, olive oil, and hot sauce in a large bowl. Gradually stir in the flour mixture. Add the water, a little at a time, combining well until the dough is thick. Fold in the cheese.
Press the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle on a well-floured work surface. Cut into 1 1/2-inch squares.
Pour the vegetable oil into a large skillet to the depth of 1/2 an inch, and heat over medium heat until a small piece of dough sizzles gently in the oil. (The dough should not brown immediately.)
Place the beignet squares in the oil, taking care not to overcrowd (you may need to fry in batches). Fry 3 minutes on each side, or until browned and done throughout. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle immediately with the coarse salt. Right before serving, dust with the cayenne.
Cheese Beignets Recipe © 2008 Vegetarian Times, Inc. Photo © 2008 Renee Comet. All rights reserved. All materials used with permission.