Food, Life and Love

Sourdough Garden Beignets and a Photo Shoot

My leg is falling asleep. I should probably move but the light is fleeting and these greens are slowly wilting. Man, it’s hot in here. That’s what you get when you try and make seven dishes in six hours in a 600 square foot apartment, things heat up.

The first article was a huge success. The press release hit and five publications picked it up. Now we are talking with our public relations firm about the next message to communicate. How surreal. I can’t stop smiling.

In September we will have a story in Austin Way. With a September story, that means a July deadline. We still don’t have walls in our restaurant, let alone pots but we need pictures. Which is why my leg is falling asleep and a bead of sweat is threatening my shot.

Getting to this point has been a process in itself. Try thinking of fall dishes for a seasonally inspired restaurant when none of those ingredients are currently in season. We painfully had to bypass the tomatoes and grab the cabbage instead. Something that didn’t feel right in the heat of the summer months.

In addition to finding the right ingredients, we had to identify the right dishes, the right “message”. We sat analyzing dishes, what we love, what photographs well, what do we think people will want to eat. Some dishes were debated and others were a clear choice like, savory garden beignets.

The sourdough batter gives it a pleasant acidity that marries with goat cheese. The natural fermentation allows an airiness that surrounds the dense cheese, lifting it like a present. Oh and the vinegar powder, my favorite part. Playing on the whimsy of powdered sugar you never expect the shock on your taste buds. Just one more picture, then I can take a bite.


Garden Beignets

Goat Cheese


Fresh Herbs (blend of your seasonal favorites)

Oil to fry

Vinegar Powder


2 t sourdough starter

2 t active dry yeast

3/4c plus 2 T whole milk

1 egg white whisked to a light froth

1 c plus 2 T all-purpose flour

3 T sugar

1 t salt

Mix the fresh herbs and goat cheese together. Season to taste. Roll in a small ball the size of a hazelnut. Skewer and freeze.

For the batter:

Add the sourdough starter and active yeast to the warm milk (90 F) and let sit ten minutes. Combine the dry ingredients. Add to the egg white to the yeast mixture. Whisk in the dry ingredients and mix until the batter is smooth. Proof at room temperature for about one hour. Should be airy. You can refrigerate the mixture after about 30 minutes if you want to use it tomorrow but you need to let it come to room temp before you use it. You can also split the batter to use it twice.

Heat the oil for deep frying to 350 degrees.

Coat the frozen goat cheese balls in batter and fry in the oil in small batches. Turn and baste with oil, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with vinegar powder and salt then serve.

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