Friday, January 15, 2010
Bill Beck has 86'd beignets at his Reading Terminal market counter, Beck's Cajun Cuisine.
Reason: They've been awful.
Although my first sampling found them just fine, with a reasonably light texture, he's had problems since. In two subsequent tastings, the outside was impossibly crunchy and the interior hollow. Beck's tried to figure out what's wrong, but for the time being decided to forget about them. And all this after spending bucks on a heavy-duty mixer whose sole purpose was to prep the dough.
So, once again, the Reading Terminal Market will have to wait for a superior sweet fried dough.
Friday, December 11, 2009
The heavy-duty stand mixer finally arrived at Beck's Cajun Café so the new Reading Terminal Market eatery can now make those beignets.
I've never been to New Orleans so I won't presume to make comparisons to what's offered by the finer establishments of the Crescent City at 2 a.m. to local and foreign drunkards looking to put something in their stomachs to hold down the liquor.
Who among us doesn't, at least occasionally, crave hot fried dough? It's even a religious tradition. (Tonight being the first night of Hanukah, it's time to indulge in sufganiot, one of the the traditional fried foods of this festival, basically a jelly doughnut, just as the Pennsylvania Dutch love their fastnachts for Fat Tuesday.)
Bill Beck's rendition is among the lightest hot fried dough I've ever had, which seems like an oxymoron. Not that these are low-caloric! He drowns them in confectioners' sugar, as you can see in the photo. Order them with a cup of Community Coffee (with chicory) imported from New Orleans.
Beck is also proud of his jambalaya, as you can see in the second photo.