Monday, February 20, 2012

Café du Monde: Beignets et Café au Lait

Winter 2012 450

For our first anniversary, the Coppertop Guy and I went to New Orleans for a long weekend. I arrived clutching a list of must-try dishes, which included po'boys, alligator, gumbo, bananas foster, and of course, beignets and café au lait at the famous Café du Monde.

cafe du monde 1

cafe du monde

Beignets are bits of dough that are fried until puffy and brown and then, as you can see, covered in a mountain of powdered sugar that gets all over you while you eat. It's part of the experience. Be careful not to breathe in as you take a bite - the sugar goes right down your windpipe, and that's not fun for anybody.

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(My mom has the most adorable collection of antique teacups - perfect for café au lait)

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Recreating this decadent treat at home could not be simpler: there's a just-add-water mix! I see it at the grocery store a lot around this time of year, or you can order it online. Usually I'm not a fan of such things, preferring to make from scratch, but there's an element of nostalgia when you open this box, knowing that it came straight from the source. It's as if there's a bit of New Orleans stowed away inside.

Café au Lait

3 cups milk
1/4 cup ground coffee, such as French roast or Café du Monde coffee and chicory

Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat until steaming. Do not boil. Prepare coffee in a stovetop espresso maker. Pour coffee into the hot milk and stir to combine.

Serves 4.

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