Weekend with Heidi and Alejandro!

There is one really, truly special thing that happened while I was living in Wisconsin- meeting two wonderful new friends, Heidi and Alejandro. These two have very kind hearts and made living alone in the middle of WI bearable. Sharing their homemade meals, inspired by Costa Rican cuisine, prepared by the Chef du Jour Alejandro, I was spoiled. I will never forget their generosity and am very grateful for the continued growing friendship we’ve kept. So this past weekend we stayed with these two incredible hosts, for our annual Maywood Earthride. While Heidi and I took on 70 miles of the uphill in the wind Kettle Moraines, the boys stayed home and cooked a champion feast! On the menu for the weekend: turkey quesadillas packed with fresh grilled veggies, egg skillets, veggie hash, beignets with mango sauce, mango sauce glazed fruit salad, and slow cooked short ribs with plantains, chayote, yucca with sweet corn over a bed of hot rice…. mmmmmm. Jason and I got an education on using new exotic veggies as well as USING all your groceries, and I mean utilizing each left over or ripened banana to create exquisite meals that taste anything but leftover. For instance, the turkey used in those loaded quesadillas was in the fridge from a recent roasted turkey dinner and after eating all those delectable beignets, we had leftover mango sauce, so Heidi tossed that in to a fresh fruit salad! It’s simple things you can do to really get the most out of your food with very little waste. Next time you’re about to reheat the same meal from tonight’s dinner, think of a creative way to incorporate it in to a whole new dish, like soup or quesadillas or even a baked savory tart!

The dish we are going to blog about is the dessert BEIGNETS… (pronounced: bey-nyay) it is a pastry made with deep fried dough and then Alejandro creates decadent sauces to drizzle on the top- this time was the aforementioned Mango Sauce… read on and try it yourself… if you don’t have a deep fryer just use canola oil and your large dutch oven pan!

For the Sauce, you’ll need
1 large mango, skin and seed removed then chopped
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar

Add all ingredients into a medium sauce pan, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, using a hand immulsion blender, blend the mixture till smooth. Continue to reduce the mixture until thickened, about 25 minutes total.

For the Dough
1 cup water
pinch of salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
3-4 large eggs (4 if the eggs are on the small side)
2 teaspoons vanilla

Bring the water and pinch of salt to a boil in a large sauce pan, dissolve the sugar, then remove from the heat and slowly stir in the flour, it will get thick but contune to stir constantly until the mixture is smooth- no lumps! Then add in one egg at a time, making sure to completely incorporate each egg before adding the next one. Last, stir in the vanilla.

To Make the Magic happen…

Get your oil HOT whether it’s on your stove or in the fryer. Then using 2 spoons scoop and scrape the mixture ( like cookies) in to the hot oil, don’t over crowd them, they puff up. They cook for about 7 minutes total until golden brown.

Serve with powdered sugar sprinkled on top and drizzled with your Mango sauce…. ENJOY 🙂

Thank you again to our amazingly generous, wonderful friends for having us over and taking such great care of us, we can’t wait to have you back at our place next time!