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FOOD FUN: DIY Filled Donut Holes

Filled Donuts
[1] David Burke’s Warm Drunken Donuts.

Chef David Burke Warm Drunken Donuts
[2] A showman as well as a chef, David Burke often has special serveware made for his creations. Donut carousel, anyone? (photos #1 and #2 courtesy Chef David Burke).

Beignets

[3] Banana beignets add another popular flavor to donut holes. Here’s the recipe from Food Network.

 

Chef David Burke, master of invention, has intrigued us yet again with Warm Drunken Donuts: fresh-fried donut holes with three “drunken” fillings: bourbon caramel, chocolate kahlua and raspberry limoncello.

David Burke serves the donuts with three small squeeze bottles of the fillings, and you get to inject your own filling. It’s fun.

Although we haven’t gotten to one of his restaurants to try them, we cobbled together our own version using store-bought donut holes (not as good as homemade, but they let us try the concept).

The recommended wine pairing is a sparkling rosé.

The drunken donuts are powdered sugar munchkins with several plastic needle pointed syrups that you squeeze into the donuts holes.
 
 
RECIPE: OUR ROUGH APPROXIMATION OF DAVID BURKE’S WARM DRUNKEN DONUTS)

Prep time is 15 minutes plus 5 minutes frying.

Ingredients For 2-3 Dozen (depending on size)

  • 4 cups canola or grapeseed oil (high smoke point oil)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional: cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar
  •  
    Plus fillings: see note below.
     
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder together, sift together and set aside as you whisk together the egg, milk and vanilla extract in a small bowl.

    2. ADD the oil to a deep, heavy saucepan and heat it to 350°F over medium heat. Watch the thermometer closely: If the oil goes above 350°, your donuts may get too crunchy.

    3. ADD the egg mixture into the flour mixture a bit at a time, and whisk until the dough is well combined. Add the melted butter and thoroughly combine.

    4. DROP small balls of dough into the hot oil, using a small cookie scoop (plan B: roll them in your hands). Fry in small batches: You don’t want to crowd the pan, because the dough balls need to float without making contact with each other. When they start to turning brown on the underside, flip them over with a fork. Continue to cook until both sides are golden brown.

    5. REMOVE the donut holes with a slotted spoon, onto a baking sheet or platter lined with paper towels. Allow them to cool and then roll them in the optional sugar. We used a bit of cinnamon sugar on half of them (we’re not keen on powdered sugar garnishes: they’re too messy).

    Serve warm.

     
    FOR THE FILLINGS

    Taste and add more as alcohol as desired. You should go for a subtle layer of flavor, not a knockout.

  • For the Bourbon Caramel filling: We had so much delicious caramel sauce from The King’s Cupboard that we simply warmed it, added bourbon to taste, and then added cream to thin it for pourability.
  • For the Chocolate Cream filling: make this recipe and add a teaspoon of Kahlua or other coffee liqueur.
  • For the Raspberry Limoncello filling: We took the easy way out and combined quality raspberry jam with Limoncello and a bit of lemon zest. You can substitute Grand Marnier for the Limoncello.
  •  
     
    WHO INVENTED DONUT HOLES?

    First, we thank the Dutch for olykoeks, meaning oil cake, batter fried in oil.

    While dough was fried the world over, we can thank the Dutch for the sweet balls fried in hog fat that became modern doughnuts.

    An old word for ball was nut; a doughnut is literally a nut (ball) of dough. The term “doughnut” was first used in print in 1809 by American author Washington Irving in his satirical “Knickerbocker’s History Of New York.” Irving wrote of:

    “…balls of sweetened dough, fried in hog’s fat, and called doughnuts, or olykoeks.”

    Because the center of the cake did not cook as quickly as the outside, the softer centers were sometimes stuffed with fruit, nuts, or other fillings that did not require cooking (think of the chopped onions in the center of a bialy).

    What about the hole?

    Per Smithsonian, a New England ship captain’s mother made a notably delicious, deep-fried doughut that used her son’s spice cargo of nutmeg and cinnamon, along with lemon rind. She filled the center with hazelnuts or walnuts.

    As the story goes, in 1847, 16-year-old sailor Hanson Crockett Gregory created the hole in the center of the doughnut. He used the top of a round tin pepper container to punch the holes, so the dough would cook evenly.

    He recounted the story in an interview with the Boston Post at the turn of the century, 50 years later.

    He effectively eliminated the need to fill the less-cooked center, and provided an inner cut-out that enabled the dough to be evenly cooked.

    This was a breakthrough not just for donut holes, but for the donut in general. Previously, it had been cooked as a solid piece (no hole), so the sides were always crisper than the center. In fact, toppings were often put on the soggy center to cover up the flaw.

    After the creation of the doughnut hole, donut makers also fried the dough “holes.”

    It took more than a century and a mass marketer to popularize donut holes in America.

    While the forerunner of Dunkin’ Donuts began in 1948 (here’s the history of Dunkin’ Donuts), Munchkins “donut hole treats” were not introduced until 1972. Tim Hortons followed with Timbits in 1976.
     
     
    WHO CHANGED THE SPELLING FROM DOUGHNUT TO DONUT?

    The first known printed record of the shortened word “donut” appears (likely an inadvertent misspelling) in “Peck’s Bad Boy And His Pa,” a story by George W. Peck published in 1900.

    The spelling did not immediately catch on. That impetus goes to Dunkin’ Donuts.

    Donut is a easier to write, but we prefer the old-fashioned elegance of doughnut. Take your choice.

    Doughnuts didn’t become a mainstream American food until after World War I. American doughboys at the front were served doughnuts by Salvation Army volunteers. When the doughboys returned, they brought their taste for doughnuts with them [source].

    The name doughboy wasn’t related to the doughnuts, by the way. It dates to the Civil War, when the cavalry unchivalrously derided foot soldiers as doughboys. Two theories are offered:

  • Their globular brass buttons resembled flour dumplings.
  • They used flour to polish their white belts.
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    RECIPE: Summer Squash Crostini With Goat Cheese

    Don’t let summer slip away without trying this sunny bruschetta, for breakfast, lunch, snack or a first course at dinner.

    It was created by Kelley Epstein of Mountain Mama Cooks (her mountain is in Park City, Utah). The recipe was sent to us by Vermont Creamery.

    You can use flavored goat cheese instead of plain. Vermont Creamery makes Creamy Goat Cheese in Classic, Olive & Herb and Roasted Red Pepper, all of which work well with summer squash.

    If you don’t have spreadable goat cheese, use a goat cheese log at room temperature, which makes it more spreadable.
     
    RECIPE: SUMMER SQUASH CROSTINI WITH GOAT CHEEESE

    Ingredients For 4 Large Or 8 Small Pieces

  • 1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 small summer squash, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 ripe lemon
  • Pinch salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 oz Vermont Creamery Plain Creamy Goat Cheese or substitute
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Pinch ground black pepper
  • 4 slices crusty baguette or french bread, toasted or grilled
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SLICE the zucchini and yellow squash as thinly as possible, using a mandoline or sharp knife.

    2. COMBINE the squash, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Let it sit for 30 minutes or so until ready to serve. Then…

    3. TOAST the baguette slices. While they toast…

    4. COMBINE the goat cheese mixture in a food processor with the dill, lemon zest and pepper. Pulse until smooth and incorporated.

    5. SPREAD the goat cheese on each slice of bread and top with zucchini and yellow squash. Top each bruschetta with extra fresh dill and a sprinkle of kosher or coarse sea salt and pepper, if desired.
     
     
    BRUSCHETTA VS. CROSTINI: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?

    The answer, in brief, is the size of the slice, plus grilling versus toasting.

     

    Summer Squash Bruschetta
    [1] Eat your vegetables…on bruschetta or crostini. The differences are below (this photo shows bruschetta, a larger slice that is grilled instead of toasted; photo courtesy Mountain Mama Cooks).

    Summer Squash
    [2] Zucchini and yellow summer squash (photo courtesy Produce On Parade).

    Vermont Creamery Spreadable Goat Cheese

    [3] Vermont Creamery’s spreadable goat cheese in three varieties: original, olive & herb and roasted red pepper (photo courtesy Vermont Creamery).

     
    Bruschetta (three or four inches in diameter) are cut from an Italian loaf and grilled; crostini (about two inches in diameter) are cut from a thinner loaf like a baguette, and toasted.

    Bruschetta (pronounced broo-SKEH-tuh) are grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with any variety of items. The toppings can be as simple as extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, to diced tomatoes and basil, to almost any spread, vegetable, cured meat or cheese—even fruit.

    Bruschetta originated in the Tuscany region of Italy, where it is commonly served as a snack or appetizer. It may have been the original garlic bread.

    The word comes from the verb bruscare in Roman dialect, which means “to roast over coals.” If you have access to a grill, grill the bread for authenticity. If not, you can toast it.

    Some American manufacturers and others in the food industry misuse the term, using it to refer to the topping only and selling jars of “bruschetta” (it should be bruschetta topping). Show your superior knowledge and don’t allow the term to be distorted: The word bruschetta refers to the grilled bread, not the topping.

    Crostini (cruh-STEE-nee) are croutons: not in the American sense of small cubes tossed into soup or salad, but thin slices of toasted bread.

    Smaller than bruschetta, the slices can be cut from a ficelle, a thinner baguette one to two inches wide (the word is French for “string”), or from a thinner baguette. The slices are brushed with olive oil, toasted and then topped with spreadable cheese, pâté or other ingredients. Plain crostini are served with soups and salads, like melba toast, or set out with cheese.

    Final take:

  • Large slice grilled = bruschetta.
  • Small slice toasted = crostini.
  •  
    An easy memory aid: Crostini = crouton in French. Croutons are toasted (in the oven), not grilled over coals.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Potato Peel Chips

    Don’t send those potato peels to the trash bin.

    Turn them into chips!

    You can make this recipe with the peels from just two potatoes. Or, for a large lot, freeze the peels until you’re ready to defrost and bake.

    Sweet potato peels work, too, as do carrot and other root vegetable peels.

    RECIPE: POTATO PEEL CHIPS

    Ingredients

  • Peelings from 4 potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper or 1 teaspoon barbecue rub
  • Optional garnishes: shredded cheddar and chopped scallions, grated parmesan
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

    2. TOSS the potatoes with the olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake until crisp, 15 to 20 minutes.

    3. SEASON with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with garnishes and serve immediately.
     
     
    MORE WAYS TO USE KITCHEN SCRAPS

    Here’s more inspiration from Cooktop Cove on how to re-use what you’d normally throw away:

  • Bread Heels
  • Broccoli Stalks
  • Chicken Bones
  • Scallion Root Ends
  •  
    Ideas From Life Hacker | Australia include

  • Apple Peel Chips
  • Carrot & Potato Peel Chips
  • Cucumber Peel Spread
  • Parmesan Rind Bites
  •  
    Plus

  • Carrot Greens Chimichurri
  • Greek Broccoli Stalk Salad
  • Sesame-Ginger Radish Greens
  •  

    Potato Peel Chips
    [1] Turn peels into chips (photo courtesy Covetop Cook).

    Sweet Potato Peel Chips
    [2] Sweet potato peel chips (photo courtesy What’s Gaby Cooking).

    Carrot Peel Chips

    [3] Potato and carrot peel chips (photo courtesy Life Hacker | Australia.

     
    Keep an eye out, and you’ll find many ways to use kitchen scraps that are fun to make and eat, and a contribution to a better environment.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Hey, Honey! 30 Tasty Uses For Honey

    Honey Jars
    [1] Depending on the flower pollen, honey is available in many colors, from palest yellow (fireweed honey) to almost black (buckwheat honey) (photo courtesy National Honey Board).

    Honey Swirler
    [2] The simple solution to messy, drippy honey: a honey swirler (photo Hannah Kaminsky | Bittersweet Blog).

    Honey Yogurt & Smoothie
    [3] Yogurt and smoothie with honey (photo courtesy National Honey Board).

    Salmon With Honey Glaze
    [3] Pan-seared salmon with honey glaze (photo courtesy National Honey Board).

    Roast Duck With Honey Glaze

    [4] Roast duck with honey glaze (photo courtesy National Honey Board).

     

    September is National Honey Month. Whether used straight as a sweetener in a cup of tea, or as an ingredient in endless recipes, honey is a hero: an all natural energy booster.

    Look for raw or unrefined honey, in varietals: acacia, blueberry, clover, lavender, orange blossom, sage, wildflower—there are hundreds of different varieties around the world.

    We avoid generic honey, the type simply labeled “honey” at the supermarket. It is a blend of cheap honeys, often from countries like Argentina and China that specialize in providing cheap honey.

    These honeys provide sweetness, but that’s it: none of the nuances of flavor from the different flowers (a varietal honey is one particular variety of flower).

    Another reason to buy varietal honey: Honey is one of the most adulterated foods on Earth—many companies mix it with cheaper sweeteners like sugar and corn syrup to cut costs. Look for “pure honey” on the ingredient label—and skip anything that lists “honey blend” as an ingredient.

    Use different types to change the taste in recipes. In general, the darker the honey, the stronger the taste and the higher the antioxidant content. If you can find a honey sampler with one- or two-ounce jars, grab it. Then spend some time with a spoon, tasting the honey from the jars and noting the differences.

    There are many recipes that use honey, from Honey Glazed Chicken and Honey Glazed Carrots to breakfast breads. You can substitute honey for table sugar and brown sugar in any recipe.

    But there’s no cooking required for these tasty uses for honey:
     
    BEVERAGES WITH HONEY

    Use instead of sugar or simple syrup in:

  • Cocktails.
  • Honey milk. Add a spoon of honey to a glass of milk as an alternative to chocolate milk.
  • Tea: hot and iced.
  • Smoothies.
  •  
     
    BREAKFAST FOODS WITH HONEY

  • Broiled grapefruit. This oldie is a goodie: Drizzle honey on grapefruit halves. Brown it under the broiler (or eat it without broiling).
  • Cereal. Use instead of sugar to sweeten cereal and porridge.
  • Cut fruit. Drizzle on fruit that lacks natural sweetness.
  • Jam substitute. Honey is a nutritious alternative to jam and preserves.
  • Honey Butter. Delicious on breakfast breads and pancakes, simply blend one stick (4 ounces) of room-temperature butter with 3 to 4 tablespoons of honey.
  • Honey yogurt. Mix into plain yogurt. Add chopped basil, mint or rosemary for more dimension of flavor. You can do the same with cottage cheese and ricotta.
  • Maple syrup substitute. For pancakes, waffles and French toast.
  • Muffins. Brush honey freshly baked muffins for a quick glaze, or brush room temperature muffins and give them 5 seconds in the microwave.
  • Peanut butter or other nut butter on toast or rice crackers, drizzled with honey.
  •  
     
    DESSERTS WITH HONEY

  • Cake filling. Whipping 2 cups of low-fat ricotta or whipped cream cheese in a food processor with 4 tablespoons of honey and a pinch of ground cinnamon. Stir in ¼ cup of chopped crystallized ginger, mini chocolate chips or 1 tablespoon lemon or orange zest.
  • Custard. Substitute honey for sugar in custard, flan, panna cotta.
  • Light frosting. Blending 12 ounces of room-temperature whipped cream cheese with ? cup of honey, the grated zest of an orange and a pinch of salt.
  • Topping for ice cream.
  • Topping for un-iced cakes.
  •  
     
    SPREADS, SAUCES & DIPS WITH HONEY

    Start with the lower amount of honey, and add more to taste.

  • Barbecue Sauce. Blend= ¼ to ? cup of honey into 1 small can (6 ounces) of tomato paste. Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of prepared mustard and season with Worcestershire or soy sauce to taste. Thin with water, if necessary.
  • Honey mustard. Combine Dijon and honey in a 2:1 proportion. Taste and add more honey as desired.
  • Honey mustard mayo spread. Make a sandwich spread with 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup), 1 tablespoon honey and 1 tablespoon mayonnaise.
  • Peanut sauce or dip. Thinning peanut butter with a little hot water or broth, sweeten with honey taste, flavor with soy sauce and red chile flakes to taste.
  • Vinaigrette. Combine 2 tablespoons wine vinegar, 6 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon honey and 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard. Option: Add 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic.
  •  

    OTHER FAVORITE USES FOR HONEY

  • Baked beans. Use honey instead of sugar in the recipe; or half honey, half brown sugar. (Tip: Most recipes have too much sweetener. Use half or two-thirds of what is called for.
  • Cheese condiment. With all cheeses, from the mildest ricotta and goat to aged parmesan and Gouda.
  • Energy boost. Have a teaspoon from the jar. Unlike sugar, honey is a nutritious carbohydrate that provides immediate energy. If you don’t want to eat it directly, add it to a cup of warm water mixed with lemon, or a cup of tea (no milk), or on a slice of apple or banana.
  • Peanut butter and honey sandwich. More sophisticated than PB&J.
  •  
     
    HONEY NUTRITION

    Honey is a nutritional powerhouse.

  • Minerals: calcium, iron, copper, phosphate, sodium chlorine, magnesium, manganese and potassium.
  • Vitamins: B6, niacin (B3), riboflavin (B2), thiamin (B1), pantothenic acid (B5).
  • Plus: amino acids and antioxdants.
  •  
     
    MORE HONEY INFORMATION

  • Certified Organic Honey & Raw Honey
  • Honey Varietals: The Different Types Of Honey
  • Forms Of Honey
  • The History Of Honey
  • Honey Facts
  • Pairing Honey With Foods & Beverages
  • Storing & Using Honey
  •   

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Chanterelle Mushrooms and Chanterelle Tacos

    Chanterelle mushrooms are found year-round, but their peak season—highest yield, lowest price—is autumn (September is National Mushroom Month).

    Meaty wild mushrooms that range in color from orange to yellow-gold, the unusual color is due to the presence of carotenoids, antioxidant pigments that also give color to bell peppers, cantaloupe, carrots, papaya, mangos, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables.

    In addition to their color, it’s easy to recognize chanterelles from their wavy caps with ruffled gills that flare upward along the stem—forming a trumpet shape.

    They’re prized because they’re different, and not just for their looks. They have an aroma resembling apricots or peaches, and a nutty flavor. They can’t be cultivated but must be gathered by hand. This can make them more expensive, but wild mushrooms are invariably more flavorful than cultivated ones.

    Cantharellus cibarius, commonly known as the chanterelle or golden chanterelle, grows wild on the forest floor, in old, deep, “leaf litter.” It grows in quantity along the Pacific Coast of North America, and in temperate forests around the world. (Note: Don’t gather your own in the forest, unless you have had expert training in how to identify them, or can get expert advice prior to consuming them.)

    These meaty mushrooms also contain significant amounts of protein, plus chromium, iron, eight essential amino acids, potassium and vitamins A and D2 (the latter helps the body absorb calcium).
     
     
    USING CHANTERELLE MUSHROOMS

    Chanterelles love to be paired with with pasta, risotto, anything with a butter or cream sauce, and in a ragout with other wild mushrooms.

    As with all mushrooms, they shine with garlic and onions, and cow’s milk cheeses like Parmesan (the difference between Parmesan and Parmigiano-Reggiano).

  • Add them to just about any savory course.
  • Sauté or roast them, and serve them as a side with grilled or roasted meats and seafood; or a first course, with grated Parmesan. The simplest preparation: Sauté in butter and garnish with parsley.
  • The latter preparation makes an easy sauce. Don’t hesitate to add a spoonful of Cognac.
  • Roast them and toss with a bit of olive oil, lemon zest, crushed pepper and optional parsley.
  • Have too many chanterelles and not enough time to cook them all? Cook and purée them into soup with a bit of milk, cream or broth; or pickle them.
  •    

    Chanterelle Mushrooms
    [1] Ready to clean and cook (photo courtesy Quinciple).

    Chanterelles

    [2] A simple sauté with salt, pepper and herbs provides a wealth of taste (photo courtesy D’Artagnan).

  • For a first course or brunch, spoon sautéed chanterelles over polenta or eggs (think of Chanterelle Eggs Benedict).
  • For a main course or side, use fresh chanterelles. For soups and sauces, you can reconstitute dry chanterelles.
  •  
    Chanterelles can garnish an elegant protein such as filet mignon or turbot; or it can fill tortillas, as in the Chanterelle Tacos recipe below.
     
     
    CHANTERELLE TIPS

  • Like most vegetables, mushrooms do not ripen further after picking. They’re ready to eat: Use them within a week.
  • Keep the unwashed mushrooms dry in the fridge, in a brown paper bag. If you purchased them in a plastic bag, discard it when you get the ‘shrooms home and place them in a Tupperware-type container on paper towels.
  • Like most mushrooms, chanterelles absorb liquids like a sponge. Be careful to wipe with a damp cloth, but don’t soak them.
  • Chanterelles should only be eaten cooked.
  • All mushrooms should be cooked over low heat.
  •  
     
    CHANTERELLE TRIVIA

  • The name chanterelle comes from the Greek word kantharos, meaning vase.
  • The Pacific Golden Chanterelle (C. formosus) is the state mushroom of Oregon.
  •  

     

    Chanterelle Tacos

    [3] Chanterelle tacos (photo courtesy Ten Speed Press | Crown Publishers).

     

    RECIPE: CHANTEARELLE TACOS

    This recipe, sent to us by Good Eggs, is from Super Natural Every Day: Well-Loved Recipes from My Natural Foods Kitchen, by Heidi Swanson.

     
    Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small serrano or jalapeño chile, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Fine-grain sea salt
  • 12 ounces chanterelles, sliced
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano (substitute regular oregano)
  • 8 corn tortillas, warmed
  • Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, to taste
  • Optional garnishes: sour cream, parsley
  •  
    Preparation

    1. HEAT the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion, chile, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sauté until the onions are translucent, a few minutes.

    2. INCREASE the heat to high, add the mushrooms, stir well, and cook until the mushrooms release their liquid. Then brown, about 5 minutes more. Stir just a few times along the way; with excessive stirring, the mushrooms won’t brown deeply.

    3. REMOVE from the heat. Rub the oregano between your palms and let it rain down into the mushroom mixture. Taste and add a bit more salt, as desired.

    4. WARM the tortillas. Wrap the stack in a barely damp kitchen towel. Place in a heavy pot over very low heat, cover, and let warm for a few minutes, or until you are ready to use them. If you want char on the tortillas, toast them directly over the flame of the stove.

    5. SPOON the mixture into the warmed tortillas and sprinkle the Parmesan over all of the tacos. Serve with the sour cream and parsley.

      

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