Dinner and Movie: The Princess and the Frog

The Dinner:  The story of The Princess and the Frog takes you to New Orleans where beignets, Po’Boys and Jambalaya are local faves.

The Movie: The Princess and the Frog

The Princess and the Frog hit s theaters nationwide on December 11th.  It is a long-awaited return to classic animation  and Disney’s first African-American animated princess.  The story centers around Tiana, a working class woman from New Orleans with hopes of opening her own restaurant.  The Disney films drives home the point of having a good work ethic.

Tiana is voiced by Tony award winner Anika Noni Rose, more widely recognized as one of the Dreamgirls from the movie Dreamgirls.  Who is the dashing Prince turned frog?  Brazilian actor Bruno Campos (Nip/Tuck, Jesse) plays Prince Naveen of Maldonia.  The prince consumes the fruits of life without knowing what it is to labor for it until he meets Tiana.  Other celebrities voicing characters in the film include Oprah Winfrey and Terrence Howard.

Among the highlights of the film is the music and the characters.  There are catchy tunes sprinkled throughout the film.   The characters resonate to a point in which you know they will become a common to everyone as Pinocchio or Simba.  When a dialogue is written well and acted superbly it amounts to a winning combination.

Also this film is a treat to foodies because it not only showcases New Orleans food;moreover, it drives the point of how preparing food can be a loving act.

Recipe for Beignets: A New Orleans Specialty

Beignets (picture from Photobucket.com)

 If you have a sweet tooth, this recipe was made for you. This fried dough sprinkled with powdered sugar is a confectionary dream for those of us who are not ashamed to admit we’ve eaten sugar sandwiches. This treat is so beloved in Louisiana that it became the state doughnut in 1986.

Here’s the recipe for beignets! Do yourself a favor and get a pot of coffee brewing to go with this special indulgence.

Recipe for Beignets (Whatscookingamerica.net)

Ingredients

1 cup lukewarm water

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg, room temperature & beaten

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 cup evaporated milk

4 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons instant active dry yeast

Vegetable oil*

Powdered sugar for dusting

* Use just enough vegetable oil to completely cover beignets while frying.

Instructions

Using a mixer with a dough hook, place water, sugar, salt, egg, butter, evaporated milk, flour, and yeast in the bowl. Beat until smooth. If using a bread machine, select dough setting and press Start. When dough cycle has finished, remove dough from pan and turn out onto a lightly oiled surface. form dough into an oval, place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until well chilled (3 to 4 hours) or overnight.

To prepare dough, remove from refrigerator and roll out on a lightly floured board to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut into approximately 3-inch squares or circles.

In a deep fryer or large pot, heat vegetable oil to 360 degrees F. Fry the beignets (2 or 3 at a time) 2 to 3 minutes or until they are puffed and golden brown on both sides, turning them in the oil with tongs once or twice to get them evenly brown; beignets will rise to the surface of the oil as soon as they begin to puff. NOTE: If the beignets don’t rise to the top immediately when dropped into the oil, the oil is not hot enough. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels, then sprinkle heavily with powdered sugar. Serve hot.

NOTE: The dough can be kept for up to a week in the refrigerator – it actually improves with age; just punch down when it rises. Dough can also be frozen; cut and roll, or shape doughnuts before freezing.)

Makes 18 beignets.

Learn about the History of King Cake:

 http://www.multiculturalcookingnetwork.com/component/k2/item/372-north-america-king-cake.html

Pictures from rachelleb.com