… from the California Kitchen
How you doin’? I spent a lot of time at the Disneyland park as a kid and later as a consultant to all the Disney parks. They were magical to a 10-year old and even more impressive as an adult working behind the scenes.
It’s fitting that we are coming into Mardi Gras as my favorite places is still New Orleans Square—one of the themed lands found at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. It’s based on 19th-century New Orleans. It was the first area to be added to Disneyland since the park’s opening. According to Disney history, at nearly $18 million the roughly three-acre area cost as much as the original Louisiana Purchase; without adjusting for inflation, it actually cost more.
New Orleans Square is home to Pirates of the Caribbean and used to be the home of the Disneyland Dream Suite. Now closed, at one point, it was the only overnight accommodations in the park open to the public. You can also find the Blue Bayou Restaurant and Haunted Mansion. The Square is also home to Club 33 a subscription venue that can cost over $40,000 for the initial membership fee, and $10,000-$25,000 in annual dues thereafter… and that’s if you’re lucky enough to be selected from the waitlist.
In New Orleans Square they used to sell what they called “New Orleans Beignets” but were not true beignets at all, but an eggy fried choux dough (creampuff pastry). That later changed to a more authentic pastry several years ago. I always loved the original and tweaked it several times to fit one of my restaurants. It is great for weekend brunches.
Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, refers to events of the Carnival celebration, beginning on or after the Christian feasts of the Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday, which is known as Shrove Tuesday… which falls on March 1st this year. Hey… that’s tomorrow!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Fry time: 11 minutes
Yield: 25 small fritters
For the fritters
1 cup water
3 ounces unsalted butter
4 1/4 ounces all-purpose flour
1/4 ounce granulated sugar
5 large eggs
Vegetable oil (for deep frying)
For the topping
1/2 cup cinnamon sugar
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
ChefSecret: It’s best to weigh out all the ingredients instead of just using cups and spoons.
Quip of the Day: “If there was no New Orleans, America would just be a bunch of free-loving people dying of boredom.”
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