Mardi Gras is celebrated on Fat Tuesday, or Malasada Day, which is March 4. Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the first day of Lent. So before foregoing eating meat, your favorite food, drink or bad habit, Mardi Gras is the last chance party before making sacrifices for a six-week period.
Bon Appetit Magazine printed Tex Drive In’s malasada recipe in their September 2000 issue. If you want it ready for breakfast, you will need to wake up early on Tuesday because the dough needs at least two hours to rise.
Tex Drive In
Combine in the bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment, beat until blended:
1 egg at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon salt
Add and beat one minute:
5 cups all purpose flour
2 envelopes quick-rise or instant dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
Add and beat until well blended:
1 cup hot water (110-120 degrees F)
1/3 cup evaporated milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs at room temperature
1/2 cup flour
Beat until dough is smooth, soft and slightly sticky but begins to come away from sides of bowl, adding more flour by tablespoons if very sticky, about 10 minutes. Scrape down dough from sides of bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
Punch down dough. Cut into 2 equal pieces. Roll out 1 piece on lightly floured surface to 12-by-16 rectangle. Cut lengthwise into 3 strips and crosswise into 4 strips, making twelve 4-inch squares.
Repeat with remaining dough.
Pour enough vegetable oil into large saucepan to reach depth of 1 1/2 inches. Attach deep-fry thermometer and heat oil to 350 degrees. Fry two or three malasadas until puffed and golden brown, turning once, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer malasadas to paper towels and drain. Repeat frying with remaining dough squares, heating oil to 350 degrees for each batch.
Generously sprinkle warm malasadas with sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I make malasadas, from a recipe I learned from Grandma Gussie Morgado, every year for the volunteers for the Rotary Club of South Hilo’s Hilo Huli on the first Sunday in May. I like this recipe because I make a huge batch on Saturday and refrigerate it overnight. By the time I pack up and arrive at Coconut Island, the dough is at room temperature and ready to be fried. This dough is runny and needs to be spooned into the hot oil, unlike the Tex Drive In recipe, which can be rolled.
In a bowl, add:
4 1/2 teaspoons (2 packets) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm water (105-110 degrees F)
Let stand for minutes. Foam should form on top.
Sift together into a large bowl:
7 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
Mix together, make a well, and add:
7 large eggs, well beaten
1/4 cup melted butter
1 (12 ounces) can evaporated milk
1 can water from evaporated can
1 teaspoon lemon extract
Mix together to form soft, smooth dough. Cover, refrigerate overnight.
The next day, allow to bring dough to room temperature.
Heat deep fryer to 350 degrees. Spoon teaspoons into dough, but try to make a hole in the middle so the malasada center will cooked through. Fry for 3 minutes, turn with chopsticks, fry another 3 minutes. Remove to paper towels to drain. While still war, roll in:
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
All yeasts are not created equal. The recipe for Tex’s Drive In malasadas calls for quick-rise instant yeast dry yeast. The dry yeast particles are smaller in size and rehydrates faster and can be added directly into the flour without being soaked first.
The other type of yeast for Grandma Gussie’s malasadas found at the market is called active dry years and these granules need to be rehydrated in warm water (105-110 degrees) with a bit of sugar to feed the yeast. If your yeast is alive a well, there will be foam forming at the top.
The Hawaii Community College’s Bamboo Hale will be changing their standard menu to the Americas and the American South will be the featured region from now through Friday.
Call for reservations at 934-2591. The Cafeteria will also be featuring specials at very reasonable prices.
Speaking of Hilo Huli, tickets will be available for purchase by members of the Rotary Club of South Hilo. Please support Hilo Huli as proceeds will go back to support the community.
“LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULER!”
Please feel free to email me at email@example.com if you have a question. Bon appetit until next week.