ESSENCE OF EMERIL
2 quarts vegetable oil, for deep-frying
3 1/2 cups sifted flour plus extra for rolling
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup vegetable shortening, melted
1/3 cup milk
3/4 teaspoon grated lemon rind
Powdered sugar in a sugar shaker
In a deep-fryer heat oil over medium-high heat to 365 degrees F. Into a bowl sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. In a large bowl whisk together sugar and eggs; stir in melted shortening, milk and lemon rind. Using a wooden spoon, beat dry ingredients into egg mixture until a biscuit-like dough forms. Lightly flour work surface and turn out dough. Pat dough out to a 1/4-inch thick round. Use a 2 1/2 to 3-inch biscuit cutter to cut rounds. Reroll scraps.
Fry beignets in small batches about 4 minutes or until golden, turning several times to color evenly. Using a slotted spoon gently remove beignets and drain thoroughly on paper towels. Shake powdered sugar over beignets and serve immediately.
Yield: About 1 dozen 2 1/2-inch Beignets
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