Oyster Beignets (Beignets d’Huitres)

This is a fabulous holiday appetizer from New Orleans. Be sure to make the horseradish dipping sauce ahead of time to allow the flavors to meld.

INGREDIENTS:

Oil for deep frying
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, cut into pieces
4 eggs
1 dozen large or 1 1/2 dozen medium shucked oysters, drained, washed and re-drained, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon minced parsley

Horseradish Sauce (recipe below)

METHOD:

Heat oil in deep-fat fryer to 375°F.

Combine flour and sugar in small bowl. Combine milk and butter in medium saucepan and bring to boil, stirring to completely melt butter. Add flour mixture all at once, stirring constantly until mixture leaves sides of pan and forms ball.

Remove from heat and add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Continue beating until stiff batter is formed. Add oysters and parsley and mix well.

Drop by teaspoonfuls into hot oil and fry until golden, about 4-5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and keep warm while frying remaining beignets. Serve with Horseradish Sauce.

Beignets may be made ahead and re-crisped in a 375°F oven. Makes 4 -5 dozen.

Horseradish Sauce

3/4 cup chili sauce
1/4 catsup
1/4 cup minced celery
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (or to taste)
1 tablespoon horseradish (not creamed) or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
Two dashes of hot pepper sauce

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Chill before serving.

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