Parmesan Shallot Beignets
with Roasted Grape Dipping Sauce
These crisp, savory snacks are a festive and satisfying accompaniment to a glass of wine or cocktail. The simple grape sauce can easily be made ahead of time and reheated as needed.
2 quarts seedless red grapes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 large eggs
3 cups milk
3 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 cups or more vegetable oil, for frying
- Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C). Toss grapes with olive oil, vinegar and pepper and place in roasting pan. Roast until grapes have wrinkled and browned slightly and juices have reduced to a syrup, about 25 minutes. Remove half of grapes to a blender; pulse until chopped but not smooth. Mix with remaining grapes. Set aside.
- Sauté shallots in butter over medium-high heat until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, cook 1 minute more and remove from heat; cool to room temperature.
- Combine flour, salt, thyme, basil and baking powder in medium bowl; whisk in eggs and milk until smooth. Stir in shallot mixture, cheese and pepper.
- Place some of the batter in a pastry bag. Squeeze 6-inch strips of the batter into hot oil. Cook until golden brown all over, about 2 minutes. Drain beignets well and keep warm while frying the remaining batter.
- Serve beignets sprinkled with salt and fresh minced basil. Accompany with warm Roasted Grape Dipping Sauce.
Makes 12 servings.
Recipe and photograph courtesy of the California Table Grape Commission.