Margaret Zainey Roux is one of the city's foremost authorities on interior design and decorating. She has produced New Orleans Homes and Lifestyles' STYLE and GATHERINGS sections for more than a decade and is a contributing editor for national and regional shelter publications including Traditional Home, Luxe (Southeast and Houston Editions), Southern Home, and Flower magazines. As a writer, she frequently collaborates with some of the country’s most celebrated tastemakers including Aerin Lauder and Danielle Rollins and interior designers like Charlotte Moss, Veere Greeney, and Paloma Contreras to name a few. Her work as a stylist and editorial producer takes her from Houston to the Hamptons where she creates tablescapes, floral arrangements, and picture-perfect vignettes that complement the rooms and carry out of the visions of the interior designers and magazine editors who have entrusted her with their projects.
Beignets & GravyRecipe yields two dozen beignets; one gallon gravyBeignet Dough
1 cup milk, warmed
½ package dry yeast
3 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 medium eggs
½ stick butter, melted
3 cups vegetable shortening for frying
Flour for dusting
Powdered sugar for dusting
Place warmed milk and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Stir and let sit for about 10 minutes then add flour, sugar, salt, eggs and melted butter. Beat together using a wooden spoon (or a mixer with a paddle attachment) until thoroughly incorporated, about 3 minutes. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until doubled in bulk, about 6 hours or overnight.
Place vegetable shortening in a large fry pot and heat to 325 F.
Dust work surface heavily with flour. Turn out chilled dough onto work surface. Dust with flour. Using a rolling pin or the palms of your hands, roll out or pat out the dough to a ½ inch thickness. Roll out into a square that is approximately 12 by 12 inches. Trim the edges slightly to make a perfect square. Cut the dough into 4 strips in one direction, then 6 strips in the other direction, creating 24 rectangles. A pizza cutter works great for this.
Dip dough into hot oil in batches without crowding the pot. Usually, six at the most will fit in at one time. Fry for about 1 ½ minutes, until golden brown. Turn over and fry another 1-1 ½ minutes, until golden brown on other side. Place on wire rack and set over a sheet pan to drain, or let drain on paper towels. Continue to fry the remaining dough in the same manner.
1/8 cup bacon fat
¼ cup onion, diced
¼ cup bell pepper
1/8 cup celery, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon thyme, chopped
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon creole seasonings
½ stick butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
1.5 cup heavy cream
1.5 cup whole milk
½ andouille sausage, diced
Caramelize sausage in a heavy-bottom stainless steel or ceramic pot until golden brown. Add bacon fat, onions, celery and bell pepper and sweat vegetables until translucent.
Add butter and melt, whisk in flour and stir until a blonde roux forms around the vegetables and sausage. Slowly add milk one cup at a time, stirring constantly, breaking up any roux balls. Add cream when the milk is incorporated. Add seasoning.
Bring to a low simmer and cook for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasoning with salt.
Place beignets on serving platter or plate, spoon gravy over beignets. Enjoy immediately!
About Chef Meg Bickford
Chef Megan “Meg” Bickford has called the Commander’s Palace kitchen her culinary home since 2008 and has served the role of executive chef since 2020. She is a graduate of the John Folse Culinary Institute and resides with her husband Richard and daughter Stella in Cut Off, where food is the center of life.