May 3, 2008

Ruby Red Jasmine Calas - A Creole Fritter

Around the turn of the century, you could find ladies walking the streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans, selling Creole calas to eat with your coffee. Calas are a delightful and slightly sour fried concoction that will remind you of eating a fritter. Once fried they are dusted with powdered sugar and served piping hot.

When I was younger and my family would go out for brunch, you could get your choice of either calas or beignets. I always chose the calas for their slightly sour and exotic flavor. Slathered with fresh preserves or key lime curd they were sublime. Rarely did I have enough room to eat my meal and my parents were always asking for a box to take it home.

The other day I was thinking about calas and the restaurant on the beach where we'd go for brunch. Since the restaurant is long gone, there was only one way I knew I could get calas and that was to make them myself. There are a variety of different ways to spice up your calas, you can use the traditional nutmeg or nutmeg and cinnamon or nutmeg, cinnamon and mace. You can make them sweet or not so sweet.

My family's reaction to the calas was mixed. My husband and I thought they were wonderful. Our children weren't so fond of them as they found them a bit sour for their taste, but they don't like sourdough bread either. Our favorite way to eat them, was sprinkled with powdered sugar with a dollop of our favorite fruit preserves or curd.

Recipe

1/2 cup warm water (110 deg. F to 115 deg. F)
2 Tb cane sugar or agave syrup
1 pkg active dry yeast
3/4 cup Ruby Red Jasmine Rice, mashed *
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup millet flour
1/4 cup sweet rice flour
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
2 tsp chia seed meal **
pinch sea salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Optional: 1/4 cup cane sugar
Vegetable Shortening for frying
Powdered Sugar for Dusting
Fruit Preserves or Curd for slathering

1. The night before or at a minimum a few hours before you want to make your calas, pour the water, sugar and yeast into a large bowl. Let it stand until the yeast starts to foam, then add the mashed rice. Stir together and then cover the bowl. Allow it to stand at room temperature over night for a stronger sourdough like flavor or for at least a few hours for a milder soured flavor.

2. The next day or several hours later, add the remaining ingredients to the bowl. The mixture should be like a pancake batter, but not thick. Cover and allow it to rise for an hour. (Note: If you would like sweeter calas, add the 1/4 cup of cane sugar at this point.)

3. Preheat your frying oil to 365 degrees Fahrenheit. Set out a tray that is covered with paper towels for draining the calas. Drop by spoonfuls into the oil and cook until the are a deep golden brown with slightly darker edges, turn them over once during cooking.

4. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm. Makes 15 small calas.

Substitutions

1. You can use a gluten free flour blend with xanthan gum added instead of the flours and chia seed meal. Use 3/4 cup of the flour blend.

2. You can substitute 1 1/2 tsp xanthan or guar gum for the chia seed meal.

3. Any rice you have on hand can be used instead of the Ruby Red Jasmine rice.


* Ruby Red Jasmine Rice - I purchased my Ruby Red Jasmine Rice from Whole Foods. It is from Alter Eco Fair Trade.

** Chia Seeds - I purchase my chia seeds from Native Seeds/SEARCH. Then I use a coffee grinder dedicated to spice grinding to process them into a meal. Once ground, I store the meal in an air tight container in my pantry.

14 comments:

VeggieGirl said...

ooh, those calas sound HEAVENLY!! sorry that your children didn't like them - but hey, as long and you and your husband enjoyed them, then that's still fabulous :0)

linds said...

wow, these look almost too good to eat! (almost) haha.

Celine said...

I'm so jonesing for something fried right about now!

White on Rice Couple said...

Thanks for the great info on the chia seeds! Everything looks so good!

Private Chef said...

I have just stumbled upon your blog. I love the clean design and fantastic photos. I am a blogger myself and always thought that design was key and you have certainly captured that! There are so many food blogs out there these days and being different to all the others is key. I have just started www.ifoods.tv which is a website for chefs, foodies and food bloggers to hand out, share recipes, photos and videos. When i was blogging I always thought i should be getting more traffic as my blog was getting lost in the masses of stuff out there so my new site is aimed at giving food bloggers and chefs a bigger platform! Hope you enjoy it and keep up the good writing and design here! I have now bookmarked you so will be regular reader, Cheers!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

wow, this is a great site. I’m definitely going to tell my friend (who has Celiac’s disease) about it!

Tartelette said...

They look wonderful! It' be like eating fried sourdough...yum!

Sheltie Girl said...

Linds & Celine - Thank you so much for visiting and sharing your words with me.

Sheltie Girl

Sheltie Girl said...

Veggie Girl - My kids may not have liked the Calas, but at least they will try new foods. Maybe one day they will enjoy them.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sheltie Girl

Sheltie Girl said...

White on Rice Couple - You are most welcome. I'm glad you found the information helpful. I personally really enjoy cooking with chia seeds.

Sheltie Girl

Sheltie Girl said...

Private Chef - Thank you for stopping by to visit and all the kind words about my blog. Thanks for the link.

Sheltie Girl

Sheltie Girl said...

Chocolate Covered Vegan - Thanks for stopping by and sharing my link with your friend.

Sheltie Girl

Sheltie Girl said...

Tartelette - Thank you very much for stopping by and the kind words. Yes, these were like eating yummy bites of sourdough.

Sheltie Girl

Dana McCauley said...

Chia seeds are also sold as Salba in many health food and grocery stores. You can get them whole or ground under that name.

Sheltie Girl, if you're interested in sharing your post with more folks, you can send it to AromaCucina. Judith is compiling a NOLA section on her blog to help encourage people to support that great food city.

Drop me a line if you need more info.