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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Sopapillas, the weather, & NKOTB {The Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight & Cook-Off}

Temperatures in the 60's are the temps I enjoy most.  I feel revitalized, energetic, and refreshed.  Not too hot.  Not too cold.  Just right.  Which I actually find kind of ironic, because as a "kid", I loved sun and heat.  My parents would have to pry me away from the pool.  I spent my days slathering coconut-scented Hawaiian Tropic dark tanning oil on my body and dousing my hair with Sun In.  Or lemon juice and water if I didn't have any.  Radio on...six songs on my back and then flip...six songs on my front.  Then diving into the pool for some swim time.  Repeat.  Occasionally hop out to use the loo or eat an ear of corn or a bowl of BooBerry Cereal.  Looking back, I do get nostalgic, but I don't wish for 80 and 90 degree days like I used to.  Unless we one day magically acquire a pool.  Then I may have to compromise.  But until then, my older self relishes in the 60°'s. 
So, with that air of rejuvenation buzzing through my body and every window in the house thrown open wide (causing everybody else to grab blankets, sweatshirts, and socks...pshaw), it's only logical that music and cooking should ensue.  And I'm feeling like a little New Kids.  Or should I call them by their "grown-up" name, NKOTB?  Whatever.  One of the thing's that sun-goddess-me and withers-in-the-heat-me can agree on. Music.  I've always had, what we'll call, eclectic taste in music.  Just as I saw no reason that New Kids on the Block, Poison, Led Zeppelin, Cinderella, Kenny Loggins, Alabama, and The Fresh Prince couldn't share space in my precariously teetering tower of cassette tapes, I see no reason NKOTB, Dave Matthews, Godsmack, Ella Fitzgerald, Rusted Root, Grupo Cañaveral, and Jason Mraz can't share space in my MP3 player.  If it gets me "there"'s good with me.  Plus...ummm...Donnie Wahlberg.  Yeah.  Only got sexier.  I have a story about how I conned my mom into bringing me to my first New Kids concert.  3 hours away.  After I bought the tickets.  But I'll save that for another day.

Anyway, though it doesn't really seem like much of a point now, the temps were in the 60's windows were all open...NKOTB and I were singing loud enough for the neighbors to hear...and I was making Sopapillas.  That's pretty much the formula for a fabulous day.  Really, you can't go wrong with fried dough.  One bite (followed by ten more) into a soft, chewy, warm, puffy triangle of fried dough, sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and dripping with honey was enough to make the whole fam dam "overlook" my madness.  Even though that's one of the reasons they love me.  I'm sure of it.
slightly adapted from The Homesick Texan Cookbook
yield: 24

1 Tbs. yeast
1½ c. warm water
4 c. all-purpose flour + more for kneading
1 Tbs. granulated sugar
1 Tbs. kosher salt
1 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted

vegetable oil, for frying

for serving:

Combine yeast with warm water.  Let sit for five minutes, or until the yeast has dissolved and starts to look "creamy".  Combine flour, sugar, and salt.  Add those along with the melted (and slightly cooled) butter to the bowl.  Mix until well combined (I use a wooden spoon until it's mostly mixed, then switch to my hands).  Turn out onto your work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, 2-3 minutes.  Grease a bowl, place your dough in, cover and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, ~1 hr.
Punch dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Roll or pat it out into a rectangle that is about 12 inches by 9 inches.  Cut into 12 equal squares (~3" each).  Cut each square diagonally so that you have 24 triangles.  I used a pizza cutter to do this, but I think that a bench scraper or knife would work just fine, as well.

Pour about 1½" oil into a deep-sided pan.  Lisa suggests using 3", but since the cooking time is so quick, and they rise to the surface almost immediately, I decided not to use that much.  Plus, that was all the oil I had.  Plus-plus, my pan isn't that deep.  An inch and a half was plenty.  Heat to ~350° F (which in my book, is until the oil is shimmery and you can see some ripples under the surface...and when you dip the corner of the dough in, it will start to bubble rapidly).  Fry a couple of triangles of dough at a time, for ~45 seconds to 1 minute per side.  The dough will puff when it hits the oil.  Carefully lift the fried dough out of the oil with a skimmer (or something like it) and place on a tray that has been lined with paper towels.  Repeat until all of the dough has been fried.
Combine equal amounts of cinnamon and sugar (or go more of one or the other, if you prefer).  Sprinkle them over the fried puffs of dough while still warm.  Serve warm with honey for dipping.
What are you waiting for?  Go make a batch.  I'll be here when you get back.  Listening to "My Favorite Girl" and "I'll Be Loving You Forever".  Maybe practicing my "The Right Stuff" dance moves.  Not that I need the practice.  I mean, I've been doing them for 22 or 23 years now....
*This post is part of The Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off sponsored by Hyperion and hosted (right here!) at girlichef*

The Homesick Texan Cookbook Spotlight and Cook-Off Banner

I am also sharing this post with:
BYOB-badge Tasty Tuesdays 33 shades of green TastyTuesdayBB a little birdie told me rook no. 17 foodfriday

Would you like to comment?

  1. Heather, you always have "The Right Stuff."

    (Sorry, couldn't resist.)

  2. OMG! So many things I loved about this post! The young you that you described, sounds exactly like my young self, Sun In and all! I love your taste in music. (Mine is just as eclectic.) And well, Donnie was always my favorite New Kid! LOL :P

    I am so glad we have another cool day today, so I have the perfect excuse to make these sopapillas. Can you believe that I've NEVER tried them before?! :P

  3. What a fantastic post full of great memories of growing up at the same time as some of my boys. You have just introduced me to Sopapillas; that sounds and looks like somthing to die for. Me too I prefer the coller weather.

  4. So, difference between these and a beignet?

    And i would stack my eclectic tastes to yours... I actually own (and paid to have transfered to MP3 format) the Flying Nun album featuring Sally Fields... makes New kids seem normal

    Dance on!

  5. Mmm pillows of cinnamon/sugar heaven.

  6. Love it! I hope that New Kids story comes soon. I love sopapillas, these were really good.

  7. Okay, you know I'm dying in laughter over here. I went to the NKOTB concert a couple of years ago with all my old friends and it really made us feel like a bunch of 15 year old girls again. It was the best time. We acted a fool for sure. And, yes..Donnie was totally my favorite too. Oh I could just go and on about it all. Did you know that him and Mark are opening a burger joint in Boston called Wahlburger, or something like that? I bet they'll be a bunch of 30 something ladies heading in there everyday dying for a glimpse. LOL!

    I wasn't planning on making the sopapillas because I know I wouldn't be able to hold back, but they look so fluffy and delicious. I'd probably eat them all!

  8. Que receta tan fantastica, me encanta.


  9. Fun post! I have (and value in others) an eclectic music taste--it keeps life and parties more fun.

    Your sopapillas look amazing. I am going to live vicariously through yours because I would inhale all of them and my thighs are already complaining about the poblano mac 'n' cheese I "forced" on them. ;-)

  10. Such a great post!!
    I never knew it's called sopapillas, but I love it!

  11. Wow they looks damn addictive and delicious..

  12. Ahh sun in and NKOTB!!! donny totally got better looking, loving your sopapillas!!

  13. Hey girlie girl.....long time now blog with you. Must say the music is wrong for me but the "sofa pillas" are calling my name. We are in our monsoon right now and we too have lower and more tolerable yeah, I'll be doing the bread frying thing soon. Great post. Linda

  14. hi girlichef, you do have have a great sense of humor...that's good, it adds life to the kitchen.
    never seen or tasted sopapillas before- my first try will be from your recipe-thanks!
    the second last pic looks so yummy and tempting for my taste buds :)

  15. Nothing better in the world. Not even Louis Armstrong, cast of Wicked and the Replacements sharing space on the MP3.

  16. Love the fall, and the word sopapilla just makes me smile. As for NKOTB? Being from Boston...they will always have a special place....

  17. yes, New Kids on the Block! aren't they known as NKOTBSB now that they teamed up, haha!

    these sopapillas look even better, oh my goodness, so yummy!

  18. You had me reminiscing with this post! Your summer loving you reminds me so much of me! I could almost smell the dark tanning oil as I read this.

    And the recipe sounds and looks so good! Fried dough... really, can it get any better? :)

    Maria @ A Platter of Figs

  19. Ok. So I made the mac and cheese. I wish I would have made the sopapillas too!

  20. Hi Heather,
    Ya'll are just having to much fun and those great Sopapillas to make it a great evening. I really enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing and hope you are having a wonderful day!
    Miz Helen

  21. I need to try this looks awesome .

  22. This looks great! I may not get to these babies this week, but if my will power is directly proportional to how amazing your photos look, these will be dessert one night soon. Or dinner even. :)

  23. What a beautiful post!!!!
    These Sopapillas looks awesomely addictive and delicious...
    Lovely read and wonderful pictures.

  24. There is a Mexican restaurant south of the border (the Canadian border) that we always go to. If they have sopapilllos on the menu they are always on my plate.

  25. I love this post. You and I are the same kinda crazy! My family knows I'm in the bestest of moods when I'm baking something and I'm blaring music! LOL!! OMG fried dough?!? Serious YUM!!!!

  26. Oh those look too good. I know I would eat waaay too many ehehehe. Beautiful job.

  27. I am so on it...I am grabbing for my cinnamon right now! And it is sofunny...are you sure we didn't grow up next to each other? Well we were in Grand Rapids right? But I'll keep our weather for now, even at my age!

  28. Bring on more cool days! We're at seventy degrees right now...but it is only 8:30! These look delicious...and I'm sure they taste even better. Thanks for sharing, friend. I hope you are having a beauty and joy-filed day. Hugs from Austin!

  29. These look so good! I wish it were in the 60's here...heat wave is more like it :(

  30. your shots reminded me so much of the fried donuts my mom used to a kid, i loved seeing it puff up almost instantly when it hit the hot oil! we only added sugar, though. i think i prefer yours: cinnamon sugar and honey sounds way much better! :D

    thanks so much for sharing, and it's a pleasure featuring you over at Food Friday this week, Heather! :)

  31. These are just perfect - I can almost taste them. And I would get up right now and make a batch (if I didn't hate frying so much!)

  32. I am loooonging for those cool 60' days, lemme tell ya. Especially after a week of 100' plus weather. Although I did play in the pool..but I was forced to listen to what my girls listen to. I don't own an ipod...(what?!) really, I don't :( Anyways...even though I didn't make these this time...I'm going to do it on my own....cuz those are like...I dunno.... tex-mex doughnuts! Holy YUM!!!

  33. Tee hee -- I only used about 1 1/2 inches of oil too, and for the same reasons. I had to go out and restock my oil the next day.

    Your sopapillas look perfect! I love the photo of the one that shows the interior. Makes me want to make more!