Welcome back to another edition of Cape & Castle’s Friday Disney cooking series! Last week, we kicked off the series with Kronk’s Spinach Puffs from The Emperor’s New Groove. From the Kuzconian Empire to the bayou, we’re throwing it down to the Jazz Age in New Orleans with Tiana’s beignets from The Princess and The Frog.
In the movie, we meet Tiana, a spirited girl with a natural gift for the culinary arts, as we see her bring joy to her entire block with her famous gumbo. But this scene does more than introducing us to Tiana’s cooking ability—it defines the importance of food.
Yes, food is what fuel we use to stay alive as Remy’s dad would say in Ratatouille, but food is the glues of many cultures. Food brings people of the same way of life together in fellowship. However, it can also serve as a bridge to connect people of different cultures, as food is a universal language of life. Even when words fail, joy can still be delivered through food.
The movie quickly transitions to 19-year-old Tiana, a hard-working young woman with aspirations to one day open a restaurant called Tiana’s Place (you can actually eat at a real version of this restaurant aboard Disney Cruise Line). She is willing to do anything to see this dream come to fruition, including working multiple jobs and even kissing a frog.
At one of her jobs as a waitress, Tiana becomes famous for her beignets, a French pastry made from fried choux pastry. Her talent does not go unnoticed by her friend Charlotte, who hires Tiana to make 500 beignets for her masquerade ball. This is an impressive single-handed feat; trust me, I only made 18.
Back in 2017, I had to opportunity to visit New Orleans, and don’t get me wrong the French Quarter and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome were cool, but the most unforgettable part of the trip was the food. I made sure to experience a range of New Orleans cuisine from po’ boys to jambalaya, and of course, beignets.
If you’re not sure what a beignet is, the best comparison is a rectangular doughnut without the hole trounced in powdered sugar. Sorry, Benoit Blanc.
This week, I used a beignet recipe from whatshouldimakefor.com. Click here to find the recipe! The instructions suggest chilling the dough in the fridge for 4 hours, but if you’re pressed for time, letting the dough rise in a warm place for 2 hours will do the trick.
While the rising time takes some patience, the beignets fry very quickly and are worth it! Dust with copious amounts of powdered sugar (seriously—there is no such thing as too much powdered sugar on beignets) and eat while warm for a delicious taste of NOLA that melts in your mouth.
Need some music to listen to while your cooking in the kitchen? We got you! Here’s your Disney playlist for this week:
- “Friends on the Other Side” – Keith David
- “You’re Welcome” – Dwayne Johnson
- “The Bare Necessities” – Phil Harris, Bruce Reitherman
- “You Can’t Stop The Girl” – Bebe Rexha
- “Almost There” – Anika Noni Rose
- “Know Who You Are” – Auli’i Cravalho, Vai Mahina, Olivia Foa’i, Opetaia Foa’i, Matthew Ineleo
- “The World’s Greatest Criminal Mind” – Vincent Prince
- “Out There” – Tony Jay, Tom Hulce
- “Kingdom Dance” – Alan Menken
- “Why Should I Worry” – Dan Hartman, Charlie Midnight, Billy Joel
What other dishes would you like to see us make? Let us know on Twitter and make sure to share with us what Disney food you are making @capeandcastle! Be sure to also check out our site for articles on all things Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, and more!