Mobile-area restaurateur “Panini Pete” Blohme is going nationwide with his recipe for beignets, with his mix now available for purchase online.
For many, the deep-fried, sugar-dusted puffs are synonymous with New Orleans, but Blohme has been serving them for years at Panini Pete’s in Fairhope. He’s gone on to offer them at his three other venues: Squid Ink in downtown Mobile, Ed’s Seafood Shed on the Causeway and Sunset Pointe at Fairhope’s Fly Creek Marina.
Blohme is upfront about the fact that his recipe is non-traditional. He developed it to be less labor-intensive for restaurant staff, a benefit he thinks will carry over to home chefs.
“I needed something that was fast, not like a dough you had to roll and cut that’s a lot of work,” said Blohme. “I started playing around with wet dough recipes and different variations. I even talked to some buddies who were chefs in New Orleans.”
Fry ’em up: Light, puffy beignets are a treat many home chefs might find daunting.
“Panini Pete” Blohme is sharing his recipe and technique.
The seasoned mix is $6.99 for a one-pound bag, enough to make dozens of beignets. It can be ordered through Blohme’s site, www.chefpaninipete.com. Chefs will need to add water, butter and eggs, plus sugar for dusting. Blohme strongly recommends a fresh squeeze of lemon juice as the finishing touch.
If a recipe that involves a deep fryer and powdered sugar seems like a recipe for a messy kitchen, well, maybe there’s a reason Blohme used a friend’s house for a detailed demonstration video. But he makes it look easy and shares a few tips along the way, such as his technique for cracking eggs.
The mix is also available at Blohme’s restaurants and select Lower Alabama grocery stores.