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Thursday, April 19, 2012

NY, NY, It's A Wonderful Town!

When I found out several months ago that this year's International Association of Culinary Professionals Conference would be held in NYC I started psyching myself up for the challenge.  You see, I didn't have a New York state of mind, never understood why so many people did, and second and third-guessed my opposing opinion.  Previous trips had for various reasons left me with certain negative impressions, but I decided that this trip would be different.  I'm thrilled to report that a very positive attitude, an excellent conference on a professional level, pretty good weather, and spending quality time with old and new friends more than did the trick and I'm now on board the I heart NY ABC/1-2-3 trains.

For the food and fun portion of my trip, several destinations stood out:

Cheesecakes at Pasticceria Rocco
Pasticceria Rocco on Bleecker Street for the most amazing Pistachio Merringue cookies, cafe' latte, and Italian pastries - 

Raffetto's Nona Ramona
Raffetto's on Houston Street in Greenwich Village for extraordinary handmade pasta, sauces, and Italian groceries -

Grandaisy Bakery on Sullivan Street for NY-modern, European-style pizza, bread, and more -
Grandaisy's Butternut Squash Pizza                                            

None of This My Mac's Better Than Your Mac

There was a really fun insider's tour of the Test Kitchen at Meredith Publishing, with the food editors of  Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal, Everyday with Rachel Ray, and Better Homes & Gardens, with each magazine's version of a Mac & Cheese for tasting.  These accomplished women showed exactly how sharing one kitchen works to make each of their magazines better.

DP's Doughnut Pillow Wall
And now, for the recipe portion of this post, I'd like to share with you a very important pilgrimage I made.  I walked (with my new friend Teresa) from Times Square to Chelsea (I think it was kind of far if you're from California but not so much if you're a native) to pay homage to the Doughnut Plant (  For years I've seen DP featured on various food TV shows and day dreamed about going there one day.  Visit Doughnut Plant - check.

Of all the delicious food NY had to offer, my inspiration for this post was the fillings and glazes at DP.  I decided to fill my doughnuts with a Cactus Pear, Mango & Ancho Chile Jam that I preserved a few months ago, and top it with a simple glaze starring Melissa's Ojai Pixie Tangerines, with a crushed Pepita garnish.  I'm pretty sure DP uses only the finest, best, purest, organic, ingredients for their dough, but I am not so noble.  So I used a trick I picked up a couple of years ago of using frozen yeast bread dough to make really pretty amazing doughnuts.  I know doughnuts are a nough-nough where healthy eating is concerned, but I never said anything about healthy, did I?  Plus really, the glaze and fillings are made with fresh fruits and there's only a short dunk in hot vegetable oil to make these doughnuts worth every ounce of evilness.

Best Doughnuts Ever  - Mine!
1 loaf frozen bread dough (out of a 3-pack)
vegetable oil for frying
your favorite jam
2 Melissa's Ojai Pixie Tangerines
powdered sugar
pepitas (crushed)

1. Defrost the loaf in the fridge overnight.  Cut the loaf into 6 sections, form each section into whatever shape you want, then put each piece on a cooking oil sprayed, parchment paper lined baking sheet, and cover with cooking oil sprayed plastic wrap.  Put the pan in a warm place (I use my oven) and let dough rise at least 1 hour - longer is even better.

2. Then take each piece of dough, gently punch it a bit, reshape, and again place on the baking sheet, cover, and let rise another hour or so.

3. Using a pretty deep pan that is wide enough to fit one doughnut at a time, fill the pan with vegetable oil  about 3" or so deep, and heat at medium-high about 10-15 minutes until oil sizzles when you stick a wooden skewer into it.

4.  Gently place one doughnut into the hot oil and cook one one side about 20 seconds then turn over with the wooden skewer and cook on the other side  20 seconds.  Then flip the doughnut back over and cook another 10 seconds or so on each side until golden brown.  Use a spatula to remove the doughnut to a parchment lined baking sheet, then repeat with remaining 5 doughnuts, one at a time.

5.  Make the glaze with the juice of one pixie tangerine and powdered sugar blended together until smooth and glazey.  Add the zest of one tangerine into the glaze.  Reserve the zest from the other tangerine.

6.  When the doughnuts are cool enough to handle, take a metal skewer and poke a small hole into the side of each doughnut, twisting the skewer slightly to create a pocket for the filling.  Put your jam into a squeeze bottle or piping bag and fill each hole with the jam.  Lay the doughnuts back on the baking sheet.

7.  Take the glaze and put a heaping spoonful onto the middle of the top of each donut.  It will drip on its own but help it out if necessary.  Sprinkle each glazed doughnut with the crushed pepitas and some tangerine zest.


  1. Great trick for making doughnuts! I'll remember it if I need quick sufganiyot for Hanukkah.
    They sound especially interesting with the pixie tangerine and pepitas and with your Cactus Pear, Mango & Ancho Chile Jam - what an interesting combination. Is it sweet, spicy, or both? Did you cook the fruit and dried chile together with sugar and water? Do you have to soak the chile first?

    1. The jam is sweet & tart. I actually used ancho chile powder. Confession: I ate 3 doughnuts myself and cousin Roger ate the other 3. They were pretty amazing!

  2. What are you making for the Bake Sale?

    1. Not sure yet - possibly some small pizzelles, assorted glazed cookies, and mini cupcakes. I hope you can come by because there will be so much fantastic stuff from all the bloggers and it's for a great cause.

  3. You are killing me with this! Pixies yet!
    See you at Camp Blogaway!

  4. Reading this, I am sorry I missed meeting you at IACP. I am glad I now know that I can make doughnuts using your speedy-quick trick. I am tickled that I get a re-do RE meeting you: I will be at Camp Blogaway, soon. See you there.