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Calas, almost a forgotten New Orleans specialty, is made from leftover rice. These fritter-like treats are reappearing in homes and restaurants.


Oil for frying
6 tablespoons flour
3 heaping tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of nutmeg
2 cups cooked rice
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
vegetable oil for frying
Confectioners’ sugar, honey, or
Steen’s Cane Syrup for topping


  1. Heat oil to 350°F. A thermometer is a handy gauge unless you are Poppy Tooker, who successfully intuits when they are done. Teaspoon-size calas use 350°F oil. Tablespoon-size calas may brown too quickly. Lower the oil’s temperature by 10°F and they will cook through.
  2. In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Using a separate bowl, thoroughly mix the rice, beaten eggs, and vanilla.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and combine.
  5. In a heavy bottomed skillet or fryer, bring the oil to 360°F.
  6. Carefully drop teaspoons of batter into the hot oil without crowding and fry until brown on one side, 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Using tongs or a spatula, turn and brown the second side.
  8. When frying several batches, let the oil cool back to the proper temperature.
  9. Using a slotted spoon or sieve, scoop out the loose browned bits.
  10. Drain on paper towels.
  11. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or drizzle with syrup or honey, and serve hot, immediately.

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