orange and cardamom sugar donut holes

It occurred to me that some people eat other things besides for pulled pork. To each his own, I suppose. More recipes involving the leftovers from the pork shoulder are coming, but let's break things up with something deep-fried.

There is something so comforting about canned biscuits. It's not that they bring back nostalgic memories of the dinner table; Chinese families don't serve fluffy buttery biscuits with a dinner of braised sea cucumber and tofu. It's that soothing knowledge that the can, once popped, yields compressed contents that bake into large puffy carbs in no time at all. And as if that weren't white-trash enough, I recently discovered that deep-frying pre-made biscuit dough yields a poor man's donut hole.

Ditch your expectations of those familiar yeasty, saccharine sweet confections painted with multi-colored glazes and sprinkles. Krispy Kreme donuts these are not. But on this particular night, they perfectly filled the deep gaping void in my life caused by law school finals.

I love the perfume and fragrance of cardamom, and I needed its exotic spice to make me feel better about buying a Pillsbury product. 

Sugar scented with the cardamom and orange zest, ready and waiting for hot fried dough.  

Against all recommendations, I did this without a deep-fry thermometer (I buy three a year, and then promptly melt them by using them improperly). May I suggest from the bottom of my heart - do not do this. I burned eight donuts before I perfected the temperature. Be a big spender and buy one for $4 the next time you're at the grocery store for, let's say, canned biscuits. 

Out of the hot oil and into the scented sugar...

If greed-caused injuries reveal anything about food, I burned the hell out of my mouth after hastily taking a bite, as well as my fingers while taking this shot. 

Let your imagination run wild - roll them in cinnamon sugar, coat them with a dark chocolate glaze, stuff them with an almond cream, or recreate your favorite Krispy Kreme and bathe them in rainbow sprinkles.  

orange cardamom sugar donut holes

makes 32 donuts
1 can of store-bought biscuits (8 biscuits to a can)
2 cups sugar
3 cardamom pods, ground
zest of one orange
vegetable oil

Mix cardamom and most of the orange zest, saving some for garnish, in a shallow pan or plate. 

Place oil in a deep pan until it comes up about halfway up the side of the pan. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F.

Separate the biscuits, cut each biscuit into quarters, and roll them into balls. Working in batches, fry them until golden, from 6-8 minutes, turning every once in a while to make sure they fry evenly. Transfer the hot donuts into the sugar and roll around (with a spoon, not your fingers!). Serve with some fresh zest on top.