Churros.... the taste still lingers on my tongue..

Posted by Tandarin Nike Monday, December 21, 2009 10:44 PM
Churro .... try them if you get a chance


During my brief stint early 80's in the Canary Islands, I used to have this wonderful snack for breakfast. It goes so well with hot chocolate.

Churros, sometimes referred to as a Spanish doughnut, are fried-dough pastry-based snacks, sometimes made from potato dough, that originated in Spain. They are also popular in Latin America, France, Portugal, the United States, and Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands. The snack gets its name from its shape, which resembles the horns of the Churro breed of sheep reared in the Spanish grasslands of Castile.

There are two types of churros in Spain. One is thin (and usually knotted) and the other, especially popular in Madrid, is long and thick (porra). They both are normally eaten for breakfast dipped in hot chocolate.

Preparation

Churros are typically fried until they become crunchy, and then are sprinkled with sugar. The surface of a churro is ridged due to having been piped from a churrera, a syringe with a star-shaped nozzle. Churros are generally prisms in shape, and may be straight, curled or spirally twisted.

Like pretzels, churros are often sold by street vendors, who often will fry them freshly on the street stand and sell them hot. In Spain, Mexico, and Argentina, they are available in cafes for breakfast, although they may be eaten throughout the day as a snack as evident in Nicaragua. Specialized churrerías can be found in the form of a shop or a trailer during the holiday period. In Colombia they can be found in the streets but they are thin and shaped like a ring.

The dough is prepared similarly to Choux pastry; water, butter and flour are heated and stirred into a firm ball, and then eggs are beaten into the hot paste.

Variations

In Andalusia, Spain, churros are made with deep-fried wheat flour and sold in spirals or wheels, which can be broken into edible portions after frying. These are generally called porras and calentitos or calientes, as opposed to the potato dough version made in the rest of Spain, also sold in the region but under the name Papitas or Calentitos de Patatas.

In parts of South East Spain, a much thinner dough is used which does not allow for the typical ridges to be formed on the surface of the churro. The final result has therefore a smooth surface and is more pliable and of a slightly thinner diameter than standard Spanish churros. Another difference is that sugar is never sprinkled on them as the flavour is not considered suitable.

With the increased popularity of Latin American food, today there are a growing number of franchise restaurants that sell fresh churros, both traditional and filled. For example, in March 2006, Australia saw the launch of Chocolateria San Churro, a Spanish chocolate inspired business, which currently has 18 outlets - and true to its name sell a variety of Churros based desserts. In October 2008, San Diego-based chain Jack in the Box added bite-size "Mini Churros" which are filled to its menu, sold in bags of five or 10.

Churros are similar to Youtiao, a type of bread in Chinese cuisine. After the Portuguese sailed for the Orient and returned from ancient China to Europe, they brought along with them new culinary techniques, including modifying the dough for Youzagwei also known as Youtiao in Northern China, for Portugal. However, they modified it by introducing a star design because they did not learn the Chinese skill of "pulling" the dough (the Chinese Emperor made it a crime with capital punishment to share knowledge with foreigners). As a result, the churros is not "pulled" but pushed out through a star-shaped cutter.

It is also a common breakfast dish, but it differs in that it is savoury rather than sweet.

"Churros" are simple fritters that look something like a big “French fry,” but taste nothing like one. They are the Spanish equivalent of doughnuts. Instead of a ring shape, like a doughnut, churros are long straight or slightly curled lengths that usually have ridges. Eaten while warm and sprinkled with sugar or drizzled with honey. They are quick and easy to make.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

• 1 cup white flour

• 1/4 tsp baking powder

• 1 cup water

• 1 Tbsp vegetable oil

• 1/8 tsp salt

• 1 tsp granulated sugar

• oil for frying

• several Tbsp granulated sugar to sprinkle or honey

This churros recipe makes 2-3 servings for breakfast. In case additional servings are needed, prepare in batches so churros are warm when served.

Pour vegetable oil, such as canola or corn oil into a large heavy bottomed frying pan. Make sure there is about 2 inches of oil in the pan to cover the churros. There should be enough oil so that they float freely while frying. Set pan aside.

In a medium sauce pan, pour 1 cup water. Add oil, salt, sugar and stir. Bring water to a boil.

While waiting for water to boil, dry the cup used to measure the water and use it to measure flour, since it is necessary to have equal parts flour and water. Pour flour into a medium-sized mixing bowl and add baking powder and stir.

Once water boils, remove saucepan and begin heating oil in frying pan.

Slowly pour boiling water from saucepan into flour mixture - stirring constantly with a fork until it is a smooth dough without lumps.

Note: Dough should not be runny like a batter, but rather a sticky smooth dough.

Spoon dough into a churrera (a large cookie press) or pastry bag.

Carefully squeeze dough into hot oil and fry until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spatula or long-handled fork. Place on a paper towel to drain.

Once drained, cut into manageable lengths. Sprinkle with sugar or drizzle with honey and serve.

The Spanish are known to be locos for chocolate, since they “discovered” it in the New World 500 years ago. As in centuries past, today the Spanish drink rich hot chocolate for breakfast, so thick that you can make a churro stand in it! If the only hot cocoa you’ve ever had is the kind made with powdered envelopes of mix and hot water, you won’t recognize this incredibly rich and flavorful drink. In fact, once you try the Spanish version of hot chocolate, you might be hooked!

There are two versions below - one that uses baking chocolate and one that uses sweetened chocolate.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

• Sweet Chocolate Version

• 2 8-ounce cups whole milk

• 4 ounces milk chocolate

• 1/2 tsp. cornstarch

• Baking Chocolate Version

• 2 8-ounce cups whole milk

• 3 ounces (3 squares) baking chocolate

• 1/3-1/2 cup sugar

• 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
With either type of chocolate, the process is almost the same:

Pour the milk into a medium saucepan and add the cornstarch. Whisk to dissolve the cornstarch. Once the cornstarch is dissolved, heat the milk on medium heat just until it boils, then remove from heat. Add the chocolate squares immediately and begin stirring until the chocolate is completely melted. If the milk cools off too fast, place the pan back on the stove on low heat to melt the chocolate.

If you are using baking chocolate, which is unsweetened, pour the sugar into the chocolate milk mixture and stir until thoroughly dissolved.

Place the pan back on the stove on medium low heat, stirring slowly, but constantly. (Do not cook the mixture over high heat because it may cause lumping.) Taste the chocolate for sweetness and add more sugar if necessary.

The mixture should thicken quickly. As soon as you see it thicken, remove the pan from the heat so the cornstarch will not thin. Ladle immediately into cups and serve piping hot.

Note: Be sure to use a clean spoon every time you taste the chocolate. Enzymes from your mouth can cause a thickened cornstarch mixture to thin.

2 Response to "Churros.... the taste still lingers on my tongue.."

  1. Mangala Says:

    so manju,writing recipes toooooooooo?gud work.want any help?

    mangla

  2. Tandarin Nike Says:

    First of all, welcome to my blog. Secondly thanks Mangala for the comments. Cookery is not my forte and hence I leave it to the experts like you and my wife. Churro was on my mind since a long time. A bit of research on the net got me all the relevant information including the recipe. Hence the post. Please do visit my blog and leave a comment every time. Regards!

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