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    Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:54 pm
    Forum Host
    In Spain, it's a quintessential breakfast dish, or perfect for munching after the nightclubs close - which is about the same time anyway.

    In Mexico, vendors sell churros in the main plazas, and they're a staple of festivals or just for strolling at night.

    In larger cities, churrerias inspire lines of people waiting for them fresh out of the hot oil, with a dusting of cinnamon sugar. They're also a staple in many restaurants, too.

    All year long, churros often find their way to dessert menus.

    And why not? The crisp, sugary crunch on the outside that yields to a dense, but not spongy, interior makes a combination that's impossible to resist.

    Making churros is not difficult, but it may take a little practice to really get the hang of it.

    If you're already good with pastries, remember that the dough is basically a cream puff dough, or pâte à choux.

    Good churros can come from a basic cream puff dough, but there is no single standard churro dough recipe. While most versions call for an egg or two, some versions use none and some use up to six eggs for two cups of flour.

    In My Sweet Mexico, pastry chef and Mexico City native Fany Gerson has a recipe that incorporates queso fresco into the dough.

    The cheese adds an extra note of flavor and is definitely worth trying.

    Commercial makers often use a machine that extrudes the dough into a vat of hot oil, but home cooks just need a pastry bag to pipe in the dough.

    A heavy zip-top plastic bag with a corner cut out nicely substitutes for a pastry bag.

    A star tip for the bag adds not only authenticity, but more surface space for extra crispness.

    Sometimes, they're also filled with pastry cream. In Mexico, the churros usually have a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar. In Spain and some parts of Latin American, it's more likely to be just sugar.

    Then there's the question of accompaniments. Spaniards often dunk churros in a thick, almost pudding-like chocolate.

    In Mexico, they usually go with the cinnamon and almond-laced hot chocolate from a brand such as Abuelita or Ibarra. They're also sometimes served with a drizzle of dulce de leche.

    At any hour, with any accompaniment, it's churro time.

    Makes about 20
    San Antonio Express-News archive

    ¾ cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar, divided use

    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1 cup milk

    6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

    1 teaspoon salt

    1 cup flour

    3 large eggs, lightly beaten

    Canola oil, for frying

    Instructions: Mix ¾ cup sugar and cinnamon on large plate and set aside.

    Bring milk, butter, salt and remaining 2 teaspoons sugar to boil in saucepan over medium heat. Add flour all at once, and cook, stirring with wooden spoon, until it forms a ball and pulls away from pan sides, about 30 seconds.

    Remove from heat and cool 3 minutes.

    Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition until smooth.

    Spoon dough into pastry bag fitted with large star tip. (Or you can simply drop spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil.)

    Heat 4 to 5 inches of oil in large Dutch oven or deep-fat fryer until it registers 325F on a deep-fat thermometer. Holding pastry bag a few inches above oil (taking care not to get too close to oil to avoid getting burned), pipe out strips of dough, cutting off 4-inch lengths with a knife or scissors. Cook as many as will fit comfortably at once, turning as they brown, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels for 30 seconds and then roll in cinnamon sugar mixture. Serve immediately.

    Per serving: (without frying oil) 90 calories, 4.5 g fat, 45 mg cholesterol, 135 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein.

    Mama's Kitchen (Hope)
    Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:38 pm Groupie

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