Churros & Seagulls
I was sitting around one evening last week doing a whole lot of nothing when I was struck by a sudden and unyielding urge to eat a churro. What are churros and when have I been exposed to them in the past? I know you’re dying to know these things. Let’s back this story train up to the last station, shall we?
Chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga CHOO CHOO!!!! Now arriving at Childhood Station. Station: Childhood. (I have a vivid imagination and tend to take metaphors too far. Can’t you picture the conductor, collecting tickets and calling out station names? What? Just go with this.) As I’m sure I’ve gone on about before, I have family in the southern states and spent time in the Deep South during my childhood. My family took numerous road trips down in our motor homes, spent a lot of time in Texas and explored a fair few Mexican border towns.
So what about churros?
churro |ˈ ch oŏrō| noun ( pl. churros)
a Latin American fried pastry in ridged cigar shapes, very similar to funnel cake.
The best way to describe churros is as Mexican/Spanish doughnuts, really. They were readily available down south and were my favourite treat when visiting.
Instead of quelling the urge and moving on with my night I whipped out the deep fryer and dug up a recipe. Living impulsively is so much more fun!
- 1 cup water
- 2 ½ tablespoons cane sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 litres vegetable or canola oil for frying
- ½ cup cane sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine water, 2 ½ tablespoons sugar, salt, and 2 tablespoons oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil and remove from heat.
Stir in flour to form a ball of dough.
Heat the remaining oil in deep fryer or a deep skillet to a temperature of 375°F (190°C). Load your dough into a piping bag with a wide, notched piping tip attached.
Pipe strips of dough into the hot oil. Fry until golden.
Drain on paper towel.
Combine ½ cup of cane sugar with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Roll drained churros in cinnamon-sugar.
Resist the temptation to eat them immediately and let them cool a bit first.
They are crispy and sugary on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. Divine! A mere picture of these delicacies earned me a marriage proposal the other night. Yes, they’re that good.
When you buy them from a food cart on the Mexican border (I want to say I ate my first in Corpus Christi, but it’s been too long now to say for sure) they are much larger. The size of my deep fryer really restricted me here. They come wrapped in waxed paper and you eat them walking around as you would a giant pretzel or hotdog.
When I was about three or four years old we were walking on a pier in southern Texas eating churros and having a grand old time when a seagull tried to snap mine out of my little hand. According to legend (read: my mother) I pulled it back from its reach and held it over my shoulder. As my full attention and rage were focused on the seagull in front of me, an accomplice swooped down from behind and took my whole churro out of my hand. The churro vendor witnessed all this and gave my quickly consoled heart another for free, but I have not trusted seagulls since. Sneaky little bastards.