I have wanted to try churros for so long. I have only once tried them at a Spanish restaurant and was absolutely disappointed. The churros were very soggy and the dipping sauce tasted like a bottle of cheap chocolate sauce used for ice cream.
Such high expectations and such a horrible dish – and what’s worse is one of the staff said it was their favourite dish – and she was Spanish!!! I am waiting patiently to try some at another Spanish restaurant, hopefully this time I will have a better experience.
So for my second cooking class I chose a non-seafood paella and churros! I had a few problems with both dishes… The first was the quantity of paella we made. It is difficult to cook something properly when you are cooking for 12 or more people (we take lunches to work). One very large stockpot doesn’t really allow the amount of water evaporate as it should. None-the-less it turned out a lovely risotto. 🙂
Then came the churros. These were quite nice and I would love to try them again. Our biggest problem was controlling the temperature of the oil, too hot or too cold and the churros didn’t cook properly. I also think they were a little thick – I used the biggest star nozzle that came in the piping pack I bought. This seemed to be the perfect size until they doubled (or maybe tripled) in size whilst cooking – although while cooling they did reduce in size a little. All-in-all it was fun and I would definitely make these again.
Chicken and Chorizo Paella (Risotto)
2 chorizos, halved lengthways and sliced
8 large chicken breast or thighs, cut into large chunks
2 onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika
600g paella or risotto rice
2-2.2 litres hot chicken stock
2 red capsicums, de-seeded and sliced or cut into chunks
1 green capsicum, de-seeded and sliced or cut into chunks
1 cup peas, frozen peas should be thawed in some boiling water while preparing
6 large, ripe plum tomatoes, cut into chunky pieces
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
Lemon wedges, to serve
Heat a large, deep frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, add chorizos and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes, until turning golden and the oil has been released. Remove and set aside.
Add the chicken in a few sets and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring, until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, then add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and paprika to the pan and cook for 1 minute. Add the rice, stir to coat in the oil and then add 2 litres hot stock. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Return the chicken to the pan and add the capsicum, peas and tomatoes. Stir and cook for 5 minutes, adding a little more stock or hot water if necessary. Season and stir the chorizo and parsley into the pan.
Continue to cook for 5 minutes or until the rice is just tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Serve with lemon wedges.
Churros and hot chocolate
Recipe from Karen Martini on Better Homes and Gardens (I watched the video and wrote down the instructions)
1½ tablespoons caster sugar
120g plain flour
3 eggs, lightly whisked
Vegetable Oil, for frying
250g dark chocolate
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
Icing sugar mixed with cinnamon, to dust on top of churros
Place vegetable oil in a large pot and start it heating up on medium/hot heat (eventually to 180ºC).
Bring milk, water, butter, caster sugar and salt to the boil in a medium saucepan. Add flour and stir to combine. Once combined, stir hard to form a thick dough and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes to cook the flour and remove lumps.
Put mixture into a food processor while still hot and turn food processor on. Add whisked eggs and process for 30 seconds until a smooth sticky paste is formed. Scoop out and put into a piping bag with a star nozzle ready for frying.
For the hot chocolate, place a large metal bowl over a saucepan with simmering water. Place 250g dark chocolate in the bowl. In a separate saucepan, place milk, caster sugar and cocoa and whisk together, bring to a simmer, then pour over the melted chocolate, whisk until smooth. Keep chocolate mixture over water to keep hot, until ready to serve.
To fry the churros, either pipe a figure 8 on a oiled spatula and slide carefully into the hot oil (180C), or pipe a line and cut with a knife and fry for 2-3 minutes until golden, they will double in size. Remove from oil and place on paper towel for a bit, then heavily dust with cinnamon icing sugar mix and serve with hot chocolate.
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