My grandparents have a house on the Eastern shore of MD about 2 hours away and when I was growing up we spent many weekends there. Exactly halfway to their house there was a Taco Bell where we would usually stop for lunch or dinner. After our tacos and burritos we would occasionally finish our meal with a little paper packet of crispy churros. So when I think of churros I think of Taco Bell, summer weekends, and my grandparents. Is that weird?
Up until this weekend the only churro that I had ever tasted was from Taco Bell. So I think it’s safe to say that I had never had an authentic churro and I wasn’t really sure what to expect when Nathan suggested that we make churros for our next post. An authentic churro is sometimes referred to as a Spanish doughnut and ours came out as a cross between a cruller doughnut and a funnel cake…with a teeny bit more crunch and rolled in cinnamon and sugar. In other words…amazing. When paired with a hot and thick Mexican Hot Chocolate these were truly outstanding and could be eaten for breakfast, as a snack, dessert, late night snack, etc. If you’re like me and your churro experience is limited to Taco Bell you should give these a try!
I’m not a fan of sweet wines but felt that a sweet red would be the best pairing for our churros. We asked the nice gentleman at our wine store for a wine to pair with our churros and he was nice enough to not laugh at us. He highly recommended this red and it turned out to cost only $13.99…inexpensive for a sweet wine! The first thing I noticed about this wine was a light effervescence that I thought helped to prevent the sweetness from being too cloying or syrupy. The wine has a fruity, juicy flavor and a very low alcohol content making it easy to drink…even for those who typically don’t like wine.
I think that just about any porter or stout would have been great with our churros but I was pleasantly surprised by how good this porter was! I have been eyeing the beer from this brewery at our local store for a while but hadn’t decided to try one until now. I might have to pick up a few more types if they are as good as this one! I wouldn’t normally associate Hawaii with porter beer… more like a cold winter landscape than a tropical island however, the Kona coffee beans tell me different. The beer’s aroma is smells of earth, coffee, and malt and pours a dark brown with hints of amber. It is highly carbonated and tingles with some acidity as it first hits your tongue. This quickly settles into rich chocolate and coffee flavors and leaves you with coffee breath. The rich flavors contrast with the sweet, doughy churros perfectly and this duo would make a great breakfast(unless you have to go to work) or dessert combo any day!
Churros and Mexican Hot Chocolate:
For the cinnamon sugar:
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
For the churro batter:
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 ⅓ cups all purpose flour
2 large eggs
3 cups canola oil (for frying)
For cinnamon sugar:
1. Whisk all ingredients in medium bowl to blend.
For churro batter:
1. Bring first 4 ingredients to boil in heavy medium saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves and butter melts. Reduce heat to medium-low.
2. Add flour; stir vigorously with wooden spoon until shiny dough mass forms, about 1 minute. Transfer to large bowl; cool 5 minutes.
3. Using electric mixer, beat in eggs, 1 at a time; continue beating until smooth, shiny, sticky paste forms. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)
4. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat to 350°F. Working in batches, spoon batter into pastry bag fitted with large star tip. Pipe batter into hot oil in 3 1/2- to 4-inch-long ribbons (use knife or scissors to cut batter at end of star tip) and allow batter to slide into oil.
5 Fry churros until brown and cooked through in center, about 30 seconds per side. Transfer to paper towels. Toss immediately in cinnamon sugar to coat.
Mexican Hot Chocolate:
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
4 1/2 ounces dark chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Smallest pinch cayenne pepper
1. Place the milk and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.
2. Take off heat, stir in the chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper with a wooden spoon and allow to steep for three minutes.
3. Reheat the hot chocolate over low heat until it simmers.
4. Strain the chocolate into a measuring cup and pour into mugs.