Churros with White Chocolate and strawberries!
Churros, a delicious Spanish snack made with the simplest of ingredients…. flour, water, oil and sugar!
Churros, sometimes referred to as Spanish doughnuts because they are made from deep-fried dough, choux pastry to be exact! I made churros for the first time one afternoon when friends popped in and I had nothing else but flour and a few eggs in the house and boy-oh-boy, what a party trick it turned out to be. As I piped the pastry into the hot oil, I literally heard squeals of delight from the crowd around the stove and as I took these golden brown morsels from the hot oil, they were devoured in seconds!
This week is Kunstefees on RSG and I was asked to talk about Art on a plate! Quite a topic for just a home-cook like me! If I look and taste my way through many of our top chef’s dishes, I do not feel at all capable to do justice to such a topic. The more I though about it though, the more it became clear to me…… art is not about how many ingredients you can load on a plate, or how complicated your styling can be, but art sometimes lies in the simplicity of a dish! Think of the perfect crust on a homemade bread, a truss of vine tomatoes, butter melting into hot toast or the char-marks on a perfectly grilled steak! The art on that plate goes beyond what you see, it is about the memories and feelings it evokes in you! When you eat it, do you savor every taste, texture and color, just like you would experience a painting or sculpture? The old cliche that you “eat with your eyes first”, is true, but it does not stop there! You should experience everything you eat like that, bite-by-bite appreciating every delicious aspect of what you are eating…. or not eat it at all! I think it is like hanging a really ugly painting in your house, just because the wall is empty!
How does all this fit in with churros! Well, I looked at my plate of of piping hot churros and it did all of the above for me! The texture was there, the golden-amber color, the crunch, the sweetness and it had that forbidden-fried-food element. I loved the process, the magic I made with only 3 or 4 ingredients and the delight I saw on everyone’s faces as they enjoyed the fruits of my love-labor!
So, it is within YOUR means to create Art on a Plate, keeping it simple, from the heart, honest and made with love! Those are your winning ingredients and the qualities you need to create special memories in every plate! Go on, let go of your inhibitions and fears, cook your heart out!
Churros with White Chocolate and Strawberries
serves 6-8 people
500 ml water
60 ml sugar
5 ml salt
60 ml vegetable oil
500 ml flour
5 ml vanilla extract
750 ml oil
sugar for dusting
Pour the water, sugar, vanilla and oil into a medium-size pot and bring to the boil. Once it is boiling, remove from the heat and add the flour all at once and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a ball. Scoop the dough into a piping bag with a thin star nozzle and keep ready. Heat the oil for frying in a big pan ( I use a wok). Keep a plate lined with kitchen toweling ready. Get a pair of scissors ready and when the oil is hot, pipe the mixture into the hot oil in strips of about 10 cm long. So you squeeze with your one hand and cut the strips with a scissors in your other hand. Once the churros are golden brown, use slotted spoon to remove it from the oil and onto the kitchen toweling. Dust with sugar and enjoy with melted white chocolate and strawberries or strawberry coulis!
Tomorrow morning at 11 o’clock, I will be talking to Marietta Kruger about Art on a Plate! Read all about the Kunstefees here! I will also in weeks to come take you into the kitchens of other bloggers, chefs and interesting South Africans this year. So buckle up, it is going to be an awesome ride. Tune in 100-104FM or listen online here!