Sunday was Father’s Day in the NH household (but not in the Czech Republic) and I woke up to a good little celebration. My daughter had colored a picture of Ernie holding a piece of cake and presented it to me proudly. A stack of small boxes was on the table in the living room and minutes after getting out of bed (I was the last one up) the three of us proceeded to the balcony for a Father’s Day celebration. My wife had managed to buy me a churro press from LaTienda.com and some traditional Spanish “chocolate” for dipping purposes. I was wowed and a little scared.
You see, I don’t have a Fry Daddy. I grew up in a household where “grease” was a very, very bad word. I have also been witness (usually an accomplice with my dad) to various grease-based [fried] dishes that came out soggy and relative culinary disasters. It wasn’t for a lack of trying. We always agreed that, “the grease was just not hot enough.” Yes, we had some wins (beer batter fish comes to mind) but every fried stroke of brilliance was countered by a soggy defeat.
That being said, I had some good success about a year ago with tempura fried vegetables using a cast-iron skillet on the grill. The mess was kept to a minimum and by closing the grill lid and the grease was hot enough to fry in small portions. Yesterday, I employed the same system to the churro dough. I’m happy to report that after only one false start, the experiment was a success. I had to switch gears about 1/4 of the way through the dough when I decided that the recommended nozzle on the press was too large my under powered rig couldn’t muster the heat to fry them all the way though. Sure enough, the switch to the smaller nozzle produced some delicious (if not slightly oddly shaped) churros in about 4 minutes. After they were coated in powdered sugar and dipped in the pudding-like chocolate, we were transported to the sidewalk of Madrid and the Cafeteria Ricote Churreria.
Like many recipes, this one was tough on the first try but not intrinsically difficult and should be easy to master on subsequent outings. As a matter of fact, it’s the perfect recipe for overnight guests who drink too much of our wine the night before. What says good morning more than a strong cup of joe, a plate of crispy churros and a steaming cup of thick, rich Spanish chocolate. ¡Buenos días y feliz Día del Padre!