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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

CHURRO WITH 13TH C HISPANO-MUSLIM RECIPE


Churros Machine at Paliza St.,...
Photo from: NanaNinaFairy
churro, today a thick coiled fritter of deep fried dough. Churros existed in Al-Andalus and were called “gachas de masa,” see gachas. They are made with various combinations of butter, water, flour and/or eggs. Then they are fried in oil and and can be sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, spices and/or covered with honey. The dough is made over low heat, then run through a funnel with a 1 cm. opening into a fryer containing boiling hot oil. They may or may not be joined at both ends. Today, it is such a popular breakfast item that street vendors have special machines for making churros but they can be homemade as well.  They are best when eaten warm. They are  accompanied with a liquid, coffee or hot chocolate today, wine in the Middle Ages and they are dunked into the liquid before each bite. See frutas de sartén. [Benavides-Barajas. Nueva-Clásica. 1995:263; Fernández González. 1994:193; and Pers. Memories. Slaughters Mostoles. 2000-2001:2003.]


PREPARATION OF CHURROS ADAPTED FROM AL-ANDALUS
#447. PREPARACIÓN DE ZULÂBIYYA, pp 245-246
For 2-3 servings

Churreria-Chocolateria La Andaluza, Calle Hernani 20, Madrid
An undying tradition
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Ingredients

1 cup water
1 tbsp vegetable oil a pinch of salt
2 ½ tbsp sugar
1 cup white flour
1 pgk yeast

Garnish: spiced honey
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Preparation

Put water, vegetable oil, salt and sugar in a sauce pan and bring it to a boil.  Put the flour in a bowl and mix it with yeast. Slowly pour the boiling water over the flour, stirring non-stop until the dough is smooth.  Put it in a pot and leave it a warm place to rise. It will be done when the side of the pot is tapped with the finger and a thick, dense sound is emitted.

Heat a frying pan. Add the oil. When it boils, take a vessel and cut a hole in the bottom no larger than a finger. Pour the dough into the vessel while covering the hole with a finger. Put the vessel over the frying pan and remove the finger while turning the vessel in circles to form rings or lattices or make a straight line.

Churros Oozing with Honey, Saffron, 
Sugar and Cinnamon!
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Take care that the oil does not cool or the batter will stick to the pan.

When the churros is golden brown place them on a plate of skimmed spiced honey. If desired  color it with the addition juices made from  brazilwood[1], gum lac, madder, saffron, fennel or fox grape.
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When the churro has absorbed the honey place the them on another dish and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.



[1] Huici sites this as campechy wood. Perry claims it is Brazilwood and explains that “Brazilwood, Caesalpinia sappan, is not a New World plant but an East Indian dyewood well known in the Middle Ages. When campeachy wood or logwood, Haematoxylon campeachianum, was discovered in what is now Brazil, it was at first called "brazilwood” for its reddish dye called brazilin. “Since it was Brazil's first big export, the country took its name from it. . ."



1 comment:

  1. Chocolate con churros! the most glorious Spanish breakfast or "merienda" ever! Naturally chocolate entered gloriously into European life only in the XVIIth century and by the XVIII it was an institution in Spain, forming a solid and long-term marriage with churros, and initially winning the battle against coffee and -in the Peninsula definitively- tea. In fact, could you ever put a churro into a cup of tea without ruining both tea and churro? Here density calls density, in a combination that requires no other explanation to novices than: go and try!
    Churros dipped in dense aromatic chocolate are the traditional restorative to hangovers (YES!) and the proper way to end a very very long night...
    The first picture explains a familiar phrase in Spanish: something is a "churro" when it is badly made. Also, refered to people, "estar hecho un churro" means to be in poor conditions. "Churros" should be handsomely made, in a cricular shape in the frying pan and then cut to regular pieces, or else (in Madrid) in the shape of half an 8. But only expert churro makers achieve a pretty churro...

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