Thursday 26 May 2016

Let's Cook Spanish, A Family Cookbook - Churros Recipe - review

The full title of today's cookery book review is Let's Cook Spanish, A Family Cookbook: Vamos a Cocinar Espanol, Recetas Para Toda la Familia by Gabriella Llamas. I think the title is a pretty good description. This is a book of Spanish recipes ideal for cooking with your children.

This is a  hardbacked cookbook which is written in English and Spanish, with introductions for the children in the family, and the grown ups. It takes the stance that cooking should be a fun, participatory event. I can't disagree with that. It also introduces Spanish into the English pages of the text, and my boys liked trying to pronounce the foreign words.

The recipes are seemingly more simple, often with few ingredients, and ideal for cooking with children. The style is bold and clean, with abstract illustrations in few colours accompanying each recipe, as well as a small informative panel telling you of the recipe origin, meaning etc.

We actually chose one of the less child-friendly recipes to make, because it requires deep hot oil to cook. Churros are becoming increasingly popular as a street food snack in the UK, they're delicious and as soon as we saw there was a recipe, my children wanted to try it.

Ingredients for 4 portions:

250ml water
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
120g plain flour, sifted
1 egg white (optional)
Olive oil for frying
100g icing sugar

470 milk
200g dark chocolate broken into pieces

Granulated sugar

Make the dipping chocolate first or alongside while someone else makes the Churros, as you want to eat while they are both still warm.

To Make The Churros:

Bring water, salt and olive oil to boil in a pan.
Add the flour and stir until the dough comes away from the edges of the pan.

Cool for a few minutes.
Add the egg white and whisk until well blended to a soft, consistent dough.
Place the dough into a piping bag with a ridged star tip, or even better, a churro pipe
Heat the oil in a deep pan to 180C (350F).
Pipe pieces of dough over the hot oil and fry for 50-60 seconds until golden on both sides. Drain on paper towels.

Depending on shape and size, you can make anywhere around 12-24 Churros.
Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve with a bowl of sugar and the hot chocolate to dip the Churros in.

To Make The Chocolate:

Bring the milk to boil over a medium high heat, add the chocolate, stir for 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove from he heat and keep stirring until the chocolate melts.
Add granulated sugar to taste.

We found the recipe was actually quite unforgiving. If you leave the dough too long then it becomes impossible to use, so no more than 10 minutes cooling. The Churros are a devil to pipe, and we actually gave in and twisted them in our fingers instead.

We added a little extra water to our mix, but beware, Churros can occasionally explode if you add too much water, if the oil is not hot enough, or if the dough has air bubbles. We had mini lava flows out of a couple of ours, but no exploding Churros thankfully!

The Churros might not have looked like any we've eaten previously, but they tasted good and were all eaten in moments.

Let's Cook Spanish is a very well written book. The recipes are easy to follow, good simple food split into Tapas and Pinchos, Meat and Fish, Vegetables And Salads and 'May Your Life Be sweet' and we will be trying the Meringue Ice Cream next from that section!

Let's Cook Spanish, A Family Cookbook: Vamos a Cocinar Espanol, Recetas Para Toda la Familia by Gabriella Llamas is published by Quarry Books and available from all good bookshops instore and online, with a recommended price of £13.99 for the 96 page Hardback Edition.

We were sent our copy of Let's Cook Spanish, A Family Cookbook for review.