With her talent for introducing tasty twists on popular classics, Rachel Khoo has delivered yet another delicious spin, this time on the classic churros. Churros are traditionally served at breakfast alongside a rich hot chocolate but, in countries like Australia and the US, they are more commonly found as hot snacks rolled in cinnamon and sugar, and dipped in a chocolate sauce.
These Potato Churros with Red Pepper Sauce comes from Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook, a book which has proven itself to be a treasure trove of delicious and innovative recipes.
Churros are typically made from a choux-like pastry which are piped into hot oil and deep-fried until golden and crispy. For this savoury version, the recipe calls for potato flour, which should not be confused with potato starch. If you have difficulty finding potato flour in your local supermarket, most health stores should stock them.
The only difficulty I had with this recipe was piping the mixture into the oil; once chilled, the batter was quite firm and some muscle power (aka my husband) was required to pipe the churros. Then again, maybe my mixture was too thick to start with as my churros turned out quite thick and plump, rather than long and skinny as most churros tend to be. Looks aside, I really enjoyed the taste of these churros. Curiously, they reminded me a bit of Chinese fried dough sticks in terms of shape and colour, but they are, of course, nothing alike. The potato flour makes them quite substantial, so they are perfect served as an appetiser or a light meal.
The Red Pepper Sauce is a mild and tasty accompaniment, but I spiced up another batch with red chillies for some added kick.
While I was making this dish, our neighbours popped by unexpectedly for a quick chat, so we invited them to stay for a drink. Incidentally, they had just returned from a trip to Spain where they had indulged in chocolate-dunked churros most mornings at breakfast. I ended up serving the potato churros as an apéro snack with the sauces on the side, together with some chorizo and olives which our neighbours had brought back from Spain. It was the perfect snack to share with friends.
- 75g (2¾ oz) butter
- 100g (3½ oz) potato flour
- 100g (3½ oz) plain flour
- 1 teaspoon caster sugar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 eggs
- 1 litre sunflower or vegetable oil for deep-frying
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 4 red capsicums (red peppers)
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 cherry tomatoes
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- To make the churros batter, melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the potato flour, plain flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Mix everything until it comes together. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until you have a thick batter.
- Fit a large piping bag with a star-shaped nozzle. Place the batter into the piping bag, and then leave in the fridge to chill.
- To make the red pepper sauce, preheat the grill to high heat. Cut the capsicums in half and remove the seeds. Place them on a lightly oiled baking tray, skin side up, and grill for 15-20 minutes, or until the skins have blackened and the flesh is tender. Place the capsicums into a plastic bag (such as a freezer bag), and leave them to steam for about 20 minutes.
- When the capsicums are cool enough to handle, peel off the skins and discard them. Place the flesh into a food processor with the garlic, olive oil and cherry tomatoes. Blitz until you have a smooth sauce and taste for seasoning.
- Heat the oil in a large pan or deep-fryer until it reaches 170°C (340°F).
- Pipe the batter directly into the hot oil and use a pair of scissors to cut each churro when it is about 10cm long. Fry the churros for about 5 minutes, or until they are lightly golden in colour, turning them once or twice to get an even colouring. You may need to cook the churros in 2 or 3 batches.
- Drain the churros on some kitchen paper, sprinkle with a little smoked paprika, and serve them while they are still hot with the red pepper sauce.
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