It’s only taken me a full year, but I finally have another recipe to add to the blog. This one is for tejeringos, which are more or less the same thing as churros, but perhaps a bit smaller than your average churro. I learned this recipe from a book about a culinary journey through Spain, though I’ve slightly modified the recipe.
Ingredients/Equipment needed for this recipe:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon sugar, plus about 1/3 cup for dusting
Pinch of salt
1 & 1/3 cup flour
3 large eggs
1 cup water
Approximately 50 Fl Oz or about 1,500 mL oil for frying*
Pastry bag with large star-shaped tip**
Optional items for this recipe:
Latex/non-latex gloves (for protection against hot oil)
Funnel (for cleanup)
Strainer (for cleanup)
* I have made this recipe with both extra virgin olive oil and canola oil and have not noticed a significant difference in the resulting flavor of the Tejeringos. At some point in the future I will make this recipe again with other types of oil and will then update this post. As for the amount of oil, the important thing is that you have enough for the oil in your pot to be at least 2.5” deep.
** The star-shaped tip I used was about 1.4” in diameter at the base, about 0.75” in diameter at the opening and 2” tall. It was an Aetco Pastry Tube – Star – Size 9. I bought it on Amazon at the following web address: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0000VLEFE/ref=pe_385040_30332200_pe_309540_26725410_item
Below is a photo of most of the required items.
One more note on this recipe: while this can be done by a single person, there are a few points where it is helpful to have a second person assisting. If you have a friend or family member who is willing to help you out it will make this recipe a bit easier.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Cut the stick of butter into about 7 or 8 pieces. Then combine the water, butter, the tablespoon of sugar and the salt into the saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir the mixture occasionally until the butter has melted and everything has combined into a single substance.
|The butter in the saucepan.|
|The butter, salt, water and sugar all together.|
|Starting to boil.|
Reduce the heat to low, add the flour (in one shot), and stir vigorously until the mixture solidifies into a single mass.
Remove the saucepan from the heat, but don’t turn the heat off. In fact, I would suggest turning the heat back up to medium (you’ll see why later). Add the eggs to the batter and stir vigorously. You can either add them one at a time, or you can mix them beforehand and add them all at once; I haven’t noticed a significant effect on the final product between using either method. When you add in the eggs you’ll notice that the batter will break up into lots of small pieces. Don’t worry about this and just keep stirring. After a minute or two, as the batter slowly absorbs the eggs, the batter will come back together into a single mass of dough.
|The dough after it has completely absorbed the eggs.|
Once the dough is back to a single solid mass, transfer it into a bowl and place it in your refrigerator for 10 or so minutes.
Meanwhile, pour your oil into the large pot and place it on the stove top. If you kept the heat on as I suggested earlier, the burner will still be warm/hot and it will take less time to heat up the oil. Heat the oil to about 365 degrees. I do not have a cooking thermometer, so I set the burner to 7, which on my stove is at about the 4 o’clock position. I have also successfully made this recipe on the 6 setting, so if you don’t have a cooking thermometer set the stove top to somewhere around there.
|The oil heats up. In this case it is extra virgin olive oil.|
While the dough is cooling in the refrigerator and the oil is heating up, get your pastry bag and fit the star-shaped tip into it. You’ll need to cut a small amount of the end of the bag off in order to fit the star-shaped tip into. If you’re not sure how much to cut just take a small amount off and then see if you can push the star-shaped tip into it (from the inside of the bag). Keep cutting small slivers off the end of the bag until you can get the star-shaped tip to fit snugly into it. Also set out some paper towels, which you’ll need later to drain the tejeringos when you take them out of the frying oil.
|In this photo I am using a large, industrial pastry bag. Feel free to use another type.|
|A closeup of the star-shaped tip.|
|The pastry bag with the star-shaped tip fitted into the bottom.|
After the dough’s time in the refrigerator is done, bring it out and transfer it into the pastry bag. You’ll find this is one of the times where it is easier if you have a second person holding the bag open while you move the dough into it. Though not required, I like to knead the dough just a little bit while it is in the bag before I start to pipe it out into the frying oil. I really don’t know if this does anything, but I like to do it.
|The pastry bag with the dough loaded into it.|
If your frying oil is hot enough, you can now start frying the dough and making tejeringos. Judging how hot the oil is without a thermometer can be tricky, but you’ll find out very quickly if it’s hot enough when you start to pipe the dough into it. If the oil becomes very bubbly when the dough goes into it, then it is hot enough. If it’s only a little bubbly then wait a few more minutes for the oil to heat up.
Now, before you start adding the dough, I would suggest putting on a pair of latex or non-latex gloves. This is just to protect your hands from drops of hot oil that might splash up when you are adding the dough to the oil. This is not mandatory and if you’re allergic to latex don’t feel compelled to do this.
Pipe 4-inch-long strips of dough into the hot oil. The strips will tend to crowd together, so don’t put too many in at the same time. Use your tongs to keep the strips from bunching up as they fry. Cook the tejeringos for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until golden brown. The longer you cook them, the crispier they will be. The less you cook them, the more doughy they will be. If you’re going to make this recipe more than once, try frying one group of tejeringos for longer and another for less and see which ones you like more.
|The tejeringos tend to bunch up if left unattended in the oil.|
|Use your tongs to keep them separated.|
When the tejeringos are done frying, use your tongs to remove them from the oil and place them on paper towels to let the excess oil drain off. Pipe more dough into the oil and continue the frying process until you’ve used up as much dough as you can. When you’re completely done frying, turn off the heat on the stove top and move the pot off the burner so the oil can start cooling.
|A batch of tejeringos draining on some paper towels.|
Lastly, take your sugar and dust the tejeringos with as much or as little sugar as you like. If you have someone helping you, they can start dusting the tejeringos as you’re taking them out of the oil (of course, give them a few seconds to drain on the paper towels). I used 1/3 cup of sugar for dusting, but you can use more or less to suit your personal tastes.
|I used a plate to help with the dusting. Feel free to use whatever works for you.|
Place the finished tejeringos on a plate or in a bowl, and then serve them as soon as possible. These little guys are delicious, but will go floppy (like microwaved bread) after a few hours, so no leftovers allowed!
Since we’re working with oil, I thought it would be good to add a little section on the cleanup you’ll need to do for this recipe. While most of your equipment can be cleaned like normal, the leftover oil requires some special consideration. DO NOT DUMP THE OIL IN YOUR SINK! You are likely to clog it as the oil solidifies and hardens as it sits in your pipes (in case you didn’t notice, oil does not flow like water). Below are your two main options for dealing with the leftover oil:
* Storage and Reuse
Depending on what type of oil you used for frying, you may be able to store and reuse it for future cooking. To store the oil, first let it cool completely. Then carefully pour it into a container for storage (a funnel helps). If you have a strainer, be sure to use it to filter out any food particles that may have gotten into the oil while you were frying. The container you use can be a jar, bottle, the original container the oil came in or whatever you want to use. Store the oil in a cool, dark place (light will accelerate the oil going bad). Extra virgin olive oil tends to become rancid faster than other oils, while Canola oil can last awhile if stored properly. Before you reuse any oil be sure to give it a smell test (and taste test if you’re willing). If it smells nasty, then it’s gone bad. When reusing oil, be sure to use it on similar foods that it was originally used to fry. For example, you can reuse the oil you used to fry the tejeringos on pastries, but don’t use it on vegetables or meats. Oils often take on flavors from the foods they cook, so using the same oil for different types of foods can mess up your cooking.
If your oil has gone bad or you’re just not going to use it again, you need to properly dispose of it. Again, do not dump the oil in your sink. After the oil has cooled, pour it into a disposable container (such as a milk carton) and close/seal the container so it does not leak. Some towns have an oil disposal program/service, and if you have access to one try to take advantage of it. Otherwise, place the sealed container in your dumpster, and perhaps label it so your local dumpster-diver doesn’t make a mess.