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One of Houston's top chefs shares his recipe for homemade churros

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with this classic Mexican street sweet made from scratch. Chef Ruben Ortega shares his secrets for the perfect churro.

HOUSTON — As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we're featuring traditional dishes from some of Houston's favorite restaurants. 

Why not start with a yummy dessert first?

This recipe for homemade churros is shared with us by Chef Ruben Ortega, Executive Pastry Chef of the H-Town Restaurant Group.

"Churros are deep-fried, stick-thin fritters dredged in sugar. They are a staple Mexican street sweet. Since 1935, churrería El Moro has been snuggled in slot #42 on Eje Central and Lázaro Cárdenas in Mexico City. 

For this recipe, I suggest using a household deep fryer for the best results. If unavailable, fill ¾ of a Dutch oven or pot with corn oil and attach a candy/deep fryer thermometer to the rim of the pot to control the oil temperature."

Credit: Karen Spinks Stearns

Churros (Mexican Fritters) | Makes 24-30 pieces

Ingredients

For batter:

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter or margarine
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 egg

To assemble:

  • 10 to 12 cups corn oil for deep-frying
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

How to make churro batter:

1. Combine 2-1/4 cups water with cinnamon stick, vanilla, butter and salt in a medium saucepan. Place pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. 

2. Remove from heat and discard cinnamon stick.  

3. Add flour all at once. Stir dough using a wooden spoon until it forms into a ball, about 2 minutes.  

4. Transfer dough to a mixer fitted with paddle attachment. While on medium speed, add egg to dough and mix to incorporate. The dough will be sticky. 

5. Transfer to a pastry bag with a large star tip. Set filled pastry bag aside until ready to pipe.

How to assemble churros:

1. Pour corn oil in Dutch oven or electric fryer and preheat to 375°F. Meanwhile, combine sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. 

2. Working in batches, pipe two to three churros about 4 inches long into the hot oil. Completely submerge the churros into the hot oil by pressing down with a slotted spoon or spider and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes. The oil will sizzle as you completely submerge the churros; this will help them puff up. 

3. Place fried churros on paper towels to drain. Transfer to sugar-cinnamon mixture and dredge, shaking off excess.

4. Serve four to five churros per person or on a large platter. Accompany with chocolate caliente (Spanish hot chocolate).

Churros are also on the menu at URBE. You can also check out Ruben's other restaurants: Backstreet Cafe, Hugo's, Caracol, and Xochi.

Note: At the restaurants, they serve them filled with dulce de leche (a form of caramelized milk.)

Credit: Chef Ruben Ortega

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