Chocolate and lazy churros.

Magazine Cuisine

Chocolate and lazy churros small
The tasty treats in the photo at left will, I hope, inspire you to read through my longwindedness--in which I publicly proclaim my anglophilism--until you get to the "Chocolate and lazy churros" part of this post.

I have a weakness for
British Country Living magazine. It is a beautiful oversized magazine with articles about actual country living. In the gorgeous British country. My personal dream come true. It has beautiful photos, uninterrupted articles (don't you hate when the last half of an article is buried in the classifieds at the very back of the magazine? I do), interesting recipes (with ingredients like "courgettes"), and the ads don't feel like ads because, well, probably because I'm a naive American who worships (almost) anything from Britain (is it England or Britain?) even their advertising. Ads for companies like Howdens Joinery Co., Quooker Taps, Billington's Sugar, Vale Garden Houses, and the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show beat the stuffing out of ads for those freakishly realistic looking baby dolls. I know that sounds snobbish! And anti-American, which I truly disdain. I love being American, and I'm proud of it. But when I'm reading this lovely magazine ... I'd rather be British.

So I occasionally pick up an issue (someday I'll get an actual subscription ... hint hint, Mr. Smith!), especially at Christmas time (which is quickly approaching, Mr. Smith!), when I want to lose myself in Britishness. The absolutely only drawback of this magazine is the recipes are in grams and liters (oops!
litres), difficult for a gal who loves to cook and wants to make "Sweet-sour rabbit with chocolate," but who lives in a pounds-and-ounces world. So after I bought my pretty green Escali Primo digital scale I quickly started choosing which British recipe I would try first.

BCL's chocolate and churros
I decided to pass on "Sweet sour rabbit" when I saw "Marinate the rabbit in the fridge overnight ..." Oh, actual rabbit, not rarebit. Okay, no thank you. Instead, I decided on "Chocolate and lazy churros" -- thickened hot chocolate accompanied by quick-fried tortillas. Clearly this is not a uniquely British snack. In fact, it's absolutely Spanish/Mexican in origin. But it kicks off the British edition of Someplace in between's Magazine Cuisine nicely.

Unfortunately, I didn't need my trusty Escali scale for this one, but I did have to consult the "ml" side of my pyrex measuring cup. SO British!

churros frying in the pan
I used a mere quarter inch of canola oil (the recipe calls for olive oil, but I worried that would be too heavy) to fry strips of both white and wheat flour tortillas. They took only about 15-20 seconds to cook on each side, so I couldn't be Facebooking or playing with the dog or watching episodes of "
Monarch of the Glen" while I was doing this. It was a pretty quick succession of plop (or place, to avoid splattering hot oil all over my hands), sizzle, flip, sizzle, remove. Repeat until desired number of tortillas have been fried. Truly easy.

churro closeup
Drizzle honey (plain old generic clover honey is fine) and cinnamon sugar, or just a dusting of cinnamon, on the hot fried tortillas. Voila! "Lazy churros."

making the hot chocolate
The "dipping chocolate" is hot chocolate made creamy and flavorful with evaporated milk and thickened with a tablespoon of cornstarch ("slaked in a little water"--how British is that!). I mixed evaporated milk and 2% milk about equally--I love evaporated milk, but hot chocolate made exclusively from evaporated would be too rich even for me. The finished chocolate is really like drinkable pudding that is creamy, thick, and downright luxurious. And reasonably low in fat, for hot chocolate.

Chocolate and lazy churros are a lovely mid-morning break!
The whole wheat churros were every bit as good as the white flour ones, although the white flour version tasted more like the real thing. The recipe calls for serving them plain but I couldn't resist the drizzle of honey and sprinkle of cinnamon.

dipping the churro into the chocolate
The test: does the dipping chocolate coat the churro? Yes it does!

empty chocolate cup
'Nuf said. Do try this on a chilly Autumn weekend. It's pretty fast and easy, and even the frying isn't as messy and oppressive as, say, frying doughnuts in 3 inches of hot oil. Enjoy!

Chocolate and lazy churros
From the April 2010 edition of Country Living, British Edition

Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: about 10 minutes

Serves 4
FOR THE DIPPING CHOCOLATE
4 heaped tablespoons good-quality cocoa powder
750 ml whole or evaporated milk
1 level tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch), slaked in a little water
sugar or honey to sweeten
ground cinnamon to decorate

FOR THE CHURROS

4 wheatflour tortillas, chapatis or pitta breads
olive oil for shallow frying

1. In a heavy-bottomed pan over a gentle heat, whisk the cocoa into the milk till it dissolves. Whisk in the cornflour. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat, then sweeten to taste and serve sprinkled with cinnamon.

2. Snip your breads into ribbons, about the width of your thumb. Fry in shallow olive oil until crisp and golden, then transfer to kitchen paper to drain.

Notes: I used half evaporated and half 2% milk for the chocolate. I used white and wheat flour tortillas for the churros and fried them in canola oil.

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