When I was in Barcelona I visited a classic churrería, the local spot to gather and catch up with the gossip.
Cheap and cheerful, they made sinfully good churros (long fried doughnuts), served with rich hot chocolate so thick you could stand the churros up in it.
Churros are traditionally a breakfast food, but if you switch an ingredient or two they also make a great savoury dish.
Makes 20, plus 300ml (½pt) sauce
For the potato churros
75g (2¾oz) butter
100g (3½oz) potato flour (from supermarkets)
100g (3½oz) plain flour
1tsp caster sugar
½tsp sea salt
¼tsp baking powder
1ltr (1¾pt) sunflower or vegetable oil
½tsp sweet smoked paprika
For the red pepper sauce
4 red peppers
1 clove of garlic, peeled
1tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
6 cherry tomatoes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and when it starts to bubble gently, beat in both of the flours, along with the sugar, salt and baking powder. Mix with a wooden spoon until it comes together, then crack in the eggs one by one, and mix again.
Place the batter in a piping bag fitted with a 1cm (½in) star-shaped nozzle, and chill in the fridge while you make the pepper sauce.
Preheat the grill to high. Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds. Place skin-side up on an oiled baking tray and grill for 15-20 minutes, or until blackened and tender.
Place in a sealed plastic bag and leave for about 20 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard the skins and place the flesh in a blender with the garlic, olive oil and tomatoes. Blitz until very smooth then taste for seasoning.
Heat the sunflower oil in a large heavy-based pan on a high heat – you want it to reach 170°C (338°F). Test with a tiny amount of batter – if it fizzes when it hits the oil, you’re ready to start. Pipe the batter into the hot oil.
Snip each churro off with scissors when it’s 10cm (4in) long then fry in two batches for 5-6 minutes, or until pale golden, turning a few times. Drain on a paper towel, sprinkle with smoked paprika while still hot, and serve with the sauce on the side.
Head over to my new project Khoollect for more delicious recipes you can create at home.