I was recently inspired to look through old pictures of living in Spain during my high school years. Though I was born in Seattle and my family is Italian-American (with some French-Canadian thrown in there), I got my true food and wine degree while exploring all that Spain has to offer. One of my absolute favorite Spanish recipes, and one Gwyneth Paltrow also loved on our culinary road trip through the country, is tejeringos from Grenada. My son, Leo, described the tejeringos he sampled from street carts there last year the exact same way I remember eating them in a hole-in-the-wall jaunt of my old neighborhood. Isn’t it refreshing to know that even thirty years later, some things have remained the same?
The novelty of tejeringos is simple. A lot like churros, they are Spain’s delightful addition to the doughnut world. They are, in fact, the sovrano of the churro world – not too salty or sweet or heavy. Just perfect and here is why!
It’s all about the eggs and the lipids in this Spanish delicacy. While the typical churro recipe contains approximately one tablespoon of butter and one egg per dozen churros, tejeringos call for more of both. Three eggs and eight tablespoons of butter go into this mixture, making the texture much airier than your average churro.
The difference between frying oils when preparing churros versus tejeringos also adds to the lighter density. The churros we’ve had on the menu for years at Casa Mono, for example, call for one and a half to two inches of vegetable oil. This recipe uses eight cups of extra virgin olive oil to fully deep-fry these babies to perfection. They should be super crispy, so be patient and let them really brown. Keep in mind that the olive oil for frying makes this dessert less sweet than the classic churro. Simply add cinnamon sugar or confectioners’ sugar, as desired, to up the sweetness as well as earn presentation points.
Tejeringos are the perfect treat to impress guests and a spicy chocolate is the perfect pairing. The dough in this recipe often crumbles when dipped into sauces with high viscosity, however. In order to prevent losing your tejeringo in a dipping sauce, simply drizzle the spicy chocolate over your platter of fried deliciousness and dust with more confectioners’ sugar.