Mexico’s Doughnuts: Churros

churros

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When you think of Mexican desserts, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? In my case it’s Churros, sometimes referred to a Spanish donut. Churros are traditional Spanish desserts developed centuries ago by Spanish shepherds. Up high in the mountains, fresh baked goods were impossible to come by, so the indigenous nomadic folk of the hills came up with a delicious cake-like, cylindrical, daily staple which they could easily cook in a pan over an open fire. This was the birth of Churros.

You can have Churros for breakfast, lunch and of course after dinner. That is why I asked Vanessa Johnson, Capella Pedregal’s Pastry Chef, to share with us her secrets for a perfect Churro so we can all try it at home!

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Churros

1 cup water

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 eggs, beaten

Vegetable oil, for frying

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional

Chocolate for dunking:

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 cups milk

4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

1/4 cup sugar

Directions

To make the churro dough: Combine 1 cup of water with the butter or margarine and the salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour. Reduce the heat to low and stir vigorously until the mixture forms a ball, about 1 minute. Remove the dough from the heat and, while stirring constantly, gradually beat the eggs into the dough.

To make the chocolate for dunking: In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in 1 cup of milk and reserve. Combine the chocolate with the remaining cup of milk in a saucepan. Stirring constantly, melt the chocolate over medium-low heat. Whisk the sugar and the dissolved cornstarch into the melted chocolate mixture. Reduce the heat to low and cook, whisking constantly, until the chocolate is thickened, about 5 minutes. (Add extra cornstarch if it doesn’t start to thicken after 5 minutes.) Remove the pan from the heat and whisk until smooth then reserve in a warm place.

Heat about 2 inches of oil in a heavy, high-sided pot over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 360 degrees F. Mix the sugar with the cinnamon on a plate and reserve.

Meanwhile, spoon the churro dough into a pastry bag fitted with a large tip. Squeeze a 4- inch strip of dough into the hot oil. Repeat, frying 3 or 4 strips at a time. Fry the churros, turning them once, until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the cooked churros to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.

When the churros are just cool enough to handle, roll them in the cinnamon-sugar (in Spain churros are simply rolled in sugar.)

Pour the chocolate into individual bowls or cups. Serve the warm churros with the chocolate dip.

 

You can always enjoy them at Don Manuel’s restaurant, El Farallón or in the privacy of your suite. Buen Provecho!

Churros Mexicanos

churros

 

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Cuando piensas en postres mexicanos, que es lo primero que se te viene a la mente? En mi caso son los Churros! Los Churros son postre tradicional Español creado hace siglos por pastores españoles. En lo alto de las montañas, productos recién horneados eran imposibles de conseguir, por lo que a la gente nómada indígena de las colinas se les ocurrió pastelillo, cilíndrico, que podían fácilmente cocinar en una sartén a fuego abierto. Este fue el nacimiento de los churros.

Puedes comer Churros en el desayuno, almuerzo y por supuesto después de cenar. Es por eso que le pedí la Chef Pastelera de Capella Pedregal, Vanessa Johnson, que nos comparta sus secretos para un Churro perfecto y así todos lo podamos hacer en casa!

churros

Churros

1   taza de agua
1/2 taza de mantequilla o margarina
1/4 cucharadita de sal
1    taza de harina para todo uso
3    huevos batidos
Aceite vegetal, para freír
1/4 taza de azúcar
1/4cucharaditade canela molida, opcional

Salsa de chocolate:

1    cucharada de maicena

2    tazas de leche

4    ozde chocolate negro, picado

1/4 tazade azúcar

Instrucciones:
Para preparar la masa del churro: Combina 1 taza de agua con mantequilla o la margarina y sal en una cacerola y deja hervir a fuego alto. Usando una cuchara de madera, agrega la harina. Reduce a fuego lento y agita vigorosamente hasta que la mezcla forme una bola, aproximadamente 1 minuto. Retira la masa del fuego y, sin dejar de remover, agrega y bate los huevos poco a poco en la masa.

 

Para preparar la salsa de chocolate: En un tazón pequeño, disuelve la maicena en 1 taza de leche y deja reposar. En una cacerola, combina el chocolate con la taza restante de la leche. Revolviendo constantemente, derrite el chocolate a fuego medio-bajo. Batir azúcar y maicena disuelta en la mezcla de chocolate derretido. Reduce fuego a bajo y cocina, revolviendo constantemente, hasta que se espese el chocolate, unos 5 minutos. (Añade la maicena adicional si no empieza a espesar después de 5 minutos.) Retire la cacerola del fuego y bate hasta que quede suave y luego déjalo reposar en un lugar cálido.

Calienta aproximadamente 2 pulgadas de aceite en una olla fuerte, de bordes altos a fuego medio-alto hasta que el aceite llegue a 360 grados °F. Mezcla azúcar con la canela en un plato y revuelve.

Mientras tanto, introduce la masa del churro en una manga pastelera con una boquilla grande. Apriete una tira de 4 pulgadas de masa en el aceite caliente. Repetir, freír 3 o 4 tiras a la vez. Fríe los churros, rotándolos una vez, hasta que estén dorados, unos 2 minutos por cada lado. Transfiere los churros cocidos a un plato cubierto con toallas de papel para drenar. Cuando churros estén lo suficientemente fríos como para manipularlos, rodar en azúcar y canela (en España los churros son simplemente laminados en azúcar.)

Vierte el chocolate en tazones o tazas individuales. Sirve churros calientes con la salsa de chocolate.

Siempre puedes disfrutar los Churros de Vanessa en el restaurante Don Manuel’s , El Farallón o en la privacidad de tu suite. ¡Buen Provecho!

 

Summer Cocktails At Capella Bar

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Here at the Breidenbacher Hof’s Capella Bar there is always a new cocktail to try.  Recently, a regular guest sat at the bar and observed as Marc, our mixologist, concocted his newest summer cocktails.  Marc, seeing the guest’s interest, invited him to try one of his creations and provide feedback.  Together Marc and the guest adjusted the cocktail until both agreed the perfect summer cocktail had been created.

The cocktail, named Limón à la Romana after the helpful guest, is now a featured cocktail on the menu.  And lucky for you, I have secured the secret recipe!

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Limón à la Romana

Ingredients:

  • 4cl Adler Gin
  • 1cl Dom Benedictine
  • 1cl Limoncello
  • 1cl sugar syrup
  • 2cl lemon juice
  • Some sage leaves

Preparation:

Put everything except for the sage leaves into a Boston Shaker and add some ice cubes. Pluck the sage leaves into small pieces and mix them together with the rest of the ingredients into the shaker. You will see that the leaves are very small right now but will develop a wonderful aroma.

If you ask me, the prettiest way to present the drink is a cocktail glass. Strain the mixed liquid into a pretty glass and garnish simply with a sage leaf.

Finally, the most important thing: Enjoy your great summer drink!

I can’t wait to get your feedback!

A Unique Chicken Satay Recipe

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With Singapore’s 49th National Day just around the corner on 9 August 2014, I decided to catch up with Capella Singapore’s Junior Executive Sous Chef, Aaron Goh, to talk about local food. As proud Singaporeans, we love our food. Visitors to our country often comment that Singaporeans are seen eating all day long – it is true! We have 24-hour coffee shops and hawker stalls such as Old Airport Road Hawker Centre, Newtown Hawker Centre, Chomp Chomp Hawker Centre and more all around the country just to satiate our huge appetites!

Chef Aaron shared, during our conversation that he was working on a very Singaporean-inspired dish Tiger Beer Chicken Satay. Yes, you heard right! Chicken satay marinated in Singapore’s national beer, Tiger Beer.

It sounded too delicious, so I persuaded him to share the recipe with you in celebration of National Day!  And if you happen to be in Singapore for the holiday, make plans to join Aaron at the hotel and try it yourself.

Chef Aaron's Tiger Beer Chicken Satay

Chef Aaron’s Tiger Beer Chicken Satay

Tiger Beer Chicken Satay Recipe

Ingredients

4 chicken legs and thighs (preferred) or 4 chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)
Bamboo skewers (soaked in water for 2 hours to avoid burning)
1 Bottle Tiger Beer

Spice Paste:

1tsp coriander powder
2 stalks lemongrass, white parts only
6 shallots (peeled)
2 cloves garlic (peeled)
4 tbsp cooking oil
1tsp chili powder
2 tsp turmeric powder (kunyit)
4 tsp of kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce)
1tsp oyster sauce
1 cucumber (skin peeled and cut into small pieces)
1 small onion (quartered)

Method:

  1. Cut the chicken meat into small cubes and marinate in Tiger beer overnight.
  2. Grind the Spice Paste in a food processor.
  3. Add in a little water if needed.
  4. Marinate the chicken pieces with the spice paste for 10-12 hours.
  5. Thread the meat onto the bamboo skewers and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.
  6. Serve hot with the fresh cucumber pieces and onions.

Thunfischtatar Mit Korianderpesto

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Aufgrund der engen Freundschaft zwischen Düsseldorf und Japan, sucht auch das Team des Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel immer wieder nach neuen Möglichkeiten, die Verbindung der deutschen und japanischen Kultur noch enger zusammen zu schweißen.  Mit diesem Gedanken im Kopf, haben vor kurzem Küchenchef Philipp und unsere japanische Köchin Nao zusammen ein Gericht entwickelt.  Das Ergebnis: Eine leckere Interpretation von Thunfischtatar und Korianderpesto.

Ich hatte Glück, denn ich durfte gleich einmal von der neuen Kreation kosten und habe mich sofort in das Gericht verliebt.  Die exotischen und regionalen Zutaten ergaben zusammen eine wunderbare Verschmelzung der Deutschen und Japanischen Küche.

Seid ihr bereit es auszuprobieren?  Auch wenn ihr mich nicht in die Brasserie „1806“ begleiten könnt, könnt ihr dieses Gericht mit Hilfe des folgenden Rezeptes zu Hause genießen.

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Thunfischtatar mit Korianderpesto
für 4 Personen

Korianderpesto

Zutaten:
- 1 Bund Koriander
- 1 Schalotte, in feine Würfel geschnitten
- 1 Knoblauchzehe, in feine Würfel geschnitten
- 8 getrocknete eingelegte Tomatenfilets, in feine Würfel geschnitten
- Sojasauce
- Geröstetes Sesamöl
- 25g Zucker

Zubereitung:
Zunächst die Schalotten in einer Pfanne mit Sesamöl farblos anschwitzen, bis diese weich sind.  Den Knoblauch hinzugeben und mitrösten, bis sich ein feines Aroma entwickelt.  Nun die Tomaten hinzugeben, kurz mitschwitzen und mit etwas Zucker verfeinern.  Wenn sich der Zucker gelöst hat, mit Sojasauce ablöschen und alles einkochen, bis der Sud leicht dickflüssig wird.  Das ganze auf Raumtemperatur abkühlen lassen und in der Zwischenzeit den Koriander klein schneiden.  Zuletzt alles zusammen verrühren und eventuell noch einmal mit etwas Sojasauce abschmecken.

Sojamarinade

Zutaten:
- 100ml Sojasauce
- 100ml Zuckersirup 100% (Wasser : Zucker im Verhältnis 1:1 einmal aufkochen und abkühlen lassen)
- 50ml Reisessig
- 50ml Wasser
- 50ml Distelöl (alternativ Olivenöl)
- etwas grüner Salat zum Garnieren
- 25g Zucker

Zubereitung:
Alle Zutaten bis auf den Salat in einem Mixer zerkleinern.  Nun den Salat mit der Marinade vermengen.

Thunfischtatar

Zutaten:
- 400g Thunfischfilet
- 1 Schalotte in feine Würfel geschnitten
- 1 Limette (Abrieb von der Schale und Saft)
- ½ Bund Schnittlauch in feine Ringe geschnitten
- Soja Marinade
- Salz und Pfeffer, zum Abschmecken

Zubereitung:
Den Thunfisch in feine Würfel schneiden und in eine Schüssel geben.  Schalotten, Limettenabrieb, Saft und Schnittlauch hinzugeben und alles mit der Sojamarinade würzen.  Je nach Geschmack kann noch etwas Salz oder Pfeffer dazugegeben werden.

Nun das Tatar mittig auf einem Teller anrichten, das Korianderpesto um das Tatar träufeln und den marinierten Salat daneben platzieren.

 

Guten Appetit!

 

Summer Cocktails: Thyme Silver Fizz

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Summer is the best season if you ask me. There are so many things to experience in Dusseldorf when the sun is shining and I really love being outside and enjoying action.  Do you know what the best part is?  The evening!  It is still warm and you can sit outside with some friends barbecuing, playing games and, of course, enjoying summer cocktails.

As you may already know, our bar team at the Breidenbacher Hof is famous for its extraordinary and delicious cocktail creations.  Of course, they also create special drinks for every season.  Yesterday, I tried their latest creation for summer: the Thyme Silver Fizz.  Believe me, it is the perfect start into a wonderful barbecue night with friends.  It is refreshing, a bit fruity and because of the thyme, it has a Mediterranean flair and reminds me of being on vacation!  You will know what I mean, when you try it for yourself.  So I asked our Assistant Bar Manager Philipp for the recipe to share the good taste and vacation dreams with you:

summer  cocktailsThyme Silver Fizz

5 cl Botanist Gin

2 cl lemon juice

2 cl sugar syrup

Soda to fill up

Ice cubes

1 sprig of thyme

 

Preparation

Take a cocktail shaker and fill it with ice cubes. Then, one after another measure the Gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup and mix everything in the shaker. When you are done, fill the drink into a nice glass through a sieve and fill it up with the soda. Use the sprig of thyme for garnish – and voilà!

At our Capella Bar, the drink is served with thyme salt, which gives the cocktail a special touch. It depends on what you prefer, but whether with or without the salt it is definitely my new favorite cocktail and I am sure it will be yours too.

 

Enjoy shaking and the great refreshment afterwards!