3.5.08

Three epiphanies: café frappé, roast pork and lemon churros


Madrid is in the middle of a long long weekend. These are lazy times. If you stay in the city it takes at least a couple of days to wipe off the smug grin off your face when you hear the horror stories of people locked in nine-hour traffic jams on the way to the beach.
Turning on the computer is an act of sheer willpower. Particulary since to get to it I have to leap over a Scalextric set I´ve been lent (childhood dream), and a pile of rubbish J has promised to throw away after my crazy bout of clearing up yesterday.
So. This post is going to be a lazy, catch-all post, but it will be full of useful stuff. In the past weeks I´ve had no less than three epiphanies, but they are all such simple stuff that I can´t justify a whole post for each of them.

Number one falls under the category of the "how is it possible that it took me 32 years to do this". I can´t understand it, but there it is. A lifetime of sprinkling lemon juice and sugar over pancakes and crepes, and it never, ever, ocurred to me to do it on churros. A true eye-opener. Crunchy salty greasy churro and sweet sugar is a classic, but it can be a bit heavy. The lemon brings freshness and tang and danger: you end up eating quite a few more than you would otherwise.

Number two is, again, one of those duh moments. It took my cousin Pablo to mention the frappé method with Nescafé to send me hurtling to my cupboards to hunt down the cocktail shaker I received as a wedding present and never used (I´m a basic elemental gin and tonic girl, you see).
The pricey and not-really remotely good iced latte of Starbucks can be done at home with minumum fuss and maximum fun.
Just put 2 oz. milk, 3 oz. water (Euro meassures would be 50 ml and 75 ml), ice cubes, a spoonful of Nescafé and sugar as you like, inside a cocktail shaker or a glass jar with a trusty lid.
Shake the hell out of it, dancing to Carmen Miranda, or not, as you will, and pour the icy milky coffee with its creamy beige frothy head into a big glass.
This is a small quantity, but the shaking is such fun that I´d rather make two small ones than one big.

And finally, three. The Dutch oven method for pork shoulder. People. Seriously. What took me so long? I´ll tell you; it seemed too good to be true, that´s why. I just plain didn´t beleive it would taste better than an effortful way. Normally I slow roast my pork shoulders, basting from time to time, and it´s very good, juicy and flavourful. I´m not saying I´ll abandon that
method forever, because it´s hardly a big deal, but compared with the total ease of this other one, I´m not sure.
All I did last Wednesday was put the 1 kg hunk of meat with the ingredients of this marinade in the covered pot and leave it in a low oven for 3 and a half hours.
At the end, the meat really and truly fell apart. It was golden, and when brushed with the thick syrupy gravy, a thing of true beauty.
True, it becomes a shreddy, jellified mess at the slightest touch, but when has that ever been a problem?

14 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...

Scalextric and Exin Castillos(?) - my unattainable childhood dreams! Do you have a good recipe for churros? I tried the recipe included in the churro maker my sister brought me once, but they turned out very "doughy" tasting - any suggestions?

ann dijo...

Lemon churros sound just dreamy! Do you bake the lemon in? or just squirt it over the top?

Pille dijo...

Lemon churros? Well, the ones we had were delicious (greasy and heavy, but decadently yummy), but I can see that lemon juice would have been a hit.
And so glad you don't have to sit in the traffic jams. You truly are well situated for exploring - and living - the city.
Hope you're all well. My greetings to the doggies!!

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) dijo...

Time to hunt for my old Carmen Miranda records.... I love your epiphanies!

Rachel dijo...

I've never even thought of lemon & sugar on pancakes, much less churros! My eyes have been opened!

nek0 dijo...

churros? limon??? O_O

tampoco se me hubiese ocurrido nunca!

kickpleat dijo...

can you believe that i've never had a churro? sounds amazing though pretty much anything sprinkled in lemon sugar would be awesome.

ChichaJo dijo...

This all sounds good to me! But of course the one that truly makes my mouth water is the slow roasted pork :) I have a Dutch oven so I'll be trying this out!

xps dijo...

Lo de la carne me suena al caracol sagrado. si no es fácil, es que lo estás haciendo mal. temo que pronto lo probaremos. nuevas recetas.... lo único positivo de la marcha de esco.

Naomi dijo...

Hi there,

I just tried your oatmeal raisin cookies from back in January (it's coming into winter where I am, finally turned to baking weather). The cookies were so easy and so awesome!! thank you so much!

lobstersquad dijo...

Anónimo: Exin castillos still not happening, but the Scalextric is awsome! And no, sorry, my recipe for churros is to walk down the street to the churrería, if I can bear to leave my bed early enough.
Ann: no no, just squirted, like you would on a crepe.
Pille: doggies say hi. Next time you come we´ll try the lemon thing, it´s well worth it.
Lydia: Next time I´ll even put bananas on my head, to really be even more Carmen Miranda.
Rachel: oh please try it. It´s soooo good.
Neko: es alucinante. muy muy sorprendentemente bueno.
Kickpleat: well, it´s just fried dough, after all. You can try it on donuts, maybe.
Chichajo: a revelation, Jo, I promise.
Xps: yo creo que te va a gustar, porque es feo , pero ya sabemos que a feo no sabe.
Naomi: I´m so glad! It´s beginning to be definitely not baking weather here, so I think I´m going to bake a couple of batches to freeze. They´re so good and so simple.

Veron dijo...

I so love pork. I've been wanting to slow roast a pork shoulder for the longest time!

Melissa dijo...

Brilliant, brilliant, and brilliant. Pork shoulder is on the shopping list!

Shakespere dijo...

Hi. I enjoyed the blog. The pictures are wonderful as well.

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