It's National Doughnut Day. HOORAY OBESITY!
All across DC, bakeries and patisseries are handing out free doughnuts to mark the occasion which, surprisingly enough, actually has some real history to it. The first National Doughnut Day was during the Depression, when foodstuffs were so rare and exalted that they were ripe for canonization. So the Salvation Army decreed that the first Friday in June would be set aside in observance of doughnuts. This celebration of fried rings of dough and fat started in Chicago, which should surprise no one.
But I don't like being told who to fete and how, and I'm sure as hell not going to take orders from the army: Salvation, Kiss, or otherwise. So instead of doughnuts proper, I'm going to mark today with churros -- similar to doughnuts, just better.
The churro hails from... Argentina? Maybe? Or Portugal. Possibly Spain. No one seems to really know but it doesn't matter. What does matter is that it's basically a straightened doughnut, but made in a festive star shape that increases the surface area of the pastry which results in heightened crispiness from the frying. More surface area also means more places for cinnamon sugar and/or caramel to grab on to.
Making them is a but of a pain -- the dough has to be prepared on the stovetop, which is unusual, and there's copious amounts of vigorous stirring, made all the more difficult by its thick, tacky consistency. But it's worth it! Just be sure to fry in very hot oil (a clip-on digital temperature probe is a handy tool for this one) so you get a good crisp and a soft, chewy center.
Use this recipe from Ruben Ortega, and you can't go wrong.