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Posts Tagged ‘Lidl’

One of my all-time favourite dishes is brandade de morue – salt cod whipped up with olive oil and mashed potato plus a wee hint or more of garlic and a scatter of parsley.  Much as I adore the taste, though, I’m not about to pack in my suitcase a whiffy hunk of dried North Atlantic cod just so I can then rehydrate it under a running cold tap for a couple of days before cooking.

pureeAuthenticity be damned in this instance and come to think of it, I don’t remember when I last peeled a potato to make mash – certainly not since discovering this wonder-product from Lidl: 99p for a four-pouch box.  If you’ve ever read the ingredients list on a packet of Smash and its ilk, the relative purity of this product will come as some surprise, for it reads thus: Dehydrated potatoes (97%), salt, emulsifier (E471), nutmeg, spices, stabiliser (E450i), preservative: sodium metabisuphite (E223), antioxidant (E304), Acid (E330).  May contain traces of milk: that’s it. 

And before you start squealing in horror at the E numbers allow me to enlighten:

  • E330 = ascorbic acid = Vitamin C
  • E304 = ascorbic acid ester = Vitamin C+palmitic acid

The others are arguably possibly slightly dodgy, in that:

  • E223 can be an allergen, not recommended for consumption by children
  • E450i = disodium diphosphate, high intakes of which may upset the body’s calcium/phosphate equilibrium, so excessive use may lead to imbalance of mineral levels, which could potentially lead to damage to bone density and osteoporosis (drinking too much fizzy anything destroys your bones too)
  • E471 = mono and diglycerides of fatty acids; could be animal in origin or from genetically modified soya.

brandadefumee
I can live with that, especially when pretty much all you have to do is scald 250ml milk with 500ml water and sprinkle one sachet over the top for some pretty good pommes purées.  It’s definitely French-style though so don’t even think of using this stuff for fishcakes – for that you need the real McCoy! The consistency is purrrfect however, for a creamy brandade. I take a few fillets of smoked fish – here I was fortunate enough to have hot-smoked sea bass and cold-smoked haddock cruising around the freezer – and poach them in the milk & water with finely sliced garlic, a strip of lemon peel, bay leaf and a pinch of saffron.  I then remove the fillets, skin and flake them hot in the few minutes while the potato flakes do their magic in the hot liquid, then stir the fish back in with a fork to blend. Sometimes I shred them finely and actually whisk the mix to more closely approximate brandade but it’s not strictly necessary by any means.
smokyfishmash

Piled into a ceramic dish and finished off in a hot oven it’s a fantastically hearty meal for two on a cold night, accompanied by a woodcutter’s pile of steamed carrots and courgettes and a lightly oaked chardonnay.  Somehow winter doesn’t seem so bad after all…

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So with the hot weather holding, the olive oil dough persisting and some slightly sinewy chorizo from Lidl haunting the ‘fridge, what better to make than chorizo and olive bread for a tasty lunch?

Just grab a handful of dough from the big batch container (first having floured one’s hands), tidy it by folding under into a ball, press onto an oiled tin and gently stretch to flatten.  Take your slices of chorizo (wide and thin, not the chunky cooking sort) and overlap them in a line down the centre of your dough rectangle.  Sprinkle a few stoned olives down each side and then bring up the sides of dough to meet across and form a swaddling blanket for the filling.

Not very pretty, is it? If your dough is as floppy as mine it will stretch and thin to reveal the odd olive but no matter.  The idea is a riff on the Provençal fougasse – the variations are limitless once you take that on board – so instead of herbes de Provence, strew the top with a little orange zest, crumbled chilli and roughly crushed fennel seed to go with the Spanish flavours of the chorizo (this delicious trio also aid digestibility as it’s a fairly oily affair).  Bake in a hot oven for 20-30 minutes, cool slightly and serve in slices with a sharp salad if you have one (last night’s chicory in orange juice in this case!) or wrap and take to work or a picnic.

 Oh dear, it’s all gone now.  We liked it so much I made another but that’s gone too.  Watch this space for the next batch of olive oil dough!

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