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Thursday, 16 January 2014

Post the Sixty-eighth (in which our heroine doesn't like the recipe)

Sorry, Paul.  But it just did nothing for me.  Too much potato and not enough flavour.

The recipe in question is the cod bake from the Lidl "7 Family Meals for €50" booklet.  See, the first time I made it, I veered quite substantially from the recipe.  In fact, I barely followed the recipe at all.  I tend to do that quite a lot.  I can't remember exactly what I did, but I kept the fish separate from the potato, and instead of mashing the spuds, I parboiled and grated them to make a crispy, rösti-style topping.  And it turned out really well.

However, as I said at the start of this series of posts, these recipes aren't my own, so for the purposes of the blog, I'm posting them as they were created.  So I made this again the other night, according the recipe, and what a disappointment it was.  But if you've done the shop, you'll have the ingredients, so I'll give you the recipe regardless.  And who knows, you might love it - maybe I was just having a particularly bad night in the kitchen.

Cod Bake with Spinach & Mint - serves 4

2 cod fillets, cut into 2cm pieces                            6 potatoes, peeled & halved
3 spring onions, finely sliced                                  250g frozen peas
Large double-handful baby spinach                       50g grated mature cheddar
2tbs butter                                                               1 egg
200ml chicken stock                                               1 tsp mint sauce
1 tsp horseradish sauce                                           Salt & pepper

1. Put the spuds on to boil.  When they're cooked, drain and mash with the horseradish sauce.

2. Add the fish, spring onions, egg, salt & pepper and mix well.

3. Butter a casserole dish and spread the mix into it.  Dot with half the butter, top with the cheese and bake in an oven preheated to 170C for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbling.

4. In the meantime, bring your chicken stock to the boil with the remaining butter.  Add the spinach, allow to wilt, then add the peas & mint sauce and cook for two minutes.  Divide between warm plates, then top with a piece of the cod bake and serve immediately.

Suggestions:  I'm not sure why I'm bothering, as it didn't make any difference, but if you're not a fan of horseradish (I'm not), you can substitute a tablespoon of wholegrain mustard for it in the mash.

Now, here's where we're going to diverge temporarily from the Lidl recipe book.  As I've said, there's only two people living in my house, so all of these recipes have done us for two nights thus far.  However, this did so little for me that I actually couldn't face the thought of eating it two nights in a row.  So, on the second night, I made fishcakes out of the leftovers, and they were much better.  So, the next post will be the recipe for them.  Not much good to you if you eat the lot tonight, obviously, but it's still a way to get two meals out of the same ingredients for anyone who's only feeding two (or one, or three) people at a time.

Hasta luego, amigos.  And if anyone has better luck with this recipe than me, be sure to say so in the comments.

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