The other day I spent the day with my granddaughter, Josie-May, who just like my other grand children love to help me in the kitchen. The joy that I get as a grandparent showing them where their food comes from and how it is prepared and cooked is immeasurable. I can put up with the ‘yeuk’s when I butcher a whole chicken, but that soon changes when I show them what real chicken nuggets look and taste like! They also know where chips come from after they have seen the potatoes that we grew in our garden. Our children must be shown where their food comes from, how it’s prepared and how to enjoy it. They don’t have to be taught what vitamins or what type of trans-fat are in it (That is our job as parents!). Teaching them to enjoy cooking and eating good quality food also is not expensive.(Hint: Look out for bargains such as close use by dates (I once managed to get a shoulder of lamb for 90p!)).
Back to what Josie-May and myself had to eat that day. I managed to find, in a shop whose name sounds like “little”,some ‘bacalhau’. This comes from Iberia in the main and is cod that is preserved by salt and/or air drying. This intensifies the flavour when the salt-cod is re-hydrated in water or milk. So we had ‘Bolinhos de Bacalhau à portuguesa’ (fried fish balls was the translation I got!!). A super easy dish to make! You can try this with some naturally smoked haddock
Bolinhos de Bacalhau à Portuguesa
- 500g Salt cod (Rehydrated in milk or water)
- 750g Mashed potato
- 4 Eggs
- 2 Cloves of garlic (diced)
- Finely diced onion
- Chopped parsley
- Cup of white wine
- Salt and pepper
Heat a deep fat fryer to 170℃
In a bowl put the mashed potato and add the eggs on by one, mixing each in until a dough like texture is achieved.
Then add the onion, garlic and chopped parsley mixing well.
Shred the cod and add to the bowl combining well, if it is a little dry add a sprinkling of wine and check and adjust the seasoning.The texture should be of a light dough.
With two dessert spoons form some of the mixture into quenelles (egg shape) and drop this carefully into the oil continue with more of the mix but don’t overcrowd the fryer. Cook, turning occasionally, until they are crisp and brown in colour. Drain on kitchen roll and serve with a a few salad leaves and a dipping sauce of your choice.