Sunday, April 13, 2014

Tried & Tested - Paul Flynn's Family Food from Lidl

All this and change for a 20 ...
You just can't ignore Lidl, no matter how hard you try. What was originally the cold, lifeless foreign concept that people were skulked into hoping the neighbours didn't see - is now a bragging right and the dirty little secret at the same time. In the same breath we'll gloat at our latest Penney's purchase we're itching to spill about the great deal we got in Lidl. It's an addiction.

Now they've switched tactics from bargain basement to family favourite with their focus on Irish produce and value for money. This month they launched Family Food, in association with their spokesperson chef Paul Flynn.

So naturally when I got my hands on the book the sister and I figured we had to take a few of the recipes for a spin. And seeing as it's Sunday, it seemed fitting to talk family feasts.

Sticky Onion Spaghetti and Crunchy Cabbage with garlic & Ginger
The nice thing about this book is that it's food you would actually eat (although if you don't eat chorizo it rules out at least half of it, but it's easily left out in favour of some extra salt and smoked paprika)

We gave the Sticky Onion Spaghetti a test drive. With two onions requiring dicing, my recommendation is to use a food processor and wear waterproof mascara. We replaced the Grana Padano cheese with parmesan - although the recipe flip-flops between recommending one and then the other. It was a lovely tasty dish, which even sauce-obsessed Boyfriend, enjoyed it. Initially you wouldn't think your little pot of sauce would cover a whole pack of spaghetti, but have faith it does.

Next, the crunchy cabbage. The sister and I always get excited about cabbage when we get carvery, so this was an obvious choice for us. Boyfriend was the skeptic, expecting soggy, flavourless green stuff, but it's a refreshing take on an often-overlooked vegetable. The garlic gives it a richer flavour and the ginger brightens it up. New signature side dish over here.

Crimson Grape Cheesecake
I can't take any credit for these little beauties, these are 100% my sister's doing. The talented little bugger that she is. This was the first recipe we gravitated towards in the book, partially because the picture of mini cheesecakes in tiny jars was too adorable, but also because they sounded so interesting.

As a nice, light dessert, I can see us breaking these out again come summer for dinner parties and get togethers. Where you'll find a willingly empty wine glass in my house I'm not sure - but I'm planning to try them in cute little juice glasses next. The addition of the fruit shorties on top instead of regular rich tea or digestives is a perfect example of the clever little twists throughout the book.

Dad devoured one of these on he couch one evening with his signature seal of approval "That's grand it is". The sister's tip is to leave these to set overnight rather than the 30min the book says so that it sets and becomes more cheesecake-like. 

On the whole it's a nifty book. They recipes are practical, at minimum they generally serve 4 or more people and there's no strange ingredients you've never heard of or will never use again, yes all the ingredients are Lidl products - so added bonus they won't cost you the earth either. It's on sale for €12.99 right now. Granted it's quite limited in regards veggie recipes, but for the most part it's pretty adaptable and doesn't over complicate things.

Have you given any of Lidl's new recipes a try?
Or have you cooked anything recently?


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