Monday, 14 July 2014

Tapas night-in with Lidl

With some unexpected sunshine in between the crazy thunderstorms this weekend I had some friends over for a Tapas feast. As much as I love Spanish food, I don't tend to cook it often to be honest but with tapas style food I do find it works well with a group of friends as you don't have to stress about getting one main dish out, you can have a table of delicious nibbles for guests to graze on and then prepare a hot tapas or two for the table when you have a chance. Oh and of course as long as your jug of Sangria is kept topped up. 

What prompted me further to theme my menu to Tapas style was the chance to use some of Lidl's products which feature in their forthcoming offer brochure in particular the Sol & Mar range. The theme in-store from all available from Thursday 17th July is 'Spanish & Portuguese Week - Discover Iberian Specialities this week'.

Using their new brochure for some inspiration I came up with the following menu: 

Table snacks: 


  • 'Nixe' Anchovy Fillets in olive oil from Lidl
  • 'Baresa' Italian Antipasti - Grilled peppers (OK I'm gone off the Spanish theme here a little but stay with me...) from Lidl
  • 'Sol & Mar' Almendras Marcona Saladas con Miel (amazing roasted & salted almond halves with honey - addictive) from Lidl

Hot Tapas dishes:

  • Smokey Chicken Skewers - chicken marinated in cumin, garlic, fennel and sweet smoked paprika - using Birchwood Fresh Diced Chicken breast from Lidl
  • Patatas Bravas with cherry tomatoes and chorizo - using Sol & Mar Frozen Patatas Bravas, Oaklands Cherry Vine Tomatoes, Dulano Chorizo, all from Lidl
Smokey Chicken Skewers

At least 1 hour before, or ideally overnight, mix your marinade ingredients of: 
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1 garlic clove crushed
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar 

Place in a bowl with your diced chicken and mix well, cover and refridgerate. After at least an hour, take out your chicken and put on some skewers. Heat a hot non stick griddle pan and place your chicken skewers in the pan to cook so they are seared and golden brown on all sides - approx. 6-8 minutes depending on size of your chicken chunks, cut open if you like, to check they are cooked through. 

Patatas Bravas with cherry tomatoes and chorizo

Heat your oven to 200 degrees (fan). Put some of your frozen Sol & Mar patatas bravas onto a lined baking tray. Cook in the hot oven for 10-15 minutes, keep an eye on them. 
Meanwhile dice 1 small onion and slice 2 garlic cloves. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan, add your onion and garlic and soften for 3-4 minutes. You will need approx. 8 cherry tomatoes, half them, then slice up approx. 100g of the chorizo. Add both of these to your onions and garlic along with a pinch of paprika and cook for a further 2-3 minutes to soften down the tomatoes and to bring out the delicious flavour of the chorizo. 
Once your potatoes are done, add them to the pan and toss through with the onions, tomatoes and chorizo for only a couple more minutes otherwise it will make the potatoes too soft. 

 Of course a jug of Sangria is essential! I used: 

  • A bottle of Visigodo Rueda D.O. Tempranillo from Lidl
  • Oaklands oranges (Lidl)
  • Freeway Premium Lemonade (Lidl)
  • Mint from garden! 
I made my sangria with 3 parts red wine, 1 part orange juice and 2 parts lemonade. Of course you can adjust to suit your taste. Add some lemon and orange slices, some torn up mint and some ice.


  • Churros served with chocolate orange sauce - using the Sol & Mar frozen Churros 
  • Caramelised nectarines with ice cream - using Oaklands Nectarines

Chocolate orange sauce:

Break 200g chocolate into small pieces, put in a small saucepan with 25g caster sugar, 150ml whole milk and 100ml double cream.
Warm gently over a low heat, whisking constantly, until smooth.
Add a little grated orange zest or if you prefer, either 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or 1 tbsp Grand Marnier. 

The only word when you taste this is 'Yum'. A dangerous and versatile chocolate sauce. Use to dip your churros or this can also be used to drizzle over ice cream or on pancakes, however you wish!

For the Churros: How easy can it be, these Sol & Mar frozen churros just need to either be shallow fried or deep fried for a few minutes. I used my mini deep fat fryer recently given to me as a gift to make donuts...a handy gadget to have if you use it sparingly! These churros just took 3 minutes once the sunflower oil was heated to 190 degrees. A divine treat with the chocolate sauce. Naughty but nice. 


Caramelised Nectarines (serve 4-6):

You will need:
1 tablespoon of butter
5 large or nectarines, skinned
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons muscovado or dark brown sugar

Skin the nectarines, I know this is not a particularly nice job with a soft fruit but I spoilt myself with a soft fruit peeler a while back and it's been well used for things like this and peeling tomatoes. It's worth it for the end result. Now slice them up, no need to do it too neatly. Melt your butter in a non stick pan until hot but not smoking, add the nectarine slices and saute them for a few minutes until they bubble a little and the juice begins to thicken, 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle over the sugar, maybe take the heat up a little and cook for another minute, before adding the lemon juice. Let this cook so it's sizzling and juices are thickening a little for 2-3 minutes more. Serve them as they are as they will be delicious alone or spoil yourself with a scoop of ice cream or creme fraiche on the side.

Fantastic evening and the food was loved by all. Best of all there was hardly any fuss for me preparing it thanks to some sneaky pre-prepared ingredients such as the Patatas Bravas and Churros. Good job I stocked up on the Tempranillo red wine, the sangria went down well! 

All Lidl food mentioned in these recipes go on sale in stores this Thursday 17th July. Find your local store and any information here:

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