Friday, 7 November 2014

Box clever ( lancheira inteligente ) Bacalhau à Brás portátil


Portable Portuguese omelettes
We all know how hard it is at this time of year to drag ourselves out of bed of a morning.The clocks have  gone back and for some of us it is dark going to work and dark coming home.The chance of an extra 10 minutes in bed on a cold winters morning never goes amiss. For the parents amongst us there are lunch boxes to be considered and you know that the daily grind of filling lunchboxes doesn't make it easy to come up with imaginative alternatives. Many are tired of forking out for a classic super club or prawn mayonnaise and rocket to eat at your desk, so there is the added burden of thinking about ones own super saver home made lunch.Even those who work at home can be a bit pushed busywise and its always good for the self employed to be pre-prepared. All hail the all-day-breakfast. And how about the convenience of having  a morning-style meal at midday that is not only easy but achievable and affordable too.Eggs are good cheap sources of protein, but hard boiled eggs can get boring, and one is often pressed for time in the morning what with hair and make up beauty playground, and with all that trying to get out of the house on time malarky there is no time left for lunch prep. I wanted to find another alternative to the full English in a coffee cup and I think I have found it - Breakfast on the go, the portable omelette,and even better than that I have taken one of the most famous and traditional Portuguese recipes, Bacalhau à Brás, a dish made with salt cod, potatoes and eggs.It is not known who Brás was but the dish he invented is one of the most emulated,tasty and popular dishes in Portugal today.
These little poppets are something to pop in your handbag and toy with later.All you need to do is make these mini omelettes in muffin tins and you have all tomorrows breakfasts made the night before.Portable eggs for a week.The brief is endless because the choice is yours.Take your favourite omelette ingredients and re-invent them in portable form.For example I also made a quichey type one, bacon,egg and cheddar cheese, but without the pastry.Are you starting to get the drift? - take a look at Mr breakfast.com.- there are 192 recipes for omelettes that will not fail to inspire you.There is something for all tastes here including many ideas and combinations that would never have occurred to you. You can just throw them in a big freezer bag and put them in the fridge at the beginning of the week.Great for the kids lunch boxes too.You don't want your kids stuffing themselves with chips or crisps at lunchtime, and they would rather starve than eat what the school serves up.Use your imagination and get your child involved in preparing their  school lunch box. This will certainly be of great value, because in addition to strengthening family ties it will be time well spent in educating them in the importance of healthy eating.They will need strength not to break into their packed lunch before the dinner bell.Tortilla is another transportable way to pack vegetables into your little one´s lunch box and this should please the grownups too.Make your very own egg Mc muffin and you have breakfast on the bus,muffins on the move.

 muffins salgados, my favourite lunch box treat
(recipe makes 18)

Bacalhau à Brás portátil
(recipe makes 12)
Bacalhau or dried salted cod is the food for which Portugal is most famous, understandably given its lengthy coast line. I was incredulous to be told that a traditional national dish can be made using almost the equivalent of a packet of chips i.e. potato sticks. My Portuguese friend told me that in the old days, housewives used to fry up their own potatoes first, but now they find it easier to use the packet kind. I'm all in favour of anything which makes a very tasty dinner, quickly and easily. You could get a meal for 6 on the table with this in about 20 minutes. Extra minutes then available for soaking up the company of friends..." 
Since this whole post is about time saving and ease of preparation this was my chosen method.Please by all means cut and fry fresh potatoes for authenticity if you should so choose

350g salt cod loin rehydrated, bacalhau fresco dessalgado (gadus morhua)
1 litre boiling water
4 tbsp olive oil
1 onion,finely diced
1 folha de louro,(bay leaf)
6 ovos  batidos ligeiramente  (6 eggs lightly beaten)
meia cartãode nata 1/2 small carton of cream (100ml)
mão-cheia salsa (handful flat leaf parsley)
600g batatas palha ( potato sticks,see above)
azeitonas pretas sem caroço para decorar (pitted black olives for garnish)

If not done so already.Rinse soak,cook and flake the salt cod.If using fresh or re-hydrated cod,put the cod in a sturdy Pyrex bowl and pour the boiling water over it.Set aside and leave for 5 minutes,then drain pat dry and flake the cod.While the cod is soaking sauté the onion  and bay leaf in the olive oil ( I used a small amount of butter too for an added richness.When the onions are softened but not coloured stir in the potato chips and fish,
set aside to cool.Beat the eggs with the parsley and add mix them into the onion mixture
pour the mixture into cup cake moulds or greased muffin pans,scatter some olives over each and bake at 180º for 20- 25 minutes till set.



2 comments:

  1. What a great idea! I have done mini frittatas before but had never thought of converting bacalhau à Brás into one of these. I have much enjoyed discovering your blog. Thank you.

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  2. I am so glad you like this Anna.You might also like
    Thursday, 17 December 2015
    Alho Francês à Brás - ele gostou imensamente

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