Cod and Chorizo Parcels are easy to make and great for children who want to cook a real meal. Ready-rolled puff pastry makes the whole process stress-free.
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This month’s recipes are easy for children to make, but as well as cakes and biscuits, my children often wanted to help ‘make dinner’. Cod and Chorizo Parcels are ideal for that. There’s very little cutting so even small children can lend a hand.
What’s in Cod and Chorizo Parcels?
- Puff Pastry – You could make your own, but why would you? You can either buy puff pastry in a block or ready-rolled. You also have a choice of all-butter pastry, or not. All-butter, ready-rolled is the best-tasting, easiest option in my book, and ideal for children to use.
- A tip for using ready-rolled pastry: leave it in the fridge until you want to use it, ignoring what it says on the packet about getting to room temperature. It will be too warm and floppy to handle.
- Cod Fillets – Fresh or frozen cod is fine. If the fillets are long and thin, cut them in half and stack up. Use them straight from the fridge, i.e. cold. If you use frozen fish, it can be cooked when almost defrosted.
- Chorizo – I used part of a pack of chorizo slices for this recipe, partly because it’s easier, but also because you want them larger and thinner than you can cut yourself from a piece.
- Herbs – A teaspoon of dried mixed herbs is easy, but if you have fresh you could snip them to use instead.
- Strong Cheddar cheese – I used to make these fish parcels without cheese, but I like the extra flavour from a strong Cheddar. If you don’t have any cheese, or don’t like it, just leave it out. You could slice a tomato over the top of the fish instead.
- Egg Wash – This is totally optional, but your pastry will be golden and glowing if you brush it with egg before cooking. On the other hand, it’s a whole egg – but you could use the rest in scrambled egg. I have become converted since seeing the results.
- Timing – When I make the Cod and Chorizo Parcels, it takes about 6 minutes after getting the ingredients out, so this will be fairly quick for kids to make too.
- Magic Liner or a silicone baking mat – both reduce the washing up as they go into the dishwasher. You don’t have to grease them either as they’re totally non-stick
- Oven thermometer – if you think your oven thermostat might not be telling you the truth (mine isn’t), this inexpensive thermometer will set you right. You do need one with large numbers so that you can read it from inside the oven
If you like this…
…Why don’t you try:
Cod and Chorizo Parcels
- 1 pack ready-rolled butter puff pastry 350mm x 230mm
- 6 thin slices chorizo
- 4 cod fillets 400-500g
- 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs 5ml
- Salt & pepper
- 50 g grated Cheddar cheese
- Set the oven to 220°C/200°C fan, gas mark 7/425°F
- Line the baking tray, or lightly grease it if you aren’t using a liner
- Beat the egg for the egg wash, if using
- Grate the cheese.
For the Cod and Chorizo Parcels:
- Unroll the pastry onto the baking sheet
- Ignore what it says on the packet and use it straight from the fridge
- Cut the pastry in half across the long side
- You will have 2 pieces 230mm x 175 mm approx.
- Arrange 6 slices of chorizo on each piece of pastry
- You need to leave a quarter of the pastry free on each long side and 1-2cm on each short side
- Each parcel will be for 2 people
- Trim the fish if necessary to fit into the space
- Put 2 pieces of fish on top of the chorizo
- Sprinkle the dried herbs on top of the fish
- Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over the herbs
- Grate the cheese over it all
- Gently pull the free pastry over the fish to meet in the middle
- Moisten your fingers with cold water and crimp the edges of the pastry together so that they form a ridge
- Fold over the other edges of the pastry, or crimp as before, to seal the parcel
- Brush the beaten egg over the pastry
- This will give the cooked pastry that golden finish
- Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown
- Serve with green beans or your favourite vegetables.