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Tag Archives: breadcrumbs

Fish fingers with wedges and mushy peas

After a week of cupcakes, it’s definitely time to return to healthier meals!

Nicholas has been at the stage where he wants to eat what we’re eating for a while now. Most of the time that’s fine, and it makes my job easier only having to prepare one meal each time instead of two. But sometimes he doesn’t like what we eat or I want him to eat a more balanced meal than we’re having.

I’ve started taking more care in how I present food to him, trying to include different colours of foods, making cute patterns, building towers of food (cheese works well!) or just putting it on colourful plates. This has really worked and has stopped him throwing tantrums when he wants to eat our dinner instead of his own.


Giving him a few different choices on the same plate also works. His developing independence means he’s happier when he’s choosing what goes into his mouth. It means meal times are longer as he decides what he should try next, but everyone is more relaxed.

My fish fingers and wedges are baked rather than fried to be healthier. The fish takes only a few minutes to cook so the breadcrumbs don’t turn that brown; you could add some turmeric to the breadcrumbs for a more golden colour.

FISH FINGERS WITH WEDGES AND MUSHY PEAS

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25-30 mins
Makes 1 toddler serving

1 medium potato, unpeeled
Drizzle of olive oil or cooking spray
1/2 skinless fillet of white fish (haddock, cod, plaice, etc.)
3-4 tbsp plain flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
3-4 tbsp breadcrumbs
4 tbsp frozen peas
Small sprig of mint, finely chopped
Small piece of butter
Salt and pepper (optional)

Heat the oven to 200C and line an oven tray with foil.

Scrub the potato clean and pat it dry. Without peeling it, cut it into wedge shapes. Put them into a small saucepan of cold water and bring to the boil. Boil for about 5 mins until they start getting softer.

Either drizzle a little olive oil on the lined oven tray or spray with cooking spray. Place the partly cooked wedges on the tray, and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper if using. Cookย  for about 20 -25 mins, turning them about halfway through, until crisp and brown on the outside.

Put your frozen peas into a small microwave-safe bowl and add 1/2 tsp water and the chopped mint. Cover and cook on medium for 1 min. Stir and cook for another 30 secs on medium. Drain any excess water, add a little butter and roughly mash for a fork. Cover and keep warm.

Cut the fish into thin strips, checking for any bones. Lightly season if you wish.

Prepare your three bowls for coating the fish: one bowl with flour, one with the beaten egg and the other with the breadcrumbs. Dip the fish strips into the flour shaking off the excess, then dip into the egg and let the excess drip off before dipping into the breadcrumbs to coat.

Put the fish onto the same oven tray as the cooking wedges. The fish fingers will only take a few minutes to cook, but the time will depend on the size you cut them. Take one out after 3 or 4 mins to check, remembering they will keep cooking for a little bit after you take them out of the oven.

Once the fish fingers and wedges are cooked, serve them with the mushy peas and some creme fraiche or yogurt for dipping (or ketchup if you really have to!).

Variations:

  • add some grated parmesan to the breadcrumbs for a cheesy coating
  • add a pinch of turmeric to the breadcrumbs for a more golden colour

Tip: to make your own breadcrumbs from leftover bread look at my previous tip.

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Tuna and sweet potato cakes

I made these to use up the half tin of tuna remaining after making our tuna and corn frittata. Make mini cakes for your munchkin’s mini hands to feed him or herself. Freeze the leftovers for another day or make bigger ones for the rest of the family.

Cooking the sweet potato in the microwave saves you peeling and chopping it. Steaming it also keeps more nutrients. If you can, cook it ahead of time so it can cool down to avoid burning your fingers when you peel it.

TUNA AND SWEET POTATO CAKES

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Makes about 12 mini cakes
Freezable

1 medium sweet potato
1/2 185g can tuna, drained and flaked
1 egg
2 tbsp dry breadcrumbs
3 chive stems
Pinch of salt (optional)

Use the point of a knife or a skewer to prick the sweet potato in a few places all over. Cook on high in the microwave for 4-5 minutes until it feels soft inside.

Cut the sweet potato in half and pull of the peel. Mash the flesh in a small bowl. Add the tuna, egg and salt (if using) and use kitchen scissors to snip the chives over the bowl. Mix well to combine.

Shape into small balls about 3cm in diameter.

Heat a small non-stick frying pan over a med-low heat. In batches, flatten the balls after you place them in the pan and dry fry for a couple of minutes each side until browned.

Serve with plain yogurt for dipping.

Variations:

  • use tinned salmon instead of tuna
  • use potato instead of sweet potato
  • add other cooked vegetables (finely diced onion, grated carrot, corn, peas, etc.)

Tip: to make your own breadcrumbs from leftover bread look at my previous tip.

Update (22 Nov 2012): The lovely and talented Filipa (Gourmet Mum) has been making these for her whole family and says they go brilliantly with horseradish or sweet chilli sauce. I’ll definitely be trying that next time!