I got off to spectacular start with variety in the foods Huck would eat, but I've really seen his taste narrow over the last year. If he could eat pasta with pesto every night of the week, he would. I don't know if it's just his age or the fact that I've gotten a little lazy and am falling back on sure things more. Whatever the cause, I've been trying to expand his palette a little and get out of the pasta rut.
I've got a winner here in the brain food category. I modified this recipe from one found in The Toddler Cookbook by Annabel Karmel.
1 can pink or red salmon
3 tbsp fresh chives or spinach, chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp mayonnaise
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 tbsp flour
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Canola or sunflower oil
a few frozen peas
The original recipe calls for chives which would be wonderful, only Huck doesn't really like the consistency of chives. However, he's not at all averse to flecks of green stuff in his food so I opted for chopped spinach instead. Any green would do. It also called for fresh breadcrumbs in the cakes and dried for the coating but I just used packaged dry crumbs in the cakes and prefer panko crumbs for the coating. Extra crispy!
Drain the salmon and dump it in a small mixing bowl. Chop it up with fork. Add the spinach or chives, lemon juice, ketchup, & mayo and stir it all together. Now start adding in the breadcrumbs until you have a somewhat sticky consistency that will hold a shape. Not too dry or it might fall apart.
Scoop up a dollop and form it into a ball. My balls were about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. You can either flatten it into a traditional crab cake shape, do an oval like a typical salmon croquette (which is what these really are) or hand mold them into little fishy shapes, which I knew my guy would flip for.
Put flour, egg (beaten) and panko in plates or shallow bowls. Coat the cakes in flour first, the dredge in the gg, then coat with panko. Once you have all your cakes made (I got 6 fish and 3 round cakes out of this recipe), stick your finger in there and make a little eye socket for the frozen pea.
Up to this point this is a great recipe for kids to help out with. Huck especially likes mashing the salmon and making the hole for the eye.
Now heat some oil up in a frying pan or sauce pan. Using a sauce pan means you can cook fewer at once but you have less splattered mess (and wrist burns) to deal with later. Use enough oil to come almost halfway up the side of each cake. About 1/4 inch depending on how thick yours are. Let it get really hot then cook the cakes for about 2 minutes (or until golden) on each side. Take them out with tongs and lay on a paper towel to drain.
Don't forget to give each fishy a little green eyeball. This is yummy with a side of sweet potato fries and some ketchup, mayo, or remoulade.