Another weekend, another bout of mass cooking and freezing for my toddler and of course now for my baby. Yes we are weaning the mini munchkin who is now nearly 5 months old. He has been giving us pitiful looks of despair whilst sitting in his bouncer during our mealtimes and having to endure watching us eat. So whilst it is a little early (official advice is 6 months) I really could wait no longer to wean him to solids. I am doing this with some sieved pureed fruit and vegetables for now. The delight on his face is wonderful, and it is great to have such positive feedback.
This is also having an effect on his older sister who is eating better now she has company. I am so looking forward to combining flavours for purees but I think the important thing at this stage is to help small babies appreciate food unaltered and in a safe way whilst they work out a co-ordinated swallow. I say this because I know a lot of pople are strong believers of baby led weaning and I think this is fine from 6 months of age but at this early stage I think purees are safer and then a mix of foods once he is a bit older and wiser to solid food!
Now back to Miss Munchkin, we still have some hesistance from her in accepting new food and I have been trying to expand the repertoire by stealth. This means I do still tend to hide lots of foods in pastry or breadcrumbs. I apologise then if this recipe seems a little similar to some previous posts, but toddlers do like food wrapped in pastry. This one is food wrapped in CHEESE pastry. Toddler heaven as far as Miss Munchkin is concerned (and I have to admit to snaffling a couple of them myself!).
The recipe involves making a cheese shortcrust pastry and whilst it rests you prepare the filling.
If you have a food processor it will be really quick but if you don’t it is fine, the method below gives instructions either way. You could also use ready made shortcrust pastry though that will lack the cheese factor…
For the pastry:
250g plain flour
30g finely grated parmesan
1 tablespoon milk
For the filling:
Two Skinless Boneless Chicken Breasts, chopped into cubes
30 ml Double Cream
Quarter teaspoon powdered ginger
Quarter teaspoon powdered cinnamon
A pinch of cumin powder
A pinch of star anise
A pinch of pepper (and optionally a pinch of salt)
1 egg and a second beaten egg to seal and glaze the pastry
2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
Blitz the butter and flour in a food processor till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs (or do this by hand in a large bowl).
Add the cheese and bind the mixture into a dough ising the milk (add a little at a time).
Shape the dough into a thick rectangle, wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for half an hour.
Give the bowl and blade of the food processor a clean and then put in the cubes of chicken. Process the meat to a puree then add the cream, spices, breadcrumbs and egg. If needed add a little more breadcrumbs but the mixture is wet so don’t panic, the pastry holds it all in place!
If you dont have a food processor, chop the meat very finely or buy minced chicken breast. Mix it with a beaten egg and then add in the other ingredients.
Place the chiken mix into a large piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm nozzle.
Preheat oven to 200 Deg C
Roll the pastry into a rectangle 4 to 5cm wide. You may need to do this a couple of times to use up the pastry without having to make it too long.
Pipe the meat filling from one end of the rectangle to the other to one side of the midline in a continuous line.
Brush beaten egg along the edges then carefully fold the pastry over the meat and seal it.
Cut the long roll into 3 to 4 cm portions and then trim the sealed part of the pastry if needed.
Brush the top with beaten egg.
Cut slits in the top of the sausage rolls with a knife and then place on a baking tray and bake for 25 mins until golden brown.
Serve warm. Miss Munchkin enjoyed. I hope your kids do too!