Fish Pie Fishfingers

I wanted to find easy ways to include fish in Madeleine's diet and since she loves feeding herself so much I thought it would be pretty handy if I could make a fish pie that she could feed herself without there being a terrifying amount of mess afterwards! These are the wonderful result and they are utterly delicious if I do say so myself.

Makes 16 'fingers'

10g butter

150g leek, cut, quartered and rinsed

125g cod

5g fresh parsley

5g panko breadcrumbs

5g cheddar cheese, coarsely grated

1 egg (you will not need all of this- I use approximately 1 tbsp)

1 tsp mayonnaise

4 tbsp fine polenta

Preheat the oven to 200Oc and line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Melt the butter over a medium heat and add the prepared leeks. Cover and leave to sweat down for 10-15minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent them catching and add some water if they do. Remove and allow to cool fully. [Note: I often do this the day before I am making them and just leave in the fridge until I have a moment to make the fish fingers].

Place all the ingredients apart from the polenta in a food processor and blitz down until there are no large pieces. Using a tablespoon scoop out 16 portions and roughly shape into 'fingers. Place directly on the prepared baking tray and place in the fridge for 15-20minutes to firm up. Once firm remove and roll each finger in the polenta to create a thin coating. Place back on the prepared baking tray and straight into the oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through. 

Tuna & Pea Pesto Burgers

Tuna is a fantastic source of Omega-3 and a gentle introduction to the world of fish. I love this recipe as not only does it make fantastic little burgers that older kids enjoy but the soft texture also means that they are perfect for podgy little hands to pick up and feed themselves. We have a soft spot for these patties with cournichions and sour cream in our house but they are equally fantastic in a toasted burger bun with tomato sauce.

Early weaning puree tip: because all the ingredients are cooked, it works as a fantastic no-cook puree

Makes 8-9 mini burgers or 2 large adult size and 1 mini burger 

120g tinned tuna, drained weight [note: always buy tinned tuna in spring water]

1 x pea and basil pesto

2 spring onions, roughly chopped

1 tsp fresh lemon juice juice

15g Panko breadcrumbs

1 tbsp olive oil

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until you have a rough puree. Using a tablespoon form the mixture into patties. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up but you can leave them overnight.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to its highest setting and cook the burgers for 5-8 minutes on both sides or until lightly browned. Remove and serve.

Super Quick Salmon Fishcakes

I have tried so many fishcake recipes over the years and always been unhappy with the result- too dry, too sloppy, too potato-y etc etc - who would have thought that the quickest and simplest recipe would win! Packed full of omega-3 these little cakes are perfect as a stress-free, transportable lunch. You can also make them slightly larger (will feed 2-3 bigger kids) and serve in a bun as a fish burger with homemade potato wedges.

Makes 16 bitesize fishcakes

110g salmon fillet, cut into 1-cm dice

2 spring onions, finely chopped

1/4 tsp paprika

5g panko breadcrumbs

1 tsp shop-brought mayonnaise

1/2 lemon, zest only

10g fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 200oC. Line a baking tray with baking parchment and set aside.

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz down until everything is combined and there are no large chunks of salmon left. Do not overmix otherwise the fishcakes will be tough.

Using a teaspoon, scoop out the mixture and mould into bitesize fishcakes and place directly on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.

Remove and bake for 8-10 minutes or until cooked through. Allow to cool before serving.



Thai Red Curry

You may think that a curry is a little too adventurous for young taste buds but the sooner you start to introduce flavours the more versatile and adventurous your baby will grow to be! I often use salmon for this recipe as its a fantastic source of protein and is also loaded with Omego-3 but prawns also work wonderfully.

Serves 2 adults and 1-2 small children

250g salmon, cut into 3-cm dice or 250g prawns

2 tsp mild curry powder

5g fresh ginger (prepped weight), peeled and roughly chopped

300g butternut squash (prepped weight), peeled and roughly chopped

150g red pepper, half finely sliced

2 garlic cloves

2 spring onions

400ml coconut milk

1 tbsp sunflower oil

2 sticks of lemongrass

juice of 1 lime

1 tbsp tamari soy sauce, optional

1 tbsp fish sauce, optional

100g basmati or brown rice

handful of spinach

80g french beans, cut in half

Place the curry powder, ginger, butternut, half the red pepper, garlic, spring onions and 100ml coconut milk in a blender and blitz until smooth. Remove and coat the salmon with the paste. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes or for up to 4 hours.

When ready to cook, prepare the rice to the manufacture’s instructions and set aside. In a large frying pan or wok add the oil and fry the remaining half of red peppers, green beans and spinach for 2 minutes before adding the salmon and paste. Cook for a couple of minutes and then add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 8-10 minutes. Serve immediately alongside the rice.

for early weaning purees: remove 50g of the sauce/salmon/veg mix before you add the tamari and fish sauce. Combine with 1 tsp cooked rice and blitz down until smooth.

just for adults: serve scattered with fresh coriander and sliced red chilli.