Little Lord Fusspot is going through one of his phases. You might be familiar with these phases. They include quite dramatic dietary swings such as only eating bread products or only eating mini babybels and strawberries or – with alarming frequency – never eating anything that I’ve prepared for him.
I’m sure he’s on a vegetable strike at the moment, but fortunately I save and often freeze tonnes of leftovers – even the smallest morsels – because they come in handy when throwing together something like these veggie fingers, and I don’t feel as bad if he turns them down because at least I haven’t cooked everything from scratch.
Plus I use frozen mash. Life’s too short for boiling spuds. Yes they’ve got some salt in the ingredients but as long as you limit salt in children’s everyday diets, which I do, then it’s not the end of the world. I find supermarket own better than Aunt Bessie’s – I really don’t like them – and always make sure they only have natural ingredients in. For this recipe (and I use the term very very loosely) I just microwave the mash and add the veg, but if I was preparing it as a side portion to a little roast dinner or fish then I’d add a splash of whole milk and give it a good stir to make it a bit easier to eat.
5 portions of frozen mash (or leftover cooked potato) will make approx 5 veggie fingers
Leftover veg such as cooked cabbage/peas/carrots, softened/fried onions, or sweetcorn (Only need small amounts as the potato needs to keep its shape)
1 x egg, beaten
For the breadcrumbs: half a slice/crust of any bread, additional seasoning such as finely ground pepper, a couple of grates of Parmesan, a pinch of Italian seasoning or other finely chopped herbs.
Groundnut oil or other cooking oil but not olive oil
(1) Whizz the breadcrumbs and any seasoning you want to add in a food processor or chopper. Transfer to a dish ready for coating the fingers.
(2) Microwave the frozen mash or whizz/mash the leftover cooked spuds. Don’t add any milk or butter. Set to one side to cool.
(3) Chop up leftover veg such as cabbage and stir into the veggie mash. If adding onions, fry them lightly in a bit of butter until they’re softened before adding to the mash.
(4) Form equal sized fingers of mash mixture with your hands. It doesn’t matter if they’re a bit wonky like mine (the veggie fingers, I mean, not my hands), but roughly the same size will make it easier to cook at the same rate. You can do them in balls or nugget shapes too, but fingers are easier to turn when shallow frying.
(5) Dip each finger in the beaten egg and then roll in the breadcrumbs until completely covered.
(6) Heat a quick glug of groundnut oil in a frying pan and add your veggie fingers when the oil is hot enough. Keep turning until golden brown and a little bit crisp.
(7) Leave to cool down on a good wad of kitchen roll to absorb the excess oil. Serve with something dippy (we like tomato sauce with nearly everything these days).