Mini Meat Munchies

It’s nearly been a year since our 9 month baking project arrived and it seems that she, like us, loves her food. So far Mini Stovies has a preference for strong tastes, Vegemite, curry, pesto, paella, she’s even sampled frog’s legs! (whilst Mrs Stovies shuddered in disgust)

Now that we’re well and truly moving away from the days of purees we thought we’d start sharing our child friendly recipes with our readers too. Some of them are definite kid eats, but most of them are happy grown up eats too, like these meatballs. They’re great as finger foods for little ones (cut into semi spheres) or for grown ups serve as tapas with spicy salsa or douse in fresh tomato sauce and serve with pasta.

500g good steak mince
1 large handful grated mozzarella (the hard type)
2 handfuls dried breadcrumbs
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp thyme
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt (omit for children)

Mix everything together with your hands. Roll into little balls, about 1 inch wide works well, although smaller for mixing through pasta opt for a much smaller ball and knock 5-10 minutes off the baking time. Lay the meatballs out on an oiled baking tray and bake for 20 minutes at gas mark 5, covering with foil for the first half of the cooking time.



Flaky, bakey, chicken pastry

It’s lovely to have a proper Sunday roast with all the trimmings but then what do you do with the leftovers? There’s only so much chicken soup you can eat! Conjured up from fridge raided leftovers one Monday night we bring you Stovies’ flaky Chicken en Croute with Smoked Cheese. This recipe makes 3 belly filling pastries. As we’re getting close to Christmas you could easily swap the chicken out for leftover turkey.

250g Leftover roast chicken
65g Pancetta
1 Courgette, grated
75g Smoked applewood cheese
1 Pack of ready made puff pastry
30g Butter
1 tbsp Plain Flour
150ml Milk
2 Eggs, beaten
A few rasps of fresh nutmeg
A good pinch of white pepper

Fry the pancetta until slightly crisp. In another pan make a roux with the flour and butter, when it is ready add the milk and whisk as it thickens. Set aside 1/4 of the egg. Add a small amount of the white sauce to the rest of the egg and whisk thoroughly, making sure it doesn’t curdle or scramble. Add this to the rest of the white sauce to cook a little more, it should get quite thick. Crumble in the cheese then once it’s melted stir through the pancetta, chicken, courgette and seasoning. Set aside to cool for half an hour.

Take the pastry out of the fridge and allow to rest for ten minutes. Cut it lengthways down the middle then make six squares by cutting in the other direction. Lay three of the squares on an oiled tray and brush around the edges with egg. Spoon a generous amount of the chicken mixture into the middle before topping with the rest of the pastry. Press down the edges lightly sealing in the goodness. Brush the tops with the rest of the egg and score with a knife in a criss cross pattern, hide a couple of vents in the score marks for good measure.

Bake in a medium oven, gas 6 for 10-15 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and the pastry has puffed up like a lovely crunchy pillow. It’s a posh Greggs chicken slice really!