Why do kids love sausages so much?
Is it because they’re soft and easy to eat? Or that they can be smothered in tomato sauce?
Maybe it’s both! Whatever the reason, it seems most children would happily eat them for dinner seven nights a week. Not surprisingly, many adults would prefer to see them a little less often!
So what can you do if your children have a one track mind when it comes to dinnertime choices?
As a mum, I can vouch for repetition as an effective technique for getting the kids to embrace new foods and flavours – but this does require a lot of persistence which – let’s face it – we don’t always have loads of, especially at the end of the day. Instead, try tweaking existing mealtime favourites just enough to sneak in a new method of presentation, preparation or new ingredient without radically changing the dish.
If you think this sounds like hard work, think of the alternative. Sausages. Until they reach adulthood…
Same shape, different ingredient
Putting a new spin on traditional favourites needn’t be a strain on the imagination. Substituting mince for sausages may not seem like much of a stretch, but it has huge potential to broaden culinary horizons while maintaining a similarly soft, malleable characteristic.
Kofta is a great place to start. These can be made with a combination of sausage meat and mince (similar to meatloaf) in order to keep the texture fairly smooth. They can also be shaped in a long, sausage style rather than balls or patties. To help the mixture maintain its shape while cooking – and make them more fun to eat – try wrapping the mixture around a skewer before cooking.
- 250g fine mince beef, lamb, chicken or pork
- 250g sausage meat
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 onion, grated or finely minced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed or finely minced
- 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 tablespoon finely grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (or 2 tsp dried), finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon chicken, beef or vegetable stock powder
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
Shape golf ball sized amounts of the mixture into sausage shapes and let rest on a plate in the fridge for at least half an hour, to allow the flavours to blend and the kofta to become firmer.
Warm a dash of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, then gently cook the kofta until well browned. Try not to turn them over too many times, as this can cause them to crumble.
Now the kids can go crazy with the tomato sauce! Adults can spice things up a little with some mango chutney, satay sauce or hummus.