Yummy kid stuff!
Every parent and chef knows that children can be the hardest customers to please. Children do have some strange sounding favorite flavor combinations.
I do not watch television at home and I never want to own one of those things! When I was being transferred from one job site to another, for the steel mill occupation that I am currently in, I had to stay in motels for several weeks at a time. The motel room television was my only entertainment during that time. I tend to watch nature shows or cooking shows when I do watch TV. Unless I am waking up in Las Vegas. Then I watch the Las Vegas entertainment channel to see the restaurant descriptions and to find out who is performing in town.
During one motel stay, I watched a cooking show that featured a few great chefs who were cooking for the most demanding gourmet customers of all. Children! I once saw an Iron chef show where the Japanese Iron chef made a platter of modern children's food. He created a hot dog bun sandwich with spaghetti and tomato sauce as a children's entree! Nice idea!
When I was a kid, I liked spaghetti on a hot dog bun with slices of hot dog. There is something about creative children's food that touches a tender spot in us all. Creative children's food must have some good nutritional value, but it is important to create an item that is appealing.
This children's hot dog sandwich is made with simmered fresh tomato sauce and anelletti pasta. Anelletti has the same circular shape as the canned Spaghetti-O's Campbell's Soup Company product. I never have liked canned food products, but they are convenient. Fresh is always much more nutritious.
Children like crispy battered fish. Ketchup is usually the children's favorite sauce for fish. Tomato sauce and crispy fish is another combination that appeals to children. Crispy battered fish is much better for a child than a hot dog. A little bit of mozzarella cheese is part of this sandwich and kids like mild cheese. Mozzarella is much more nutritious than low quality fast food American cheese.
Only a very light amount of seasoning is needed when cooking for a child. Beer batter makes the best fish frying batter. Any alcohol that is present in the batter will evaporate during frying. Ginger is my favorite spice for a beer batter. A gentle ginger flavored batter is one of those flavors that children like! Ginger ale or ginger beer can be substituted for beer when making a batter for a child.
The idea is to get the pasta to look like the canned Spaghetti-O's product that children are familiar with. A small amount cream will give tomato puree that look. A bechamel sauce is a little bit too rich for a child. A corn starch slurry thickened sauce looks like gelatin or chaud froid, when it cools and it will not pass the child test! Active children have no problem burning off the fat from a small amount of cream. The sauce should be mild in flavor, but not bland.
Cook 1 small portion (1/3 cup) of anelletti pasta in boiling water, till the pasta becomes tender. The sauce can be made while the pasta cooks!
Heat a small saute pan over medium low/low heat.
Add 2 ounces of chicken broth.
Add 3 ounces of tomato puree.
Add 1 1/2 ounces of cream.
Add 1 tablespoon of chopped ripe fresh plum tomato.
Add sea salt and white pepper.
Add 1 tiny pinch of oregano.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of minced garlic.
Simmer and reduce the sauce, till it becomes a medium thin sauce consistency.
When the pasta becomes cooked tender, drain the water off of the anelletti pasta.
Add the anelletti to the sauce in the pan.
Sprinkle 2 pinches of grated mozzarella cheese on the pasta.
Toss the ingredients together.
Set the spaghetti-o pasta aside and keep it warm on a stove top.
Make sure that no children are present when frying, for safety's sake! Use the fresh caught bluegill, sunnies or bream that your children may have caught at the local fishing pond, instead of using tilapia if you prefer. That makes little fishermen even happier!
Heat 5" of vegetable frying oil in a high sided pot to 360º.
Cut a 3 to 4 ounce tilapia filet in half lengthwise.
Place 3/4 cup of light beer, non alcoholic beer or ginger beer in a bowl.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of sugar.
Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
Add 1 pinch of powdered ginger. (There is no need to, if ginger beer was used.)
Add enough flour while whisking to form a medium thin pancake batter consistency.
Dredge the 2 pieces of fish in flour.
Dip the fish in the batter.
Place the battered fish pieces in the hot frying oil.
Deep fry the battered fish, till the batter coating becomes crispy.
Remove the fish pieces from the oil and set them on a wire screen roasting rack to drain off any excess oil.
Children's "Spaghetti-O's" and Crispy Fried Fish Gourmet Snack Sandwich:
Heat a poppyseed hot dog bun in an oven, till it becomes lightly toasted.
Place the bun on a baking pan.
Spread the "spaghetti-o's" over the open hot dog bun.
Set the 2 pieces of crispy fish on the bun.
Sprinkle a tiny amount of grated mozzarella cheese over the sandwich.
Bake the sandwich for 1 minute in the hot oven to melt the cheese and to warm the sandwich.
Place the sandwich on a plate.
Garnish the plate with a pickle and a parsley sprig or fruit.
Yummy gourmet children's food! The small amount of cream mellows the tomato flavor of the pasta sauce. The fish is crispy and juicy inside.
None of the flavors of this children's sandwich are overwhelming. This is a very yummy tame flavored children's sandwich!
Weird adults, like myself, kind of like these kind of sandwiches too! I am certain that stoners around the world, especially in Amsterdam, will take a liking to this "Spaghetti-o's" and fish sandwich! "Spaghetti-O's and fried fish with cheese on a hot dog bun? Oh Man! Wow!"
It could be fun to cook the ingredients and place them on the table, then let the kids assemble the sandwiches on their own. Let them play chef! Do not be shocked if the gourmet minded child pours ketchup all over the sandwich! Yum! ... Shawna