July 25, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — ros @ 8:59 am

Kedgeree 

Last night I was invited to a dinner party. This doesn’t happen often in studentland, but I didn’t go. Why?  It was because risotto was being served and no one does better risotto than me. ;)

Actually, to be honest, it was sheer laziness- I didn’t fancy the 30 minute bus ride home in the middle of the night and I didn’t fancy the prospect of crashing in Hammersmith again. What’s even more ridiculous is that, when I got home, I got a craving for risotto, the centrepiece of said party. Typical.

I wanted something with loads of flavour, maybe even lightly spiced, like a mild creamy curry. Curry flavoured risotto? Hang on- that’s kedgeree! Quite conveniently, I had some smoked haddock in the freezer.

Kedgeree is an interesting example of what i suppose is Victorian fusion cooking! It is a dish from India, devised by the British colonists and cooked a little bit like an Italian Risotto. It is an adaptation of kitchri, an Indian dish made of rice and lentils. The British version, which has no lentils but added fish, was traditionally eaten at breakfast time and served with boiled eggs.

A couple of days ago I mentioned a book called “Home Cooking.” I’d never heard of kedgeree until I came across it in that book but, unfortunately, the recipe in it didn’t work at all. I tried it out about two years ago and it was an inedible salty mush. This time I called on a much more reliable source.

So after a phone call to Jean via James I had the following pointers that my book hadn’t mentioned.

1) Smoked fish makes the flavour better. So much for the book’s salmon kedgeree then.
2) Fry the rice in butter with finely diced onion before adding any liquid
3) Be wary of adding stock (other than the poaching liquid from the fish). Certainly don’t add salt until you’ve tasted it.
4) Add lots of chopped parsley at the end.

The result is above. This version was very good. Not spectacular, but very good. I’m don’t know if there is such a thing as amazing kedgeree but I’m sure someone will let me know if there is.

The recipe came mostly from Jean, a little bit from the book and a little bit from my head. Rice is fried with onions and butter then cooked in milk which has been used to poach some smoked haddock. The flaked haddock is mixed in along with curry powder  and chopped parsley. It is traditionally served topped with hard boiled eggs, but I like mine soft.

The Kedgeree recipe is here!

I did a cost breakdown for this too, and realised that it cost me £1.50! This is partially because the haddock was on offer but if you hang around the bargain bin at Tesco on a Saturday, you’re very likely to find cheap fish.

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