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smoked haddock kedgeree

Smoked haddock kedgeree is a favourite dish of mine, due entirely to my love of smoked haddock and spice. The same cannot be said of Michelle, who for years has believed she hated fish and in particular smoked fish. I do love a challenge! Indeed this is why when I knew we were going to become Brand Ambassadors for Spice Kitchen, this dish sprang to mind immediately.

There are many variations as to the origin of this simply spiced rice dish. Its believed to be derived from the South Asian dish knichri, a comfort dish of lightly spiced rice and beans, ideal for spice fearing Brits in the early days of the Raj. However, it was the British who added the fish and egg to the dish, although in India likely to be fresh local fish, the smoked haddock a later addition. This dish was very much part of the Victorian breakfast table for the wealthy.

subtle spicing:

Without a doubt the success of this dish is down to the subtlety of the spicing, indeed this is further improved by having the freshest of spice available to you. Using Spice Kitchen spices, what we had was a beautiful plate of food. In particular, Michelle and I both commented upon the cardamon, which really came through, not overpowering in any way just beautifully aromatic. As with all spices, buy them in small quantities and often, thus ensuring they are always fresh.

I’ve played with this recipe a lot over the years and read many versions. Some add cream, which I’ve tried but don’t particularly enjoy. Furthermore there are many variations in terms of spice. For example some recipes suggest adding curry powder, however I believe this can overpower the fish. As a result of much playing with the recipe over the years, this is the way I like to eat it. Therefore what we have here is a delicately spiced fish, egg and rice dish that I would happily eat at any time of the day, equally good at dinner as it is at breakfast.

So, was the dish a success in terms of convincing Michelle that her dislike of smoked fish is a thing of the past? Finally after years of cooking for my friend, Michelle has come to the conclusion that she likes fish. Furthermore, this dish is one she’ll be making again!

smoked haddock kedgeree

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 small undyed smoked haddock fillets (approx 70-80g each)
  • 50g ghee or butter
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 2-3 green cardamon pods
  • 1 fresh bayleaf (use dry if no fresh)
  • 2.5 cm cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 160g basmati rice
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 400 ml chicken stock
  • 1 small handful of parsley (chopped)
  • salt & pepper

poaching liquid

  • 2 slices of onion
  • 2 fresh bay leaves (use dry if no fresh)
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 200 ml milk
  • water

Directions

Place all the poaching liquid ingredients into a large based saucepan and bring the liquor to the boil. Immediately turn down the heat to a gentle simmer and add the smoked haddock fillets, ensure there is enough liquid to cover the fish, if not add more water.
Poach the fish gently for 4-5 minutes then remove onto a plate and set aside to cool. Once the fish has cooled sufficiently break each fillet into large flakes and check there are no bones.
In a large frying pan add the ghee or butter and melt over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook gently for 5 minutes until the onion has softened but not coloured. Add the spices and saute gently for a minute until the spices have released their aroma.
Stir the rice into the spicy onion mixture and ensure each grain is coated in the spiced butter.
Add the chicken stock and a teaspoon of salt, bring to the boil before turning down to a gentle simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes checking from time to time to ensure the rice hasn't dried out. Add a little more water during the cooking time if required.
Meanwhile hard boil the eggs for 7 minutes. Once cooked peel the eggs and roughly chop up, then set aside.
Once the rice has cooked stir through the smoked haddock flakes and the chopped up eggs, heat through for 2-3 minutes.
Check the seasoning and adjust as required. Stir through the chopped parsley and serve immediately onto warmed plates.

Note

If you don't like smoked haddock, then hot smoked salmon is a good substitute. Likewise, you can substitute the parsley for coriander leaf.

Finally, the spices used in this recipe were provided courtesy of Spice Kitchen.

smoked haddock kedgeree

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risotto with confit tomato

Risotto is a favourite family meal in our house, its something my eldest daughter often asks for on her Birthday, its simple to cook but always a treat. Our wedding reception was all about the food and the vegetarian option on the day was a tomato risotto which my sister (who incidentally is not vegetarian, she just loves risotto) ordered and she still speaks about today as “the best plate of risotto” she’s ever eaten! Of course my favourite food is the humble tomato, so this recipe is risotto perfection for me.

 

Our recipe states to use a tomato stock, but a vegetable stock will suffice, we just happened to have enough tomato consomme left over after a recent Supperclub and we knew it would pack a real punch of tomato flavour. However, we would recommend a homemade stock as a good stock will always give your risotto more depth of flavour, perhaps adding 500ml vegetable stock and 250ml tomato juice.

 

Critical to a good risotto is to stir the rice constantly as it is this that releases the starches in the rice giving the dish its creamy consistency. However for someone like me who can’t sit still, standing stirring risotto really is a great feat of patience. Worth it all of course for that flavour packed plate of food at the end.

 

 

risotto with confit tomato

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 25g butter
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 1 stick celery (diced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 125 ml white vermouth (or substitute white wine)
  • 160-200g risotto rice
  • 750 ml tomato stock (or substitute 500ml vegetable stock & 250ml tomato juice)
  • 6-8 sunblush or confit tomatoes (chopped)
  • 50g mascarpone cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • basil to garnish
  • parmesan

Directions

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and celery and saute gently for 5 minutes, taking care to soften but not colour the vegetables. Add the garlic to the pan and stir gently for a further minute.
Add the rice to the pan and continue to stir for a further 5 minutes. Do not leave the pan unattended otherwise the rice will stick.
Turn the heat up and pour the vermouth into the pan and stir until the wine has reduced. At the same time place the stock into a separate saucepan over a low-medium heat to keep it warm.
Turn the heat in the frying pan down to low and add a ladle of stock to the rice mixture, stirring all the time. Continue to add the stock a ladle at a time, reducing the stock after each ladle. Do not leave the pan but stir continuously, this will release the starches in the rice to give a creamier risotto.
Once the stock has been added and reduced, this should take approximately 25-30 minutes, the rice should be al-dente and have a nice bite to it (do not over cook the rice).
Stir in the mascarpone cheese and check the risotto for seasoning. Garnish with Basil and serve immediately.

 

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