Ah, Kedgeree. Famed anglo-indian brunch dish of curried fishy ricey stuff. It’s a personal favourite of mine I must admit. A bit like yorkshire pudding. Obviously, Kedgeree is nothing like yorkshire pudding in a literal sense, but as with the famed yorkies I have never made a traditional kedgeree that I was completely happy with. I blame my on going yorkshire pud failure on having a particularly crap oven. Yes. Everywhere I have lived for the past 14 years has had a crap oven, ok?
Anyway moving on, as I believe I have mentioned previously, long grain rice and I aren’t really friends so I may never hit this dish completely on the culinary head, but last weekend I got as close to Kedgeree as I have ever done. And it was pretty damn good let me tell you, though what with having it for dinner rather than breakfast and adding some of my own little twists and the rice issue, I can’t quite bring myself to pimp it off as a proper kedgeree. Instead please find here, Boomboom’s Kedgerish. It’s loverley, not kedgeree.
Sunflower or vegetable oil to fry
2Tbsp curry powder
1tsp ground coriander
1 white onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic- minced
6 closed cup mushrooms, chopped
400g paella rice
1L vegetable (or fish) stock
1 cup frozen peas
3-400g smoked haddock
Milk to poach
To start with make up your stock.
In a large pan, fry off the spices for a minute then add your onion and minced garlic, cook until the onions begin to soften but are still opaque. Yes, it will all look very yellow. It’s supposed to. Put some Coldplay on if you must, but I can’t promise that this wont spoil your enjoyment of the cooking experience. Add in the mushrooms and cook for another minute, add a spoonful of stock if it starts to stick to the pan. When the mushrooms are about half cooked, throw in your rice and combine thoroughly then put in all of the stock. Simmer, cover, ignore for a little while.
In a separate pan place your haddock and enough milk to about half cover it. Heat gently until the milk is just simmering and cook through. This will be 3-4 minutes for fresh fish, 8-10 for frozen. Take the fish out, remove the skin and press the flesh into loose flakes with a fork. DO NOT CHOP IT! Now get yet another pan on with some water to bring to the boil for your eggs. Keep an eye on the rice, stir if you feel the need. After about 20 minutes the rice will start to get to an al dente (firm but edible) point. It is now you should add the flaked fish and frozen peas, stir it all very well then cover, cook for another minute then turn off the heat.
Put your eggs into the boiling water and cook for three minutes. No more. No less. Turn off the heat on this one too but leave the eggs in the water. Chop up your coriander and set aside and get your serving dishes ready.
It is at this point that those with sensitive fingers should employ a hardy friend/assistant/henchman to peel the eggs. They will still be squidgy, so take care not to break them.
Stir the coriander into the rice mix then serve, cutting your egg over the dish and placing on top to finish. I would also reccomend a healthy grind of black pepper. Now sit down with a big glass of something refreshing and enjoy, and at no point refer to this dinner as kedgeree if you are in the company of hardcore or pedantic foodie types. That is very important.
Variations: Some people, for some reason, may prefer hard boiled eggs but I will always vote for the oozing of a soft boiled yolk into my rice. Mmmm. Fish stock will give it some more punch but tends to dull down the curry tones a little. Arborio (risotto) rice will work equally well or go traditional with the long grain but check your stock volumes if you’re going to do this, and be prepared to pay more attention to it as it cooks. For the love of god don’t try to go with a glutinous or ‘sticky’ rice, it will kill all flavour and leave you with watery yellow mush. I know this first hand. By all means put some actual music on in the kitchen rather than Coldplay.
And finally if you’d rather attempt the real deal, go here and read this first: http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/10421/kedgeree