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Archive for June 13th, 2009

Kedgeree comes from Anglo-Indian origins, being conceived by the colonials of the British Raj in the 19th Century using the spices which were freely available in India. The recipe was then brought home to be enjoyed by Victorian families. It was, and still is, usually eaten at breakfast, more commonly now on restaurant menus, but it can also be a light main course or served in a small portion as a starter.   At its simplest  it is just a mixture of long grain rice, fish (usually smoked haddock) and hard boiled eggs.  

It is easy to just blindly follow a recipe without variation, but sometimes it is good to combine the best bits of several recipes which is how this dish came about.  I rarely add fruit to main courses as I dislike the combination of sweetness with meat or fish, but as these are commonly added to Anglo-Indian dishes I thought I would try adding some raisins and was pleasantly surprised.   Just a few, mind, more for me would have made it too sweet.  One recipe was a very basic version, but buttery and using Madras Curry powder, the quantity of which gave a surprisingly mild flavour. The second recipe suggested using salmon in place of the usual smoked haddock, so I used a combination of both fish.  It also used cayenne pepper rather than curry powder, which is more traditional.  The third recipe was for a special version using raisins and canned pineapple, which was a step too far for me!  The addition of frozen peas and toasted split almonds are my own version.  I was very pleased with the results.  We would definitely eat this again.  The only complaint was that there could have been more, so I have altered the proportions of some of the ingredients.

The three books I consulted are: Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course (Buttery Kedgeree – the ingredient quantities were mainly based on this recipe); Leith’s Cookery Bible: Completely Revised & Updated Edition – Prue Leith & Caroline Waldegrave (Kedgeree – with its suggestion of using salmon); Sainsbury’s 50 Suggestions for Rice – Susie Ward (Noble Kedgeree – which suggested the sultanas).  The recipe title is my own.  I looked up the difference between Pilaf and Risotto and decided that it was a Pilaf. (Pilaf has the liquid added all together, whereas true Risotto can be complicated as the liquid is added gradually and stirred.)  As I had used two types of fish, with added nuts and raisins as well, I felt that made it special!

100_4038 Special Pilaf Kedgeree

'Meanderings through my Cookbook' http://www.hopeeternalcookbook.wordpress.com

Special Pilaf Kedgeree
(Serves 4 or 8 as a starter)

450g/1 lb Smoked Haddock & Fresh Unsmoked Salmon
25g/1oz Butter
1tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
Long grain white rice, measured to the 12fl oz mark in a measuring jug
Boiling water from cooking of fish, 2 x 12fl ozs in the same jug
¾-1tsp Madras curry powder
4 Hard Boiled eggs
1tbsp lemon juice
100g/4ozs frozen peas
3 tbsp sultanas
½oz split almonds, lightly toasted
4 tbsp cream (optional)
Chopped parsley
Salt & pepper

(This dish can also be cooked in a low oven, especially if cooking a larger quantity, but stir occasionally – 130oC/250oF/Gas Mk 1.)

1. Measure out the rice in a measuring jug and transfer to another container.

2. Hard boil the eggs.

3. Place the fish in a pan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for about 8 minutes. Remove the fish and cover to keep warm. Drain the fishy water into the measuring jug to use later and continue to use the same pan. Top up with boiling water if you do not have enough fishy water.

4. Melt ½oz of the butter with the oil in the pan and gently fry the onion. Stir in the curry powder and the rice and then add the measured liquid and finally the peas. Bring to a boil, stir, cover and then turn down to a low simmer. Cook for 10 minutes.

5. Skin, bone and flake the fish. Shell and chop the egg. Stir the fish pieces, chopped egg, sultanas, lemon juice, remaining ½oz of butter, cream (if using) and seasoning as required into the rice mixture and replace the lid. Continue to cook until heated through and the rice grains are tender.

6. Toast the split almonds under the grill watching carefully as they burn quickly.

7. Serve in bowls with a sprinkling of chopped parsley and toasted almonds to garnish.

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