I’m not a huge lover of fish, smoked or otherwise, but for some reason I’ve always loved the idea of kedgeree. There’s something exotic about it (maybe this is only true if you know a little of it’s colonial history) but I don’t think I’m quite intrigued enough to try it for breakfast!
My first attempt at this was a straight copy of a recipe I found on a Tesco card, but I found it too bland (all I could taste was lemon, really) so in true Tidy fashion, I tweaked it to make a filling yet light evening meal.
I’d never cooked fish before (honestly, unless we’re counting prawns!) so was a little apprehensive, but needn’t have worried… and neither should you. So crack on!
300g smoked haddock
1 large leek, trimmed and sliced
4tsp hot curry powder
150 basmati rice
200g baby spinach
2 large eggs
finely grated zest, and juice, of 1 lemon
This’ll easily serve two, with no need for an accompaniment. It’s probably meant for four (but you’d need a couple more eggs).
Although I did eat it all to myself, as usual, I’m pleased to report that I at least had the good grace to do so over two days. It worked just as well cold the second day, as it did hot the first day. But if you’re doing that, I’d definitely recommend a fresh egg, rather than saving one!
1. Whack the oven on at 180ºC (apparently that’s gas mark 4, and I should be more sharey with information like this).
2. Place the haddock, skin-side-up in an oven-proof dish, and pour the milk over the top. Cover tightly in foil, and pop it in the oven (once it’s up to heat) for about 10 minutes. You could use this time to get started on the rice if you’ve already prepped everything, but I prefer to just do the prep now.
3. Once the fish is done, remove the skin and lift the flesh out of the milk. Use a couple of forks to flake it, then cover and put aside.
4. Melt half the butter in a sauce-pan, over a low heat.
5. Add the leek, and cook gently for about 5 minutes. Then chuck in the curry powder and cook for another two minutes.
6. Stir in the rice with a pinch of salt, and pour in the water.
7. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cover the pan, and leave the rice to cook for about 12 minutes (or until the water has all been absorbed).
8. After about 8 minutes, it’s time to poach your eggs. Pour about 2 inches of boiling water into a pan over a moderate heat. When tiny bubbles appear at the bottom of the pan, carefully crack the eggs into the water. After 1 minute, remove from the heat, and set aside for 6 minutes.
9. Once the rice is done, remove it from the heat, stir through the spinach, and set aside, covered, for a further 2 minutes.
10. Carefully fold in the flaked haddock, along with the lemon juice & zest, the last of the butter, and some salt and pepper to taste.
11. If that’s taken you about a minute, then it’s time to plate up and top with what should be a perfectly poached egg.
Tesco take it on a technicality today! Their £11.42 comes courtesy of selling larger packs of baby spinach than both Morrisons and ASDA who tied for joint second on £11.70. If their Spinach packs had been just a littler larger, ASDA would’ve beaten Morrisons by a penny, and pushed Tesco into third. But… yeah… they aren’t, so they didn’t.
Sainsbury’s were disappointing after their recent improvements… it’s all gone to pot, and they stumble over the finishing line with a particularly poor £14.18.
As I stated at the outset, this is already a tweak. I enjoy bold flavours, and found that the original recipe might as well have not bothered with its 1tsp of mild curry powder. However, if you’ve a more sensitive palette or just enjoy more subtle flavour combinations, reduce the amount and strength of curry powder, and maybe include a bay leaf or two when poaching the fish.
The original recipe (and most that I’ve seen) also called for boiled eggs – I substituted it for poached eggs because I’d only just discovered the amazing MasterChef method for poaching eggs, as featured in Huevos a la Benedictina. It also recommended baking the fish for about 12 minutes, rather than poaching. Although milder, it’s still a worthy dish:
It’s traditional to use smoked haddock, but you don’t have to; you could use different fish, and you could also use onion instead of leek.
As ever, let me know of your adventures with Kedgeree… it’s never too late to try a different tweak!