The idea for today’s post came from a friend who mentioned she was cooking a kedgeree for Sunday brunch. What a yummy idea for brunch! I hadn’t eaten or seen kedgeree on a menu for some time. In fact the last time I ate it was when my Mother and I visited the Ivy for a spoily lunch a few years ago.
But when it rains it pours, and no less than 48 hours after we’d been discussing kedgeree, I spotted it on the menu at a delightful restaurant called The Jetty down in Christchurch. Clearly a sign that I should get cooking one if ever there was one.
But whilst on the hunt for a good kedgeree recipe (I now have it on good authority that Mary Berry’s version is hard to beat), I remembered a recipe by Simon Hopkinson for Smoked Haddock Pilaf. It has all of the components of a kedgeree (rice, smoked haddock, chillies, onions, eggs, curry) but has some delicious additions which make it even tastier: ginger, lemon zest, spring onions and coriander.
Unlike some kedgerees that use cream and lots of butter, Mr Hopkinson’s recipe uses chicken stock to cook both the fish and the rice at the same time in the oven. The resulting dish of fluffy spiced, lemony rice mingled with flakes of smoked haddock, hard-boiled egg, spring onion, and coriander is really comforting and deeply satisfying.
Smoked Haddock Pilaf
Recipe by Simon Hopkinson
2 teaspoons garam masala
250g basmati rice
1 bay leaf
1 lemon, zest and juice
2 mild green chillies, de-seeded and sliced
1 small piece root ginger, peeled and finely grated
375ml chicken stock
400g smoked haddock fillets
2 eggs, hardboiled and chopped
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
A handful of chopped coriander
1. Preheat the oven to 180°c/160°c fan/350°f/gas mark 4.
2. Melt the butter in a heavy based, lidded casserole dish. Add the garam masala and let it sizzle for a couple of minutes before adding the rice, lemon zest, chillies, bay leaf, ginger and some salt and pepper. Mix everything well and heat for a couple of minutes.
3. Add the stock, bring up to a simmer and lay the fish on top, skin side up, pushing it down gently under the stock. Put on the lid and transfer to the oven for 15 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 5-7 minutes – this is important as it allows the rice to finish cooking.
5. Take off the lid, remove the skin from the fish and immediately add the egg, spring onion and coriander. Using 2 forks, gently mix everything together, breaking up the fish into large flakes as you do. Remove the bay leaf, cover the dish with a tea towel and replace the lid. Leave to sit for a further 5 minutes to remove any excess steam.
6. Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon juice over the top. It’s also good cold the next day.