Kedgeree

Kedgeree was invented somewhere along an axis between colonial India and Scotland. It combines curried rice with either finnan haddie or salmon.  Finnan haddie is a smoked fish whose name is a warp of Findon haddock, Findon being a town in Scotland near Aberdeen. Kedgeree is a warp on the name for an Indian dish called kitcheri, which traditionally mixed curried lentils and rice. In Victorian times, kedgeree was part of a typical breakfast spread. The first time I encountered it was at the breakfast buffet in a Scottish country inn when I was a kid visiting my aunt and uncle and took a road trip across Scotland from Glasgow to Edinburgh. That and kippered herring and some godawful concoction involving organ meat. What an impression on a young palate. Especially at breakfast.

I usually poach finnan haddie slowly in onions and milk and serve it with pickled beets and mashed potatoes. Rather like the French or Belgian bourrade (salt cod and potatoes), Coming home late from the office via the gym, I quickly made this kedgeree from leftovers (rice and the fish itself) and orphans (a pathetic little plum tomato and some straggly parsley). I doubt tomato was part of the original idea, but it worked well. I wrote the recipe as if making this from scratch.

Kedgeree

½ lb smoked haddock (finnan haddie)

Milk

1 clove and 4 peppercorns

1 egg

¾ c white rice

Water

Butter or oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp curry powder

Optional: 1-2 plum tomatoes

Red pepper flakes (depending on hotness of curry)

Parsley, chopped

Remove any residual silver skin from the fish. Lightly poach the fish in milk barely to cover for about 10 minutes. Do not boil the milk or the fish will be tough. Remove the fish and flake it, reserving the milk.

Meanwhile bring 1 ½ c water to boil and add the rice, stirring once. Turn the heat down to very low, cover the pot and let the rice cook until done, about 20 minutes.

Hard boil an egg, and cool it.

Slowly saute the chopped onion in the butter or oil until translucent and add the garlic, stirring until you can smell it. Stir in the curry powder until well combined, and add the chopped tomatoes, letting the mixture cook for a few minutes to release the juice from the tomatoes but still the pieces intact. Combine the rice, curry mixture and flaked fish. Add a little of the reserved milk to moisten the mixture if needed. Season to taste and add the parsley.  Peel and quarter the hard-boiled egg and add two quarters to each serving.

Serves 2

Categories: Grains, SeafoodTags: ,

3 Comments

  1. I read somewhere (was it Stonesoup?) that you should give leftovers to guests after a dinner party. I was sceptic initially, but I’ve been amazed by how many takers there’ve been since I started offering. I guess the biggest challenge is not to have any leftovers in the first place, but I usually worry that there’s not enough to eat.

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