I made Kedgeree for the Chowhound Picnic. I wanted to make a British recipe and thought it would be interesting to see what Californians make of smoked haddock - a fish I have had little luck in locating in San Francisco. I have heard rumours it may be possible to find smoked haddock in one or two obscure locations in the SF area, but as I didn't have time to go traipsing round all of the shops looking for it, I found a company called Mackenzie in Baltimore who will ship it from Scotland where it is called Finnan Haddie. I was delighted because they sell the undyed boneless version of the fish. The more common dyed version is a vivid but very pretty sunflower yellow that looks wonderful but isn't as natural a product.
The smoked haddock, prior to cooking. Click on the picture too enlarge.
There are literally hundreds of recipes for Kedgeree and many stories as to its origins. In a nutshell, It is a British/Indian brunch dish. Click here to read a far more detailed historical description of Kedgeree.
The version I made yesterday was adapted from several recipes I read on the internet. I am not a big stickler for being exacting when it comes to cooking so please excuse my slightly haphazard description.
Ingredients for about 8
4 cups basmati rice
1 tub of fresh chicken stock
4 smoked haddock fillets
20 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1 large shallot, finely chopped into rings
16 cardamom pods
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp hot chilli powder
8oz frozen petits pois
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 hard boiled eggs, cut into quarters
2 heaped tablespoons creme fraiche
pinch of saffron
2 lemons, cut into quarters
A handful of toasted almonds.
Rice: cook according to instructions using all of the chicken stock, 1 tbsp oil plus water to make up to the necessary amount of liquid required to cook the rice. I did mine in a rice cooker. What a useful invention! As the rice reaches the end of its cooking time, stir in the frozen petit pois. There should be enough heat to cook them whilst you are assembling the various components of the dish.
Fish: Meanwhile poach the fish. Place in a saucepan and cover with milk. Add peppercorns and a bay leaf. Bring to a gentle simmer. Haddock will be cooked in just about 8 mins after adding the cold milk. Leave fish to cool slightly before deskinning and flaking into small pieces. (debone at this stage if your fillets weren't boneless).
Onion/Spices: Fry the onion gently until soft in some canola oil with a bay leaf. Add the chilli, cardamom, tumeric, coriander and cumin, sautee about three more minutes whilst the flavours come out. About 3 minutes. Take care not to overcook and burn the spices.
Cream: Gently warm the cream and the saffron.
Assembly: Mix together the rice and peas, flaked fish, onion and spices, cream and saffron with plenty of freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste. Once all these ingredients are all well mixed, gently add in the boiled eggs, and serve, hot, sprinkled with toasted almonds and with lemon wedges to taste.