Fish is the Dish with Smoked Haddock Kedgeree for Brunch
I am a big Kedgeree fan, I have always loved this Colonial dish and whenever I am lucky enough to have a nice piece of smoked haddock, this is the dish I invariably turn to for a comforting breakfast, brunch or indeed supper. Kedgeree has connotations of lavish Country House breakfasts with lines of silver covered salvers on a grand sideboard, especially during Victorian times, as well as being linked with the British Raj; think bewhiskered polo playing officers enjoying a platter of kedgeree after a particularly gruelling chukka…..and yet, this recipe would make a fabulous family meal and it’s very easy to make. The origins of the dish are a little hazy, but it is generally believed to be a British Raj Colonial import during the 19th Century – families and soldiers returning from India brought the recipe back with them. The Kedgeree that we now enjoy in the UK is thought to be based on an Indian rice and lentil dish (and sometimes rice and beans) called Khichri, although Scotland also lays claim to the dish insisting that the dish in fact went OVER to India with the Scottish regiments, and was adopted by the locals thus entering into their local cuisine. Whatever the true origins may be, there is little doubt that the combination of Basmati rice, smoked fish (usually smoked haddock), parsley and curry is a stunning culinary combination and one that should be made and eaten more often, in my opinion!
But back to today, and the Fish is the Dish campaign for us Fish Fanatics; the campaign which is being run by the wonderful team at Fish is the Dish, a site that promotes and supports the British Seafood Industry for a Sustainable and Profitable future in conjunction with the Seafish site. Both sites provide information on how to support the seafood industry, as well as providing information on how to buy, cook and enjoy delicious sustainable seafood. I was lucky enough to made one of Fish is the Dish’s Fish Fanatics recently and I received my first fish pack yesterday; inside my fish pack was a Kedgeree recipe and some wonderful smoked haddock fillets, all vacuum packed in manageable portion sizes which were supplied by John Milne from Delish Fish. John is a 5th generation fisherman/trawler-man from Peterhead, a small town with a fishing heritage going right back the 14th Century and, with an “All Weather” harbour which has become the premier European fishing port for white fish, pelagic (herring & mackerel) and langoustine (cold water prawn). The great news is that all of John’s delicious fresh and sustainable fish and seafood can be bought on-line here. The vacuum packed pouches were easy to open and were all in handy portion sizes – something that I found very useful, especially as there was more smoked haddock than I needed for my recipe, so the excess vacuum packed fish was easy to freeze and completely odourless too! I was lucky enough to receive boned fillets of smoked haddock, so no wrestling with bones before I added the fish to the rice mixture, what a blessing! Although I had intended to develop my own recipe for this fish pack, I decided to make the recipe that was included in the box, especially as I have lots of free-range eggs at the moment as my hens are still laying. I will develop a new recipe with the remaining fish however.
So what about this “buzz word” sustainability? It is mentioned a lot nowadays, and with good reason as much of our fish stocks are becoming depleted. How do you know if the fish you are buying is from a sustainable source? Below are a few facts that will help you to choose your fish and don’t forget never be afraid of asking where it comes from.
North Sea haddock stocks are accredited by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) so you don’t need to worry about sustainability.
Although we have an appetite for cod in the UK, there are many other types of fish to enjoy from British waters. In Cornwall, for example, 40 different species of fish are landed every day – of which only 12 are subject to fishing quotas. And many of those varieties have had their quotas increased, thanks to more abundant stocks. Cod stocks in some areas of UK waters are depleted and so strictly managed, to make sure the numbers recover. However, more than 95% of the cod we eat in this country comes from managed fisheries in Iceland and the Barents Sea, so there’s plenty to enjoy.
Now to the recipe; there are numerous recipes for Kedgeree and the one that was enclosed with my fish pack was completely different to any I had made before, and therefore I was keen to try it out. I usually make my Kedgeree with curry powder and parsley, and I poach the smoked haddock in milk prior to adding it to the rice mixture. This recipe suggests you bake the haddock in foil whilst frying your onions and then adding an interesting spice selection to the onions and rice. I LOVED the baking in foil idea, NO smelly kitchen and also no smoked milk to contend with, although I usually freeze the milk for future fish pie making sessions. (A new Fish’n’Tip that I must add the the site!) I made the dish by myself and decided to serve it for brunch, as I was up too late for breakfast and it seemed like the perfect recipe for a late breakfast and early lunch…….the fish was easy to prepare, well, there was no preparation as it was already boned and filleted, and the recipe instructions for the Kedgeree were clear and concise. I wanted to take photos as I prepared the dish, but infortunately my camera battery was on charge for the important finished photos, so, I will make sure I can provide a step-by-step series of photos next time. I made one small change to the recipe, I quartered my eggs, and also sprinkled some parsley over the finished dish, other than the recipe as made as suggested. My husband and I ate this; I made the full amount however, and we ate it all! I absolutely loved the new and different spices that were added, and my husband proclaimed it to be the best smoked haddock he had tasted, he is VERY picky and hard to please, so that was a fabulous result and thank you John at Delish Fish and Fish is the Dish! I am copying the recipe here so you can all try it, DON’T be tempted to add curry powder as you may be used to doing, the combination of cardamom, cinnamon and tumeric was wonderful! With thanks once again to Delish Fish and Fish is the Fish for this tasty campaign, I am looking forward to the next one! I will be back later with news of my FIRST Giveaway on my NEW BLOG here, so look out for that. Karen