Well it’s 2010, and between broken laptops and trips into a snowy, northern wilderness, it has taken me 10 days to sit down and write my first post of the new decade. No fireworks or pomp to herald its arrival, the stagnant cliches of annual renaissance having been hauled out with wreaths and baubles on the 6th. No, just a hearty and heartfelt bestowal of love and peace to all. I think this year is going to be great.
The northern wilderness of which I speak is a house in Nottinghamshire where I have spent several stints cooking this winter. The family that I cook for have recently opened the trailblazing School of Artisan Food, a remarkable and unique place where you can learn bread making (I’ve been promised a cut of their sourdough starter), cheese making, butchery (with the great Ray Smith of River Cottage fame), curing, preserving and brewing. Scandilicious Sig is going up there to lecture about terroirs, and they have bravely asked me to do a skills and techniques course. So if you fancy learning how to chop your fingers off then details will be on the website soon.
Anyhoo, inspired by Hollow Legs’ recent kedgeree piece I decided to feed my own version to the hungry guests for breakfast. The success of the dish was down, in part, to the green coriander seeds. They added a fresh, citrus edge to the kedgeree. If you grow your own coriander, let it go to seed and then harvest the minuscule emeralds when still young. Otherwise they can be bought online. Should you not manage to get hold of them, fear not – brown coriander seeds work perfectly well.
2 large fillets of undyed smoked haddock
400ml whole milk
1 tsp crushed (preferably green) coriander seeds
½ tsp mild chilli powder
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp turmeric
350g basmati rice
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
100 ml double cream
A handful of parsley, chopped
– Soak the basmati rice in cold water for 30 minutes, drain and rinse.
– Meanwhile boil the eggs for 5 minutes before running under cold water.
– Poach the fish in the milk and spices for 5 minutes until flaky. Drain, reserving the milk.
– Fry the onion and celery in a little oil until soft and translucent. Stir in the rice, season and add the milk and a little water if necessary (there should be twice liquid to rice in volume). Stir, bring to a boil, cover and simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes.
– Meanwhile, flake the fish (discarding the skin), and peel the eggs.
– Once the rice is cooked, add the fish, chopped parsley, cream and butter. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
– Check for seasoning and serve with your (hopefully soft boiled) eggs.
From next week there will be guest writers on this blog, kicking off with The Student Gourmet’s recipe for cider rarebit. If you would like to contribute recipes, articles, reviews, or just ramblings, then please send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.