Thursday, March 8, 2012


We had a bit of smoked fish in the fridge and I didn't want to waste it. It was Monday night and I was low on cooking inspiration. But wait - we had eggs, we had rice - we had kedgeree! I remembered a recipe I'd seen in Jamie Oliver's book of English recipes. Upon inspection, it looked delicious, but (and Jamie does this a bit, like many other chefs) there were no veges. Unless you count a few sprigs of coriander. So in the interests of vegivore-ism, I felt it necessary to re-work the recipe. And here you have it - I'm not calling it a kedgeree, since I have learned the hard way that there are always purists who get very upset when you call something by a specific name and then mess around with the original. I am still scarred by an incident to do with the South African dish, Bobotie, and an incident in my newspaper column to do with the meaning of Cobb Salad. Anyway - this is pretty tasty, simpler than Jamie's  version and healthier, too. Let's call it a pilaf and be done with it. You know what I mean. 

Vege and smoked fish pilaf
I've used lots of ginger, just because I love it - but you could use a bit less if you prefer. 

serves 2

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped or grated ginger
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 cup basmati rice
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup water
2 eggs
1 courgette, diced
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup green beans, trimmed
1 cup smoked fish, roughly flaked
1 cup rocket leaves
zest of 1 lemon

lemon wedges and chilli (fresh or flakes) to garnish

Step 1 Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add shallot, garlic and ginger and cook gently for 2-3 minutes. Add curry powder and cumin and stir, cook until softened. Add rice and stir to coat with spices. Add stock and water, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to very low and simmer, lid on, for 10 minutes.

Step 2 Meanwhile, boil eggs for 6 minutes. Cool, peel and quarter. Set aside.

Step 3 Steam beans, broccoli and courgette for 2 minutes. Add to rice mixture with smoked fish and mix well. Turn heat off and leave lid on for another 3 minutes. Add rocket and lemon zest and stir through.

Divide between plates, add egg and serve with lemon wedges. Season with black pepper and  sprinkle with chilli if desired.