Friday, 2 March 2012

Smoked Haddock Kedgeree Benedict with Curried Hollandaise Sauce

Kedgeree has got to be the most manipulated, bastardised, messed-about recipe in the world. It started out as a Raj-era breakfast dish made from lentils, and can now be found in every gastropub in London, devoid of lentils, and featuring all sorts of other ridiculous, inappropriate ingredients - and normally served as a starter before an evening dinner main course of lamb shanks with tarragon mash, or something.

Well, not one to refuse to toe the party line (do I ever?), I have come up with my own silly take on this noblest of all colonial creations, by fusing the flavours of the original kedgeree with another breakfast classic: The Eggs Benedict.

Eggs Benedict, as you well know, is a ham-topped muffin covered with a poached egg and a buttery hollandaise sauce, created in the Waldorf Hotel in 1940's New York. A truly delicious dish, which, by rights, should not be sullied by the fickle whims of a humble London food blogger.

But if you think about it, the kedgeree is a very similar idea to the Benedict:

A bit of starch (kedgeree = rice/Benedict = muffin), topped with smoked protein (kedgeree = smoked haddock/Benedict = smoked ham) and eggs (kedgeree = hard-boiled/Benedict = poached), bound together by a buttery glaze (kedgeree = ghee/Benedict = hollandaise). See? Not so silly when you think about it.

So, by combining the best bits of both dishes, you get this: A ghee-free, fish-instead-of-meat, rice-instead of bread, curried delight. Phew!

Potless budget-wise, this is a great dish to make for friends for brunch, lunch or dinner. £2.50 per generous serving is all it'll set you back.

Serves 4

Smoked Haddock Kedgeree Benedict


500g smoked haddock, cut into 4 equal pieces
2 litres of water
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of olive or sunflower oil
1 teaspoon each of ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli powder, paprika
400g cooked basmati rice
4 eggs
Handful of fresh coriander leaves for sprinkling

Poach the haddock in a litre of water, on a low to moderate heat until cooked (10 minutes approx). In the meantime, fry the onion and garlic in the oil, on a moderate heat, until soft and translucent. Add the spices and cook until their fragrances have released (3 minutes approx). Add the rice and carefully fold-through, to avoid breaking up the grains. Set aside. In a separate pan, poach the eggs in the other litre of water, until the whites have set but the yolks are still runny (4 minutes approx). Using a small bowl, ramekin or metal ring, pack the rice mixture in tightly until you have four solid individual portions. Carefully place a piece of salmon on each rice portion, followed by an egg. Top the Benedicts with a spoonful of the curried hollandaise sauce, and sprinkle with the coriander leaves immediately before serving.


Curried Hollandaise Sauce


1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
2 egg yolks
125g melted butter
1 tablespoon of mild curry powder
Pinches of salt and pepper

Microwave the lemon juice and vinegar together until hot. While whisking the yolks in a bowl with one hand, carefully pour the liquids into the bowl, bit-by-bit, to avoid curdling. Once the liquid has been absorbed into the yolks, add the butter, also bit-by-bit, until fully amalgamated. Fold in the curry powder, and season to taste.

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