Smoked Haddock Kedgeree, Quails Eggs and Curried Mayonnaise
Portion/Yield:Serves 4 as a starter or serves 2 as a hearty lunch
Technically, this is not a traditional kedgeree as the rice I’m using is risotto rice instead of long-grain , and the cooked rice mixture is then made into balls and deep-fried like the Italian dish, arancini. However, the flavours of a kedgeree are present, so I like to think of this dish as my twist on a classic, just presented in a slightly different way.
Ingredients & Method
- 300g skinless undyed smoked haddock fillet
- 250ml milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 black peppercorns, lightly crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly crushed
- 200ml fish stock
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 banana shallots, finely diced
- 2 teaspoons ras el hanout
- 1 teaspoon mild curry powder
- 100g arborio or carnaroli rice
- 125ml dry white wine
- 1 lemon
- 80g dried breadcrumbs
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 6 quail’s eggs sunflower oil, for deep-frying
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- a large handful of a selection of baby or mini/micro salad leaves, to serve rapeseed oil, for drizzling
First, prepare the haddock. Place the haddock in a saucepan with the milk, bay leaf, black peppercorns and coriander seeds, cover and bring to a gentle simmer over a low heat, then simmer gently for 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and set aside, covered, for about 8 minutes or until the fish is cooked and flaky. Meanwhile, bring the stock to the boil in a separate small saucepan, then reduce the heat and keep it warm over a very low heat. Remove the haddock from the milk, then remove and discard any stray bones. Flake the flesh into a bowl, then cool, cover and refrigerate. Meanwhile, pass the milk through a fine sieve into a bowl, measure out 200ml and stir this into the warm fish stock (discard the remaining milk), then remove the pan from the heat.
To cook the rice, melt the butter in a saucepan and once it starts to foam, add the shallots, 1 teaspoon ras el hanout, 1/2 teaspoon curry powder and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover the pan with a lid and sweat the shallots over a medium heat for 8–10 minutes or until softened and transparent.
Add the rice to the pan and cook, uncovered, for about 3 minutes, stirring continuously, to toast the rice. Add the wine to the pan and let it bubble, stirring and scraping the base of the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze it, then boil rapidly over a high heat for 7–8 minutes or until the wine has evaporated.
Reduce the heat to medium, then gradually add the warm milk and stock mixture, a ladleful or so at a time, stirring well after each addition and only adding more liquid once the previous ladleful has been completely absorbed by the rice. Keep adding the liquid until it is all used up and the rice is cooked. This should take about 18–20 minutes. You want the rice to be soft (slightly softer than if you were serving it as a risotto). If you run out of stock but need to cook the rice a little longer, just add a little boiling water. Remove the pan from the heat, then taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
Finely grate the zest from the lemon, then cut the lemon in half and remove the segments. Squeeze out any juice left in the fruit halves (once the segments have been removed). Set aside. Stir the lemon zest and one-third of the chilled poached haddock into the rice mixture and mix well. Once it is cool enough to handle, divide and shape the rice mixture into 12 equal balls. Roll a rice ball in the dried breadcrumbs to coat it all over, using your hands to press the crumbs on firmly. Repeat until all the rice balls are coated, then place them on a plate and chill in the fridge for 1 hour to rest and firm up (see Cook’s Notes).
While the rice balls are chilling, make the curried mayonnaise. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise with the reserved lemon juice, the remaining 1 teaspoon ras el hanout and 1/2 teaspoon curry powder and salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until needed (see Cook’s Notes).
Cook the quail’s eggs in a covered pan of boiling water for 2 minutes, then remove the eggs using a slotted spoon and place them in a bowl of iced water to cool quickly. Once cold, peel the eggs carefully and set aside at room temperature, or in the fridge if you are preparing the eggs in advance (see Cook’s Notes).
When you are ready to serve, cook the rice balls. Heat some sunflower oil in an electric deep-fat fryer or in a deep frying pan to a temperature of 160°C (or until a small piece of bread browns within 20 seconds in the hot oil). Once the oil is hot enough, deep-fry the breadcrumbed rice balls in the hot oil for 4–5 minutes or until golden brown and crisp all over – you will need to deep-fry the balls in two batches. Using a slotted spoon, remove and drain the cooked rice balls on kitchen paper.
To serve (as a starter), mix the remaining chilled poached haddock with the salad leaves and lemon segments, then divide between 4 serving plates. Place 3 deep-fried rice balls on each plate and spoon the curried mayonnaise alongside. Cut the quail’s eggs in half, season with salt and pepper, then place 3 egg halves on each plate. Drizzle a little rapeseed oil over each plate and serve immediately.
The uncooked rice balls can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
The curried mayonnaise can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
You can also cook the quail’s eggs up to 3 days in advance and keep them in cold water in an airtight container in the fridge.