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Recipe: Smoked Haddock and Cauliflower ‘Rice’ Kedgeree

November 12, 2013

I hadn’t realised it fully until last weekend, but I sort of lost my cooking mojo over the past few months.  I conjured up a few dishes of passing muster but for the main, we were just eating simple, boring meals knocked together without much care at home or getting takeaways.  Not great for someone that claims to be passionate about food.

So where did that passion go?  Well, after some thoughtful reflection whilst conquering a staggeringly large pile of washing up, I realised that it was because I was frustrated by the lack of ingredients available to me whilst trying to create low-carb dinners.  Not because there isn’t a lot to choose from, or that I don’t like nature’s offerings…on the contrary, where veg is concerned, I can’t get enough.  Even those that I’m not very keen on (beetroot and squeaky green beans) will form part of my dietary choice, if only for the love of variety.  No, my big problem, as many a wife will say, is my husband.

Delightful as he is in most respects, his taste in vegetables is severely lacking, and most of the few that he does enjoy are frightfully high in carbs, such as peas and sweetcorn.  But never fear, because once I’d had the epiphany and realised that there was a problem and what it was, a plan started to form in my head.  And for those of you that know me, I’m a girl that likes a plan.  The more obscure and slightly bizarre, the better.

I asked him if I could try to coax him to try a variety of vegetables that he had self-confessed to dislike, if I promised that they would only make up a quarter (at most) of his plate.  That way he could try whatever it was and eat as much as he could force between his curled back lips, before discarding all pretences and tucking into the other veg, one that he liked, and the protein. I wouldn’t comment on how much he hadn’t eaten, providing he promised to keep trying.  Amazingly, he agreed without protest.  I do believe he might even have said it was a good idea.  Fancy that!

So, last week, I started the experiment with Cauliflower Cheese.  I got good feedback on the sauce, and although not many of the ‘lumps’ got gobbled, he said he’d try it again.  On Sunday I switched high carb potatoes for lower-carb celeriac (about half that of a potato) and fried up some chips.  More than half got eaten.  Tonight I switched rice for cauliflower and made a kedgeree.  I added extra curry powder to disguise the vegetable taste and gave him lots of extra fish on the side.  He seemed almost impressed.  Not enough to eat it all, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, was it?!

Anyway, I thought it was bloody awesome and my food opinion counts for a lot more than his, so I thought I’d share the recipe.  The measurements are a bit approximated as I was basically making it up as I went along, so you’ll need to taste as you go to make sure you are liking your work.

Serves 2-3 people

Half a head of cauliflower
A garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed
40g butter
300g-500g un-dyed smoked haddock fillets
Up to a pint of milk
Onion, chopped
Large red chilli, seeds removed and sliced into rings
2 teaspoons medium curry powder (1 if you would prefer to taste the cauliflower more)
2-3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, plus a sprig or two for garnish
2 tablespoons crème fraiche or double cream
2 teaspoons lemon juice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
four boiled eggs, preferably with a bit of a soft yolk, peeled and halved

1. Start by making the cauliflower ‘rice’ (great way to use up leftovers if you already have some).  Remove any large stalks and separate the heads.  Pop them all into a food processor and blitz until you have fairly fine ‘rice’.  Melt 20g of the butter in a large saucepan, add the garlic and gently fry for 30 seconds or so, until the garlic releases its smell.  Then add in the cauliflower with four tablespoons of water, give a good stir and gently cook for about 15 minutes.  It’s ready when it’s soft to bite but still holds its shape.

2. Meanwhile, cook the fish.  Check that there are no bones and then cut the fillets, if needed, so you can lay them flat in the base of a large shallow pan (you’ll need one with a lid).  Cover with milk and pop on the lid.  Bring to the boil and then turn off the heat.  Leave the fish to cook in the heat of the milk for 8-10 minutes.  Then remove from the liquid, which you can discard or use for another fishy dish (chowder would be good!) and leave to cool a little before removing the skin and breaking into large flakes.

3.  Rinse the large shallow pan clean and then melt the remaining 20g of butter in it.  Pop in the onion and cook until soft (about 6 minutes).  Add the chilli and a minute later, add the curry powder.  Stir thoroughly and cook for another minute before adding the cauliflower.  Stir thoroughly again, add two more teaspoons of water and cook gently until the water has evaporated.  Season lightly with salt and black pepper at this point.

4.  You’re nearly there.  Stir through the crème fraiche or cream and then the fish flakes.  Finely, sprinkle through the parsley, add the lemon juice and stir thoroughly before checking the seasoning.  Add more salt and pepper as necessary.  Make sure it’s all heated through.

5.  Serve up, top with the boiled eggs and garnish with sprigs of parsley.  Then devour.

  1. Hilary Dickson permalink

    I am going to do this recipe tonight but I am counting my carbs to loose weight, how many carbs in this recipe

    • Hi Hilary, sorry, I don’t know exactly. But I do eat it as a part of a low-carb diet and I got inspiration from a low-carb book to do the cauliflower rice in the first place, so I’m confident it’s a good one to eat if you are doing low-carb. Sorry I couldn’t be more help! Dawn

  2. Reblogged this on Food: from Dawn till dusk and commented:

    This is easily the most viewed recipe on my blog – so I thought there would be some value in me re-blogging it for others to see and share. Enjoy!

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