On the way back from our 2011 sailing trip on Erin around the Outer Hebrides, we anchored at Lismore to visit Luke's grandparents
who have a delightful cottage there.
Luke's Grandad is an ardent gardener, and amongst other (extensive) crops was growing some fat, handsome fennel bulbs.
I do like Fennel; it has distinctive and delicate flavour and makes a fine component of stock and sauces, but I find the cooked flesh can be insipid, and I was chatting to Luke's Grandma
about how I'd struggled to find robust fennel dishes. She recommended her recipe for Fennel Kedgeree, which Luke passed along to me in due course.
Hopefully I'll get around to trying it out at some point soon.
Thanks Luke's Grandma!
Fennel and Turmeric Kedgeree
breakfast main fish
A kedgeree version with some unexpected fennel
- 350g undyed smoked haddock fillet (preferably thick end for larger flakes)
- 225g basmati rice
- 1 bulb Florentine fennel
- Half teaspoon fennel seeds
- Generous half teaspoon turmeric
- 2 bay leaves
- 50g butter (plus extra at the end to taste)
- 50g sultanas
- 1 punnet rape and cress
- Small bunch each of parsley and chives
- 1 lemon
- 2 hard boiled eggs
Wash and soak the rice in cold water.
Lay the fish in a shallow pan, cutting it in half to fit snugly.
Pour on 750ml or so of cold water, just to cover the haddock.
Three quarters cover the pan and bring to the boil.
Remove from the heat, cover fully with the lid and leave for 7 minutes.
Meanwhile measure out the other ingredients, trim and dice the fennel bulb, chop the herbs, and crush the fennel seeds, preserving each ingredient separately.
When the haddock is cooked, remove it with a fish slice to a plate.
Skin and flake it as soon as cool enough to handle, cover with an upturned soup plate and keep warm.
Bring the fishy liquor back to boiling point and season it lightly with salt, the turmeric powder and bay leaves.
Add the soaked and drained rice and cook until done, adding the sultanas for the last few minutes to plump them up.
While the rice cooks, sautée diced fennel in 25g of butter in a flameproof casserole until beginning to frazzle on all sides (about 5 minutes).
Reduce the heat. Sprinkle on the fennel seed and plenty of black pepper, then the flaked haddock (and any juices that have collected on the plate), and 25g of diced butter.
Do not stir.
Cover tightly and leave over a gentle heat for 3-4 minutes to complete cooking.
Drain the rice when it is done, fluff it with a fork, add the chopped parsley, chives, mustard and cress and fork it again.
Fold this into the buttery fish and fennel.
Check seasoning and stir in more diced butter to taste.
Garnish with quartered lemon and hard boiled eggs.
Serve with a bowl of mango chutney on the side.