Smoked Haddock Chowder

I mostly have to do my grocery shopping online. Supermarkets do not, willingly, provide triple trolleys (there is such a contraption though!). And anyway, trailing 3×3 year olds around a supermarket sounds like a fate worse than death. I think I’d rather stick hot forks in my eyes. I’m eternally grateful to online shopping. I have no idea what I would have done over the last few years without it (what did folk do before it – seriously?!).

But it’s not perfect. Indeed, sometimes it’s far from it. Sometimes what you think you’re ordering, isn’t actually what you’re ordering. Quantities can go majorly wrong. I’ve got a friend who managed to order her whole shop twice (in the same order). And substitutions? I think the grocery packers get bored, and fill their time with trying to make the most ridiculous substitutions – like the customer who ordered condoms, and received KY jelly (not me I may add).

So when I ordered the fish for this recipe, I thought it was skinless. It looked skinless on the pitiful thumbnail sized picture they let you see. It wasn’t. So I had to cut the skin off. Which is a crap job. There really is no point to this story other than I’m having a whinge about having to de-skin a fish.

Anyway, onto the recipe. This is a lovely dish. It’s a soup, but it’s also so thick and warming and lovely, it’s a whole meal in itself.

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Ingredients

350-450g smoked haddock
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 an onion, chopped
20g butter
peas/sweetcorn/carrot, cubed
300ml fish or vegetable stock
100ml of white wine
300ml milk
75ml double cream
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp tumeric
salt & pepper

This served 3 adults – ok it didn’t, because the Husband went back for seconds – but if you wanted it to serve more, simply double/treble etc the amounts.

1. Melt the butter over a low heat in a large pan, then add the onions and let them soften gently until they’re turning translucent.

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2. Add the stock, wine, potatoes and herbs and bring to the boil.

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3. Simmer for about 15 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked, then lightly mash them but still leaving a lot cubed.

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4. Add the fish, veg and milk, stir well, then leave to simmer for about 5 minutes until the fish is cooked through.

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Note – I was using up veg leftovers, so my carrot, peas and sweetcorn were already cooked and I added them at this stage. However, if you were using raw carrot, add it with the potato and cook until both are soft. Your veg choice here is completely up to you. I like the added colour of the carrots and peas, but you could just add sweetcorn if you wanted, or no veg at all. It’s completely up to you.

5. Add the cream and warm through, but do not boil (this can split the cream). Season well (taste it until you’re happy), and serve.

This is lovely served with fresh, crusty bread. Like I said, it’s a whole meal in itself, and there’s just something really warming about it.

Happy cooking!

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Smoked Haddock Kedgeree (Method 1)

I’ve come across two methods for making kedgeree in my time – both are good, but give slightly different results. I actually tend to use ‘method 2’, which I will blog in time (nothing like a bit of suspense building huh?), but tonight I used ‘method 1’, which I would say is slightly easier, and gives a drier kedgeree result.

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Ingredients

400g smoked haddock
350g rice
3 tbsp curry paste
1 chopped onion
olive oil
frozen peas
2 eggs, hard boiled
salt & pepper

Briefly about the ingredients. I’m a Scottish lass. I grew up in a fishing town on the east coast. So fish was never hard to come by, and always lovely and fresh. However, we now live in Oxfordshire, about as far from the sea as you could get, and getting fresh fish is nigh on impossible. So I have to rely on the supermarkets, where it is usually pretty pricey and not necessarily that good quality (unless my Mum brings me some when she visits – she’s been known to carry it vacuum packed on ice packs down on the train. She’s a good Mum!). Hence why I’ve used frozen smoked haddock fillets here (they’re a bit cheaper, although truth be told the flavour just isn’t as good, so next time I’m buying fresh). So I would recommend fresh fish if you can. And it has to be smoked.

I used 350g rice – for the Husband, me and the 4 kiddiwinkles. This actually left a full adult portion, but as the Husband absolutely loves kedgeree, he’ll eat this for lunch tomorrow, and it keeps me in the good books. I used korma curry paste as I was making this for the kids, but a medium paste would give a bit more spice. You can also use curry powder if you’d prefer – you’d need about 2 tbsp.

So, onto the method.

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Firstly, cook your rice. I read how to cook rice perfectly in an Indian recipe book once, and it’s now my trusted method. It honestly gives you lovely fluffy rice every time, so bear with me. Soak the rice before you cook it, for as long as you can really, but at least about 15 minutes. This makes the cooking time really short. Drain, then add it to a pan of salted boiling water and let it bubble away. You’ve really got to stay on top of it. After a few minutes (literally just a few minutes, probably about 4), test it. You want it to be ‘almost cooked’, just with some bite left.

imageYou wouldn’t class it as cooked at this point, but that’s when you need to remove it from the heat, sieve it and pour it back into the pan. Pop a lid on and leave it. When you return to it after a few minutes it will have finished cooking and you can fluff it with a fork. Hopefully perfect rice!

In a large pan add your chopped onion to about a tablespoon of olive oil. Now I only used half an onion this time, because remember, my children ‘….don’t like onion…’. Still Henry managed to find onion at 20 yards and spent most of dinner time picking it out, one piece at a time.

Cook the onion until it’s soft and starting to brown. Undercooked onion does my head in.

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Add your curry paste or powder to this and let it cook for a few minutes. Whilst this is all going on, place your fish in a pan with water and bring to the boil.

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Simmer for about 10 minutes until the fish is cooked through, then drain and add to your onion/curry mix. Throw in the peas (if you like peas in your kedgeree) and give it a good mix before adding the rice and mixing through again. You can then add your boiled egg however you want it – or not in my case. Eugh!

Et voila! Kedgeree. This is how it looks in the HC house:

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I will add at this point that it went down with varying popularity with my children. One cleared her plate; one ate about half; one just pushed it about her plate a bit; and Henry ate a little bit around trying to pick out all the onion. With six mouths to feed I’m not about to cook separate meals, but also want us eating a varied menu (the Husband and I need something to look forward to!). So sometimes plates get cleared, and sometimes they don’t. But believe me – missing a meal is not really a problem for my children 😀

Happy cooking!