Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Testing my 'fishiness' tolerance

I've never been much of a fish eater, so it's no surprise that I've fallen behind a bit with the fish recipes. I've had it in mind to catch up in this area, but hadn't got around to it - until I passed the fish counter at Pak N Save yesterday and noticed some smoked mackerel fillets.

I came home with every intention of making kedgeree (p114) for dinner, but my plans ground to a halt when I opened the pantry and found I was out of onions. The supermarket might be just down the road, but having just dried myself off from the walk home, I wasn't about to head back out in the downpour again.

So the kedgeree got put off until this evening. I came home onions in hand, but unfortunately I'd stayed at work later than usual and had to abandon my excellent plan of getting the rice and eggs done before Masterchef came on.

You see, it's one of those dishes designed to use up leftover cooked rice. It's pretty basic, actually: you fry up an onion, add cooked rice and flaked smoked fish, heat through, then add the chopped white of a boiled egg, reserving the yolks for garnish.

Since I didn't have my rice and eggs prepared in advance, I got those on while I flaked up my mackerel and chopped the onion. I've always been terrible at cooking rice, but I must say it's much easier with my new heavy-bottomed saucepans. The rice was actually cooked pretty well - too bad I can't say the same for the eggs.

How hard is it to boil an egg? It's one of the most basic cooking techniques, and yet I get it wrong every single time. This time, though I carefully lowered them into simmering water and left them there for eight minutes, (as per the Edmonds instructions for hard-boiled eggs) the whites were soggy in places and the yolks still partially runny.

Parts of the yolk were firm enough though, so, having cooked my kedgeree and spooned it into a serving dish, I attempted to sieve the yolks for the garnish. Tell me, what exactly is supposed to happen when you sieve an egg yolk? The results of mine certainly weren't decorative: parts of the yolk wound up in globs atop the kedgeree, but most of it remains caked to the ever-awkward-to-clean sieve.

Setting these difficulties aside, how did the kedgeree taste? Surprisingly good, actually. I wasn't particularly expecting to like it - tasting the potently flavoured mackerel as I flaked it had convinced me that I was in for a overpoweringly fishy meal. Luckily, the rice and other additions toned down the fishiness, meaning that while smoked fish is still the dominant flavour, it's mellowed enough to be enjoyable.

1 comment:

  1. Another time if you need cooked yolks or have them leftover from baking, put them in a cup and zap in microwave. If the yolks are whole prick with fork first or they could explode- not a pretty sight!!c


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