Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kedgeree Courtesy of Rowena Cherry

It's hard to think of ways to make cheap, calcium-rich, brain-and-heart healthy sardines palatable, but about 25 years ago, I decided that --as long as they were tinned in anything other than tomato ketchup-- they'd work as well as anything else in kedgeree. Since then, kedgeree has become a weekend tradition in my household. Over the years, I've added shortcuts, and also raw wheatbran to the recipe to adjust to our changing dietary needs and to what is available in my local Kroger. Every time AOL publishes those top ten lists of foods a health-conscious person ought to eat, I glow. Many of the ingredients of my kedgeree make those lists! I put a kedgeree scene into my debut book Forced Mate. It's a proposal scene! Enjoy.


Almost every weekend, I make kedgeree for my husband and myself. Over the years, I've adapted a very basic smoked-fish-and-rice recipe to incorporate healthy eating and "kitchen medicine" for our needs (low fat, high fiber, calcium from whole, small fish, fish oil, garlic, turmeric, cumin, magnesium).

Tinned ingredients (or Chicken of the sea foil envelopes)

Any combination of:
Oysters in water
Clams in water
Shrimps or prawns in water
sardines or baby mackeral in water

You may substitute or addtuna, salmon, kipper, trout filets, crab, scallops, mussels, etc

Dry ingredients:
brown long grain rice (I like Texmati)
For extra nutritional value, soak it overnight. Partly germinated rice has 3x the food value.

Millers' wheat bran from the health food shop (optional, but when it has soaked up fish liquor, it's indistinguishable from the chives)

1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp chilli (if liked)
1/2 tsp Turmeric to cook with the rice
dried chives
Mrs Dash mixed herbs (original flavor)
Dried Cilantro
Dried Parsley

Fresh ingredients:
Mushrooms (optional)
small onion
hard boiled egg (optional)
olive oil
garlic (or you can use garlic powder but real fresh garlic juice kills germs)

Imitation caviar (I like the black) or anchovies (optional, but good)
Black pepper (coarse ground)

What to do:
1. Drain the tins, and either freeze the fishy liquid for next time, or useit to cook the rice (and bran) in.
2. Add turmeric (yellowing color, good for brain) to the rice and water.
3. Add bran "to taste" (which means, as much as you can stand, but it doesn't have a flavor)
The rice will take about 30 minutes. Keep an eye on it. Burned gritty rice is worse than soggy fishy rice pudding.
4. Inspect your drained oysters/mussels/clams/crab/shrimp for "veins" (veins are full bowels), bits of shell, body armor.
5. Hard boil your egg and peel. If your dh is really concerned about egg yolk, remove the yolk, cut the white into hollow circles, and pretend it's calamari.
6. Thinly slice onion and lightly fry it. Add mushrooms, and fry them too. Add curry and chilli and fry for 1 minute.
7. Drop fish (except anchovies or caviar), eggs, herbs into the frying pan, add the rice (it should be edible), add herbs. Press or chop garlic on at the last minute.
8. When everything is hot, serve, and garnish with either anchovies or caviar on the side of the plate. Never try to cook anchovies (they turn into disgusting brown mush) or fake caviar (it changes color).

You can ring the changes endlessly (but this is the best way of eating sardines!), and if you add some peas, some red/green peppers, some larger prawns and some chicken breast.... you can call it paella!

About the Author:

Award winning author Rowena Cherry is a self-described lifelong lurker and fact magpie.

Rowena's youth was spent on the tiny British island of Guernsey: a mystical, idyllic setting with its prehistoric earth-goddess, historic Martello towers, underground gun emplacements, and legends of faery men emerging from a cleft in the Hommet Headland to mate with human women.

A school chess champion and winner of the Duke of Edinburgh's Gold Award, Rowena went to ancient Cambridge University for her four-year combined honors degree in English and Education, after which she taught at exclusive boarding schools, first in Dorset, then in London.

Eventually Rowena met and married her auto designer husband, who whirled her off to Germany to live the glamorous life of an alien abroad.

Reassigned to America, she rode in pace cars at the Indy 500 and Brickyard and has flown in corporate jets to exotic locations. Her life so far has been fantastic inspiration for romance novel scenes and alien-world building.

Rowena lives in Michigan with her husband and daughter.

For more information about this fantastic author or her books, please visit http://www.rowenacherry.com/

Thanks again Rowena!

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Ann Lethbridge said...

Rowena, I beleive Kedgeree is very popular in England as a breakfast dish, or it was at one time. I have had the kind with kippers or smoked haddock, but yours is much more up to the minute on the health front.
I've a brunch to go to next month, so I'll give it a try.

Jacquie Rogers said...

My dh would love this. I, otoh, do not eat fishy things no matter how good for the brain it is. Still, out of true love, I will make this and see if it scores my any points. LOL.