One year I was so bored with the usual tat for Christmas and the lack of anything different that I created An Italian Christmas, having discovered that the Italians traditionally eat fish at this time of year, especially on Christmas Eve, The Feast of the Seven Fishes.
Visit Cooking with Nonna for several Italian fish recipes for Christmas, but not until you’ve read my recipe for Kedgeree below!
This image was created using one of my textures and a photograph I took of some Cretan fish which we barbecued. A friend had brought them over and did give us the Greek name but I’ve long since forgotten what it was! The closest I can give you is whitebait. They were delicious cooked on our barbecue, an interesting ramshackle affair built by Mr FND with some of the rocks dug up from the garden.
Smoked Mackerel Kedgeree
I don’t know whether Italians ever have any form of Kedgeree at Christmas but since I currently have a craving for it, I thought I’d give you my adaptation, which uses smoked mackerel and common or garden rice rather than Basmati. Incidentally, it’s not a genuine Indian dish but hails from the time of the British Raj.
Serves 4 with average appetites (2 with greedy appetites like me and Mr FND).
450g pack cooked Smoked Mackerel
200g Long Grain Rice
1 Large Red Onion, sliced
3 Eggs, hard-boiled
1 tbs Curry Powder
2 tbsp Fresh Parsley
1 pint Fish Stock
2 tsp Nutmeg
- Tear the parsley into pieces.
- Remove the skin and flake the smoked mackerel fillet.
- Hard-boil the eggs, shell and cut into quarters.
- Slice the red onion and use a frying pan to soften in oil.
- Add the curry powder and nutmeg and stir. Cook for a minute or two.
- Add the uncooked rice to the mix and stir until the rice is coated with the oil.
- Add 3/4 of the fish stock and leave on simmer for as long as you would normally cook rice. Test whether the rice is cooked. Add more stock as necessary but don’t have it ’swimming’ in stock. Turn down the heat.
- Add the butter and stir until it has melted.
- Add the mackerel flakes and the egg quarters, half the parsley, stir and season to taste.
- Turn up the heat a little before serving in your favourite dish and decorate with the rest of the parsley. Serve with slices of fresh lemon.
Like all my recipes, this is only a guide. If you want to add more eggs or less curry powder, for instance, feel free.
Take care and keep laughing!