Comfort food, reheatable, risotto-kedgeree hybrid

“In my fridge you’ll always find fish – I got into cooking in the first lockdown, because we had to, and I don’t usually eat meat. The other night I made kedgeree – I can’t say it was fantastic, but it was something.”

Alexa Chung, interviewed in The Financial Times by Jessica Beresford

I can’t imagine anything dreamed up by fashion designer, Alexa Chung, being anything other than glorious. If she had cooked up something along these lines it certainly would have been!

The Chief Taster is quite a stickler, and he is an avid fan of the authentic kedgeree, so it was with some trepidation that I served this up one evening when I was feeling like cutting a few corners. It’s similar to a kedgeree because of the smoked fish, the peas and the crème fraiche.

BUT, this is a miles easier method (no stirring) of making a sort of risotto; and it reheats. What’s not to like! Especially since it got enthusiastic thumbs up from the Chief Taster.

Serve with a green salad.

For a post on kedgeree, follow this link.

Recipe for comfort food, reheatable, risotto-kedgeree hybrid

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 150g/5 oz butter
  • olive oil for frying
  • 2 onions
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed with 1 tsp salt
  • 600g/3 cups carnaroli rice (this is better than arborio which is a bit starchy, and for a dish you want to be able to reheat you want a less starchy, sticky rice)
  • 1600 ml/6⅔ cups stock made from hot water and four fish stock cubes.
  • 120 ml/½ cup dry vermouth
  • 230g/8 oz/about four cooked hot smoked mackerel fillets (no skin, no bones)
  • 150g/1 cup frozen peas
  • 120 ml/½ cup crème fraiche
  • 1 lemon – juice and zest
  • sprinkling of Spanish sweet smoked paprika
  • handful of dill if you have any growing, as I do, prolifically, outside

Method

  1. Take the peas out of the freezer and preheat the oven to 210ºC.
  2. Put a slurp of olive oil and a couple of knobs (about 50g or so) of the butter in a big roasting tin, and put in the oven to melt.
  3. Peel and chop the onions and add to the roasting tin, add the garlic, add the rice. Stir to cover all the grains of rice. If it looks a bit dry, add a bit more oil/butter. Return to the oven for about five minutes to melt.
  4. Take out of the oven and add the stock and vermouth. Cover tightly with foil, return to the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Take out and add the slightly defrosted peas. Return to the oven for another five minutes. 
  5. Flake the fish.
  6. Take the rice out, and carefully remove the foil. Mix in the mackerel, and crème fraiche. Replace the foil and put back in the oven for another five minutes.
  7. Dot the risotto with the rest of the butter, and sprinkle liberally with the paprika. Snip over the dill if you are using.
  8. Serve with the green salad.
easy risotto with smoked mackerel
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