There are plenty of foods (..er..most of ’em I fink) that I find it possible to sit dreaming about during the day as I look forward to my meal that evening. Plain white rice isn’t one of them. I’d much rather have a potato. BUT there are three rice dishes that I adore, and they’re all on the comforting side of the spectrum. No dry tasteless bits of starch here. One is kedgeree, which I posted about recently, the second is risotto, which we’ll post about soon. The third is this ‘ere paella. It is, in no uncertain terms: lush.
It’s inspired by a fantastic recipe from Rick Stein. Actually it’s not ‘inspired’ at all – it’s basically his recipe, I just alter bits and bobs depending on which ingredients I have available. Like a lot of recipes on this blog, it doesn’t matter if you’re not exact with the quantities or if you change things. Good home cooking is NOT about putting exactly the teaspoon of that and exactly the weight of the other or following a recipe like a slave. Mostly it’s about making it so that it tastes the way you like it. I hope Rick Stein will forgive the mash-up of his recipe.
I had this last night, it is one of my favourite comfort foods. The brilliant thing about kedgeree is that it’s incredibly moreish but is also good for you. It uses a decent amount of butter, but on this blog we believe that butter is good for you, unlike sugar, which we believe isn’t.
A word on ingredients.
I implore you not to be put off by the fact that I use brown rice. Our mum Mavis uses brown, which is why I do. Catherine uses white rice in hers. It’s a matter of preference. What I like about brown is that it makes it more chewy. So it’s a buttery smokey creamy chewy bowl of moreish loveliness. The fish can be fresh or frozen, but if you make it for the first time and think ‘…hmm… This dish is chewy but it’s not the rice, it’s the FISH that’s chewy’!’, then one of two things has happened to mess with Kedgeree Heaven: 1) the fish was not so great to start with, or more likely 2) you’ve cooked it too long. Tips on this below.
The main tip about this dish is not to stint on the butter and onions. Or it will not be as nice. You have been warned.
I’ve put it as a commuter cook (half hour) as well as a longer cook, as strictly speaking if you put the rice on and cook it for 20 minutes, you can cook the rest of the ingredients within that time, so you could cram it into half an hour.