How to Make Breakfast – The Victorian Way

How to Make Breakfast – The Victorian Way

Mrs Crocombe is busy making breakfast for Lord and Lady Braybrooke in the kitchens of Audley End House and Gardens.

This recipe is perfect for using up leftover fish and rice. It originated in India as khichri, a dish made using lentils, rice, onions and spices.

As the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the British Empire, the culture of the subcontinent influenced language, fashion and food in England in the 19th century. But Indian ingredients and techniques were difficult to come by in England, so dishes were adapted to suit English tastes and ingredients. Khichri became kedgeree.

INGREDIENTS
200g cooked rice
200g unsmoked fish
50g unsalted butter
½-1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp coarse grain salt
2 eggs

Optional:
A little cream
Pickled or hard-boiled quail’s eggs
Parsley and Brown shrimp for garnishing

METHOD
Poach your fish in a mixture of half water and half milk. You’ll know that the fish is ready when the flesh becomes opaque – around seven minutes depending on the type of fish you’ve used.

Break up the poached fish into large flakes with a fork
Lightly whisk your eggs and prepare your garnishes. Slice the hard boiled quail’s eggs in half, and finely chop the parsley.

Heat the butter in a frying pan on a medium heat until it foams and just starts to brown. Add the rice and stir well to coat it in butter.

Fry it over a high heat to ensure it is piping hot throughout
Turn the heat down slightly and add the flaked fish, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir more gently now, turning the fish so that it does not break up too much.

When everything is heated thoroughly, turn the temperature right down, and add the egg mixture. Turn very gently, just enough to mix the eggs in, and before they are solid, remove the pan from the heat. The eggs should still be slightly runny, as they would be on a good omelette.

Stir in the cream to stop the kedgeree overcooking, then transfer onto a serving dish.

Garnish the kedgeree. Arrange the quail’s egg halves around the dish and add the chopped parsley for a touch of colour. Serve immediately, while the kedgeree is still hot.

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