It's Weekend Herb Blogging, an event hosted by the lovely Kalyn at her site Kalyn's Kitchen. Go there and meet the other herb bloggers. My entry is a wonderful Asian-Spiced Kedgeree devised by Nigella Lawson. Maybe it was the fact that I was genuinely famished when I fixed this meal that made me love it so much. I don't think so. But, I'll gladly make it again when I'm not so hungry, as a test to see if it's really as sensational as I thought while eating it. There are some foods that give you greater pleasure than you expect, and this was one of them. First off, it has coriander, cumin, cilantro, and fish sauce, flavors that I truly love. And there's the rice and the salmon, which I eat very often. So, I expected to like it. But, this was better than I thought it would be. It was an instant comfort food. Or maybe it was the hunger? Naaaah. It was fabulous.
According to my research on the Internet, cilantro, the leaves of the coriander plant, is an herb. However, the seeds of the coriander plant are considered a spice, as are cumin and tumeric. Herb or spice, they all combine together beautifully in this dish.
It was also a lot of fun to eat due to the visual appeal of the yellow rice, pink salmon and flecks of cilantro all mixed together. As a child, I LOVED food with paint box colors. I still do. The eggs were surprisngly perfect, and I'm not usually bonkers about them. I do have a problem with the servings ascribed to this recipe. Nigella says it serves six people. Come on Nigella! You know that's not true. Maybe four----two, if it's Bob and me.
ASIAN-SPICED KEDGEREE (Nigella Lawson)
* 2-1/4 cups cold water for poaching the fish
* 2 lime leaves torn into pieces
* 4 salmon fillets (approx 1 inch thick) skinned (about 1-1/2 lbs. in total)
* 3 Tbspns unsalted butter
* 1 tsp oil
* 1 onion chopped finely
* half tsp ground coriander
* half tsp ground cumin
* half tsp tumeric
* 1 cup basmati rice
* 3 hard-boiled eggs quartered
* 3 Tbspns chopped coriander, plus more for sprinkling
* juice and zest of a lime plus more lime segments to serve
* Fish sauce (nam pla) to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Poach the salmon in the oven by pouring the water into a roasting dish, add the lime leaves and then the salmon. Cover the dish with foil, put in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes, by which time the salmon should be cooked till tender. Remove the dish from the oven and drain the liquid off into a bowl and set aside. Keep the fish warm, just by replacing the foil on the dish.
Melt the butter in a wide heavy saucepan that has a tight-fitting lid, and add the oil to stop the butter burning. Soften the onion in the pan and add the spices, then keep cooking till the onion is slightly translucent and suffused with the soft perfume of the spices. Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon so that it's all well coated. There's not enough onion to give it a heavy coating: just make sure the rice is fragrantly slicked.
Pour in the reserved poaching liquid, about 2-1/4 cups, and stir before covering with a lid and cooking gently for about 15 minutes.
At the end of the cooking time, when the rice is tender and has lost all chalkiness, turn off the heat
Drain off any extra liquid that's collected in the dish with the salmon, then flake the fish with a fork. Add to it the rice, eggs, coriander, lime juice and a drop or two of fish sauce. Stir gently to mix and taste to see if you want any more lime juice or fish sauce. Sprinkle over the zest from the two juiced halves of the lime and serve. Garnish with limes sections and extra cilantro.