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Speedy Supper

No flipping idea what to cook for dinner tonight? Chef Anna Hedworth suggests this super-quick smoked mackerel and spinach kedgeree with cardamom rice. Yum!

If you’ve read our September book reviews (which of course you have, haven’t you?!), you’ll have clocked Cook House by Anna Hedworth, the self-taught chef who opened an award-winning restaurant in shipping containers in Newcastle. We persuaded Anna to let us share one of her recipes so here’s a perfect midweek dinner for those days when time is short but you’re craving something healthy and filling… while trying to resist the siren call of the chip shop. You can always swap the fish for Tofu or Quorn for a vegetarian version. Over to you, Anna, quick, feed us!



Smoked mackerel and spinach kedgeree with cardamom rice (serves 2)

This is on my list of quick midweek dinners. It is easy to end up cooking pasta far too often when you have little time or motivation in the evening, but this is just as quick and easy – and so delicious. It also makes a good warming brunch.

Kedgeree appears in many different guises, but this is my favourite. The mixture of curried onions, cardamom rice and smoky fish is really lovely. If you cook all the elements at the same time: the rice, the onion and the eggs, this can be ready in about 15 minutes; just get everything ready to go first.



1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced

25g butter

1 tsp medium curry powder

200g basmati rice

5 cardamom pods, lightly crushed

salt and pepper

225ml boiling water

2 eggs

120g fresh spinach leaves

2 smoked peppered mackerel fillets

Half a lemon



In a pan, cook the onion in the butter over a low heat for about 10 minutes, or until it is soft and golden. Add the curry powder and cook for another 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the rice in a small pan with the crushed cardamom pods and a good pinch of salt. Pour in the boiling water, cover with a lid and simmer for 8–10 minutes until the water has evaporated. Turn off the heat and leave to stand for 10 minutes, still covered.

Bring a small pan of water to a simmer. Lower in the eggs and simmer for 7 minutes. You’re aiming for a soft yolk and a just-done white. When they are ready, run them under a cold tap so you can handle them and gently remove the shells.

Finally, add the spinach to the onion and allow it to wilt. Stir the rice with a fork to fluff up and separate, removing the cardamom pods at the same time, as they taste like a shot of perfume if you accidentally bite into one. Add the rice to the onions and spinach, then flake in the smoked mackerel fillet in bite-size pieces. Stir everything together thoroughly, then allow it all to warm through.

Add salt and pepper to taste and a good squeeze of lemon. Finally, place the soft eggs on the top, gently cut them in half and serve.


Extracted from Cook House (Head of Zeus, £25) by Anna Hedworth

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