Monday, 30 May 2011


I love kedgeree. I think it may possibly be my favourite British breakfast. It's a funny invention which the British colonials created by fusing Indian cuisine with British smoked fish. Maybe because I am also a British Indian fusion myself is why I like it so much.

I normally make kedgeree with smoked haddock but found recently that smoked kippers are one of the cheapest fish in the supermarket so have recently been using them.

Kedgeree is quite easy to make and involves cooking most of the ingredients separately and then combining them at the end. All you need is; white rice, eggs, smoked fish, onions (red if you've got them), curry powder and as much butter as you feel comfortable using.

To begin with I steam some white basmati rice to my normal method and hard boil some eggs (two per person).

If you're using kippers all you need to do to cook them is put them in a tray and pour boiling water over them. They then need to be flaked. Try to remove as much fish skin as possible. The kipper water also needs to be kept for later.

When all this is done I then fry the onions sliced in butter adding a few teaspoons of curry powder before they're soft and translucent. The cooked rice then goes in the frying pan and needs to be coated in the onions and curry butter.

The kippers and some of the saved kipper water go in to make the kedgeree a bit moist. Now the important bit adding more butter.

The difference between a good kedgeree and a great kedgeree is the amount of butter. The more you put in the better it is. I once had kedgeree at The Wolsesley and it had so much butter it was like a savoury rice pudding. It was also the greatest kedgeree I've ever eaten.

Once the moral conflict regarding butter has been resolved it's ready to serve. I add the sliced boiled egg on top of each serving. It may be better to chuck in during the cooking but whenever I've tried the yolks fall out.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Oysters in New York

Oysters are very popular in New York and much cheaper than in Britain. The culture here is to go to a bar and have some oysters while having a drink in the early evening.

Millers Tavern in Williamsburg does $1 dollar oysters every day from 4pm. We had a dozen between us.

A good drink I found to have with the Oysters in Millers was a left hand milk stout a drink which goes very well with oysters. Milk stout is a stout similar to Guinness but it has lactose sugar from milk added when brewing. Yeast cannot break down lactose sugar so it gives the stout a creamier body and a much sweeter taste. It's nice but you can't really drink more than two without feeling full.

We also went to the most famous place for oysters in New York the Oyster Bar at Grand Central Station . It is a crazy busy tourist destination but worth it for the oysters and the station itself is beautiful. The prices at the oyster bar are a bit higher than other places but they do have a huge variety from all across North America.

We had the house oyster platter of eight oysters for about $20 and I also ordered two oysters from Prince Edward Island in Canada as that's where my grandfathers family is from. They cost about $3 each

We got a huge selection of condiments to go with our Grand Central oysters: Lemon, vinegar, salt, pepper, tabasco, horseradish, some cheap looking oyster crackers and tomato ketchup. The ketchup seemed a bit odd and I couldn't really work out how it would go with the oysters. I just like to put a bit of lemon juice and a splash of tabasco on mine. The oyster bar also has a full menu of meals but they are very expensive compared to the rest of the city's restaurants so I'd recommend going somewhere else for a full meal.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Katz's Deli (bit of a rip off)

While in New York I visited Katz's deli. You know that famous deli that was in an awful film with Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal. It's become a bit of a tourist destination and not just for the movie. It's a famous old New York Jewish style deli. It's still got that old time New York look, the staff are all good old New Yorkers and they bake the bread and bagels on site. They also cure and cook all the meat in house. It's great that they've managed to keep the good old look and feel after all the fame. There is one huge elephant in the room however and that's the price. Everything in Katz's deli costs about five times what it would in any other deli in the city.

I had a pastrami sandwich which was great. The pastrami was cut straight off a freshly braised piece of meat from the cooker so was warm and tender. It did cost $16 which is a huge amount for a sandwich in New York.

I also noticed something about pickles in New York. Pickles are not picked in vinegar like we have them in the UK. They are pickled in brine so do not have the sharp vinegar taste. It's a subtler taste and probably why the Americans are able to stuff so many pickles in their sandwiches.

Mathilde had a smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel. It was good, definitely much better than a nasty chewy old Brick Lane bagel but cost $12 which is about £8. A bagel or sandwich from a deli in New York normally costs about $5.