Smoked haddock has a great affinity with curry flavours, best known in kedgeree.
Smoked Haddock, Spinach and Curried Lentils
600g smoked haddock fillet, skinned and boned, cut into 4 pieces
juice of 1 lemon
100g unsalted butter
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2cm piece of fresh ginger, finely diced
2 stalks of lemongrass, outer leaves removed, very finely diced
1-2 tbsp medium curry powder
100ml double (heavy) cream
250g small lentils such as pardon, Puy or Castelluccio, well rinsed, cooked
salt and pepper
400g fresh spinach, washed
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh parsley or coriander
1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve
Poached egg (optional) – 1 per serving
Put the fish in a dish and squeeze over the lemon juice, cover, and place in the refrigerator.
Heat half the butter in a saucepan and cook the onion and carrot until the onion is soft. Add the garlic, ginger and lemongrass. Stir for a minute or two, taking care not to burn the garlic, before adding the curry powder. Stir again and then tip in the cream. Pour the curry cream over the cooked lentils, give them a stir, taste and season well.
Cook the spinach in another pan. There will probably be enough moisture from washing the leaves. Cover with a well-fitting lid and cook over a medium heat until the spinach has collapsed. Drain, squeeze well (I love to drink the juice) and season. Too much washing up? Just add the raw spinach to the hot lentils and allow to wilt. A little wetter, not quite as pretty, but hey ho.
Heat the oil and the remaining butter in a large frying pan and pan-fry the haddock until cooked through and beginning to flake – a matter of minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the fish.
Place a mound of lentils on each plate, then some spinach and crown with the fish. Sprinkle with parsley or coriander and serve with lemon wedges.
Serve with a poached egg on top (optional).
Extract from Super Pulses by Jenn Chandler (Pavilion Books, approx €11.50). Photograph by Clare Winfield.