Tasty slow cooked kedgeree – #ShortcutEggsperts

One food stuff that you’ll always find in our fridge is eggs. Most of the time they get used for baking before I get round to using them for anything else, but they do come in handy for main meals too. Scrambled egg goes down well with the boys for lunch (or even breakfast when Granny cooks it at the weekend), and we have a few tea-time meals that rely on eggs: mini toad in the hole is one favourite, and kedgeree is another. That’s the recipe I’m sharing here as I join in with the #ShortcutEggsperts Linky Challenge.

Kedgeree 1 Collage

Kedgeree is a classic fish, rice and egg dish with a distinctive curry flavour that was originally eaten for breakfast in Victorian times. I can’t say that I would love it for breakfast, but it does make a tasty family tea in our house. There’s just something very satisfying about all those flavours combined. Another thing I love about this dish is the fact that almost all the ingredients are either store cupboard/fridge staples (rice, eggs, curry paste, onions) or you can chuck in whatever you have in (vegetables – we like some combo of peas, spinach or mushrooms). The fish is probably the exception; I tend to look out for it on the supermarket reduced shelf.

I’ve seen recipes for kedgeree that poach the fish (usually smoked, such as smoked haddock) in milk, but to be honest I like faff-free cooking, with minimal steps and number of dirty pots to wash at the end. So instead I choose smoked oily fish like mackerel, which comes ready to eat and so can be chucked in as it is to the one-pot dish. I’ve experimented with various versions of my take on kedgeree – I prefer the result when I use curry paste rather than curry powder, and slow cooked beats the hob version if I need to prepare it earlier in the day.

This has got to be one of my best yet. And the verdict from my testers? Daddy came back for seconds; Joel came back for seconds and polished of Andrew’s; Mr Fusspot (aka Andrew) had this to say….

“It’s an avocado egg!….It’s got a hole in it!”

I presume this was a reference to the boiled egg – the solid yolk had escaped from the white in the bits on his plate. And to be fair, he’s probably seen more avocados than boiled eggs recently, as we tend to scramble more often than not. He then proceeded to pick about his plate and find every distraction going to deter him from eating.

Kedgeree 2 Collage

Anyway, don’t let a 3 year old in a fussy phase put you off. On with the recipe…


  • 250g basmati rice
  • 1 onion
  • 150g button mushrooms
  • 150g smoked mackerel
  • 2 heaped tablespoons curry paste
  • 2 tsp tumeric
  • 750ml hot stock
  • 4 eggs
  • 150g frozen peas
  • 1 heaped tbsp soured cream


  1. Chop the onion finely and quarter the mushrooms. (Optional: fry them in a small amount of olive oil for a few minutes to brown them – as I said above, I prefer minimal steps, and we’re happy with slightly crunchier onions and firmer mushrooms than if I fried them first.)
  2. Add the onion, mushrooms, rice, peas and turmeric to the slow cooker pot.
  3. Mix the curry paste with the stock, cover the contents of the pot, and stir.
  4. Cook on low for 2-3 hours (note: I cook rice dishes for 3 hours in my slow cooker, but we’re currently living with my parents and it only took 2 hours in theirs – lesson learned, there really can be quite a lot of variation in slow cooker efficiencies!)
  5. At any point during the cooking time, hard boil the eggs; then cool them, peel the shells off, and quarter each one.
  6. When the rice is al dente, flake the fish into the pot, and cook for a further half an hour.
  7. Just before you serve, add the soured cream and eggs, stirring gently (too vigorously will make the eggs disintegrate).
  8. Enjoy!
Or, if you don’t think enough in advance to slow cook, this can be done just as well on the hob in about 20 minutes – just fry the onion and mushrooms for a bit, chuck in the rice for a minute or two, then add the curry paste, stock and peas, bring to the boil and simmer until the rice is cooked, adding the fish and eggs near the end. Simple! I just like to prepare food ahead of the crazy half hour before we eat when the boys are testing, and slow cooking is a great way to avoid some of the chaos.

This post is an entry for the #ShortcutEggsperts Linky Challenge sponsored by British Lion Eggs. Learn more and find recipes at www.eggrecipes.co.uk.


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Creamy cheesy celeriac with salmon – #slowcooked

Firstly let me apologise for there being no pictures in this post – not great for a foodie post, but it was so yummy that I totally forgot to take pics before we devoured it 😉

It’s been a while since I wrote up a slow cooker recipe. It’s not that I haven’t been slow cooking, but more that I haven’t found the time to write about it as well as all the other things I’m doing, and recently I have been sticking with recipes I’ve done before rather than experimenting with new things. But this week we had a celeriac in the veg box, and I haven’t had one for quite a while, so this got me thinking about how I could slow cook it.

I remember I enjoyed a dish once (I can’t actually remember where or when!) that was a bit like a celeriac dauphinoise, with a creamy cheesy sauce around slices of the root vegetable. So this hazy memory formed the basis of my slow cooker creation. I made a simple creamy sauce out of milk, soft cheese and a small amount of flour. The celeriac formed the main bulk of the solid part of the dish, though I added a bunch of purple kale that was in the box, as well as a tin of pink salmon for more protein beyond the dairy ingredients.

It turned out very well, and generally the boys were impressed, although Andrew wasn’t too keen on the taste of the celeriac – I think it’s quite an acquired taste and I’m not sure when he last had it. We served it with rice because the boys had eaten quite a lot of pasta in the days before we ate this, but pasta would work well with it too I think.

Here’s the recipe, which is very simple but give very yummy results!


  • 1 pint milk
  • 200g tub soft cheese with herbs/onion/garlic
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 celeriac
  • 1 tin salmon
  • 1 bunch purple kale
  • rice or pasta to serve


  1. Cut the stalks of the kale off and chop the leaves into smaller pieces.
  2. Peel the celeriac and cut into slices about 1cm thick, and then each big slice into smaller pieces.
  3. Place the slices in layers in the slow cooker pot, sandwiching some purple kale between each layer of celeriac.
  4. Mix the milk, soft cheese and flour in a jug, then pour the mixture into the pot – it should just come up to the top layer.
  5. Cook on high for 5 hours.
  6. About an hour before the end of the cooking time, drain the tin of salmon and flake the fish, then add it on top of the celeriac in the pot.
  7. About 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time, cook some rice or pasta to serve it with.

Schwartz for dinner tonight (review) #schwartz2in1

If you didn’t know already by reading this blog, I love cooking and baking, and then writing up here the new things that I’ve tried. Most of the time I just make make it up as I go along, rarely following recipes, and instead taking inspiration from dishes I’ve tasted or smelled or just heard of. There are some evenings though, when we’re all tired and hungry, that I lack inspiration or the ability to remember previous inspirational moments.

So when I saw that BritMums were offering some Schwartz 2-in-1 sachets to review as part of the “Tell us what’s for dinner tonight” challenge (I’m entering this post with a chance to win a prize) I thought I’d give them a go. As BritMums write: sometimes you need a little inspiration to make your meals even better. And that’s just what these Schwartz sachets are here to help with.

The details

Schwartz describe their new 2-in-1 range as “easy to use recipe mix sachets in one handy pack: one sachet flavours the main dish whilst the other contains ? seasoning for a complementary side dish or topping. With 5 different varieties to choose from, and an easy recipe on the back of each pack, it’s a great way to try out new dishes or transform an existing family favourite.” You can see all the different flavours here, and I was sent two of these sachets to try:

  • Mediterranean Chicken Pasta and Cheesy Crumb Topping: A blend of herbs and spices for chicken pasta with a cheesy topping
  • Garlic & Thyme Roast Chicken and Crispy Roast Potatoes: Roast chicken seasoning, with garlic and thyme, accompanied by a special seasoning to create perfect Crispy Roast Potatoes

For us, the sachet for the pasta bake is an example of a way to transform an existing family favourite, as we quite often cook a tomato-based pasta bake with veg and tuna in and cheese on the top as a quick and easy midweek meal. The recipe on the sachet suggests that you make it with chicken and peppers, but as we don’t cook meat very often, I decided to adapt it to what we had in the cupboard and veg box that week. So we had tuna, carrots and courgette instead (the “hint and tips” section on the sachet suggests that you could replace the chicken and peppers with tuna and sweetcorn, and gives you instructions for when to add these at different stages fro, the original recipe). I’m planning on using the roast chicken and potatoes mix to bake some white fish with potatoes one day, but I’m still looking out for when the fish is on the reduced shelf when we go shopping so I can grab us a bargain meal.

Schwartz 2 Collage
Before grilling…………..after grilling, yummy bubbling cheese

How easy was it?

The evening that I cooked the pasta bake was a classic for our family. We usually eat together around 6.30pm, but I’m never too sure how much I’ll be required for feeding Joel around that time. These days it’s not that much, but I can be called away at quite short notice. This is why I’m into slow cooking, it’s ready for 6.30pm having done all the prep earlier. But I digress. I started off chopping the veg, weighing out the pasta and grating the cheese, whilst Daddy and the boys were otherwise entertaining themselves. But then a tired Joel got very grizzly, so Daddy and I swapped and he carried on doing the cooking. We make a good team, and often end up cooking half a meal each. This usually involves me shouting instructions at him from the sofa, but with the recipe on the Schwartz 2-in-1 sachet, he was pleased that he could follow it himself with a couple of verbal notes from me about how I was adapting it. I too found the instructions easy to follow and adapt.

Schwartz 1 Collage
Prepping – nothing complicated

I liked the fact that the ingredients were all things that we had in the cupboard or fridge, and we could just decide at short notice that this is what we’d have for dinner, open tins and cartons, do some chopping and grating, fling it all together and that was it. No tricky steps or fancy equipment required. The larger part of the sachet contained a mix of herbs to add to the tomatoes to form a sauce, which then got mixed with the pasta, tuna and veg, and the smaller part of the sachet contained a crispy herby topping to mix with grated cheese and sprinkle them on top.

The taste test

Whilst it was cooking, both the sauce in the pan and the completed bake under the grill smelled delicious, so we were waiting with watering mouths for what was to come on our plates. We were not disappointed, the flavour did live up to the deliciousness that the smell had promised. The boys absolutely loved it – pasta is their favourite for dinner, so to get approval from them means it met their high standards. Andrew decided to call it ‘special pasta’, I’m not quite sure why, maybe he could tell that it was better than the usual pasta bakes that I whip up without the sachet! Joel expressed his opinion by making loud lip snacking noises as he shovelled fistfuls into his mouth. Us adults were also pleased with a meal that was high in taste factor but low in effort factor – the sachet really did transform what could have otherwise been a fairly ordinary pasta bake.

Schwartz 3 Collage
A very happy baby with his dinner

Any problems?

Just one problem that we found was the salt content: my little boys have good appetites, so the portion they ate of the pasta bake contains all the salt in their guideline daily amount as an under 1 and an under 3. I suspect a fair amount of this also comes from the cheese as well as the flavouring. They don’t have much other salt in the day as I don’t add it to anything (including the bread we make in the bread maker), so I don’t mind them eating something like this occasionally, but I wouldn’t want them to eat it every day unless the salt content was reduced. I find this a general problem with sachet or jar sauces, so we don’t often eat them, but they are handy to have in for the odd day here and there.

Our verdict

Overall we were very impressed by the sachet. It was easy to cook and had a yummy result. I would buy it again to have in the cupboard, though as I said it would only be for occasional use with two little ones due to the salt content. It made an ordinary meal ‘special’ for us.

This post is an entry for BritMums ‘What’s for Dinner Tonight?’ sponsored by Schwartz. Find out more about the new 2in1 mixes here

Disclaimer: I was sent the sachets free of charge for the purpose of this review, but all opinions expressed are honest and my own, based on our experience of cooking with one of them.



Mackerel kedgeree – #slowcooked

I love finding bargains on the reduced shelf in the supermarket – I only really buy fresh fish when it’s there because I think it’s too expensive at full price and I think about how little a tin of tuna costs in comparison. But there is a biig difference in taste between tinned and fresh fish, which is why I grabbed the pack of mackerel fillets that were about half price last week, and stuck it in the freezer until I had chance to think what to do with them!kedgeree 1 Collage

As I was thinking, kedgeree popped into my mind – we haven’t had it for ages, and although I know it’s usually made with smoked fish, I still just fancied it and thought it would still work with unsmoked fish. So I adapted my usual basic risotto recipe to make it into kedgeree, which is basically a curried fish and egg risotto as Tom and I joked. The veg we had in the box this week included chard, and given that it’s similar to spinach and I absolutely love spinach in curries (my favourite is Chana sag – chick peas and spinach), I chucked that in too to make it an all in one dish with no need for a side veg.

kedgeree 2 Collage

The verdict amongst my three boys was very positive. Daddy was very impressed and asked for seconds, Andrew was even more impressed and asked for thirds, and Joel excitedly rocked to and fro in the high chair whilst shoving fistfuls of egg and caked on rice into his mouth! If you don’t believe them, why not give it a try yourself….

Ingredients – serves 4-5 adults

  • 250g mackerel fillets
  • 300g rice
  • 900ml hot stock
  • 1tbsp corn flour
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 100g chard or spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp hot curry powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 4 eggs


  1. Put the rice, chard, onion and stock into the slow cooker pot.
  2. Add the curry powder, turmeric and corn flour and stir.
  3. Place the mackerel fillets whole on top of the liquid where they will float.
  4. Cook on low for 3 hours on low.
  5. Whenever you have time during the cooking, hard boil the eggs, and when they are cooled, peel off the shells and chop into quarters.
  6. After the 3 hours, take the fish out and flake on a plate, then add the flaked fish back into the pot and stir until evenly distributed.
  7. Add the egg quarters and fold in carefully so that they stay in tact.
  8. Cook for a further half an hour on low.
  9. Serve straight away and you can freeze any left-overs.