Ahhh… Summer! After hurricane Ophelia 8 months ago, some dramatic snow falls in March, we are now getting a proper heatwave; and I don’t mean 19 c heatwave, no-no, I mean proper nearly 30 c which hasn’t been seen since 1976… I remember it you know, summers of 1976 and 1979, forest fires everywhere; we almost got caught up in one once, scary really! The Canadair Fire fighting planes flew all the way from the south of France to Brittany… But what I remember most, is all these long hours swimming in the sea, or at least learn how to, with my sister and my Dad, Mum carefully watching us from the safety of the shore…
I also remember the picnics on the beach, we had to plan our trip well with the tides as the waters of the Golfe are no fun and very muddy when the sea is far, but it was always a little warmer than the nearby ocean, the “Mor Braz” ( Big Sea) and we were right there, in the “Mor Bihan” ( Little Sea), the only department ( County) with a Breton name then. Yes, lunch was often made of rice and tuna salad, with tomatoes and sweet corn, I remember it well and I can still taste the sand between my teeth!
So this fond memories inspired me for the next recipe; I was craving a bit of fish and rice and I came up with a Gumbo like dish, a bit Cajun somewhere, maybe it was the beautiful day outside, or talking to my friend Illyanna from Sacramento, or was it the music I was playing? Hard to tell!
My friend Sally from Woodcock Smokery gave me a nice piece of smoked haddock and it had to be used, too hot for a chowder I guess, so this dish did very nicely!
- 200 g of smoked white fish ( good quality and properly smoked)
- 1 small leek
- 3 garlic scapes
- 1 small courgette
- 1 small fennel
- milk ( for the fish)
- a bit of saffron
- 1 lime
- a handful of fresh peas
- Good quality rice ( I used Basmati for this one)
For the Spices…
- black pepper
- mustard seeds
- 1 garlic clove
- olive oil
First, prepare the fish in a bit of milk, garlic and fennel, bring to the boil and let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes max…
While this was happening, I realised I had a few fresh peas from last week, perfect to use in this dish!
Once the fish is cool, crumble it in a bowl, and set aside …
Finely chop the leek, fennel and garlic scapes…
Nearly there, now rinse the rice well in cold water…
Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat, add the rice in with a bit of saffron; let in cook for 10 minutes, drain, cool and cover…
In a pan with olive oil, start frying the vegetables gently with salt and then the spices. Add the fish and then the rice and stir carefully. Don’t forget the peas at the end, and I grilled a few slices of courgette to put on the side as well as fresh lime and it was delicious…
Keep Well and Eat Happy