SOUSED HERRINGS with MUSTARD and HERBS
The Scandinavian Kitchen
by Camilla Plum
Herrings and other fish are often salted before curing, but there is also a wealth of cured fish recipes, prepared with freshly caught fish, without initial salting. These herrings are delicious and the same marinades can be used as for soaked, salted, and spiced herrings, if you keep an eye on the salt. You can use any other fresh, fatty fish in these recipes, such as mackerel.
This is easy to make. The herrings will keep for a week, if you omit the herbs and put them on just before eating; in fact, they will get better and better.
• Rye flour, for coating
• Salt and pepper
• 10 double herring fillets
• 5 tablespoons coarse-grain Dijon mustard
• Lots of butter, for frying
• 2 large red onions, sliced into rings
• 2 handfuls of herbs: a mixture of dill, chervil, parsley, chives, and tarragon, chopped
• 4½ in. piece of horseradish, grated into long strands (optional)
For the pickle
• Generous 3/4 cup cider vinegar
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
• 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Season the flour with salt and pepper; then use to coat the fillets. Spread the inside of each double fillet with a tablespoon of mustard and fold it in half.
Heat the butter in a skillet and, when it is golden brown, add the fillets and fry until crispy, this takes only a few minutes on each side. Place them in a deep dish.
Put all the ingredients for the pickle in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Set aside to cool a little, then pour over the fish when both the fillets and pickle liquid are lukewarm. Cover with the onion rings and a serious layer of chopped herbs (make sure these are washed thoroughly), along with some horseradish if you'd like an extra kick.
The herrings can be eaten straightaway or at any temperature, besides cold from the refrigerator. You can reheat them in the souse, if you prefer. More simply, serve the fillets on buttered rye bread, with more onion rings.
Leftover herrings should be kept in a cool place, but not the refrigerator; as this will stiffen the fish, and the butter.
TIP: As an alternative to the above recipe, you can sandwich the fillets around an apple-horseradish sauce and spice them with cider vinegar instead of the pickle. You can eat them while they are still hot, with rye bread on the side, of course.