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Recipes and Cooking

Smoked herring can easily be a part of any good and healthy meal or presentation. Once the salt has been re-adjusted through a desalination process, the smoky barbeque flavour of the meat blends superbly in many gourmet dishes. The fish chopped into tiny pieces can be incorporated in any recipe that calls for delicacies such as anchovies and caviar. The people in the Caribbean's - for example - cook their herrings in water first to remove all the bones and then they use the remaining meat as a spice and flavour enhancer in their favourite tomato-based sauces. The sauces are then usually poured over a bed of rice. The smoke herring is what creates the special succulent flavour of their secret family recipes.

There are quite a number of ways to enjoy smoked herring like bloaters. Eating the naturally cured strips of the bloater meat (as is) is very popular amongst Acadians. For many, it is as popular as beef jerky while others simply use it in their favourite recipes.

Before cooking however, the fish would normally have to undergo desalination period in water or milk for 24 to 48 hours (depending on your taste for salt). Then, one would remove as much bones as possible and chop the meat them into small thin pieces or bigger pieces depending on the recipe.

Here are a few ways to enjoy smoked herring in cooking:

  • Chop them up into small pieces and add them to a tomato-base sauce for spaghetti or rice (especially if you intend to use with other seafood like clams and scallops). Chopped bloaters add that extra flavouring.
  • Use chopped smokes herrings in a sauté of favourite vegetables. Pour the mixture over a bed of rice pilaf.
  • Use chopped herring as a substitute for any dish that requires anchovies.
  • Add thinly chopped pieces in your Pizza sauce. It's guaranteed to make all Pizza lovers salivate and anchovies envious!
  • Use it in beautiful salads such as Cesar's. Just crush and mix with your favourite salad dressing.
  • Chop larger pieces of desalted fish and boil then in water. Serve with a side of potatoes and other favourite veggies.
Avocado Mousse with Smoke Herring Filets
  • 3 to 4 avocados
  • 4 slices of smoked herring filets (de-boned and desalinated)
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1/4 once gelatine packaged (dissolved in a small amount of hot water)
  • 2 limes

Method:

Cut the avocadoes in half and scoop out the meat from the remaining halves. Add in a blender along with the juice of a lime and purée. Add the gelatine to the mixture. Continue blending the mixture while adding the sour cream. Pour the mixture in ramekins, cover with wrap and refrigerate for 2 1/2 hours.

Carefully remove the mousse from the ramekins onto small serving plates. Cut the filets into very thin strips and garnish the mousse with the herring strips. Serve with crackers and other vegetables.

Herring Gundy

(A dish from the Danish Virgin Islands adapted from Carol Bareuther's recipe.)

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds of salted or smoked herring (desalinated as needed)
  • 1 1/2 pounds of boiled potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 to 2 green peppers
  • 1 hot pepper (or flakes)
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped olives
  • 1 cup of salad oil
  • 1/4 cup of vinegar
  • 1 cup of diced beets
  • 1/2 cup of fresh grated carrots
  • Parsley
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, chopped

Method:

Remove bones and skin from the filets. Add potatoes, herring, onion, peppers, olives, oil and vinegar in a blender. Blend well. Serve on dinner plates. Garnish with remaining ingredients.

The Marinade

(A dish from the French Caribbean's.)

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup of thinly sliced smoked herring (you can add shrimps or other fish)
  • 2 egg whites stiffly beaten
  • 1 onion or scallions cut in pieces
  • 1/8 tsp ground mace or nutmeg
  • 2 peppercorns
  • parsley (about a tsp)
  • 1 tsp of lime or lemon juice
  • 4 to 5 drops of Tabasco sauce
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 3/4 Tbsp of baking powder
  • 2 1/2 cup of water
  • Peanut oil for frying (360 degrees F)

Method:

In a blender, chop the following ingredients to a paste: peppercorns, onions, parsley, mace, lime juice and Tabasco. In bowl, mix the flour and baking powder. Incorporate the water, the blended paste, egg yolk and the smoked herring. Fold in the egg whites.

Pour the batter in tablespoonful in the hot frying oil (use a pan) and spread in a circular motion. Fry until golden brown and drain on absorbent paper. Serve hot with favourite condiment and veggies.


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