How have your 2016 been so far?
My year have started off on the calm note – with days spent in my PJs most of the time, my face haven’t been near any makeup and I have watched tones of movies, WJHC and reading books I forgotten I ever bought. It have been so nice to finally relax after the quite hectic holidays.
Pickled herring is one of those things that people associate with Sweden. The truth is that it divides Sweden into two sides; those who love it and those who can’t stand it. I’m in the first category, it’s one of my absolute favorite things to put in my mouth, especially during the summertime.
We eat sill during our holidays as a starter but if you ever stay in a hotel here, you will probably find it on the breakfast buffet. We also eat it in restaurants in the summer, especially on the coast-side.
This is a basic-recipe, and usually how I eat my pickled herring but you can change it up endlessly. After you have pickled your herring and let it marinate in the fridge, take it out of the pickling liquid, pat them dry and transfer them to a different mix of flavorings, you’ll find some traditional suggestions at the end of the recipe.
This is what you need;
2 cups white vinegar
0,75 cup sugar
2 bay leaves
1 red onion
2 tbs whole black peppercorns
10 (or 3 pounds) salted herring fillets (see note)
Finely chopped dill
Note – the night before; rinse off the herring fillets and soak them in cold water overnight. Then drain them carefully before moving on.
Finely slice the onion. In a medium pan, heat up all ingredients except the herring, onion and dill. Bring it up to a boil, and let it simmer until all the sugar have dissolved. Then take it off the heat and allow it to cool down to room temperature.
Using a safe bowl (important, do not use aluminum, copper, brass, galvanized or iron containers! I wouldn’t use plastic either. They can react with the bowl and release either unwanted coloring or toxics)
Pour the room tempered liquid over the herring, add in the dill and onion, stir to combine. Let it marinate for at least 2 days in the fridge before serving.
Some suggestions if you want to change it up a bit;
Creme fraishe (or sour cream) + dill + roe = skagen
Creme fraishe (or sour cream) + dijon mustard + mustard seeds = senapssill
Creme fraishe (or sour cream) + mayonnaise + curry + apple = currysill
Creme fraishe (or sour cream) + mayonnaise + garlic = vitlökssill
Crushed tomato + parsly + garlic = tomatsill