Monday, July 29, 2013

Herring Po Boys

I was a little smug when I heard that the great team at Fika were preparing herring po boys for last week's Cocktails at the Castle event. The American Swedish Institute celebration drew both hipsters and long-time ASI members, and we mingled at the mansion to gawk at the glass blower and hool-a-hooping dancers, and indulge in aquavit beverages and live music. The hyttsill commemorated a Swedish tradition where communities come together for glass blowing, music, and a meal.

Which brings us back to the po boys. Great minds think alike, right?

A few weeks ago I fried up a few chunks of pickled herring for a Nordic po boy. I thought my sandwich was pretty outstanding (first photo below). Until I ate the Fika (un-pickled) version (second photo below). They just keep raising the bar.

My recipe is a worthy home cooked meal. Pickled Herring Po Boys will be great for tailgating (seriously, football season is almost upon us) and I'll make minies for cocktail parties. Once kohlrabi is out of season I'll replace the quick-pickles with crisp lettuce or cabbage.

Fried Herring Po Boys with Quick-Pickled Kohlrabi
2 servings

For the herring:
12 to 18 pickled herring fillets (approximately 1 inch squares)
2 large eggs
½ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ cup each Panko bread crumbs and corn meal
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil for frying

Rinse the herring well with cold water and pat dry with paper towels.

In shallow bowl beat eggs and season with allspice and cayenne.

On large plate stir together Panko and corn meal.

Add vegetable oil to large sauté pan until it is 1-inch deep. Over medium heat bring oil to 375 degrees.

Dip herring in eggs, then crumb-meal, and fry in small batches until each side is golden; about 45 seconds to 1 minute each side. Drain on metal rack over paper towels. Season with salt and pepper.

For the pickled kohlrabi:
1 cup water
½ cup each apple cider vinegar and sugar
1 teaspoon each fennel and caraway seeds
2 cups grated kohlrabi
1 cup grated apple

In small sauce pan whisk together water, vinegar, and sugar; bring to a simmer and cook until sugar dissolves. Stir in fennel and caraway; let mixture come to room temperature. Pour mixture over kohlrabi and apple and chill at least 2 hours before serving.

Pickled Herring Po Boy

Fika's Herring Po Boy

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