Food, wine, and herring

It isn't easy convincing everyone to taste pickled herring. It is a bit of an acquired taste, which is the nice way of saying if you didn't grow up eating it, you'll probably wrinkle your nose with disgust the first time you take a bite. When faced with an unusual or unpopular ingredient, many of us reach for the deep-fryer. 

This weekend is the Food and Wine Experience in Minneapolis. I'll be working with Ingebretsen's to showcase Nordic ingredients prepared in new ways (the Swedish homecook works for the Norwegian grocer and preps for event in a Danish kitchen. That is the trifecta of Scandinavian food.). Our menu includes tempura battered pickled herring served with a lingonberry hot sauce. Will this flavor combination tempt any newcomers? 

I keep fantasizing about serving these nuggets atop rye-dill waffles. Move over chicken and waffles, we've got herring on rye. Need more ideas for serving pickled herring? Try the po- boy recipe at Called to the Table. 

Tempura-Fried Pickled Herring with Lingonberry Hot Sauce
Serving suggestion: serve with savory rye-dill waffles 
Serves 4 to 6 

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour + ¾ cup flour for dusting
1 tablespoons baking powder
1 cup soda
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons dill flavored aquavit (such as Gamle Ode), optional
1 pound pickled herring
Quart peanut or vegetable oil

Whisk together the 1 ½ cups flour and baking powder in a deep bowl. Gently stir in soda, eggs, and aquavit until loose batter forms (do not over mix; batter should be lumpy). Refrigerate or put bowl over ice until ready to use.

Rinse herring pieces well in cold water, remove onions and other pickling bits, and pat dry with paper towels. Pour remaining ¾ cup flour into a separate shallow dish and dredge herring in the flour.

Dip the herring pieces into the batter so that they are well coated.

Bring peanut oil to 350 degrees over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pot and deep-fry the herring, about 8 at a time, for about 1 to 2 minutes. Use a metal slotted spoon or spider to remove the herring from the oil and place on a paper towel-lined plate; salt.

Serve with lingonberry hot sauce.

For the hot sauce: Combine 1 part hot sauce to 1 part lingonberry syrup.


Julia said…
Lingonberry + hot sauce, how genious! I am literally salavating? reading this post!!
patrice said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
patrice said…
Thanks Julia - and it is so easy to put together!

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