19th Sep 2012

Herring - 3 Ways...

Produced in colaboration with the Marmalade Cookery School for The Bay Magazine

Food Styling & Photography by Jon Lewin

Kipper paté, Herring escabeche and crispy Herring Roe on Blini
Hear the word ‘herring’ and roll mops or smoked kippers come to mind, but herring is much more versatile than that! They are in season now and really tasty – not to mention the herring is an oily fish, rich in omega-3 fatty acids and protein, which are known to be beneficial for health.
This month we’ll teach you three ways of preparing the wonderful herring, but do bear in mind the recipes can also be made as separate dishes.
Serves 4
Ingredients for the Herring Escabeche:
4 Herrings
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 medium onion, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of fresh oregano
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 Tsp of sweet smoked paprika
Plain flour
250ml of Olive oil
50ml of white wine vinegar
50ml of white wine
Sea salt
5 black peppercorns

Ingredients for the Kippers Pate:
1 tbsp horseradish
1 tsp white wine vinegar
100g cream cheese
3 tbsp crème fraiche
A pinch of smoked paprika
250g kippers fillets
25g butter , softened
a small handful parsley , chopped
a small handful dill , chopped
½ lemon , juiced
Ground black pepper
Olive oil

Ingredients for the blini:
80g of plain flour
80 ml of luke-warm milk
5g of caster sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
1 egg, separated
5g fresh yeast
1/2 Tbsp sour cream
50g clarified butter

Ingredients for the Herring Roe:
100g herring roe
polenta flour
Vegetable oil, for frying
Sea salt
Black pepper

For serving:
Lemon juice
chives, chopped
Mixed salad

How to make the Herring Escabeche:
Start by cleaning your herrings, they need to be scaled, gutted, butter flied and bones removed, if you don't really fancy all this fish gutting, your fishmonger will be happy to do it for you.
Once they are ready and washed, lay them on a plate and sprinkle each herring with  a big pinch of salt. Place the plate in the fridge and let them rest for about 2 hours.
Now shake the salt off your herrings. Place the flour on a plate and pass the herrings through so it covers them. Shake off any excess flour.
Heat up half of your olive oil on a medium/high heat and fry your herrings until slightly golden. Remove from the frying pan and reserve in a ceramic dish. Reduce the heat on the frying pan to minimum.
Now you can start making your escabeche sauce. In the same pan and oil that you fried your herrings add the garlic, onion, the bay leaf and the remaining olive oil. Fry gently until the garlic starts to colour. Now add the oregano, thyme and black pepper and continue frying for a few more minutes.
Now it's time to add the sweet paprika and the wine. Bring to a boil so the alcohol burns off , then add the vinegar and salt and cook for another 5 minutes.
Pour over the herrings and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before eating.

How to make the Kippers Paté:

Start by pre-heating your grill, then lay the butterflied kippers on a grill tray with a little butter over each one. Grill just until the flesh starts to come away from the bones, then remove and allow to cool slightly. Once they are cool enough to handle carefully pick up the fish and remove all the bones  and skin you can find, you should end up with about 200g of kipper flesh.
Place the fish in the bowl of a food processor with the cream cheese, lemon juice and horseradish, vinegar, paprika and a good grinding of black pepper. Blend together until you have a coarse soft pâté.
Finally, pulse in the creme fraiche. Place the pâté glass bowl, mix in the chopped parsley cover with cling film and chill  in the fridge for at least one hour.
Take out of the fridge some time before serving to allow the pâté to reach room temperature. When ready to serve, drizzle with good quality olive oil, top with chopped fresh dill.

How to make the blinis:
Place the flour in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.
Add the sugar and salt to the milk, and mix well. Stir in the egg yolk and yeast, and mix until everything is  dissolved. Pour this into the well in the flour, then very slowly mix the flour with the liquid until everything is amalgamated and smooth. Leave covered in a warm, draft free place, until blini dough doubles in size, about 1 to 2 hours.
Once your dough has doubled, stir the sour cream into it. Whip the egg white to soft peaks and fold into the dough as well.
Now you are ready to cook so place a heavy, non stick pan on a medium to high flame and, using a pastry brush, brush its surface with some butter.
Once the pan is hot  ladle a dessert spoon of  dough, a few at a time, into the frying pan. Cook for 40 seconds or so until golden brown, then flip them over with the help of a spatula and cook for another 40 seconds. Remove from the heat and reserve.

How to make the Crispy Herring Roe:
Pour the polenta flour on a plate and season with salt and black pepper. Coat your herring roe in the flour and shake well.
In the meanwhile place about 1 inch of oil in a deep frying pan on a  medium heat. Once it's hot place the herring roe in and fry until golden being careful as they might spit.
Remove from the oil and dry on a paper towel.

How to assemble:
Place each blini on a plate with a dollop of pate on top. Lean one of your escabeche rolls
on the side and place a Herring roe on top of the pate. Sprinkle everything with lemon juice and fresh chives.
Serve with fresh mixed salad.