Approx cost: €6
Approx preparation time: 80 minutes
Happy Saturday everyone. It’s the weekend and that means, hopefully, relaxation for everyone. I hope everyone’s been having a good week! I’m going to back soon with some more fun recipes, but for today, I’ve got a treat for you all, and something new for FiveEuroFood as well. A guest post! Please join me in welcoming Marianna, who’s come here today to cook a traditional Russian dish with a rather funny title. If you didn’t guess from the choice of dish, she’s from Russia, and a colleague of mine, living and working in Ireland for my company’s Irish office.
If you’re nice to her then maybe I’ll be able to convince her to come back and make more Russian treats, and in the meantime, I’d urge you to check out her blog where she writes about her various trips and travels around Ireland and beyond, as well as posting about tasty looking food that she eats in restaurants during these trips. You can find her blog by clicking here.
Without further ado, I’ll let the chef of the day take over!
When Charles asked me to make a guest post I gladly accepted the opportunity, because I am very much into photography and this was a chance to try something new for me. But I have to say – you people, who have food blogs, are real heroes. Cooking posts take a lot of efforts and you never really know until you try!
One of my friends has a birthday today, and I cooked a very traditional Russian dish for his party. It’s called “a herring under a fur coat“, but we call it just a “fur coat” most of the time. There are a lot of variations on the recipe, and to be honest every family has one for sure that differs in small details. We usually cook this dish (that we call a salad for some reason) on New Year’s Eve or in general for the big holiday parties, so it’s a festive dish for sure. I wonder if it seems too exotic, please tell me if it does!
Dressed Herring / Herring under a Fur Coat
- ~4 peeled potatoes
- 1 medium onion
- 3-4 trimmed and peeled carrots
- 3-4 eggs
- 6 small beetroots (or few big ones)
- 400g of marinated herring
You’ll also need:
- a grater
- A big bottle of mayonnaise
- a knife
- food-safe / cooking gloves
I wonder how many people cook in gloves? I do, well, most of the time. But I think that this dish requires it, because you need to grate beetroot which will leave your hands red. Also cutting the marinated herring is more pleasant in gloves, trust me!
A quick note regarding product availability: in Ireland I usually buy herring in the Polish stores, they always have a good selection to choose from. I prefer to buy herring marinated with lemon or herbs, it tastes better. Beetroot on the other hand is hard to find, even in the Polish stores, but Tesco or M&S usually have it marinated, which will do as well.
- At first you have to boil potatoes, carrots, eggs and the beetroot. To be honest, I boil potatoes and carrots together, I see no harm in that. Though it is possible, that carrots will color up the potatoes a bit, which will affect the end result, so this should be considered of course. This is the reason I boil the beetroot separately, cause it will color everything else in red in a minute.
- When everything is boiled, its a grating time. You have to wait until the vegetables cool down a bit, but if you are in a hurry, like for example because someone is asking “oh my God, where is the post, where is the post?” all the time, you can skip waiting of course.I prefer to grate carrots, beetroot and even potatoes, it gives a better result than mashing or cutting. Eggs and onion should be cut as well. Actually the key to a tasty fur coat is chopping the ingredients into very small pieces, as small as possible.
- I try to be careful and keep all the grated products far from each other, so they wouldn’t mix (but it happens a little bit, of course, anyway). This is what I get after everything is grated/cut into pieces:
- Now comes the easiest part (the hardest one was to chop and grate it all ) You need to take a glass bowl or a plastic container to assemble the salad. I prefer the rectangular plastic containers, but they don’t look festive at all, also it would be hard to show you the photos of the process, so I used the glass bowl this time.
The order that you use to place the layers can be totally different, it’s only a matter of habit or preferences, but I do it as follows: potatoes -> mayo -> herring -> mayo -> onion -> carrots -> mayo -> eggs -> mayo -> beetroot -> mayo as a decoration (in case you were wondering why would I need a family pack of mayo). I tried to reduce mayo in this salad, but wasn’t that tasty, so the least I can do is use a light version of it. The process looks something like this:
- You have to spread the mayo evenly, but watch out and don’t mix the layers Sometimes I decorate the top, but after few hours the mayo absorbs the color from the beetroot and becomes red. But in the first minutes it looks like this:
I have to admit, I cheated a bit and made a second small version of the salad just to show you the cut. I had an idea today when I was shopping for ingredients, and bought a small baking tray with removable walls. It turned out to be perfect for this purpose – it kept the layers in shape and when I removed the walls the salad stayed where it was
Hope this recipe was interesting for you, and if you decide to repeat it – it’s open for variations! You can add apples or cheese, change the layer orders, add less fish and more vegetables, skip the fish and make a vegetarian version – everything is possible Enjoy!