Herring Under A Fur Coat

Serves: 4-6
Approx cost: €6
Approx preparation time:  80 minutes

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #0B0B61;”]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!

 _______________________________________________

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #0B0B61;”]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

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Ingredients

Vegetables

Herring

  • ~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:

Additional ingredients

  • 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.

Instructions

  1. 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.
    Boiling the carrots and potatoes
  2. 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.
    Grating time
  3. 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:

  4. 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:
    Layering it up
  5. 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:
    The fur coat

    The fur coat

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!

Comments

  1. Clare says

    Looks nice! And, something I can finally make in China ( the land with no ovens!) I have a Russian colleague at work, so I may make this to surprise her when she next comes to dinner. Thanks.

    • says

      Thank you, Clare! Do you have this kind of herring in China? That would be great ) Btw, maybe you know what about Russian food in general in China, I heard that it’s hard to find something like that there?

    • says

      Hi Clare – nice, I’ve been wondering if one couldn’t substitute some of the mayo for something like creme fraiche (not sure if you can get that in China), or something similar. Not sure what Marianna has to say to that!

      • says

        It could work, if you’d like to have a more neutral taste, I think that creme fraiche would taste great in combination with potatoes and beetroot! Mayo adds this specific taste, but indeed it could be hard to get one in Asia, as far as I know they sell smth called an “egg sauce” that is basically a mayo.

  2. says

    Charles, do you remember my layered herring salad? This is exactly the same salad, but with a bit different order + carrots (but my salad has also a carrot version). Funny, isn’t it? But the funniest thing is to see Polish herrings in oil on your blog (very surprising here!). (By the way I wouldn’t call them marinated since they are salted, then packed with a brine where vinegar is hardly perceptible, they are not really acid… I remember I have always had problems with the English word for these herrings because there are other herrings, marinated in vinegar, such as rollmops…) Anyway, the salad looks gorgeous and I KNOW it tastes heavenly. It’s my favourite herring salad!
    Thank you, Marianna, for making more popular this excellent recipe!

    • says

      Sissi, thanks a lot! I agree that it’s hard to find a word for herring, thought about using a “salted” one, but then again we have a salted herring and tastes a bit different. So I posted a photo of packaging in case someone tries to repeat the recipe and finds it in the store )
      Do you have a link to your verion of this salad, would be great to see it! In which order to you put the layers? )

      • says

        Hi, Marianna, thank you for your answer. Here is my Layered Herring Salad (the photo is not half as appetising as yours): http://www.withaglass.com/?p=7341 I have always thought it was typically Polish ;-) on the other hand I have made it several times here with… Russian herrings! (Exactly like the Polish ones you have used; they were fatter and tasted much better than the Swiss ones I usually buy, but they stopped selling them).
        I know what you mean by salted herrings… They are different. I usually call the ones for this salad “herrings in oil”, although it can mean a lot of things.
        I put first herrings, then onion, then potatoes, then beetroot, then eggs and mayonnaise at the end of course.
        I must try one day your version with carrots, they add such a beautiful orange colour! (And also with red onions! I always use white onion).

        • says

          Sissi, thanks a lot for the link! It looks really tasty! Carrots add a nice color indeed, but also they soften up the herring taste a bit, which is why I appreciate them as an ingredient.

    • says

      Hi Sissi – I remember well your delicious looking salad – in fact, I’m really looking forward to the coming spring/summer because that means only one thing… lots and lots of herring salads, sitting out on my balcony in the evening sun…. aaaaah, I can’t wait :)

  3. says

    I am not familiar with many Russian dishes and this one is quite interesting. What a great guest post. I’ll pop over to your blog to check it out.
    BTW Charles, I saw Barb (Profiteroles and Ponytails) last night and she had JUST RECEIVED the little hobbit that you gave away. OMG, it is so cute!

    • says

      Thank you very much, Eva! Russian food is interesting, and I am very glad that you don’t find it too exotic ) I will try to make something else for Charles sometime in the future, just need to pick a recipe….. )

  4. says

    Marianna, thank you for this excellent guest post. Your “Herring Under A Fur Coat” (love that name), is absolutely gorgeous… I don’t believe we have anything quite like this in North America – the closest I can think of is Cob Salad but yours is more like a work of art…a layered cake of exquisite colour and delight. And your photos really bring this to life… In fact, I just called my husband over (who is a painter) to have a look at your colour combinations… the purples and oranges are fantastic! I’ve never worn gloves when preparing food but love this tip for working with beets! Brilliant. Thanks Marianna (and Charles) for bringing us this delightful post.

    • says

      Thank you so much, Kelly! It’s very flattering to hear this about my pictures, glad you liked them! )
      How do you cook your cob salad, do you put the ingredients in layers or do you mix them?
      Cooking in gloves has it’s downsides as well, of course – it’s hard to feel the texture and to measure things, but for grating the beetroot they could be useful indeed!

    • says

      Thanks Kelly – I hear on good authority that Marianna makes good pelmeni – maybe we could ask her to make that in a few weeks…. (hint, hint) :)

      • says

        Hehe I will make some, sure ) Sometime after France though. It won’t be that colorful, pelmeni is pelmeni, but the process is interesting, I guess.. )

  5. says

    What a gorgeous dish! I love the colorful layers…so festive. Thanks, Marianna, for sharing this neat salad. Such an interesting guest, Charles…a new blog and new dish to check out :)

  6. says

    What a cute name! And so colorful! I think I have seen this at a few other blogs a while ago. Now I’m wondering if I should make this, with a herring substitute (not sure if we have that here) … say salmon, I could call it Salmon under a fur coat then?

    • says

      Hmmm, do you think you have some kind of salted/marinated fish, something like sardines or salted mackerel?
      But salmon could work of course, you can try to use salted salmon, that would be something interesting! Don’t forget to share the results, would be very interesting to know how it went )

  7. says

    What a colourful dish! And that is definitely a new recipe for me. Here in Australia we don’t eat herring too often – more barramundi! So it is lovely for me to see a recipe from a different part of the world. Love the purple background in the photos!

    • says

      Thanks a lot! It’s hard to make oily fish look sexy, but I tried my best (
      Don’t think I’ve even tried barramundi, but it looks like something delicious! )

  8. says

    THanks Marianna for this guest post. I’m not too familiar with Russian cuisine but I do love the fresh grated veggies and the colors are so beautiful too. I love the name, very catchy and funny too! Thanks Charles for having Marianna share your recipe, I look forward to more guest posts and of course to your fun recipes too!
    BTW, I love your blog Marianna, I took a peak and can’t wait to explore more!

    • says

      Lisa, thank you so much! Russian cuisine is interesting, and I enjoyed writing this post, cause dont know, I am used to this food and it was very cool to present it this way to so many nice people )

  9. says

    I’m amazed at all the effort you made to create and post this salad. I’m not a big salad eater, a caesar is about it for me, but this seems almost like a meal in itself. It’s certainly very colourful. :0

    • says

      Thank you! ) I tried my best, I had to compete with Charles ofc! ) In Russia it’s some kind of a starter that people put on the table in the beginning of the celebration dinner. Doesn’t look like it, and I agree that it could totally be a meal on its own )

  10. says

    That salad looks so colorful and I am loving the name for her dish. Very fancy. I am hopping over to her space to check out her blog. Hope you had a lovely weekend.

  11. says

    Dear Marianna,

    I have to say herring is not quite our staple diet here in Australia although I like sardines in tomato sauce as a filling for sandwiches. But I imagine this dish to taste quite delicious especially when you have the combination of hard boiled eggs and mayo :)

    • says

      Thanks, Chopinand! Sardines are close enough! ) They sell herring in tomato sauce sometimes as well, though the sauce adds a lot of taste of course.

  12. says

    Thank you Charles for introducing us to Marianna and this lovely Russian dish. I have to say I don’t know much about Russian dishes and would love to see more of them.
    This salad is so colorful and elegant and I look forward to trying it, I may try a vegetarian version because I don’t think I can find the herring here.
    You are a talented photographer by the way Marianna :)

    • says

      Sawsan, thank you very much for the compliments! )
      Vegetarian version of this salad could be quiet interesting, one of my friends already asked me about it, but it’s had to make up a replacepent for the herring. Maybe salted pickles?… Need to read more about it)

  13. says

    My net was a shocker yesterday because of the storms, it was as slow as a snail (if not slower). This recipe wouldn’t load! Finally I got to see it today, and I’m glad I did, at first sight it looks like a sweet treat (especially that Charles said the word “treat”!)
    But I LOVE IT! It’s like this super healthy version of a fake cake! :D

    Glad to get to know a Russian dish, about time really, since I don’t know any! :) Hope you’ll be posting back some more guest posts, Marianna…

    • says

      Fati, thank you so much! I will post something else sometime later, Charles wants me to make the pelmeni, so I will try to arrange that ) Don’t know if it will be as colorful though, but I will try my best )

  14. says

    Miarianna,
    What a beautiful dish! I was asking my Russian colleague Anastasia about this dish this morning and she says it is one of her favourites. (Her mom makes it for special occasions.) I’m going to pass this post along to her. Thank you for introducing it to us — I’m not that familiar with Russian cooking.

    Charles — thank you again for the lovely give-away. I received it on Friday and took “the little man” to dinner so that I could show Eva. We took a picture with him, and I will forward the picture to you by email shortly. Thank you again!

  15. says

    Love the name of the salad:)The brilliant colors of carrot and beet look so beautiful! I would love to try this out at home. Thnks for sharing the recipe Marianna and Charles for hosting it.

  16. says

    This was definitely an amazing guest post Charles.. and I loved seeing all the food shots as well :). Marianna, you definitely have such a wonderful talent.. I can’t wait to see more from you at your blog :)

  17. says

    Marianna, that is one beautiful dish and your photos are stunning! Love the colors of this dish and I must say, you are quite the artist with a squeeze bottle as well. I could never hope to do something that artful looking with mayo! Thanks for sharing this interesting recipe…and one I was completely unfamiliar with, but sure won’t forget the name..love it. ;)

    • says

      Hehe, I know herring at least isn’t to everyone’s tastes. Personally I adore the stuff, but a number of my friends absolutely detest the stuff. To each their own of course, and I fully agree – the name is absolutely awesome :D

  18. says

    Wow, Charles and Marianna, great post! We often make this dish but without eggs and carrots. It is hard to find salted herring here though. I am so surprised to see this! Charles, well done!

    • says

      Hi Marina – apologies, I completely forgot to reply to your comment! It was a very nice surprise for Marianna to introduce me to such a fun dish, and so pretty too!

  19. says

    I knwo this was a long ago post, but it popped up in your home page and I couldn’t resist clicking on it. Not only is the name fascinating, the look of it just screamed at me! Just look at all those disco-esque colours. enjoyed reading about it(:

  20. says

    I just came over from Nami’s – have heard a lot about you there and around, nice to finally “meet you”. When I saw this recipe on your homepage I knew exactly what it was as we have a dish by a similar name in Poland – it’s under a doona of sour cream and cheese though. I like the lighter vege option. Herring is one of those things I make from time to time to taste home, now that I’ve been living in Australia for over a decade.

    • says

      Hi Martyna – thanks so much for stopping by! Sour cream sounds like an amazing addition… I still can’t seem to find that stuff in France sadly… maybe I’m looking in the wrong places!

      I absolutely LOVE herring – trips to IKEA are dangerous for me because I always buy so much of the stuff, lol :D

  21. says

    I never cook in glover. Not even when I have to grate the beetroot, and my hands are always red :) When I read the ingredients and preparations I know it will be great. At the beginning I thought it was a cake and when I’ve noticed the herring between the ingredients I was confused. But Russians know how to cook! It must have been amazing! Very nice pictures as well.

    • says

      Hi Marta,

      I had one myself very recently, made by another friend. It’s a really tasty dish… it reminds me a lot of Swedish cooking too actually, where my wife is from. I love that it can be modified so easily to suit different tastes too… really tasty :)

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