Matjes Herring

While I tend to think that milk products are better matched with tea and honey, bread and mustard, or Rotel’s hot tomatoes than with fish, there is one recipe that I like. It’s delicious, nutritious, easy, and tastes kind of special even though the ingredients are pretty tame. AND IT’S FUN TO SAY!! Say it with me, people, MATJES HERRING! The emphasis is on the first syllable, the J is pronounced like a Y, and the pronunciation of the RR is a complete free-for-all: the very nice lady at the fish counter understood me even though I got nervous and rolled the rr in a Spanish way. The German way is to get the rr halfway swallowed and then pronounce it. I can’t quite get it right, but herring is a fun word to practice on because the word travels around in your mouth: the first part of the word goes down the gullet, and the second part comes right back up. OK, so, now that we’re all nice and hungry:

Matjes Herring in Cream Sauce
-sour cream and/or creme fraiche, about a pint altogether,
-peeled sweet apple in big dice
-chopped onion, rinsed if it’s very strong, in strips
-either big hunks of cornichon or some capers,
-lots of black pepper, a bit of honey and some mustard,
-filets of pickled herring, preferably the fresh kind that’s not too salty, cut into bite-sized pieces
mix the above together (it can stay in the fridge for a day at this point,) serve atop
-hot hot boiled potatoes.

The sauce starts out quite stiff, and then gets liquidy when it’s on the potatoes. The herring is surprisingly melty, and the apple, onion and pickle are nicely crunchy. It’s delicious!

p.s. I was going to tell you all about the specs for the size of the apple and onion chunks, but I have exhausted my supply of jokes about German engineering. Just make them kind of biggish.

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