Thursday, January 27, 2011

Layered Herring Salad--Not Only for a Snowy Day

It was supposed to be a different post and a different recipe, but a snow blizzard came and my plan had to change.

Let's say that you do not have the best of days and in fact it is one of those when nothing works or makes sense. And then comes the snow and makes everything even worse. It falls fast and freezes everything, including the electricity lines, which in my quaint neighborhood are not buried under the ground. So, obviously, after a couple of warnings with lights going on and off, just before midnight, you have a complete power outage.

You wake up in the morning in a cold room. No cup of freshly brewed coffee, which is a highlight of every morning. No warm pancakes for kids. Your internet connection is dead, which means no access to the blog, and soon enough your phone also dies. And no one knows how long this is going to last.

Having not much to do, I took a package of sad-looking herring fillets out of my rapidly defrosting refrigerator, laid them on the snow and started shooting photos. Herring salad was on my weekend menu, but I was forced to use them sooner.

But, suddenly, after "just" 10 hours power is back and the sun is up in the sky. What a beautiful day! All the problems dissolve in a cup of hot coffee. It turns out we do not need that much to be happy, and we discover that when the obvious, small things that we take for granted are taken away from us.

It was already too late to start making fresh bread for lunch. Instead I made a cold herring salad and took a slice of bread from the freezer. It is a simple salad, made of ingredients that are easily available all year around. One extra thing you really need is a glass dish for attractive presentation.

Layered Herring Salad

1 pack (12 oz) Matjes herring fillets in oil--about 6-8 fillets,
1 large onion,
3 beets roasted or cooked (canned can be used as a substitute),
3 medium carrots cooked,
3 hard boiled eggs,
1 cup mayonnaise,
1 cup chopped fresh parsley,
salt and pepper.

1. Drain herrings from oil, cut into small cubes, and lay on the bottom of a glass dish.
2. Chop onion and put on top of herrings.
3. Grate beets on a large hole grater and put on top of onion.
4. Grate carrots the same way as beets and put them on to of beets.
5. Cut eggs into small cubes and cover the beets. Salt and pepper them generously on top.
6. Cover the top (egg) layer with mayonnaise.
7. Make the last layer by covering mayonnaise with chopped parsley.

While serving this salad you must reach to the bottom of the dish, so the ingredients from all layers get scooped.

Mix gently all the layers on the plate and serve it with whole wheat bread, while looking through the windows at the beautiful winter scenery.

Enjoy the snow, electricity, and the herring salad!

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