We Americans have accepted canned tuna, sometimes even sardines and anchovies, but that seems to be about it for mainstream canned fish. German supermarkets, however, have entire shelves dedicated to canned, jarred, pickled, smoked, and cured fish of all colors. Maybe it’s just that my american taste buds have not yet adapted, but I tend to avoid this entire section of the supermarket. Yes, I have occasionally tried the ever popular herring (most commonly mixed with horseradish and mayo into some kind of salad) but, for now anyway, I am happy to generously give my portion to my German husband.
Dorie mentions in her introduction to this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, Salmon and Potatoes in a Jar, that hers is actually “a modern version of a humble bistro classic, herring and potatoes.” I wonder if Ms. Greenspan knew that trying to sell herring to an american audience would have been a tough sell. As it was, I was a bit ambivalent going into the this week’s recipe. On the one hand I love salmon, but on the other hand, not so much gravlax. (which is salt & sugar cured salmon)
This recipe does take some time, but very little of it is actual hands-on time. The first day I cured the salmon in a mix of salt and sugar. On day two I boiled the potatoes and packed everything in jars with olive oil, vinegar and some spices. And on day three I served the salmon and potatoes, as per Dorie’s suggestion, with hearty buttered farmhouse bread and a squirt of lemon.
Final verdict: My husband really enjoyed it and I was actually pleasantly surprised. The salmon is cured, but very lightly so that it tastes more like fresh salmon than gravlax. The potatoes were also quite tasty and all in all I’m happy that I gave this one a try. Who knows, maybe I’ll even make it again.