COCKTAIL: Sill & Dill From The Swedish Club (RECIPE)

Sill & Dill – Herring & Dill Martini – from the Swedish Club for Alaska Herring Week 2017! Photo by Zachary D. Lyons.

A herring cocktail, you say? Why, yes! It is!

Meet Sill & Dill, a herring and dill martini from the Swedish Club for Alaska Herring Week 2017! They are serving it in their bar on Wednesday, June 21st during their Fried Herring Dinner, and on Friday, June 23rd during their Midsommar Smörgåsbord, but if you want to try it, you had better make reservations in advance, as tickets will sell out!

Wanna make this at home? You’ll find the booze and pickled herring at Old Ballard Liquor Co. Here’s the recipe:

Sill & Dill
A Herring & Dill Martini

by Maureen Mullen, Bartender, Swedish Club

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 oz Old Ballard Dill Midsommar Aquavit
  • 2 1/2 oz Old Ballard Well Vodka
  • pickled herring
  • 1 lemon
  • dill fronds

Combine and ice spirits, stir and pour into coupe. Garnish with pickled herring, a lemon twist and a dill frond.

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RECIPE: Swedish Pickled Herring Plate from Old Ballard Liquor Co.

Swedish Pickled Herring Plate from Old Ballard Liquor Co. for Alaska Herring Week. Photo courtesy Old Ballard Liquor Co.

The Swedish Pickled Herring Plate from Old Ballard Liquor Co. for Alaska Herring Week, features pickled herring five ways. While the perfect Midsommar treat, it is available year-round at Old Ballard, though flavors may vary. Wanna make this at home? At Old Ballard Liquor Co., you can also purchase the same Alaska Herring fillets being used by Seattle’s top chefs for Alaska Herring Week! Once you’ve done that, here’s the recipe:

Swedish Pickled Herring Plate (Allow 7 days)

Step 1: Salt the Herring

Make a 25% salt brine using the following proportions, and scale up to whatever quantity is needed:

25g Salt per 100mls of Water

Bring the solution to a boil until the salt dissolves, and then cool in the refrigerator to 35-40 degrees.

Refrigerate and brine the herring fillets in the salt brine for three days.

Step 2: Make the Herring Pickle Brine

Add the following ingredients to a large pot and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally:

  • 1 C Water
  • 2 C White Sugar
  • 2 C Distilled White Vinegar
  • 2 Tbl Allspice Berries
  • 4 ea Crumbled Bay Leaves
  • 1 Clove

Turn off the heat and allow to steep for 30 minutes.  Do not remove spices.  Chill overnight to 35-40 degrees. Brine can be refrigerated and should be used within 60 days.

Step 3: Soak and Peel the Herring

  • Soak the salted herring for one hour in fresh, cold water
  • Change the water and soak the herring for a second hour.
  • Peel the skin off of the fillets and trim off any large rib bones or bruised portions.

Step 3: Pickle the Herring

Cut the fillets into serving size pieces

Drain the water, put the pieces into a plastic or glass (nonreactive) container and cover with pickling brine.

Refrigerate and allow to pickle for a minimum of three days

Step 4: Flavored Pickled Herring

In a clean, dry container, layer the pickled herring with spices, fruit or vegetables.  Cover with fresh brine and allow to sit for a minimum of 24 hours.

  •     Onion Herring
  •     Lemon Herring
  •     Dill Herring
  •     Nectarine-Cardamom Herring
  •     Etc…

Step 5: Cream Herrings

For cream herrings, drain the pickled herring well and make a cream of:

  • 1 Cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • Powdered spices to taste

Mix the cream with the herring and refrigerate.

  •     Sour Cream
  •     Curry Cream
  •     Horseradish Cream
  •     Garlic Cream
  •     Etc…

RECIPE: Smoked-Then-Fried Herring From Old Ballard Liquor Co.

Smoked-Then-Fried Herring from Old Ballard Liquor Co. for Alaska Herring Week 2017! Photo courtesy Old Ballard Liquor Co.

Meet Smoked-Then-Fried Herring, just one of the herring dishes being offered by Old Ballard Liquor Co. for Alaska Herring Week 2017! Wanna make this at home? At Old Ballard Liquor Co., you can purchase the same Alaska Herring fillets being used by Seattle’s top chefs for Alaska Herring Week! Once you’ve done that, here’s the recipe:

RECIPE: Smoked-Then-Fried Herring

Tasty Smoking Brine

You’ll need:

  • 1 C Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ C Pickling Salt
  • 1 C Sugar
  • 1 tsp Juniper Berries
  • 1 tsp Allspice Berries
  • ½ tsp White Peppercorns
  • 6 C Ice Cubes

Prepare the Brine:

Add all ingredients except the ice cubes to a pot and bring to a boil, then remove from heat and allow to steep for 30 minutes. Add the ice to cool the brine. Store brine in the refrigerator for up to 45 days if not used immediately.

Prepare the Herring:

Peel the skin off of the Alaskan herring fillets, and brine for 2-3 hours.

Lay the fillets on a cooling rack on a small pan and put uncovered into a refrigerator for three hours to dry slightly.  The fish should be sticky to the touch when ready.

Cold smoke the herring in alder smoke at 120 degrees max for 30—45 minutes.

Remove from the smoker. If the fish is dry to the touch, moisten by lightly brushing fresh brine over both sides.  Set aside.

In a wide frying pan, heat ¼ Cup clarified butter on medium-high heat (substitute 1/8C butter + 1/8C canola oil).

Dredge the fish in plain, unseasoned rye flour.

Pan-fry on each side until golden.

Serve with mashed potatoes and sweet dill cucumber pickles (pressgurka).

Don’t Miss Tumble Swede, From Old Ballard Liquor Company, At Ballard Seafood Fest & Bite Of Seattle!

 

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Traditional Swedish Pickled Herrings Bord from Old Ballard Liquor Co.!

Tumble Swede is the Scandinavian restaurant popup side project of the Old Ballard Liquor Co. They’re bringing Scandinavian street food to Seattle this summer with booths at both Ballard Seafood Fest, July 9 & 10, and the Bite of Seattle, July 15-17. Serving up a variety of sandwiches and hot foods, the two Pacific herring specialties are a must-try. A Danish sandwich featuring coriander pickled herring and apple salad with a beet crème fraiche, or Lexi’s own take on a classic street food, smoked-then-fried herring served with mashed potatoes and cucumber vinaigrette. It may not feel like summer, but these herringlicious dishes are sure to warm your body and your soul!

Recipe: Basic Brines from Old Ballard Liquor Co.

FreshHerringFillets
Freshly filleted Togiak herring for Northwest Herring Week at the North Pacific Seafoods plant in Naknek, Alaska, on Bristol Bay.

If you would like to try your hand at preparing herring at home, it is available from several Seattle retailers as fillets.

All small, delicious, nutritious oily fish like sardines, anchovies, smelt and herring have small pin bones that are not easily removed by filleting, but these bones are not unsafe to eat. It’s more a texture/psychology issue for eaters. Because Togiak, Alaska herring are larger than most, their pin bones are a little larger, too. If you have an issue with these little bones, we recommend that you marinate your herring in an acidic brine before you proceed with the rest of your recipe. Here are two such brine recipes from Old Ballard Liquor Co.

Basic Bone Softening Brine:

  • 1 Cup Distilled White Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice

Brine fillets for 2-3 hours, then pour off brine.

(Optional) At this point, if you would like to remove the vinegar taste from the fish before moving forward with your recipe, soak the brined fillets in ice water for 30 minutes, change the water and soak for another 30.

Tasty smoking/marinade brine:

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup pickling salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries
  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole white peppercorns
  • 6 cups of ice cubes

Add all ingredients to a pan and bring to a boil, then turn the heat off and allow to steep for 30 minutes.  Add the ice cubes to chill the brine. When brine is fully cool, brine the fillets for 2-3 hours.

Old Ballard Liquor Co. Unveils Traditional Swedish Pickled Herrings Bord

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Traditional Swedish Pickled Herrings Bord from Old Ballard Liquor Co. for NW Herring Week!

Old Ballard Liquor Co.’s Traditional Swedish Pickled Herrings Bord includes Blood Orange & Rhubarb, Classic Inlagd Sill, Curry Cream Herring with Tart Apple, Dill Herring, and Smoked Cream with Chives and Citrus Zest. Served with rye and barley flatbread, of course!

Old Ballard also has the following herring products for sale for you to take home… or wherever you are going. We try not to judge.

  • Frozen fillets
  • Salt fillets
  • Smoked pacific herring (canned)
  • Pickled herring by the pound