In my quest to cook my way around the world I have now managed to cook a variety of recipes from 30 different countries, and yet I find myself leaning towards a few national cuisines more regularly. Perhaps it’s because they are more familiar to me, in both method and ingredients, and that I prefer the flavours?
Apart from influences from Australian, British and American chefs in their reinventions of the English speaking world’s traditional cuisine, I seem to have been heavily influenced by Mediterranean cooking.
Italian food features most prominently with Greece and Spain getting some decent kitchen time as well. Mexican food shines through, influenced by our close friends and bridal party compadres, Robot & Bicky, while Indian food, with its flavoursome vegetarian options, also plays an important role in our home.
Today’s recipe for Weekend Herb Blogging was quite outside the usual as I attempted a Lithuanian recipe from an enlightening cookbook called The Jewish Kitchen. Author Clarissa Hyman attended a Rosh Hashanah lunch in Trondheim (Norway) where she was presented with this wonderful pickled fish made by a descendant of Lithuanian Jews.
The result was firm pieces of fish in a sweet-sour sauce. In fact the overall flavour composition was very sweet and matched the white fish well.
As I was making the brine, the smells wafting from the pot made me think of the sweet brine used in Sweden's inlagd sill (a type of pickled herring). I love inlagd sill so much and I couldn’t help tweaking this Lithuanian recipe just a little to add my own spicy input (some peppercorns and allspice).
Marinuota Žuvis (Lithuanian Pickled Fish)
Recipe by Henriette Kahn, Rosa Kahn & Ida Ullman from The Jewish Kitchen by Clarissa Hyman. Serves a buffet of 8 people.
2 lb 4 oz halibut steaks
7/8 cup white wine vinegar
1 3/8 cups + 1 tablespoon sugar
1 ¾ cups water
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3-4 bay leaves
1 lemon, finely sliced
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons chopped almonds
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1) Combine all ingredients (except for fish) in a large pot and boil gently for 20 minutes.
2) Remove from heat, add fish steaks, cover then leave until mixture reaches room temperature.
3) Transfer fish to deep serving dish then spoon sauce over the top.
4) Refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving.
• I added 10 whole black peppercorns and 6 whole allspice berries.
• I also used red onions to add colour to the dish as the onions become bright pink during the brining process.
• I used flaked almonds instead of chopped.
• I had to use swordfish since halibut isn’t easily available at Sydney fish mongers.
The herb I used in this recipe was obviously the bay leaf. I use both fresh and dried bay leaves in my cooking but in this case I used dried leaves as they have a more pronounced flavour.
I have used bay leaves in a previous WHB entry and learnt that they can have a narcotic effect. Strange but true!
This week’s host for WHB is Becky from Key Lime & Coconut and I wish her luck for the mammoth task of writing the round-up!
Tags: morsels and musings food blog food and drink australia recipes weekend herb blogging whb main pickle pickled fishbuffet halibut swordfish raisins bay leaves almonds seafood seafood recipes jewish recipes jewish food jewish cuisine lithuanian recipes lithuanian food lithuanian cuisine lithuania