I have tons of memories watching my grandmother cook when I was just a little girl. And helping her set up a multitude of family style feasts at an uber long communal table in her living room. This sort of entertaining is a given at any Russian gathering be it a festive occasion or not. Until today some of my favorite dishes are and will always take me back to that time.
Bulls eye! There it is. The MAMA of it all. The essence of my existence. The salty briny fish that I cannot live without accompanied by the one constant of my rough Russian childhood....POTATOES. To me this is not just a dish it is the ultimate. Nothing can or ever will replace "kartoshka and silyodka". If asked to choose my last meal on earth I would not hesitate to say this would be it. Well maybe not quite the last meal, as there are wayyyyy to many things amongst them sushi and my famous katletki (a Russian lightly fried meat patty) the recipe to which I promise to share with you sometime soon.
Not Quite A Recipe for Potatoes and Pickled Herring-Serves 4
1. Cook 10-12 red potatoes in lightly salted water until fork tender.
2. Remove from heat, drain and toss with some butter, 2 crushed garlic cloves, and sprinkle with handful of fresh dill. (You may choose serve the potatoes plain, simply boiled with just butter)
3. Get yourself some delicious pickled herring. Los Angeles (West Hollywood in particular) is full of Russian Grocery stores where "silyodka" is sold in every way, shape and form. Preferably you can by a whole pickled herring and fillet it yourself. I warn you it is messy, takes practice, patience and rubber gloves, BUT so worth the effort. There are however a million wonderful options sold as fillets packed in oil and spices. The possibilities are endless and readily available at most grocery stores.
4. Serve the herring with a few sliced raw onions on top and the HOT potatoes.