Herring Under its Fur
To finish off our Russian feast, we served the famed Seledka pod shube (Herring Under its Fur). It is a quintessential salad that combines some of our favorite ingredients. Honestly, I have not eaten it that many times in my life, since my family almost always chose to make the Olivier, a more chop and mix kind of dish, but I relish it anytime it is on a menu. To make this dish properly, you need to accept that you will have red-stained hands that smell of salted fish…but boy is it worth it.
And it is such a beautiful salad! A myriad of complements for all the senses. The reddish-purple beets complement beautifully with the yellows of your eggs (that is why I choose to slice and scallop my eggs instead of shredding them as is the general custom). The starchy potatoes, sharp shallots, and salty herring balances with the creamy carrot and mayonnaise mixture. It is glorious! And look at that photo, I cannot stop staring!
Well, it finally happened! Nico and I domesticated! I keep having to explain this to everyone. What is a Domestic Union? Well, it’s not quite marriage, but its official! Nico and I decided we wanted to share our health insurance and be able to visit each other in the hospital, but weren’t quite ready to figure out how to do our taxes together. And we get to throw ourselves a party, but don’t have to worry about any crazy ceremony.
Everything we do here at Chez Nous is about bringing people together and building a community, last Sunday, we brought people together to celebrate our union, it was great! To commemorate our love of food and each other, we decided to cook French and Russian food, to reflect our heritage. We didn’t want to worry about courses and serving our 50 guests, so everything went on the table at the same time, an epic buffet, as if from those old Russian royal fairytale feast illustrations from my Communist-era books.
We served a lovely cheese array (Check out our Cheese Plate Guide here), and made a variety of pates including our our Baked Camembert with Porcini Mushrooms and Fig Jam, Duck Terrine with Shallot Jam, Olive and Almond Tapenade, and Sardine Riclettes. We served these beauties with some Olive Crisps and French Baguette.
We continued our celebration into the dessert course! We served our favorite Cannelés Bordelais, a traditional Russian Smetannik, our favorite Vanilla Cake with Raspberry Filling and Cream Cheese Frosting, and two extra large Crème Brûlées!
- 8 eggs, hard boiled, sliced
- 6 potatoes, boiled, peeled, mashed
- 8 carrots, boiled, peeled, grated
- 6 beets, grated
- 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise or so
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 8 fillets (from 4 pickled herrings), diced
- salt and pepper
- 2 shallots, finely diced
- dill for garnish
- Place a 9 inch ring mold on a serving platter. Line it with parchment on the sides.
- Combine the mayonnaise and sour cream together.
Add some mayo mixture to the potatoes. Add the herring and shallots.
In a separate bowl add some mayo mixture to the carrots.
In a third bowl add some more to the beets.
Season each with salt and pepper.
Reserve about 1/2 cup mixture.
- Fill the bottom of the mold with the potato and herring mixture.
Level out the top and form a gentle hill towards the center.
- Top with the carrots, and then the beets.
Smear the remaining mayo mixture over top of the beets.
- Arrange the eggs on top. I start from the center and go towards the edges.
Allow to rest for 4 hours or more to allow the flavors to season properly.