Some people say Latvian cuisine is “the world’s saddest” cuisine.
The word “cuisine” is so fancy. For me, it sounds like something in which you put a lot of energy, knowledge, and passion to bring it to a higher level. And there are the Latvians with national dishes like potato, and beetroot, which are simply just food, invented for eating purposes. One of my friends says, if he had written a book about Latvian cuisine, he would have named it The 50 shades of potato.
However, Margo Schachter on finedininglovers.com says, the Baltic countries are ready for the Michelin guide. The gastro revolution has begun in Riga as well. Young, talented chefs have returned from abroad, the first bistros have opened with beautiful Scandinavian design and large windows. At the same time specialty, vegetarian restaurants and hipster cafés have started to spring up.
Seems like Latvia finally recovers from the Soviet Union, and starting to carve its own path to the Michelin guide; based on traditions, but filled with new techniques, and ideas.
I decided to be revolutionary, and make Shuba in the middle of summer, which is originally a winter dish. Honestly, I couldn’t tell. For me, it’s extremely practical, because it’s cold and simple; exactly what I need in this heatwave. I rethought and named it Herring in pink swimming pants.
- 500 g herring fillets in oil
- 1 medium onion
- 150 g Greek style yogurt
- 4 tbsp mayo
- 3 boiled potatoes
- 2 boiled carrot
- 3 3 boiled beetroots
- 2 boiled eggs
- salt, pepper, dill
- Peel, and boil the potatoes and carrots in a medium saucepan. It will take about 20 mins, depending on the size of your veggies.
- Peel, and boil the beetroots in a separate pan. It will take a bit longer, about 40 mins.
- Let the vegetables cool, and them aside.
- Chop the onion.
- Slice the herring fillets into small bites.
- Mix the sour cream with mayo.
- Start layering the ingredients. The sequence is really up to you, the point is to finish with beetroot, before the last layer of mayo, so it will go bright pink.
- My layers are the following from bottom to top: grated potato, herring, onion, yogurt – mayo, grated potato, yogurt – mayo, salt and pepper, grated carrot, grated beetroot, yogurt – mayo, grated boiled eggs, dill.
- The best is to keep it in the fridge for overnight, but I couldn’t resist and jumped in after like 3 hours. It was perfect!
Note: I simply grated the veggies into the bowl, and spread it, but did not press.