The pickled herring sandwich……


“At 6.00 he took a shower. He boiled some potatoes and had open sandwiches of pickled herring in mustard sauce with chives and egg on a rickety table outside the cottage, facing the bridge. He poured himself a shot of aquavit and drank a toast to himself. After that he opened a crime novel by Val McDermid entitled The Mermaids Singing. “
Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson

For well over fifty years there has been a “to-ing and a fro-ing” between British and Scandinavian crime fiction. The world weary Inspector Beck comes to mind, whose creation inspired a new wave of British writers. Inspector Beck inspired John Harvey`s Resnick who in turn gave birth to Mankell`s Wallender. Which led to the Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson`s extremely successful trilogy, the first being The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Sadly Larsson died in 2004, fortunately without ever seeing the dire Hollywood film version of the book.

The sandwich itself is not strictly a sandwich, it it involves just a single slice of bread, the typical Swedish smörgås. The Swedish concept of open sandwiches dates back to the 1400s when thick slabs of bread were used as plates. The pickled herring part of it seems to the basis of every typical Swedish buffet. With an abundance of herring in both the North and Baltic Seas, those fun loving Swedes have been pickling since the Middle Ages, mainly as a way of preserving the fish for storage and transportation. Pickled herring comes in a variety of flavours – mustard, onion, garlic and dill, to name a few – and is often eaten with boiled potatoes, sour cream, chopped chives, sharp hard cheese, and in this case a boiled egg

This is how you make it:
1. one slice of thick rye bread
2. one hard boiled egg
3. one baby potato, steamed till fork soft
4. one piece of pickled herring
5. one pickled onion (if you have a jar of shop bought rollmops, you get both the pickled herring and the pickled onion)
6. a journey to the labryrinth known as IKEA and track down a jar of their mustard and dill sauce called SÅS SENAP & DILL
7. Take your egg, peel it, and chop it into bite sized pieces. Place it in a bowl along with the steamed baby potato and pickled herring, both chopped as well. If you have the rollmops, the pickled onions is probably in shreds. If not, chop the onion into small pieces as well and add. Scoop in a dollop of the dill and mustard sauce, and add more bit by bit until the eggs, potato, fish and onion are well mixed but not drowning in it. Butter the slice of rye bread and scoop the mixture on

And you now have a Blomqvist sandwich… “Can I call you Lisbeth?”

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