My favorite thing about New Year's Eve is the food.
A Russian New Year is particularly special, as it was a holiday that replaced Christmas during the Soviet era. As a result, people would enjoy a big feast on New Year's Eve. Meals would often begin with a choice of appetizers and Russian salads (followed by the main course and then dessert, both of which often went neglected as you'd be quite full after the first course). And, of course, herring, which would be served on a separate plate sliced, with onions sprinkled on top.
This year I decided to make an appetizer using herring. That way, those unaccustomed to the fish can enjoy a noncommittal bite. I've talked about salted herring before here, however for this recipe I simply used a jar of pickled herring slices I found at Whole Foods. This type of herring is sweeter and slightly more pungent because of the vinegar, but it works well with the potatoes.
If I can get away with it, I'll eat nothing but appetizers on New Year's or on any other day. And if on no other occasion, New Year's is definitely one to stuff yourself full of them. Try this herring appetizer or any one of these: salmon tartare on cucumber slices, deviled eggs, vodka-infused shrimp cocktail, and mozzarella-stuffed tomatoes.
Happy New Year!
Herring-Stuffed Small Potatoes
You will need:
10 baby red potatoes
1/3 cup pickled herring slices, chopped
2 tsp finely chopped scallion
1 tsp capers
sprigs of dill for garnish (optional)
1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes, whole and skins on, and boil until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain and cool under cold running water until potatoes are cool enough to handle.
2. With a paring knife, carefully slice 1/8 of an inch off the bottom of each potato, so that it can sit flat on a plate. Slice the tops of each potato and carefully scoop out the middle to make potato "shells;" discard the rest.
3. In a small bowl combine herring, scallion and capers. Fill the potatoes with the herring, distributing evenly among them. Serve on a serving platter garnished with sprigs of dill or refrigerate until needed.