I got up last Sunday morning thinking that I could drive to NY to buy Herrings Bread. That did not happen. The sky was cloudy, visibility was dangerous because of the fog, and it just looked as if the weather was not going to change anytime soon. So, I had to put my thinking hat. I wanted bread; I wanted herrings, and I did not have all day. So I came up with Smoked Herrings Biscuits.
Now, this is not bread; it is biscuits with herrings. I was not too worried about this creation becoming a flop because of the weather. I always hear that when making bread one should consider the weather and the internal temperature of your home. I have had a couple of mishaps; I will admit because I did not believe. Well now I do, and that is why it is biscuits a day and not bread day.
I like using a good vegetable shortening and a good all-purpose flour brand when making biscuits. I had to worry about the biscuits being to be salty because smoked herrings are heavily salted. Smoked herrings are sold in foods markets, and the salt must be removed before cooking. I usually de-salt herrings in boiling water with a couple of tablespoons of vinegar or lime juice depending on what I have in my pantry.
The biscuits are not difficult to make. The smoked herrings, on the other hand, were a little tricky. First, you have to make sure that the mixture does not come out salty and soggy, and the key to that was to use only one tablespoon of oil. The herrings’ mixture had onions, garlic, red bell peppers, parsley, and thyme and lime juice. One other ingredient made it for me, hot sauce. I did not want to add pieces of hot peppers because it would not be right and I did not want to use crushed hot pepper either because I did not want to bite into a seed. All I can say is that a good hot sauce goes a long way with herrings.
The biscuits did not come out very flaky as I suspected, and they were not soggy either. When you add certain ingredients into biscuit mix, the consistency is never the same. A plain biscuit is flakier than a biscuit with added wet ingredients.
The Herrings Biscuits turned out good. They were not salty, had a great kick because of the hot sauce and were better warm than cold as with any other type of biscuits. Always eat your biscuits warm. So much better!
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- 1 cup smoked herrings about 6 - 8 fillets, salt removed, chopped and cooked
- 1 lime
- 3 cups water
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- ¼ cup red bell peppers finely chopped
- ¼ cup shallots finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon parsley finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon thyme leaves only
- 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup whole milk or buttermilk
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- Remove excess salt on smoked herrings under running water. Add herrings to a pot with water and juice of 1/2 lime. Bring to boil and let cook for 5 minutes. Remove herrings from hot water and chopped. Put aside after chopping.
- In a non-stick pan add oil, garlic, shallots, red peppers and let cook for 1 minute. Add herrings, parsley, thyme and mix well. Turning occasionally let mixture cook for 2 - 3 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of lime juice and hot sauce and stir. Let cook for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let cook.
- Heat oven to 450°F
- In a food processor with metal blade, add flour, baking powder and salt. Blend mixture by pulsing about 4 - 5 times. Add shortening and process until mixture resembles crumbs. Add herring mixture and milk or buttermilk. Process with on/off pulses until mixture starts to form a ball. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1.5cm (0.5") thickness. Cut with 5cm (2") cutter to make 12 biscuits. Spray a large baking dish or cookie sheet, and place biscuits spreading evenly. Bake in middle rack in oven for 12-14 minutes. Serve warm