A tradition in our family is to have pickled herring as one of our appetizers for Christmas. This Christmas with the help of my cousin Cindy, we put together a more authentic Norwegian appetizer platter. I purchased most of the ingredients at my local grocery store and she purchased the herring and arctic caviar at a specialty store that carries Scandinavian ingredients. If you can’t find the special types of herring, most grocery stores carry some sort of pickled herring, Ridder and Edam cheese can be substituted or added to the platter and you can always substitute black or red caviar instead of the spreadable kind Cindy purchased. There are many options in creating this appetizer, by adding more cheese, different kinds of herring and caviar, adding flat bread, fruits and vegetables and making a dill cream spread. Mix it up your way and enjoy! Generally Scandinavian platters and such are created with much consideration for presentation, but we had many people hovering over us ready to dive in no matter what it looked like!
1 wedge of Jarlsberg cheese
1 wedge of Ski Queen brand Gjetost brown, sweet goat cheese
1 jar of Delikat brand of Krydder Sild (basically pickled herring in mild spices) or your favorite brand
1 jar of Delikat brand of Sennep Sild (basically pickled herring in mustard) or your favorite brand
1 package of smoked salmon
1 tube of Mills brand arctic caviar (smoked cod roe spread) or your favorite brand (you can also substitute black or red caviar)
1 loaf of pumpernickel or rye bread
4 – 6 hard boiled eggs cooled and peeled
Boil, cool, peel and thinly slice hard boiled eggs. Arrange ingredients on a platter as shown or create your presentation. There are many different ways of eating the appetizer. One traditional way is placing a sliced egg on the bread and a dollop of caviar as shown. However, I covered my bread in caviar, added an egg and topped it with a slice of herring or salmon. In my opinion the cheese is good as is or place on the bread with a dollop of caviar. Growing up I used to eat the herring plain or on saltine crackers. I found this to be quite amusing, but Cindy’s husband squirted the arctic caviar onto a tortilla chip that was part of another one of my appetizers! So mix it up any way you want and enjoy!
Try Roederer Estate Sparkling Wine (California), Korbel California Champagne Brut, Hahn Estates Chardonnay (California) or J. Lohr Arroyo Seco Riverstone Chardonnay (California).