This is my offering for December's Movies & Munchies event. In this group, a host selects a movie, we all watch it during the month, and we head into the kitchen. You can read Debra's invitation here. She asked us to watch Klaus and get inspired into the kitchen before the holidays.
LEARN THIS PROCESS! Pickling is the process of preserving a food by fermentation in a brine or immersion in a vinegar mixture. You can pickle vegetables, fruits, even shrimp and fish! Some of my pickle recipes are linked at the bottom of this post. BE CREATIVE...COOK FEARLESSLY!
On the Screen
This Santa Claus origin story is an animated film made for Netflix. I remember when my family watched it last year, but I never sat down to pay attention to it until this event. Interestingly enough, the main character is not Klaus. Instead the story centers on the awkward, reluctant postman, Jesper, who has been banished to Smeerenburg by his father until 6000 letters go through the post office. By encouraging the children of the island to write to Klaus, he ends up generating more than double that amount of letters as well as inspiring the children to behave and to learn to read and write!
The feel of the movie reminded me of another animated holiday favorite, Rise of the Guardians. However, this movie seemed overly complicated and convoluted to explain how Santa Claus came to be. Still, I did enjoy the assignment and was grateful for a reason to sit down and watch it with my foodie goggles on.
On The Plate
There wasn't a ton of food in the movie. We do see Jesper drinking espresso and eating pastries in the beginning. There are chickens who live in the post office. But it was Jesper's initial exchange with school teacher turned fish monger, Alva, that inspired this recipe. "Herring's on sale!" she barks as she chases him from her classroom turned shop. Vikings were preserving their fish hauls long before refrigeration was invented or convenient. They used a basic combination of salt and vinegar. And that tradition persists today throughout all of Scandinavia. Typically it's herring that's used, but as I couldn't get my hands on any herring, I used a kind of snapper.
Makes 1 jar
1 pound fish, deboned and skin removed (I used a wild caught snapper)
1 cup vinegar (I used white vinegar)
1 cup water
3/4 cup organic granulated sugar
2 Tablespoon salt (I used a birch-smoked sea salt from Iceland)
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns (I used 4 peppercorn blend)
1 small red onion, peeled and sliced in rings
Place the cloves, allspice, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, and peppercorns in the bottom of a small mason jar.
Slice the fish into 1" wide strips. This was more for aesthetics and I wanted to coil the fish in my jar. But you can also just slice the fish into 1" cubes. Layer in the fish and alternate with red onion slices. Gently press down on the fish so that there is a gap between the top of the jar and the lid.
Bring water, vinegar, and salt to a boil. Add in the sugar and let simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved. When the sugar is completely dissolved, remove from the heat and let cool to room temp.
Pour the cooled liquid over the fish and place in the refrigerate. Let it pickle for 3 to 4 days before serving. You can store and serve for up to 3 weeks.
A Pickle Parade
I pickle just about everything I can get my hands on, such as Pickled Blueberries, Pickled Peppers, Pickled Quail Eggs, and Pickled Garlic Scapes...just to name a few! I have even done Pickled Shrimp.
If you are interested in joining in with this month's #MoviesandMunchies, please do. You still have over three weeks to participate.