Herrings Stuffed with Rice is a superb dish of herrings stuffed with sweetcorn, bacon, rice and cream, baked with wine.
Serve with parsleyed new potatoes and a well-chilled white wine, such as Cotes de Provence, for a delicious lunch or dinner.
2 oz. butter
4 large herrings, cleaned and gutted
1 lemon, quartered
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 lean bacon slices, rinds discarded, diced
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 oz. cooked long-grain rice
3 tablespoons drained sweetcorn kernels
4 tablespoons double cream
1 parsley sprig, finely chopped
3 fl. oz. dry white wine
Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).
1 tablespoon of the butter, generously grease a large baking dish and set it aside.
Wash the herrings under cold running water and pat them dry with kitchen paper towels.
Rub the fish all over with the lemon pieces and discard the lemon. Rub
½ teaspoon of salt and
½ teaspoon of pepper all over the fish.
In a small frying-pan, melt 1 table-spoon of the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the bacon and fry, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it is crisp. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the pan and drain it on kitchen paper towels. Transfer the bacon to a medium-sized mixing bowl and set aside.
Add the onion to the frying-pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to minutes, or until it is soft and translucent but not brown.
Remove the pan from the heat. With a slotted spoon, remove the onion from the pan and add it to the bacon.
Stir the rice, sweetcorn, cream, the remaining salt and pepper and the parsley into the bacon and onion. Combine the mixture thoroughly.
Using a metal spoon, stuff the fish with the rice mixture. Close the cavities with skewers, or a trussing needle and strong thread.
Arrange the fish in the baking dish. Pour over the wine and dot the fish with the remaining butter, cut into small pieces.
Cover the dish with a lid or aluminium foil and place it in the centre of the oven. Bake for 45 minutes, basting occasionally, or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
Remove the dish from the oven. Re-move and discard the trussing thread or skewers and serve immediately, straight from the dish.