Dear Mr. Debonair,
I love creamed herring, but the kind they sell at our local market is kind of bland. Can you offer any ideas on how to make it a little more appealing?
I share your pain. There have been so many occasions on which I have said to Mrs. Debonair, “Darling, this would have been a perfect meal except for the bland herring.” She does not take offense at this, as she has nothing to do with the Herring Selection: any quality defects are invariably my fault. Mrs. Debonair loathes pickled fish.
But there is a simple way to take your average, everyday bottled Creamed Herring and jack it up. Kick it up a notch, as my Stovewhore Buddy Emeril is wont to declaim. Bam!
All you do is take your bottled herring - Vita is a perfectly workable brand - and add a modest dose of lemon zest and grated Granny Smith apple. (Be sure to grate the apple with the peel on.) Cover and let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours - or overnight - for the flavors to marry. Exquisite!
Now, do as Mr. Debonair does. Leave the herring on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, way in the back where you won’t remember it for a month. Then, when your fridge starts developing a strange pong reminiscent of a k.d. lang concert, discover the herring. Discard.