Many of you have purchased Pickled Herring I am sure. It has been a New Years Eve Tradition in our house for over fifty years. "Noon Hour" is a good brand. You can make a very good Pickled Fish at home. I prefer the sweet vinegar and wine rather than the creamed variety.
I started experimenting with the cheapest fish I could find, four to six years ago. I found that Alaskan Haddock at $1.57 a pound, was the cheapest. I proceeded.
Best after two or three weeks and slightly beyond.
The Fish: Clean and rinse the fillets 1 1/2 to 2 pounds. If fillets are thick slice on the bias to about 1/8" to 1/4" thick, then cut to size of quarter coin. Fish remain raw for this recipe. No cooking of fish. IMPORTANT: The fish bones will dissolve don't worry about them.
The Brine: Bring 2 cups white vinegar, 1 1/2 cups water and 1 cup pickling or canning salt to a boil and stir. Allow to cool to room temperature. If using stainless steel pan don't add salt until it comes to a high simmer. Otherwise salt can pit stainless steel cookware.
Put Fish into one gallon size zip-lock bag or sealable container and add the cooled Brine. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 days. Then drain and rinse twice. Then allow to soak in fresh cold water for 5 to 10 minutes.
The Pickling Liquid: Combine 1 2/3 cups white vinegar, 2/3 cup water, 1 2/3 cups sugar and bring to high simmer-low boil. Add the 2 tablespoons of Pickling Spices and 2 teaspoons Mustard Seed and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature. Then add the 3/4 to 1 cup of Riesling White Wine (I used Black Swan Brand), or use sweet to very sweet white wine of your choice. Strain and reserve both liquid and spices.
Packing Fish and Onions: In pint jars place a couple layers of Fish, then layer of onion and a small bit of the reserved spices. Continue layering until jars are full to 1/4 inch of top, pack firmly. Then fill with Pickling Liquid to 1/4 inch of top. Seal and refrigerate for 6 to 10 days. Refrigerated will keep months.
You can use the excess Pickling Liquid and Spices to make Sweet Refrigerator Pickles with Onions. Just combine sliced Cucumbers and Onions, and refrigerate.
Note: I posted this prematurely prior to editing and checking everything for this recipe on 3/5/10. I will do that and remove this note 3/6/10. Allow me to proof soon before trying this.