Yep, you heard me: Gefilte Fish. I suspect that my readers are more worldly than I am and that the idea of a light, fresh, and delicious gefilte fish is neither strange nor novel. I, however, spent most of my life with my only exposure to this being the horrifying gray floating globs in jars with a shelf life to out last the next ice-age.
When preparing to host our first Seder I was confronted with the reality that it was going to be expected that I serve gefilte fish. With no intentions other than the firm stance that I would not be serving the stuff from a jar I sought out something that would fulfill the requirement and leave my contact with the stuff at a minimum. So I opted for the frozen “log ‘o gefilte fish”. I boiled it up according to the package and guess what? People ate it!
For a long time I fell back on that “log ‘o gefilte fish” until I finally decided to take a look at what’s in it and realized just how gosh darn simple it is. I mean, it’s white fish, and onion, and egg, and matzo meal. That’s basically it. Maybe some sugar and/or maybe some carrot but it’s pretty simple. So, my thought is that this should mean it’s pretty tasty too. But, the “log” wasn’t going to convince me.
With the help of a dead simple recipe from The Jewish Mama’s Kitchen (that I messed with only the tiniest bit, aren’t you proud of me?!) I’ve learned that making my own gefilte fish is rewarding enough that I’ll actually eat it! This fish is light, fluffy, delicate, and subtle in its flavoring. Although, I’m already planning to add some carrot and parsley next year. I think I’ll never learn!
Boiled Gefilte Fish
Only slightly adapted from The Jewish Mama’s Kitchen
- 8 quarts of water
- 4 carrots, cut in thirds
- 4 celery stalks, halved
- 2 onions, skinned and halved
- 2 lbs boneless skinless haddock
- 1 lb boneless skinless cod
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 tbsps matzo meal
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp white pepper
- 1 drop almond extract
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- Throw the water, carrot, celery, and onion into a large stock pot covered over high heat.
- Throw the rest of the ingredients into the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until it resembles a paste.
- When the water is boiling spoon out the fish mixture and using your hands shape into egg shaped/sized balls and drop into the boiling water.
- Cover and turn the heat to medium/low and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Remove from the broth and place on top of copious amounts of paper towel to absorb excess moisture and sprinkle with kosher salt. Move to a shallow serving pan. You can now serve it or allow to cool to room temperature and cover it and place it in the fridge over night. You can serve it cold or warmed.
Cooking time (duration): 60
Diet type: Pescatarian