Izzy Eats: The art of raising a gourmand, one bite at a time

Stirring tales of eating, cooking and foraging in my never-ending quest to provide, great-tasting (local and organic whenever possible) EATS for me and my boy(s).

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Gone Gefilte Fishing

Caught me a salmon instead. Yes, surprising as it may seem, salmon gefilte fish has become a tradition in my house. I used to buy the pike and carp as directed in the traditional recipes but when Anne Rosenweig made her Salmon Gefilte Fish recipe public I quickly became a convert. These delicately flavored fish balls are far more palatable than the original recipe.

You may wonder why I even bother to make my own gefilte fish. After all, I live close enough to Zabar's and Citarella where I could easily purchase a decent rendition (and I have in the past). Yet ever since I prepared gefilte fish at home I expect myself to do it and feel guilty if I don't. There is a certain je ne sais quoi about clouds of fishy steam enveloping me as I prepare the fish stock, by far the worse part of the process. Once the worst is over the rest is a breeze and somehow I feel involved in some ancient tradition as I form these Passover quenelles.

These light pink 'gefilte' fishes will surprise your guests and they are far more appealing to any goyim in the house. Because let's face it, how many non-Jews (or even Jews for that matter)truly like gefilte fish?

Salmon Gefilte Fish With Carrots
The Chef

Serves eight.

Fish stock:
1 salmon or whitefish frame, cut up
1 onion, peeled and stuck with 6 cloves
2 carrots, chopped roughly
1 parsnip, chopped roughly
7 black peppercorns
1/4 cup white wine

Salmon gefilte fish:
1 pound salmon fillet, skinned and cut in chunks
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
2 small carrots, peeled; 1 sliced thin, 1 cut in chunks
1 small parsnip, peeled, cut in chunks
2 eggs
1/4 cup matzo meal
1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 cups fish stock (recipe above)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped dill

Cooking Instructions
Fish stock: Put all the stock ingredients in a small stockpot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil; then immediately reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for just 15 minutes, skimming often. Strain and reserve the stock. (Can be made two days ahead.)

Gefilte fish: Chill the fish and vegetables. Place the onion, the carrot cut in chunks, and the parsnip in a food processor, and chop finely. Add the salmon and process to a coarse purée. Add eggs, matzo meal, salt, and pepper, and process until combined.

Place fish stock and sugar in a saucepan, and bring to a light simmer. With cold, wet hands, form the fish mixture into 8 quenelles. Poach the quenelles in the simmering stock, covered, for 2 minutes. Remove the quenelles to a shallow bowl and set aside.

Place quenelles in shallow serving dish and top with carrots and sprigs of dill. Pour stock over and allow to chill.

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