The Passover Seder is this Friday night. I'm cooking all kinds of traditional foods including matzoh ball soup, sweet and sour brisket, macaroons (dipped in chocolate ganache!), and homemade gefilte fish.
My kids and I are featured in an article in today's Boston Herald about people who make their own gefilte fish. You can watch a video of the four of us making the batter, forming the fish balls and boiling them in simmering broth. When the photographer came on Monday to film us we felt like we were on the Food Network!
If you've ever eaten gefilte fish from a jar you know it is sort of slimy, a bit smelly, and basically something you slather in horseradish, hold your nose, and eat as quickly as you can so as not to taste it too much. But homemade gefilte fish is actually really tasty!
Traditional gefilte fish is made from whitefish and pike, both fresh water fishes that can be hard to find in fish markets and grocery stores, even Whole Foods. When I couldn't readily get ahold of these more traditional fishes, I found a recipe from the New York Times Passover cookbook for salmon gefilte fish and I've been making it for years. Fresh salmon and lox are ground together in the food processor with some flavorful veggies. Add some oil and matzah cake meal and then form the batter into balls. Slide them into boiling broth and wait 20 minutes. Voila! Gefilte fish you'll look forward to eating.
Salmon Gefilte Fish
1/3 cup water
3 Tbl. olive oil
1/3 cup matzoh cake meal
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 medium onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 leeks, white part only, rinsed and chopped
1 1/4 lbs salmon fillet, diced
1/4 lb lox, diced
Juice of 1 lemon
2 Tbl. prepared white horseradish
8 cups fish stock or a combination of water and white wine
1. Bring the water and 2 Tbl. of oil to a boil in a small saucepan. Add in the cake meal and whisk. Remove from heat and add the eggs and a 1/2 tsp. salt and whisk. Set aside.
2. Saute the onion, carrot and leeks in 1 Tbl. oil until tender.
3. Grind the cooked veggies and the fishes in the food processor. Add the egg mixture and process until smooth. Add the lemon juice and horseradish and stir.
4. Boil the stock or wine and water. With wet fingers form the fish mixture into ovals (they're soft!). Slide them into the broth and poach for 20 minutes. Drain. Refrigerate until cold.
I serve them on a bed of baby greens with some cherry tomatoes and freshly ground horseradish.