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home > recipes > seafood > homemade gefilte fish
Gefilte part: 2 lbs white, mild fish fillets/chunks ( use one part or combinations: whitefish, tilapia, sole, haddock, cod etc. ) 1 lb med to firm fish fillets/chunks ( use one part of either: red snapper, tuna, sea bass , monkfish etc. yes even salmon ) All should be free of any bones, skin etc. 4 eggs fork beaten 1 very large onion Coarse salt and pepper to taste matzoh meal to bind ( 1/2 to 1 cup or as needed) sugar: 1 tsp but optional Stock Part: water to cover several large carrots cut up 1/2 bunch celery with leaves okay 1 large onion cut up 3 garlic cloves few bay leaves 1 lemon quartered 1 tsp whole mixed pepper corns Fish heads, fish bones etc. Kosher or coarse salt sugar ( optional )3 to 5 tsp for the stock Gifilte Fish is like making potato salad. Many variations and recipes. Years ago easy available, and local fish were used such as carp, pike, whitefish etc. Typically all were mild varieties. Today one can easily vary their fish and get it already ground by asking at the fish counter at the supermarket. If you can't get traditional carp, pike, whitefish, buffalo fish etc, use combinations of mild fish of any kind. It really doesn't matter !! I like to add a medium or bit of a firmer fish to for taste, texture etc. I go to a store that sells fish chunks and parts for stock and chowder Also just ask the guy at the fish counter for the heads /parts etc they don't use to sell ( they actually throw them away ) for your stock . This may not be free and they can easily charge $2.00 a pound or more for the fish parts and bones. You need bones for the flavor and the gel in the stock. Gefilte fish is very easy to prepare with modern appliances . My recipe comes out tasting just like the bottled kind and even better!! Stock: In a large pot, add all the vegetables, bay leaf, garlic, lemon, fish bones/heads and cover with water to almost the top of the pot. Liberally season with salt and 1 tsp sugar ( optional ). Bring to a boil, simmer 1/2 to 1 hour. Remove fish parts. Keep stock at a very gentle simmer. Make gefilte fish. If not bought ground: Using a food processor/or meat grinder, grind fish first , then grind onion. You want a ground consistency not a liquidy puree consistency. Place fish and onions in a large bowl. Add the fork beaten eggs, salt and pepper optional sugar and just enough matzoh meal to bind. Mix by hand with wooden spoon until well combined. If a spoon stands up in the mixture it is just right. If too thin, ad a bit more matzoh meal. Since I don't drain the ground onions, the onion juice acts as additional liquid which flavors the fish. Shape mixture into balls or torpedo shapes like jarred gefilte fish. Gently drop into the fish broth. Bring to a boil. Cover and gently simmer 1 1 /2 to 2 hours. Fish will swell up a bit. When you test one they should be just like the jar consistency, firm enough to be formed nicely and yet a nice soft texture. Some like to let fish cool in the broth, others remove fish to a casserole dish. You don't have to cover the balls in the stock if you don't want. However, the stock whether reduced or not ( even boiled down further - optional ) will keep the fish moist and add more flavor . For presentation remove fish from the gelled stock. Yield: 1 1/2 dozen of traditional oval shaped and sized bottled gefilte fish. Presentation: Place fish on a platter and surround if desired by cooked carrots, cooked celery, sprigs of fresh parsley. Of course horseradish and mustard for those who like it or however you want to present it. Tips even your grandmother may not know ! Liberally salt the stock as well as the gifilte fish mixture with coarse kosher salt and freshly grated black pepper. When the fish cools in the savory stock, they will absorb more of the good flavor. Sugar is optional but just a bit of sugar ( 1 tsp for fish mixture , 3 to 5 tsp for stock ) will bring out the savory tastes in the fish as well as the stock without making it sweet. Some cooks also like to add a bit of paprika to the fish or to the stock- up to you. Fish will last up to a week chilled covered in the fridge so I like to make them a few days ahead of time. Yes fish can be frozen also! Optional methods: Baking : form fish into loaves if desired ( form fish mixture into long roll like salami but perhaps in a 3 inch width roll. ) Bake in several inches of water along with carrots, celery, onions, kosher salt , pepper and some fresh thyme for about an hour at 350 F. Spoon on the broth over fish, several times when baking. I find that baking is not as good as the cooking in the broth but still is an easy alternative method. Then remove pan of fish out of oven to cool . When cool, place in the fridge for several hours or even over night.. This allows the fish with good texture and then you may slice it into round or oval shapes if you have formed it into a roll. Deep Fry: Some people make the gefilte fish mixture, form into ping pong shape balls and deep fry them! Great with a creamy horse radish sauce or tarter sauce ! Pan Fry : some Jews actually pan fry the formed uncooked gefilte fish mixture first and then add it to the pot with the broth to finish cooking. The frying adds some flavor and texture but I feel it is not a necessary step. But it's nice to know ! Lastly, don't let people make you believe that making gefilte fish is hard or even time consuming. It is not. So impress your guests this year with flavorful gefilte fish! If you can make homemade soup, you can make this!

Homemade Gefilte Fish


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(posted April 30, 2008)

Gefilte part:
2 lbs white, mild
fish fillets/chunks ( use one part or combinations:
whitefish, tilapia, sole, haddock, cod etc. )
1 lb med to
firm fish fillets/chunks ( use one part of either: red snapper, tuna, sea bass , monkfish etc. yes even salmon ) All should be free of any bones, skin etc.
4
eggs fork beaten
1 very large
onion
Coarse salt and pepper to taste
matzoh
meal to bind ( 1/2 to 1 cup or as needed)
sugar: 1 tsp but optional

Stock Part:
water to cover
several large carrots cut up
1/2 bunch
celery with leaves okay
1 large
onion cut up
3
garlic cloves
few bay leaves
1
lemon quartered
1 tsp whole mixed pepper corns
Fish heads, fish bones etc.
Kosher or coarse salt
sugar ( optional )3 to 5 tsp for the stock

Gifilte
Fish is like making
potato salad. Many variations and recipes.

Years ago easy available, and local
fish were used such as carp, pike, whitefish etc. Typically all were mild varieties.

Today one can easily vary their
fish and get it already ground by asking at the fish counter at the supermarket.

If you can't get traditional
carp, pike, whitefish,
buffalo fish etc, use combinations of mild fish of any kind. It really doesn't matter !!

I like to add a medium or bit of a firmer
fish to for taste, texture etc.

I go to a store that sells
fish chunks and parts for stock and chowder Also just ask the guy at the fish counter for the heads /parts etc they don't use to sell ( they actually throw them away ) for your stock . This may not be free and they can easily charge $2.00 a pound or more for the fish parts and bones. You need bones for the flavor and the gel in the stock.

Gefilte
fish is very easy to prepare with modern appliances .

My recipe comes out
tasting just like the bottled kind and even better!!

Stock:
In a large
pot, add all the vegetables, bay leaf, garlic, lemon, fish bones/heads and cover with water to almost the top of the pot. Liberally season with salt and 1 tsp sugar ( optional ). Bring to a boil, simmer 1/2 to 1 hour. Remove fish parts. Keep stock at a very gentle simmer.

Make gefilte
fish. If not bought ground: Using a food processor/or meat grinder, grind fish first , then grind onion. You want a ground consistency not a liquidy puree consistency.

Place
fish and onions in a large bowl. Add the fork beaten
eggs, salt and pepper optional sugar and just enough matzoh meal to bind. Mix by hand with wooden spoon until well combined.

If a spoon stands up in the mixture it is just right. If too
thin, ad a bit more matzoh meal.

Since I don't
drain the ground onions, the onion juice acts as additional liquid which flavors the fish.

Shape mixture into balls or torpedo shapes like jarred
gefilte
fish.

Gently drop into the
fish broth. Bring to a boil. Cover and gently simmer 1 1 /2 to 2 hours. Fish will swell up a bit. When you test one they should be just like the jar consistency, firm enough to be formed nicely and yet a nice soft texture.

Some like to let
fish cool in the broth, others remove fish to a casserole dish.

You don't have to cover the balls in the
stock if you don't want. However, the stock whether reduced or not ( even boiled down further - optional ) will keep the fish moist and add more flavor . For presentation remove fish from the gelled stock.

Yield: 1 1/2 dozen of traditional oval shaped and sized bottled gefilte
fish.

Presentation: Place
fish on a platter and surround if desired by cooked carrots, cooked
celery, sprigs of fresh parsley. Of course horseradish and mustard for those who like it or however you want to present it.

Tips even your grandmother may not know !

Liberally
salt the stock as well as the gifilte fish mixture with coarse
kosher salt and freshly grated black pepper. When the fish cools in the savory stock, they will absorb more of the good flavor.

Sugar is optional but just a bit of sugar ( 1 tsp for fish mixture , 3 to 5 tsp for stock ) will bring out the
savory tastes in the fish as well as the stock without making it sweet. Some cooks also like to add a bit of paprika to the fish or to the stock- up to you.

Fish will last up to a week chilled covered in the fridge so I like to make them a few days ahead of time.

Yes
fish can be frozen also!

Optional methods:

Baking : form fish into loaves if desired ( form fish mixture into long roll like salami but perhaps in a 3 inch width roll. ) Bake in several inches of water along with carrots,
celery, onions, kosher salt , pepper and some fresh thyme for about an hour at 350 F. Spoon on the broth over fish, several times when baking. I find that baking is not as good as the cooking in the broth but still is an easy alternative method.

Then remove
pan of fish out of oven to cool . When cool, place in the fridge for several hours or even over night.. This allows the fish with good texture and then you may slice it into round or oval shapes if you have formed it into a roll.

Deep Fry: Some people make the gefilte
fish mixture, form into ping pong shape balls and deep fry them! Great with a creamy horse radish sauce or tarter sauce !

Pan Fry : some Jews actually pan fry the formed uncooked gefilte
fish mixture first and then add it to the pot with the broth to finish cooking. The frying adds some flavor and texture but I feel it is not a necessary step. But it's nice to know !

Lastly, don't let people make you believe that making
gefilte
fish is hard or even time consuming. It is not. So impress your guests this year with flavorful gefilte fish! If you can make homemade soup, you can make this!


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