If you loathe gefilte fish, that staple of the Seder, it may just be that you've never had it homemade. In this recipe, created to convert gefilte fish skeptics, the traditional patties are updated with more flavorful fish, and then poached in court-bouillon — that is, a light vegetable broth. Be sure to use a wide pot here; the patties rise to the top as they cook, and you want to give them enough space.
- Serves: 20 persons
- 2medium yellow onions, peeled
- 2celery stalks
- 3large carrots, peeled
- 1fennel bulb
- 6black peppercorns
- 2 ½teaspoons salt, or to taste
- 1 ½pounds boneless, skinless salmon, whitefish or striped bass fillets, cut into 2-inch pieces
- ½pound boneless, skinless trout, pike or carp (or a mixture of two), cut into 2-inch pieces
- 3tablespoons chopped parsley, tarragon, dill and/or a combination
- 3large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4to 6 tablespoons matzo meal
- ½teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1head radicchio or endive, or both, for serving
- Prepared horseradish, for serving
Step 1Fill a large, wide pot with 10 cups of water and place over high heat. While bringing to a boil, coarsely chop and add to the pot 1 onion, 1 celery stalk, 1 carrot and the fennel bulb. Add the peppercorns and 1 teaspoon salt. Once water is boiling, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, while preparing the fish.
Step 2Coarsely chop the remaining onion, celery stalk and 1 carrot, then pulse in a food processor until finely chopped. Add fish, chives and 2 tablespoons parsley, tarragon and/or dill, and keep pulsing until fish is chopped but not mushy.
Step 3Move the fish mixture to a medium bowl and add eggs, oil, matzo meal, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (or more to taste) and the ground black pepper, and mix well with your hands.
Step 4Put your hands in a bowl of cold water. Using your hands, mold the fish mixture into a 3- by 2-inch oval patty (about 2 ounces) and gently place on a platter. Repeat with the remaining fish mixture, dipping your hands in water as needed.
Step 5Pop the third carrot into the simmering broth and gently add the patties to the pot. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes until patties are firm.
Step 6Use a slotted spoon to remove the fish and carrot from the poaching liquid to cool on a plate. Slice the carrot diagonally into thin rounds.
Step 7Place each patty on a leaf of radicchio or endive or both. Set the sliced carrot rounds on top of each patty. Garnish with the remaining tablespoon of fresh herbs and serve warm or at room temperature with horseradish, preferably homemade. If making a day ahead, refrigerate, covered, then return the patties to room temperature before serving.