Friday, April 6, 2012

Gefilte Fish Update

Whew! Ungh! Those fishmongers don't know a damn thing about filleting. It took me forEVER to remove all those bones.

So, let's see. I kept the tasty part of the fish in the refridgerator. Meanwhile, into a large pot was put the bones and head and tail from the fish, a large onion cut into quarters, a generous dash of black pepper, and about 3/4ths of a chinese carrot. The onion included the orange-brown outer skins, because it adds a nice color to the stock. Yea, I know, stupid. But it does make dealing with the onion easier too. A chinese carrot is the kind of huge carrots you find frequently here in chinatown- each carrot is roughly the size of 3-4 regular carrots.

I would have put all of this into a cheese cloth for easier removal later, but I couldn't find any in the stores. Naturally, after putting everything into the pot, I found some.

That simmered for 3 hours, with occasional scum skimming from the top. Once this was done, the stock was filtered by hand very carefully. Lovely smell, nice dark color. This was set aside for later, although 2-3 cups was separated from that as well. I'll get to this later.

The fish was inspected and bones ruthlessly eliminated. Now, a lot of people will tell you to chop the fish into little cubes. This is useful if you are hand chopping everything together later. I, however, am not. I have a meat grinder, and my meat grinder works best with meat when it is cut into long, fat strips. So I cut my fish into long fat strips. Don't judge me.

I also rough chopped a large onion (or peel this time) and added it to the fish strips. Both the fish and the onion went into the meat grinder together. Once the fish was ground, it was sprinkled with 2-3 dashes of kosher salt and roughly mixed by hand. This was just to make sure the salt was evenly distributed. I cracked 8 eggs and the whites went into the fish.

Separate the fish into two portions. Put the first portion into a food processor. Blend until smooth. Repeat with the other portion, then combine. Add a cup of matzoh meal.

What's that? I have a box of matzoh meal in my cupboard which expired in June, 2009. Hm, no. Off to the supermarket! It's closed for good friday. Well, damn. Hell with it, I have a box of Streitz's egg matzoh upstairs, fresh. Well, freshly bought a week ago. It's still perfectly good. I crumbled up two sheets roughly, then stuck them into my mortal and pestle and made my own damn matzoh meal, then added that to the fish and mixed it in by hand.

Remember those two-3 cups of stock you held in reserve? Take that and dump it into a small pot or pan and heat to simmering. Take some of the fish and mold it into a mini piece of gefilte fish. Drop this gently into the simmering stock. Simmer for ten minutes, flipping halfway in between. Eat it, and adjust the main batch for taste (this is known as batch testing ;) ). Don't forget the horseradish!

Once satisfied, cover the bowl with clingwrap and stick it into the refrigerator for at least an hour before cooking.

Quick note. I thought it tasted delicious, with a slight almost smoky underflavor from the type of fish. I enjoyed it immensely, however. My wife loathes gefilte fish, but I know she's only ever had in from a jar. Brave soul, she was willing to try my homemade stuff. To her surprise, she actually liked it. It is honestly and truly a completely different creature than the stuff from the jar.

1 comment:

Barb said...

Wow! Bravo on undertaking such a complex task as gefilte fish!