Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Don't Passover Gefilte Fish

Gefilte Fish is a traditional course served during a Passover Seder.  Many people are unaware of what it is and those that are familiar with it only know of the gefilte fish sold in jars.  The jarred variety does not look very appetizing, as it tends to look like clumpy fish balls in a murky liquid.  But take heart, gefilte fish is an easy and delicious course to make from scratch, foregoing the murky fish balls.
Start by cooking tender some carrots and parsnips.  I cooked mine sous vide for 30 minutes at 180F. 
Traditionally gefilte fish is made of fresh white fish, like carp.  But living in California I opted for some local fresh caught cod fillets.  Here are two pounds of it.  You want to cut the fish into 1/2 cubes and then  place in freezer for half an hour.

While the fish chills, mince two cooked carrots and one parsnip, with one preserved lemon (skin only) and two tablespoons of minced tarragon. 
After the fish has chilled place in a food processor and pulse into a smooth paste about 1-2 minutes.

After the fish has been processed into a paste, place into a large mixing bowl and add the minced carrots, parsnips, preserved lemons, and tarragon.  To that add one egg and a quarter cup of matzoh meal.
Mix well to combine, then form into 3 equal sized logs about 2 inches in diameter.

I then bagged each log in its own vacuum pouch with 1/4 cup of frozen fish stock and cooked sous vide at 140 for 1 hour, then removed the cooked fish and placed in an ice bath to cool for half an hour before refrigerating over night.  
To serve the gefilte fish remove from the bags and slice into disks and serve immediately with minced tarragon.  Traditionally gefilte fish is served cold so there is no need to reheat.

Chef Mick is co-owner and Culinary MC of Add Thyme Cooking Classes