Gefilte Fish

IMG_4387My family love home made gefilte fish. I use 2 kgs minced/ground fish and make half into gefilte and the rest into fried fish balls. When my son was much younger he would not eat carrots so I mince/grind my own fresh fish and add fried onions to the mixture, which makes it sweeter. I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine do.

INGREDIENTS

2 kgs (4 1/2 lbs) filleted fish. (I use hake/stockfish but any white fish will do)
Ask the fishmonger for the head, skin & bones (these are used for the stock)
3 large onions, sliced and fried in 4 tbls oil
1 tbls flour or matzoh meal
2 tbls matzo meal
3 eggs
2 tsp salt
2 tsp seafood/fish seasoning
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup ice cold water

METHOD

1. Cut the fish fillets into chuncks.
2. Place a handful of fish into a food processor at a time and grind the fish for a few seconds till the fish is chopped. Repeat until all fish is ground.Remove the fish and place it in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add the fried onions and oil and blend till chopped finely, add this mixture to the fish in the mixing bowl.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix very well. At this stage I taste the fish to check for seasoning…Yes I do like raw minced fish and this step might not be for everyone!
5. Prepare the stock. I still prepare the full amount even though I fry half.
6. Place 8 – 10 cups of water in a large pot
7. Add the rinsed skin, head and bones.
8. Slice 3 onions and add these to the stock, I add the skin of the onion which gives the stock a good colour.
9. Add 1 tsp salt, dash of pepper and 1 tsp sugar.
10. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 hour.
11. Strain the stock and add 3 peeled and sliced carrots.
12. Use a bowl of water to wet your hand (this prevents the fish mixture from sticking) and shape the fish mixture into balls and carefully place into the hot stock
13. Cook over gentle heat for 1 1/2 hours.
14. Leave to cool in the pot.
15. Remove the fish balls and place them into a platter dish with sides – pyrex dishes work best. 16. Place a sliced cooked carrot on top of each ball.
17. Pour the liquid around the fish balls. It should set into a jelly from the skin, bones and head. 18. Place in the refrigerator.
For the fish cakes:
1. Heat oil in a frying pan.
2. Shape the fish mixture into patties or balls and frytill golden. IMG_0467 IMG_0472

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Chopped Liver

Ingredients
500g (1 lb) chicken livers
3 onions – sliced
60 ml oil
6 eggs
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
pinch pepper
1 thelma chicken cube
1/2 – 1 cup water

Method
Place eggs in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and set the timer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cover in cold water. Remove the shells when cool. Heat oil in a large frying pan and add onions and saute until glassy. Add the cleaned livers and cook briskly until the onions are nicely browned. Add salt & pepper, water and stock cube. I like to taste at the end and add more salt if needed. Cover with a lid and reduce heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from the head and allow to cool. Mince the liver mixture and the eggs into a large bowl. I always put a lice of white bread through the mincer at the end. Beat until well blended. Season to taste. Arrange on a platter and garnish with finely grated egg and decorate the sides with thinly sliced pickled cucumber.

Chopped Herring

IMG_4434Chopped herring is very popular and always requested at a function in South Africa. Our local synagogue has a kiddush brocha meal every Shabbat and I make the chopped herring for this. I reckon I make about 15kg a month! You can never have enough. It is usually served with Kichel (recipe here). Chopped herring is served on almost all Jewish Holidays and celebrations. This quantity makes about 2 liters.

INGREDIENTS
700 grams soaked fresh herring fillets
6 onions – peeled
6 granny smith apples – peeled & cored
6 extra large eggs – hard boiled and peeled
8 marie biscuits – any sweet cookie can be used. to make parev i use lady fingers.
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup lemon juice
dash of cinnamon

METHOD

Slice onions and fry in a little oil until soften be careful not to carmalize them, about 12 minutes. Use a food grinder/mincer on medium (my Kenwood electric mincer has three different discs and I use the middle one). Mince the herring, apples, biscuits/lady fingers, onions and eggs into a large bowl. Once everything has been minced add the sugar, vinegar, lemon juice and cinnamon. Mix well and taste, it should taste sweet and sour. Adjust with additional seasoning as necessary, I sometimes need to add a little more vinegar. Don’t forget that the flavours will develop once the mixture stands for a while. Once the flavour is to your liking cover and place in refrigerator for a few days before serving. This recipe can frozen with great success.