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Categories: Fish and shellfish, Soups

Grandma Gene's Gefilte Fish

Saturday night, the first night of Passover this year, will mark our 100th family Seder. When we were married just one year, my husband Marvin and I decided to observe the first two Seder nights of Passover in our own ... Read more

Total time: 2 hours plus 2 hours chilling | Serves 8
Note: If possible, buy whole whitefish. Have it boned and wrap the bones, heads and skin separately, for the fish broth. If you're lucky, you may find roe inside the fish, or you can purchase the roe, poach it with the fish balls, and serve separately. This updated version of Grandma Gene's Gefilte Fish gets better and easier to make every year. Use the fish bones, heads and skin of the whitefish for the broth.

Fish broth

  • 1 1/2 onions, coarsely diced (reserve peels)
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery tops
  • 1 pound fish bones, heads and skin from fileted whitefish (see note)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Cold water

Step 1In a large pot, place the onions, onion peels, carrot, celery tops, fish bones, heads and skin, and salt and pepper. Add water to cover and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 1 hour, adding additional water if needed. When the broth is flavorful, strain out the fish bones and vegetables and discard. Keep the broth warm.

Assembly

  • 3 1/2 pounds whitefish and pike, fileted (about the size of 1 whitefish)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Fish roe, optional
  • Lettuce, sliced cucumbers and horseradish sauce, for garnish

Step 1In a meat grinder, grind the fish with the onion, carrot and celery. Put through the grinder again. Place the ground mixture in a large wooden chopping bowl and blend with the eggs and matzo meal. Using a hand chopper, chop the fish mixture, adding the water gradually with 1 tablespoon salt and 2 teaspoons pepper as you chop. (Mixture should be soft and light to the touch.)

Step 2Wet your hands with cold water and shape the fish mixture into oval balls. Bring the broth to a boil over high heat, and place the fish balls in the broth. Cover, reduce the heat to medium high, and cook until the fish is tender, about 1 hour; do not overcook. Cool, transfer to a shallow glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and foil, and refrigerate about 2 hours.

Step 3To serve, arrange a lettuce leaf on each plate; top with fish and garnish with cucumbers and horseradish sauce. Makes about 50 fish balls.

Each serving:
234 calories; 130 mg sodium; 128 mg cholesterol; 9 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 10 grams carbohydrates; 27 grams protein; 1.08 grams fiber.
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