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Passover Recipe: Gefilte Fish

Still looking for the perfect dish to make for your Passover seder next week? Nothing beats our Founder and CEO Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez’s gefilte fish for putting a twist on a tradition handed down for generations. She shared the story of how it came to be in the Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook:

“My great-grandmother Minnie Starkman was from Poland and made gefilte fish the old-fashioned way, starting with whole carp, which she would keep alive in the bathtub, and then clean and grind herself. She’d painstakingly form individual patties to poach in fish stock made from the carp’s bones. It was a long, laborious process that left a pungent aroma in the house. Her thoroughly modern daughter, my grandmother, found a recipe that involved chopped fish baked in a Bundt pan, her most beloved kitchen vessel. Much simpler but definitely controversial, my grandmother’s version has won over many who didn’t grow up eating gefilte fish. Be sure to serve this with plenty of red horseradish with beets and Matzo or Eier Kichel.”

Gefilte Fish
Serves 12

Ingredients

3 carrots, peeled
1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 pound/455 g coarsely ground carp
1 pound/455 g coarsely ground whitefish
1 pound/455 g coarsely ground pike
¼ pound/115 g coarsely ground salmon
4 large eggs, beaten
¼ cup/30 g matzo meal
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper (use white pepper if you don’t want any flecks in your gefilte fish)
½ cup/110 g vegetable oil
½ cup/115 g cold water
Cooking spray
Prepared horseradish

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F/165 C.
  1. Roughly chop 2 of the carrots and put in a food processor with the onion. Pulse until pulverized, about a dozen 2-second pulses.
  1. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or to a large bowl if you’re using a handheld mixer). Add the carp, whitefish, pike, salmon, eggs, matzo meal, sugar, salt, pepper, and oil. Starting on low speed and increasing to medium, whisk the mixture, adding the water bit by bit as you go, until everything is evenly combined, smooth, and light, about 5 minutes (longer if you are using a hand mixer).
  1. Coat a 12-cup/2.8 liter Bundt pan with cooking spray. Cut the remaining carrot into thin circles and put one slice of carrot in each large groove of the Bundt pan (snack on whatever carrot remains). Carefully fill the Bundt pan with half the fish mixture—try not to move the carrots. With wet hands, press down firmly to make sure that there are no air pockets. Fill the pan with the remaining fish and press it down again. Give the Bundt pan a few whacks on your work surface to settle the fish. Cover the top of the pan tightly with foil.
  1. Put the Bundt pan on a rimmed baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Bake the gefilte fish until firm to the touch, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Remove the foil and carefully drain off and discard the excess liquid. Return the pan to the oven, uncovered, to dry out the fish, an additional 15 minutes.
  1. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before carefully inverting onto a serving dish that fits it comfortably. Pat dry with paper towels and remove any white film from the outside. Let the gefilte fish cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  1. Slice and serve cold with plenty of horseradish.