Narsai David Recipe: Gefilte Fish

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Broken piece of matzo held in hand

Broken piece of matzo held in hand (AP)

Narsai David (CBS) Narsai David
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(KCBS) – KCBS Food and Wine Editor Narsai David says this is a great recipe for Passover.

Yields 18 – 2 oz pieces
Note: this is the maximum you can fit in a large food processor.

2 1/2 matzohs
1/2 small carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
8 oz halibut filet
8 oz butterfish filet (aka Sable)
8 oz filet of sole
4 oz onion (1 small), chopped
3 large eggs
1/2 cup dry sherry or white wine
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
2-3 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
2-3 TBS chopped parsley

SAUCE
4 cups fish broth or chicken broth and 1 cup white wine

Pulverize matzohs in food processor to a fine meal. Remove and set aside. Pulse carrot in food processor until very finely chopped. Remove and set aside. Puree fish until fairly smooth. Add onion and continue pulsing until a smooth puree, occasionally scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula. Add matzoh meal, eggs, wine, salt, pepper and ginger and continue processing until a smooth puree. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the carrots and parsley. Cook a very small test piece to check the seasoning.

Divide into 18 equal balls. (A #16 ice cream scoop is the perfect size. Or divide into 3 equal lumps, and then divide each into 6 parts.) Dip hands into cold water and form
4 inch long ”sausages”

Heat the broth and wine in a 3-4 qt saucepan and poach the pieces 5 or 6 at a time. Cook until they float and the water is simmering, and then cook 5 minutes more. As the liquid evaporates, replace it with a little water.

SAUCE
Strain the poaching liquid, and reduce to 1 cup. Cool to lukewarm or room temperature. Whisk in 2 eggs , the juice of a large lemon, and a dash of hot sauce. Return to the heat, and cook ONLY to 140 – 160F, whisking constantly, to make a savory sabayon sauce. You will see a distinct “fluffing” up and thickening. IMMEDIATELY remove from heat and transfer to a serving bowl to cool. (If it reaches a higher temp, it will curdle the egg, and give a coarse texture like yogurt, losing the fluffy smoothness of a sabayon.)

Cover a small plate with baby spinach or Tat Soi leaves. Center the gefilte fish on it and GARNISH with slices of cooked carrot, and a spoonful of the sauce.

NOTE: Almost any mixture of white fleshed fish can be used. This combo is usually available on the West Coast. The dryness of the halibut is balanced by the richness of the butterfish. Traditionally, fresh water fish like pike and whitefish are used in the Midwest.

Narsai David is the KCBS Food and Wine Editor. He has been a successful restaurateur, chef, TV host, and columnist in the Bay Area spanning four decades.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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