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Puget sound gefillte fish.

Abundant fresh salmon from Puget Sound inspired Helen Gurvich to create this version of gefillte fish, a dish she serves in celebration of Rosh Hashana, Jewish New Year. Traditionally, the dish is a mixture of ground whitefish, onions, eggs, and matzo meal, shaped into balls and poached in broth made from the fish trimmings. Made with the orange-red fish, gefillte fish has a pretty pale pink color. We've streamlined the process to help busy cooks. Get a quick start with boned and skinned fish. If you chop the fish in a food processor, you must be careful not to purse it. Season fish, pat into balls, and poach in water or broth.

There are options for serving. You can offer the gefillte fish warm or cold on salad greens as a first course, or in the flavored broth as a soup. Either way, dill pickles and a sharp horseradish and dill sauce are classic companions.

Salmon Gefillte Fish

3/4 pound chilled boned and skinned

salmon, cut into 1 -inch chunks

3/4 pound chilled boned and skinned

white-flesh fish such as Lingcod

or rockfish, cut into 1 -inch


1 medium-size onion, coarsely


2 large eggs

About 1/2 cup matzo meal

1 1/2 teaspoons pepper


Broth (recipe follows) or 2 quarts


1 to 1 1/2 quarts mixed salad greens,

rinsed and crisped

Dill pickle spears

Horseradish sauce (recipe follows)

Grind salmon and Lingcod through the fine blade of a food chopper.

(Or whirl 1/3 of fish at a time in a food processor until very finely chopped, about 20 seconds; do not puree.) Put fish in a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate.

Whirl onion in a food processor until smoothly pureed. (Or whirl onion and eggs in a blender until smoothly pureed.)

To fish add onion, eggs, 1/2 cup matzo meal, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; stir until blended. Mixture should be just firm enough to hold its shape when formed into a ball with your hands. If too soft, stir in 2 to 3 more tablespoons matzo meal.

With your hands, pat fish mixture, 2 tablespoons at a time, into smooth balls and set slightly apart. Rinse hands frequently in cool water to prevent sticking.

In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring broth to a boil; adjust heat to simmer. Add enough fish balls to pan to make a single layer without crowding. Simmer, uncovered, until balls are opaque in center (cut to test), about 10 minutes.

Lift gefillte fish from pan with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels in a warm place. Repeat to cook remaining balls. If cooked in broth, you can save broth and serve gefillte fish in it (directions follow).

Serve fish warm or chilled. If made ahead, cool, cover, and chill fish until cold, at least 3 hours or until next day.

Arrange salad greens on individual plates or a platter; lay fish on the greens and accompany with pickles, horseradish sauce, and salt to taste. Makes 4 to 6 servings, 4 or 6 balls each.- Helen Gurvich, Seattle.

Broth. In a 5- to 6-quart pan, combine 1 large onion, quartered; 2 large carrots and 2 stalks celery, each cut into 1 -inch pieces; 1 tablespoon black peppercorns; 2 quarts water; and 3 fish or chicken bouillon cubes. Bring to a boil on high beat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are very soft, about 45 minutes. Pour broth through a colander into a bowl. Discard vegetables and return broth to pan.

Horseradish sauce. Combine 3/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup prepared horseradish, and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or 1 1/2 teaspoons dry dill weed.

Gefillte Fish Soup

Prepare salmon gefillte fish (recipe precedes) and cook in the broth. Omit salad greens. When all the fish is cooked, pour the broth through a colander lined with several layers of cheesecloth into a bowl. Rinse pan, then return broth to it. Bring to boiling over high heat, then add cooked gefillte fish. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand until balls are heated through (cut to test), about 5 minutes.

Ladle soup into 4 to 6 bowls; garnish with fresh dill sprigs (optional). Add horseradish sauce and salt to taste. Accompany with pickles. Serves 4 to 6.
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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Date:Sep 1, 1987
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