Doctored Gefilte Fish

In memory of Shelly Rosenblum.

I assisted in the cooking for Passover this year, 2018. I would like to note that, being a Catholic, I have only attended Passover a few times. But I loved Shelly. I would have loved to have had her recipe to work from but instead I had the website of Sadie Salome. Adjusted below to serve the 28 people attending the Rosenblum/Guagliardo passover.

4 jars of Manischewitz gefilte fish in water or gel or a mix in my case
8 cups of sliced onions (sliced in the food processor)
8 super large carrots
A small bunch of Dill (do yourself a favor and tie up the bunch or mince it finely)
1 sweet potato peeled and sliced
Keep the onion skins

For this quantity I used a canning pot.

Place the pot over medium-high heat. Add a couple tablespoons of acceptable vegetable oil. Add about half the onion, carrots and sweet potato. Pour on the gefilte fish and it’s liquid. Add the remaining carrots, onions & sweet potato, the dill and the onion skins. Add enough water to barely cover.

Raise the heat to bring to bring to a simmer and cook about 2 hours.

Remove the gefilte fish and place in a large container (or two). Strain the broth and pour over. At this point you are supposed to save the carrots. Are you kidding me?! What a mess. So I strained off the solids and used the broth to cook another 5 or 6 carrots to serve with the fish.

Chill and serve with generous amounts of horseradish. (The Polish side of me can get behind the horseradish).


Vietnamese Turmeric Fish & Mango Dipping Sauce

The dill and turmeic combo in this recipe had me skeptical but it turned out to be delicious. The marinated fish gets fried hot and fast in coconut oil. It is served drizzled with a scallion & dill infused oil and served with mango dipping sauce.

1 Tbsp. Turmeric Powder
1 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. Chinese cooking wine
2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/4 lbs. cod fish, boneless & skinless, cut into 2-inch wide pieces

2 Tbsp. coconut oil for frying

Combine the marinade ingredients and stir in fish to coat. Marinate the fish for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

Infused Scallion & Dill oil
2 cups scallions, sliced into thin strips about 1-inch long
2 cups fresh dill, coarsely chopped
pinch of sea salt

Mago Dipping Sauce
1 medium, ripe mango
2 Tbsp. rice vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 garlic clove
1 tsp. dry red chili pepper (add just before serving)
Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until desired consistency.

 Additional Toppings
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Lime juice
Cashews or pine nuts

To Pan-Fy the fish:

Heat 2 Tbsp. coconut oil in a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. When fully hot, add the marinated fish. The fish should sizzle loudly, you may lower the heat to medium-high. Use several batches if necessary to not overcrowd the pan.

Do not turn or move fish until you can see the sides turn a golden color, about 5 minutes. Season with a pinch of sea salt. Add more coconut oil if necessary.

Once golden, carefully turn the fish over. When cooked, transfer to a platter and keep warm.

Using the remaining oil in the pan make the scallion infused oil:
Heat the pan to medium-high. To the oil in the pan add 2 cups scallions and 2 cups of dill. Turn off the heat. Give them a gentle toss until just wilted, about 15 seconds. Season with sea salt.

Pour the infused oil over the fish and serve with mango dipping sauce and additional toppings on the side.

Mom’s Fish ‘n Chip Batter

For a while it was a “thing” to mimic your favorite prepared foods. Mom tried it out but never really could get behind it, except for this recipe. Mom & Dad LOVED fried food, they were so smart.

1 pound cod cut into 1-inch thick pieces

1 cup pancake flour
1 egg
1 cup club soda
1 tsp. basil or parsley
1 1/2 tsp. garlic salt

Mix pancake flour, egg, and seasoning. Add club soda and mix.
Dip cod pieces into batter and fry in corn oil until lightly brown.

**Mom used corn oil for frying because she liked the taste the best. I’ve tried them all and of course I agree, it’s what I grew up on!

Roasted Salmon with Herbs

From Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That?

1 pound salmon filet
salt & black pepper
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1/4 cup minced scallions, white & green parts
1/4 cup minced fresh dill
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. white wine

Preheat oven to 425℉

Place salmon in a roasting pan, season with salt & pepper.

Whisk together olive oil and lemon juice, pour over salmon and let stand while you chop the herbs — about 15 minutes.

Chop scallions & herbs. Sprinkle over salmon. Pour a little wine around fish. Bake 10-12 minutes, until almost cooked in thickest part. Cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes (more for a bigger piece of fish).

Serve with lemon wedges.

Creamy Dill Sauce for Salmon

I have always hated salmon, but it is so pretty that I always want to eat it. Finally, I have developed a taste for salmon. Or at least fresh King salmon which seems to be in season at this time of year.

Lucky for us the dill is abundant in the garden as well. Kelsey found us this delicious, simple recipe to accompany our grilled salmon.

For our dinner we grilled:
1 very large salmon steak (1 1/4 pounds)
rubbed with extra virgin olive oil, about 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh dill, salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Served with the dill sauce on the side.

Dill Sauce
In a medium bowl mix together:
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. horseradish
1 tsp. lemon juice
salt & pepper
2 Tbsp. finely chopped dill weed
1 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
1 Tbsp. heavy cream (to thin the sauce)

Grilled Salmon with Hoisin and Sesame Glaze

Grilled Salmon with Hoisin and Sesame Glaze

Grilled Salmon with Hoisin and Sesame Glaze

I truly dislike salmon, unless the taste is well disguised. This did the trick. Mike thought it was a bit sweet.

The recipe comes straight from a cookbook we picked up at a yard sale called Simply Salmon by James Peterson.

This amount of marinade should be enough for three 6-8 ounce salmon fillets.

Salt and Pepper
2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp. dark sesame oil
1/2 Tbsp. (1 1/2 tsp) white wine vinegar

peanut oil
2 Tbsp. white or black sesame seeds

Season the fillets with salt & pepper and let sit 30 minutes (up to 4 hours) in the fridge. Wipe off the excess salt & pepper.

Combine hoisin sauce, garlic, sesame oil and white wine vinegar in a small bowl and spread a generous spoonful of the mix on the fish. Reserve the rest of the marinade. Refrigerate 4-8 hours.

Toast the sesame seeds in a heavy skillet over medium heat until fragrant (about 5 minutes). Set aside.

Heat the grill. Wipe off the marinade and rub the fish with peanut oil. Oil the grill with a paper towel dipped in the peanut oil. Grill the fish, flesh side down about 3-4 minutes. Turn, coat with remaining marinade and grill until done, approximately 3-4 minutes more. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Roasted Cod with Tomatoes & Capers

Adapted from EatingWell: October/November 2005

Serves 2

1/2 – 3/4 lb. cod fillet
olive oil
ground black pepper
1/2 small onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1 Tbsp. sliced oil cured olives (green olives substitute fine)
2 tsp. capers, drained and chopped
1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Preheat the oven to 450F. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet or coat with cooking spray.

Rub cod with 1 tsp. oil. Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Place on baking sheet and roast 15-20 minutes until done. (Fish will flake)

Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp. oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic until softened. Add tomatoes, cook about 2 minutes, add olives and capers, stir. Add oregano and vinegar, remove from heat and serve over fish.

Thai Cod Stir Fry

I had to use up the left over half can of coconut milk from the butternut squash soup, so this is what I came up with. This was inspired by several seafood recipes from Victor Sodsook’s book True Thai.

I served this with Jasmine rice. As with all stir fries, this goes quickly so assemble the ingredients before you start cooking. Put the rice on to steam first.

2 Tbsp. peanut oil
8 garlic cloves, crushed & mashed
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1/2 small onion, sliced
5 small mushrooms, sliced
1 small bunch of asparagus, cut into 2-inch lengths
3/4 lb. cod, sliced crosswise into thick (+1-inch) pieces
1 cup corn
3 tsp. Thai red chili paste
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. tamarina*
2 Tbsp. chicken broth
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 can coconut milk

In a small bowl, combine chili paste, brown sugar, and tamarina.
In another small bowl, combine coconut milk, soy sauce and chicken broth.

Heat oil in wok over high heat. Stir fry garlic, ginger, onions, mushrooms and asparagus until crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Add fish, stir-fry another minute.

Add chili paste mixture and stir-fry 30 seconds, mixing until sugar dissolves.

Add coconut milk mixture, then corn. Stir-fry another minute until all is heated through. Sprinkle generously with chopped fresh cilantro.

Serve immediately with Jasmine rice.

*Tamarina is a spicy sauce made of tamarind that I purchase in our local Indo-Pak grocery store. I was inspired to add it by a recipe I saw that called for Thai Chili-Tamarind Paste, which I obviously did not have.

Mussels in Butter and Wine

From Mastering the Art of French Cooking

2 cups white wine
1/2 cup shallots, minced
8 parsley sprigs
1/2 bay leaf
6 Tbsp. butter
1/4 tsp. thyme

1 bag mussels, about 2 pounds, scrubbed and de-bearded

2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley

In a large pan with a tight fitting lid, add the wine, shallots, herbs and butter. Boil 3 minutes.

Add the mussels, cover the pot and steam until the mussels open, about 5 minutes. Remove the mussels as they open and place on a large bowl/plate. Pour the sauce over when done. Sprinkle with finely chopped parsley.

You may strain the sauce through cheesecloth to get rid of any sand, we just pour it over.

Scoop some sauce into little bowls for dipping the mussels in as you eat them to rinse off any remaining grit.

Fish Piccata

Usually I make this with chicken but I bought some frozen Pollock recently and wanted to try it out.  Luckily we were loaned a generator for the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy to keep our freezer running.

1 pound fish fillets (or chicken pounded thin)
1/2 cup flour seasoned with salt and pepper
1 small onion, minced
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. capers, drained
juice of one lemon
2-4 Tbsp. white wine
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil

In a large non-stick skillet melt the butter, saute the onion, shallot and garlic until softened. Remove from pan.

Dredge the fish in flour seasoned with salt and pepper, shaking off excess flour. Reheat the frying pan over high heat and add the oil. Add the fish and cook, browning both sides, about 2 minutes per side. If you have thick pieced of fish you will need to use a lower heat and cook them a bit longer.

When the fish is nearly cooked, add the onions, capers, lemon juice and wine. Cook a minute or two so the sauce comes together and thickens slightly.

Serve immediately. Garnish with fresh minced parsley if desired.

This dish is great over pasta or rice.

Last night I had an excellent Ravioli dinner at Romeo’s in Plainsboro, NJ. It inspired me to note that adding spinach with the lemon juice and wine to this dish would be very yummy. Next time…