Author Topic: Gefilte Fish Help  (Read 986 times)

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jennenen

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Gefilte Fish Help
« on: December 26, 2013, 07:37:03 PM »
Sadly my Oma passed away last March, and it was quite a surprise. Luckily during a visit about a month before I asked her for her recipe for gefilte fish. I figured if I had any problems I could ask her, but sadly this was not the case. I have tried the recipe twice now, and neither time did the liquid gel correctly. Now I don't even like the goo, but I want to make sure I'm not doing something wrong. I just took notes on my phone. The gefilte fish itself is delish, but it's hard to move around because the goo doesn't goo.

Help?

The recipe as she told it to me is:
Ingredients:
mix of three pounds of ground pike, whitefish, and carp (only a little carp)...get heads and bones
Grind 1 big or 2 small onions
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 eggs
1/4-1/2 cup of matzoh meal
Carrot/potato as needed

Slice an onion and put it at the bottom of the pot (or some of the ground onion)
Salt and Pepper the water
Add bones/head
Add Carrot/Potato to water
Bring to a boil


Mix fish, onion, salt, pepper, eggs, and matzoh meal
Form fish to balls
Simmer for an hour then put it in the fridge



cicero

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Re: Gefilte Fish Help
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2013, 11:08:52 PM »
I'm glad you got the recipe from her! One of my cousins managed to get our grandma's Babka recipe, complete with photos to grandma baking them.

For gefilte fish, the few times I've made it, I would simmer the stock first, strain, then cook the patties I n the strained stick. When it finishes cooking, remove the fish patties with a slotted spoon, arrange in a container/pan, then pour some of the liquid around it. Not sure if this is the method you used

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greencat

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Re: Gefilte Fish Help
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2013, 01:28:14 AM »
Could you perhaps not be getting enough bones in the fish mix?  I am pretty sure, from my knowledge of basic food chemistry, that it's the proteins released from the bones when they are boiled that causes the gelling.

PastryGoddess

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Re: Gefilte Fish Help
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2013, 03:00:39 AM »
Could you perhaps not be getting enough bones in the fish mix?  I am pretty sure, from my knowledge of basic food chemistry, that it's the proteins released from the bones when they are boiled that causes the gelling.

I was going to say this as well.  Collagen from the bones is what causes the stock to gelatinize. If you can't get enough bones, you can always add in extra gelatin.  If you do not combine meat and fish, then you can get kosher gelatin which is vegetable based but not as strong as regular gelatin. 

jennenen

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Re: Gefilte Fish Help
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2013, 09:46:14 AM »
Thanks for the help. I did not try the strain and drain method, I just sort of moved it from the pot to a container for the fridge. I'm going to try that for Passover, and if that doesn't work I'm going to try getting Kosher gelatin.

I was really glad I got the recipe, I was also lucky to get her chopped liver recipe, which I was able to make flawlessly, so it's recipes 1 Jenn 1

nayberry

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Re: Gefilte Fish Help
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2014, 03:03:37 PM »
well the recipe my grandma made never had the bones in it, she only used them for making stock to cook them in,

this is the most similar recipe and method i can find,  http://kosherfood.about.com/od/howtokeepkosher/ss/gefilte.htm

cicero

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Re: Gefilte Fish Help
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2014, 03:48:40 PM »
well the recipe my grandma made never had the bones in it, she only used them for making stock to cook them in,

this is the most similar recipe and method i can find,  http://kosherfood.about.com/od/howtokeepkosher/ss/gefilte.htm
Nayberry that is very interesting, we never made gefilte fish that way - I've never heard of adding parsnipo, garlic or paprika, nor frying the onion. I wonder what the origin is . in my mother's recipe, we used grated/ground raw onion for the patties, and sliced raw onion and carrots for the cooking liquid. No parsnip or garlic!

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nayberry

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Re: Gefilte Fish Help
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2014, 05:31:45 PM »
well the recipe my grandma made never had the bones in it, she only used them for making stock to cook them in,

this is the most similar recipe and method i can find,  http://kosherfood.about.com/od/howtokeepkosher/ss/gefilte.htm
Nayberry that is very interesting, we never made gefilte fish that way - I've never heard of adding parsnipo, garlic or paprika, nor frying the onion. I wonder what the origin is . in my mother's recipe, we used grated/ground raw onion for the patties, and sliced raw onion and carrots for the cooking liquid. No parsnip or garlic!

well grandma was from polish/ukranian/eastern european descent (name only found in those areas and bliddy difficult to find at that!)  and learnt the recipe she used from her grandma (thank goodness they moved well before any issues!!)

cicero

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Re: Gefilte Fish Help
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2014, 03:27:34 AM »
well the recipe my grandma made never had the bones in it, she only used them for making stock to cook them in,

this is the most similar recipe and method i can find,  http://kosherfood.about.com/od/howtokeepkosher/ss/gefilte.htm
Nayberry that is very interesting, we never made gefilte fish that way - I've never heard of adding parsnipo, garlic or paprika, nor frying the onion. I wonder what the origin is . in my mother's recipe, we used grated/ground raw onion for the patties, and sliced raw onion and carrots for the cooking liquid. No parsnip or garlic!

well grandma was from polish/ukranian/eastern european descent (name only found in those areas and bliddy difficult to find at that!)  and learnt the recipe she used from her grandma (thank goodness they moved well before any issues!!)
curiouser and curiouser. (i wonder if we are related lol!)

my paternal grandparents are from the same area (i am assuming you mean the Polish Galicia?) - my grandfather was from a hamlet (or some teeny tiny village) that is now in Ukraine and my grandmother was from a fair sized city that was then under austro-hungarian culture, now part of poland. My maternal grandparents were american born, their grand or great grandparents were from "somewhere in europe" according to my grandmother, but in tracing the family name they were apprently from romania. so i'm not sure where my late mother got HER recipe from exactly, but in my family, it was always made with the onion and carrots, seasoned with salt, pepper, and a little sugar. i guess this recipe is close to what i'm used to.

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nayberry

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Re: Gefilte Fish Help
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2014, 11:17:30 AM »
well i can let you know a couple of surnames,  that would make my mums day, most of dad's family history is so difficult to find

/threadjack off :)

and yum at the relish recipe, thats getting made

cicero

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Re: Gefilte Fish Help
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2014, 01:58:58 PM »
well i can let you know a couple of surnames,  that would make my mums day, most of dad's family history is so difficult to find

/threadjack off :)

and yum at the relish recipe, thats getting made
yeah, i laughed at the word "relish". we just call it "chrein". if you make it from scratch, make sure to use a very well ventilated kitchen (I use one of those painting masks).

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nayberry

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Re: Gefilte Fish Help
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2014, 02:12:03 PM »
well i can let you know a couple of surnames,  that would make my mums day, most of dad's family history is so difficult to find

/threadjack off :)

and yum at the relish recipe, thats getting made
yeah, i laughed at the word "relish". we just call it "chrein". if you make it from scratch, make sure to use a very well ventilated kitchen (I use one of those painting masks).


:D gotcha!

gellchom

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Re: Gefilte Fish Help
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2014, 02:38:03 PM »
My friend that I always make big cooking projects with and I tried twice to make gefilte fish.  (We were inspired by my getting a new mixer that came with one free attachment, and I chose a grinder.)  We looked at lots of recipes and thought it would be great, but it was just okay both times. 

It's hard because the problem is not the recipes, it's not knowing how the fish mixture should look, feel, and taste before cooking.

We realized that the only way to really know would be to make it alongside someone with experience.  We didn't get around to it fast enough, though -- the person in our community that I really wanted to teach us died last week.  I suppose we can find someone else.  But I will always think of her!

The only other thing I can think of -- because your problem seems to be the same as ours -- is to make lots of little bowls of the mixture, some with more or less this or that, and cook one ball from each at a time (or in separate pots so you don't forget which is which) like an experimental chef at Best Recipes.  It would be time-consuming and dirty a lot of dishes, but it would be fun!

I've never seen a recipe that called for grinding the bones right into the fish, either -- just in the stock.  By the way, the fish guy gave me the bones and heads in a cheesecloth bag so I didn't have to strain all that gunk out. 

If you nail it, please let us all know!

Mel the Redcap

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Re: Gefilte Fish Help
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2014, 09:52:15 PM »
My cooking experience has involved LOTS of things not turning out the right way ;D so here's what I've found has been the reason for things that are meant to 'goo' not 'goo-ing':
- Not enough bones to produce the gelatine
- Too much water, thus diluting the gelatine
- Not simmering for long enough, thus not getting enough of the gelatine out of the bones

Reading over your recipe, it sounds like you're getting the bones + veggies to the boil, and then immediately putting in the fish balls. I'd try simmering the bones + veggies for maybe an hour, in only half a pot of water (less if it's a big pot and half-filling it drowns the bones; tie the bones up in cheesecloth the way gellchom mentioned to make it easy to get them out later), then test it by dropping a little onto a really cold plate (put a saucer in the freezer!) and seeing if it goes gooey.

...Now I wanna try! ;D
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jennenen

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Re: Gefilte Fish Help
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2014, 07:33:11 PM »
My cooking experience has involved LOTS of things not turning out the right way ;D so here's what I've found has been the reason for things that are meant to 'goo' not 'goo-ing':
- Not enough bones to produce the gelatine
- Too much water, thus diluting the gelatine
- Not simmering for long enough, thus not getting enough of the gelatine out of the bones

Reading over your recipe, it sounds like you're getting the bones + veggies to the boil, and then immediately putting in the fish balls. I'd try simmering the bones + veggies for maybe an hour, in only half a pot of water (less if it's a big pot and half-filling it drowns the bones; tie the bones up in cheesecloth the way gellchom mentioned to make it easy to get them out later), then test it by dropping a little onto a really cold plate (put a saucer in the freezer!) and seeing if it goes gooey.

...Now I wanna try! ;D


I like this idea if only because it was so gross working around the bones. It's annoying as the fish itself is delish (except for the time I forgot to salt it), it's just that without the goo it feels a bit dry. None of us eat it, we just like to know it's there. Bring on Passover; the fish is too expensive to do a trial run.