Posts Tagged: gefilte fish Results 23
Smells of kreplach and challah wafted into the Rykestrasse Synagogue in Berlin on a rainy Friday in March, as Israel-born chef Itay Novick and his staff hurriedly worked in the nearby kitchen to prepare Sabbath dinner for nearly 100 guests. The dinner was part of the first-ever Jewish food festival in the city, Nosh Berlin, and it was sold out — as were the three other Shabbat dinners being prepared across the German capital.
Gefilte may be the most ubiquitous fish dish in the Jewish culinary lexicon, whether we’re talking about the mass-produced, jarred versions available at supermarkets or the ready-made kind from kosher-style delis and dairy appetizer stores. But it is also the most celebratory fish dish, closely related to the haute-cuisine triumph quenelles de brochet.
For centuries, Jewish women schlepped to the fish market, choosing the best fish “by the look in its eyes” before transforming it into the quintessential Sabbath gefilte fish. Using a wooden bowl and a half-moon-shaped chopper, they cut up the fish with onions, crying a little, chopping a little, until the mix was just the right consistency, later to be shaped into ovals or balls and poached in fish broth.
Passover, the weeklong holiday that celebrates the Israelites’ freedom from slavery in Egypt was simpler back in the day. There was just one recipe for charoset, the mixture that symbolized the mortar the Israelites used to make bricks for the pyramids. That recipe had apples and walnuts — not dates, pistachios and ginger. There was just one decorative goblet on the table for the prophet Elijah. No Miriam’s Cup. Moses’ sister was left out. We’d buy a big bottle of Manischiewitz Concord Grape wine and didn’t worry if it paired well with roast chicken. No one knew that delicious kosher-for-Passover Israeli Chardonnay even existed.
1) Matzo: There’s not much to like about this flatbread that looks and tastes like corrugated cardboard. But that’s because you’re probably buying the boxed square matzos. Boxed matzo is made by a machine and often sits on the shelf for months before you purchased it. What you end up with are stale, unsatisfying crackers. Sure you can ju-ju it up by turning it into matzo pizza or matzo brei. But the solution is to go traditional and buy handmade, circular versions called “Shumra” matzo. Shmura matzo, which means “watched matzo,” is matzo that has literally been watched from the moment the wheat is cut until the matzo is baked. It is baked in a wood-burning oven until it gets crisp and charred. The result? Crunchy deliciousness. And the perfect vessel for the best matzo lasagna you’ve ever had.