Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Two Passover Classics or Necessities, Kneidelach and Geffilte Fish

I'm the Ashkenaz (from European stock) grandmother; my son-in-law is from Tunisian parents.  The Jewish world is world wide, and even here in Shiloh, you can find families from almost every place in the world.  That means that there are lots of culinary customs.  We went to our now Tunisian daughter for the Passover seder.  I was asked to bring the kneidelach (matzah balls) and the geffilte fish (boiled fish balls.)

The little pieces of paper with the recipe, which for decades had been on the inside of the kitchen cabinet got lost, fell off, so even I had to check my blog.  By popular demand, here's my very easy, TNT kneidelach aka matzah ball recipe.

I usually double or triple it. This is enough for 4-6 bowls of soup.

1/2 cup of matzah meal
a pinch of salt and some pepper
other spices, like paprika, parsley etc optional
3 eggs
1 tablespoon of water
2 tablespoons of oil (soy or olive or any other)
Mix together and leave for at least 40 minutes.
It's a good idea to prepare the soup at this point, while waiting, so the soup will be boiling when it's time...  If you're not cooking them in soup, then boil slightly salted water for cooking the kneidelach.

Then put either spoonfuls (use the two spoon method like in drop cookies) or roll balls in your hands, into the boiling soup or lightly salted boiling water.

After it returns to a boil, cover the pot and lower the flame to simmer for another 40 minutes.

They can be eaten all year and in any soup. I love them in vegetarian vegetable soup!
 It's also very easy to make geffilte fish.

For basic quantities, may be doubled, tripled etc.:

per half kilo or one pound ground fish (whatever is available, combine a couple of types; I have a friend who uses canned tuna)
  • a grated medium onion
  • an egg or two, depending on size
  • enough matzah meal, so it sticks together, not runny
  • salt, pepper and sugar "to taste"
For the "stock," the liquid used for boiling the fish
  • a sliced onion
  • a sliced carrot
  • salt, pepper and sugar "to taste"
Mix the ground fish with the first set of ingredients.  Make sure the matzah meal is mixed into the "mush."  Then slice your onion and boil it up with water, no more than a third way up the pot, and spices.  When the water is boiling strongly, add the fish, using the "two spoon" method.  Crown them with sliced carrots and let it all simmer in a covered pot for close to an hour.

OK, some people use their hands to make fish balls, rinsing their hands in a bowl of water when too much sticks to their hands.  I'm just not that sort of cook.  I also got married in 1970 when all sorts of warnings about the dangers of raw food were well-publicized.

Both the kneidelach and the geffilte fish may be frozen if you've made too much.  We serve our geffilte fish with homemade horseradish, ground or grated with the addition of vinegar.

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