December 21, 2008

Un ballo di macher

Hanukkah started tonight at sundown. Spin that dreidel! Here's a recipe I was absolutely going to test and photograph—gefilte fish as prepared by Richard Tucker's mom—before Boston got hit with three days of snowstorms and shoveling, which I'm sure is some sort of payback for all the bad driving. Anyway, I'll get on the gefilte as soon as I can feel my back again.

This is from Peter Gravina's 1964 collection The Bel Canto Cookbook, which I picked up at this place, which is definitely a mekhaye.
Sara Tucker's Gefilte Fish

3 pounds whitefish
2 pounds pike
1 pound carp
4 onions
2 raw eggs
½ teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons cracker meal
3 quarts fish stock
2 carrots

Have fish dealer filet fish but retain the heads and vertebrae. Salt the fish and refrigerate while you make the stock. Combine the fish heads and vertebrae with 2 chopped onions, a little salt and pepper, and cover with water. Bring the stock to a boil and simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes. Put the fish and two additional onions through a food chopper and grind them finely. To this mixture add the eggs, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the cracker meal and chop until the mixture is thoroughly blended. Shape the mixture into balls 3 inches in diameter. Immerse the fish in the boiling stock (add water to cover if necessary) and cook covered for about 2½ hours, until the fish balls turn white and double in size. Cut the carrots into ½-inch slices and add to the pot ½ hour before the fish balls are finished. Yields approximately 2 dozen.

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