Tag Archives: Appetizer

Gefilte Fish Terrine

Please remember that the Jeffalites were one of the lost tribes.
Serves about 16 people
Shopping List

1 whole pike (about 3 pounds before cleaning)

1 whole whitefish (about 3 pounds before cleaning)

Vegetable oil (for greasing a mold)

4 large onions, divided

4 large carrots, divided

6 TBL matzo meal

4 large eggs

1 lemon

1 bunch parsley

1 bunch chives

1 cup fish stock (if not purchasing whole fish)

white pepper


ATTNYou can purchase other kinds of fish, but the mixture of pike, whitefish and carp is very common. If you like ocean fish, halibut-salmon (in the ratio of 2:1) can be found in Joan Nathan’s recipe, which is the inspiration for this one. You should end up with about 3 pounds of fish fillets.

Ask the fish monger to gut and fillet the fish for you. They should remove the skin from the fillets. ATTN Be sure they give you the head, tail, skin and bones back, wrapped separately from the fish. Wash the skin, bones, etc with cold water until the blood has been removed and place them in a stock pot. Add

  • 2 onions, peeled and cut in half
  • 2 large carrots, cut in thirds
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ground pepper

Add just enough cold water to cover and bring to a boil and lower immediately to a simmer. After 20 minutes of simmering gently, remove from heat. Strain stock and reserve. Discard everything left in the strainer. Chill the stock until needed. This recipe only uses a small amount, so you will probably want to freeze the rest and use it to make a nice fish soup or risotto.

Preheat the oven to 350º F. Find a roasting or baking pan large enough to hold the mold you will be using. The mold should be about 10 cups capacity, like a bundt cake or spring-form pan with a center column. (I dislike silicone molds, but that’s what Joan Nathan used.) Grease the mold with a small amount of

  • vegetable oil (spray oil works well)

Fill the roasting pan with 1″ to 11/2” of water, heat it on the stovetop to almost the boiling point and then ATTNcarefully transfer it to the heating oven.

Combine in a small bowl and set aside

  • 6 TBL matzo meal
  • 1 cup fish stock, at room temperature

Using a meat grinder, grind

  • 3 pounds fish fillets
  • 3 onions

Rinse and pluck

  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves (you only want the leaves, no stems)

Rinse and add

  • 1 bunch chives

And chop the herbs finely.

In food processor, chop

  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

You may add the herbs if you don’t think you chopped them finely by hand, but I have to say that the herbs tend to be chopped better by hand, especially the chives.

In the bowl of an elecric mixer, combine the ground fish-onion mixture, chopped carrots, herbs, matzo meal/fish stock mixture and

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 TBL lemon juice
  • 21/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground white pepper

Run the mixture with a paddle in the mixer for 10 minutes, stopping once or twice to stir down the mixture and clean the paddle. At the end, place 1 spoonful of the mixture in the microwave oven for 40-60 seconds . When it’s cooked, taste it, and adjust the seasonings as needed.

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The mold, about to go into the oven.

Fill the greased mold with the mixture, smoothing the top. Transfer the mold into the roasting pan in the oven. The water only needs to come up about 1″ to 2″ on the side of the mold.  Bake for about one hour: it will be firm to the touch. ATTN If your mold has center opening (like a Bundt cake pan), one hour should be enough, but without the center opening it will probably take a bit longer to finish cooking.

 

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The cooked terrine, with freshly-grated horseradish.

Remove from pan and allow to cool for 15-20 minutes. If your mold has straight sides, cut around the edges. Place a plate on top of the mold and inver the whole thing ATTN using caution as some water is definitely going to pour out of the mold when you do this. It may need a shake to loosen it from the mold. Drain away any excess liquid and chill several hours or overnight. Garnish with dill sprigs and serve with horseradish.

 

Inspired by Joan Nathan’s Alaskan Halibut and Salmon Gefilte Fish Terrine

 

Caponata

Makes 8 servings
Shopping List

2 medium eggplants

6 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1 large onion

2 stalks celery

1/2 cup tomato puree

1/4 cup capers

16 stuffed green olives

1/4 cup wine vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

ATTN Prepare this a day before you want to serve it.

Rinse and cut

  • 2 medium eggplants, making 3/4” cubes (leave skin on)

In a large saucepan, heat

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

and saute eggplant until colored. Remove from pan. Add

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

to pan. Saute until golden

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced

Add

  • 1/2 cup tomato puree

and simmer 2 minutes. Return eggplant to pan and add

  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 16 stuffed green olives, halved

In another pan (or microwave oven) heat

  • 1/4 cup wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

and pour into eggplant mixture. Season with

  • salt and black pepper to taste

Cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate overnight. Serve at room temperature with lemon wedges and toast.

Adapted from The International Dinner Party Cookbook, by Jan Bilton

 

Socca

A giant chickpea-flour pancake. So simple and so delicious.

Preheat the oven to 425 F and heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet in the oven.

Combine

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper (some people will find this too intense)

Stir in

  • 1 cup water at room temperature

Stir until the mixture is smooth. You can leave the batter aside for up to 12 hours but don’t leave the pan in the oven all that time!

Coat the hot skillet with

  • 1 TBL olive oil

Pour in the batter and bake for 12 minutes. The edges should be firm. If the top is dry, brush with olive oil. Put pan under the broiler a minute or two; it will start to brown. Serve hot, or warm, cut into wedges.

You can vary this with other seasonings. We’ve reduced the pepper to almost nothing and adding a lot of rosemary.

Brandade de Morue

This combines two of Evan’s favorite flavors, garlic and butterfat, with the delightful texture and flavor of salt cod.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

1 pound boneless, skinless salt cod

2 to 3 boiling potatoes

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup olive oil

6 to 7 large garlic cloves

1 baguette

One to two days before preparing the brandade, place

1 pound boneless, skinless salt cod

in plenty of cold water and soak covered in the refrigerator. Change the water three or four times during the soaking period. Drain and rinse the fish.

Place the cod in a large saucepan. Add cold water to cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, cover and let stand for 15 minutes. Drain well. When cool enough to handle, scrape off any fatty skin and remove any bones. Tear the fish into bite-size pieces.

Cook

2 to 3 boiling potatoes, peeled

in boiling salted water until soft. Drain, let cool and mash gently with a fork.

Scald

3/4 cup heavy cream

over medium-high heat. At the same time, in a small saucepan over medium heat, heat

1/2 cup olive oil

until it smokes. Place the salt cod and

5 to 6 large garlic cloves, finely minced

in a food processor and pulse to just mix. Add the potatoes. Add the hot oil in a thin stream, pulsing the machine on and off, so the cod is not overworked. When the oil is fully incorporated and the mixture is fairly smooth, slowly add the heavy cream, pulsing on and off to avoid overmixing. Mix until fluffy and smooth. Season with black pepper to taste.

Cut

1 baguette

into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Toast and rub each slice with

garlic clove, cut in half

Serve the brandade with the toasts.

Adapted from Bistro Cooking, by Patricia Wells

Monkfish Liver

Purchase a very fresh monkfish liver; I bought one that weighed about a half-pound. Trim any pieces of membrane or visible blood vessels from it. Place it on a plate and arrange a steamer large enough to hold the plate. Steam the liver on the plate for about 20 minutes. A larger one will probably take a bit longer, but since the timing has a lot to do with the thickness, I wouldn’t suspect the time is linear in relationship to the weight. When it’s done cooking, place the liver on a cutting board and let it sit for a minute, then cut in to 1/4-inch slices. Serve at room temperature with finely grated daikon and ponzu sauce.

A half-pound liver makes about 4-6 servings, depending on how much of this rich food you like to eat. The daikon goes very well with the liver, but go easy on the ponzu sauce… it can overwhelm the flavor of the liver. Leftovers can be refrigerated, but not for long. I have read that it also can be frozen, but haven’t tried that.

Stuffed Vegetarian Vine Leaves

Cook 1 cup brown rice with 1 tsp salt and 3/4 tsp dried thyme until almost cooked. Meanwhile finely chop 1 medium onion and saute in oil until tender; do not brown. Let onions and rice cool for 10 minutes, combine with 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts, 1/2 cup currants and a sprinkling of cinnamon — probably about 1/4 tsp. Stir thoroughly and season with additional salt and/or cinnamon to taste.

Rinse and drain vine leaves. Trim off any stems. (I used a jar that was marked “8 oz. drained weight” and was about the size of a 1 lb. jar of another brand.) With veined side up, stuff with a 1-2 tsp of filling according to the size of the leaves, rolling tightly (see Stuffed Vine Leaves for details). Place on steamer rack and when you’ve stuffed them all, cook for 45 minutes in the covered steamer, being sure it doesn’t dry out.

This made about 30 vine leaves.

Stuffed Vine Leaves

Start cooking 11/2 cups brown rice; you will want to stop it just short of being fully cooked. Meanwhile, chop 1-2 medium onions, finely: you will have about 11/2 cups onions. Saute the onions and 2 cloves minced garlic in olive oil. Season with salt pepper and herbs; I used a mixture of fresh thyme, dried thyme and dried oregano. Add 11/4 pounds ground meat; I used turkey, but lamb or beef will give a more flavorful result. Saute until cooked, but don’t dry it out, and be sure to keep it broken into small bits.

While the rice is finishing up, prepare the vine leaves. I used a 2-pound jar of leaves (but only used about half of the leaves in the jar). Fresh leaves would be better, but you’d need to pour boiling water over them to soften them up. Rinse the leaves, remove the stems and arrange them in stacks so the side with the veins is up. Don’t use torn leaves or ones with many holes.

When the rice is almost cooked, add the drained rice to the mixture and check the seasonings. Now start filling. With the stem end facing you and the veined side up, put a spoonful of filling at the center of the leaf. Fold the left and right lobes nearest the step over the filling at a 30-degree angle, then bring the sides in and finish rolling up. Squeeze it a bit to hold it in shape and put it in a steamer basket. (You want a steamer with a flat surface, not a basket made for steaming vegetables.) Pack them tightly.

Put the steamer into a pot with water in the bottom and a tight-fitting lid. Steam for 45 minutes: the leaves will have softened up. Check the water level from time-to-time because if it runs out, you’ll burn up all your hard work.

This makes a really large number of stuffed leaves, but the exact number will vary according to how large the leaves are that you use.