Gefilte fish for the Passover / Pesach festival comes in a wide variety of recipes. What does "gefilte" mean? "Gefilte" means "stuffed" in German, and so gefilte fish literally means "stuffed fish", meaning the fish is minced and "stuffed" with additional seasoning ingredients and then usually simmered in a fish stock or baked in a tomato sauce. The fish used in a traditional recipe for gefilte fish is usually whitefish or pike, but hey, I've tasted salmon gefilte fish, and I sure liked it!

Traditional gefilte fish is a popular food among Ashkenazic Jews, that is, Jews whose ancestors came from either Central or Eastern Europe. I've organized the following gefilte fish recipe for the Passover / Pesach festival in short steps to make it as easy as possible to create. Enjoy, and don't get too stuffed up!

Baked Gefilte Fish Recipe (Preparation time: 30 minutes; Cooking time: 1 1/4 hours)

1 Spanish onion, peeled and cubed
1/4 cup Passover vegetable oil
2 carrots, peeled and quartered
2 lb. (1 kilogram) ground fish (whitefish, pike and pickerel or your favorite mixture)
3 eggs
3/4 cup cold water
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons matzo meal

Instructions for the Baked Gefilte Fish recipe:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius or Centigrade).
  2. Lightly oil a 9 x 5-inch metal loaf pan (22.86 centimeters x 12.70 centimeters).
  3. Line bottom with a lightly oiled piece of waxed paper.
  4. Fit work bowl of processor with metal blade.
  5. Add onion and chop with a few on/off pulses.
  6. Sauté in hot oil.
  7. Cool.
  8. Add carrots and chop until fine.
  9. Return onion to work bowl and mix in remaining ingredients, in 2 batches, using only 2 on/off turns each time.
  10. Transfer to a large bowl and mix well.
  11. Pour into prepared pan.
  12. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  13. Transfer to a wire rack, cool for 10 minutes.
  14. Place a knife between the fish loaf and pan. Slide it around the edge of the fish to loosen. Invert pan on to plate; remove pan and waxed paper; continue to cool.
  15. Cover and refrigerate or wrap well in foil and then in a plastic bag and freeze.
  16. Makes 10 servings as an appetizer or luncheon dish, 20 as hors d'oeuvres.

Note: This fish is very good served with beet horseradish for lunch. For best flavor when not freezing, make it one or two days ahead.

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