The Jewish Omnivore – Gefilte Fish

gefilte-fish

Yep, we’re talkin’ the dreaded Gefilte fish.  Perhaps the most disgusting thing on the entire Jewish Omnivore list.  It’s such a staple though that you simply must try it, even just once.

Chabad.org describes it as “fish prepared in a certain manner, a dish traditionally enjoyed by Ashkenazi Jews on Shabbat and Jewish holidays”. The word “enjoyed” is used extremely loosely here, as I have yet to meet a single person who has ever said “man, I could really go for some Gefilte fish!”.

Basically what you have is ground up fish (usually pike, carp or whitefish) mixed with spices, carrots, onions and some egg (to hold it all together). Most people don’t bother with cooking it, since it’s a serious pain in the ass to prepare. Instead they go for one of the lovely bottles pictured above. Ground up fish in “jelled broth”. Tastes about as good as it sounds.

Don’t forget to get (or make) some strong horseradish to go with it because 1) it masks the disgustingness and 2) horseradish is awesome.  Feel free to wash it down with some awful Manischweitz too complete this culinary nightmare.

If you’re up for a challenge, here’s a solid recipe put together by Wolfgang Puck:

1 head (about 2 1/2 pounds) green cabbage
1/2 cup matzoh meal
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium (5 ounces) onion, minced
2 pounds whitefish fillets, such as pike, carp, or whitefish, cut into chunks
3 eggs, separated
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons (6 or 7 sprigs) chopped fresh tarragon leaves
2 to 3 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
Cayenne pepper, to taste
1 quart fish stock
1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into julienne
1 medium leek, white part only, cut into julienne

Recipe props: Food Channel

The Jewish Omnivore – Brisket

If you like to eat, I’m sure you’ve heard of the Omnivore 100.  This is a list that a UK foodie blog came out with back in 2008 of the 100 things every person should taste before they die.  Since I couldn’t find an omnivore list for Jewish food, I decided to make my own.  First on the list (since we just had it the other night and I thought to take a picture eating lunch leftovers yesterday) is brisket.

Brisket, one of the primary cuts of meat from our good friend Cow, is tasty if prepared correctly or completely crappy if not.  Since the person in our house doing the cooking is half Irish, whenever we do brisket, we do it Guinness Braised.  Brisket, celery, onions, carrots, a bunch of Guinness beer and some other stuff, all tossed together in a slow cooker for 10-12 hours.

Naturally I didn’t take a picture of the pretty plate, since I just rekindled this idea yesterday afternoon, but here’s how it looks in the form of leftovers on a roll with some cheese.

For the record, this is a very un-kosher way to eat leftover brisket, as eating meat and dairy together is a big no-no (one of the many reasons why I will never keep kosher).  I should also mention that for some reason brisket is somewhat tricky to both cook and cut.  Do it wrong and it tastes like a dried up turd.  Fortunately, my wife is an excellent cook so I never have to worry about her food tasting anything but euphorically awesome.