By Kat Romanow
(The Nosher via JTA) – When I was creating the menu for Fletchers, the Jewish cafe I manage in Montreal, I knew that I needed to include gefilte fish, but there couldn’t be any limp romaine or parsley in sight. I took the elements of a traditional plate of gefilte fish and made it into a sandwich because everything is just better between slices of bread.
Whether you’re already a gefilte fish fan or still need convincing, we promise that this will make you love it.
FLETCHER’S HOMEMADE GEFILTE FISH
Yield: 1 loaf
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
340 grams boneless, skinless halibut fillets (or another similar white fish), cut into chunks
340 grams boneless, skinless tilapia, cut into chunks
2 large eggs
3/4 cup cold water or veggie stock, plus boiling water for pan
3 tablespoons matzah meal
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons Diamond kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- Preheat the oven to 325 F. Coat a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan with olive oil. Heat remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook onion, stirring, until soft, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.
- Pulse the turbot and tilapia in a food processor until finely chopped, not smooth.
- Beat eggs with a whisk for about 1 minute. Mix in the onion, fish mixture, cold water or stock, matzah meal, sugar, lemon juice and zest, salt, and some pepper until well combined. Mix in dill.
- Transfer mixture to pan. Smooth top using a spatula. Cover with parchment-lined foil, and transfer to a large roasting pan. Pour enough boiling water into a glass casserole to come halfway up the sides of the loaf pan. Bake until terrine is firm in the center, about 45 minutes. Remove pan from water. Let cool for 10 minutes. Wipe the fish fat off the top of the gefilte fish and drain the fish juice out of the pan.
- Let cool completely and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze.
For the gefilte fish club sandwich:
2-inch-thick slices of your favorite store bought or homemade gefilte fish; this recipe works best with a square loaf
3 slices of challah bread
romaine lettuce, or mixed greens
1-2 tablespoons prepared horseradish mayo (recipe below)
1 tablespoon prepared pickled red onion (recipe below)
For the pickled red onions:
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (Diamond brand)
1 red onion, thinly sliced
For the horseradish mayo:
2 cups mayonnaise
1 tablespoon white horseradish
Zest of half a lemon
- To make the pickled red onion: Whisk first 3 ingredients and water in a small bowl until sugar and salt dissolve. Place onion in a jar; pour vinegar mixture over. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour or refrigerate overnight.
- To make the horseradish mayo: Combine mayo, horseradish and lemon zest. Set aside. Can be prepared several days ahead, if desired.
- To assemble sandwich: Set broiler to high and place the gefilte fish slices on a sheet pan. Heat the gefilte fish slices until they are golden brown and warmed through, about 2 minutes.
- Toast slices of challah while the fish is in the oven. Spread the bottom piece of challah with horseradish mayo, place one piece of gefilte fish on it (smash the fish a little so it spreads across the bread) and place tomatoes on top. Top with next piece of challah, spread that piece of toast with a little mayo, place the rest of the gefilte fish on it, top with pickled onions and lettuce. Place last piece of challah on top of the sandwich.
- Cut the sandwich diagonally, place a pickle slice on each half of the sandwich, and put toothpicks into the center of the pickle slices.
(Kat Romanow is a Jewish food historian and the director of food programming at the Museum of Jewish Montreal. She created Fletchers – Espace Culinaire, the first Jewish food space of its kind in Montreal, where people can come for a meal inspired by the diversity of Jewish food or for one of the many food events there. She is also the co-founder of The Wandering Chew, a project that explores the diversity of food cultures that make up the Jewish community in Montreal and elsewhere through pop-up dinners, cooking workshops, and other food-related events.)
The Nosher food blog offers a dazzling array of new and classic Jewish recipes and food news, from Europe to Yemen, from challah to shakshuka and beyond. Check it out at www.TheNosher.com.