Thursday, March 25, 2010

Passover Hell

If you are Jewish, you understand the gefilte fish at Passover thing.  A necessary evil.

But, if you are like me, you also have your standards and you refuse to eat fish from a jar.

A conundrum.

It therefore means you have to make your own gefilte fish.  Horseradish, too.

Oy veh.

So here we go.  You're coming with me on my "Passover Hell" journey.  By the time we finish this, you guys are gonna wish I was still blogging about Meyer lemons. 

Here's what I don't get about Passover food.  It's heavy.  Really heavy.  It coincides with the beginning of spring when we all want to lighten up our menus and escape from the soups and stews of winter.  It shows up when I don't want to eat brisket, gefilte fish and matzoh ball soup!

Alright, I had to say that.

Guess we have to start with gefilte fish, which starts with fish stock.  Yuck.  You really don't want the recipe, do you?  All it does is stink up your house as you simmer it for several hours.  Unfortunately you need it so you can poach your fish balls in it (yeah, that's what gefilte fish really is).  In my case, I used 10 pounds of whole tilapia which I simmered with onions, carrots, celery root, whole peppercorns and cinnamon sticks.  I'm surprised every cat in the neighborhood didn't come sniffing around my house the day I made it.  (In the interest of full disclosure, I made it last week and put it in the freezer).

I'll thaw it out tomorrow and make the fish balls on Sunday.  Stay tuned for that exciting event.

Haha, here's what happened when I made the stock last week.  I had two huge stockpots simmering on the stove.  When the stuff was finally done, I carefully strained it into containers and threw the solids in my kitchen trash can (lined with a 13-gallon garbage bag).  It was around 9pm, we had finished dinner and cleaning up had commenced.  Henry offered to take the bag out to our big trash can in the garage.

You know what's coming.

Stubborn bitch that I am (who, me?) I ignored his offer and lugged it out there myself.  It was heavier than I expected, but I wasn't about to ask for help.  I heaved it up into the big green trash can, didn't quite make it, the bag hit the side of the can, split apart AND DUMPED THAT FISH GORE, GUTS AND BONES ALL OVER THE GARAGE FLOOR.  My language at that moment cannot be repeated here.

Poor Henry.  He immediately came out, opened the garage door to let out the smell and began cleaning up my colossal mess.  He deserves a medal.  Especially since I lost it and started laughing hysterically at the whole thing.  I mean, what else can you do?  It was actually pretty funny.  I think he wanted to kill me, though.

The good news is we dumped enough Clorox around so there is no residual odor.  Well, except for the Clorox....

On to horseradish.  Fresh, that is.  No jarred stuff for me on this one either.  Let me tell you though, this is not for the faint of heart.  It will pretty much take your head off and it makes wasabi look like cream of wheat. 


1/2 pound fresh horseradish root, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
Pinch of salt

Place about 1/4 cup or so of the peeled, fresh horseradish in food processor.  Pulse until horseradish is ground, then add rest of horseradish in small handfuls.  Add vinegar and water and blend until mixture is ground up with no lumps remaining.  Add salt (to taste).

Be very careful when you remove the top to the food processor after grinding the horseradish.  Trust me, the fumes will bring you to your knees.  I had no eye make-up left after my experience with it. 

This is probably enough horseradish to kill everyone
at both Seders

Yield:  about 1 cup.  Use it judiciously.  It's lethal.

1 comment:

  1. holy gefilte fish!!! that's more than I ever knew about gefilte fish AND horseradish! Love it - you are HILARIOUS!