Saturday, September 24, 2011

Rosh Hashana Interlude

This year has been a year of changes. At this point last year I was a Master's student in Jewish history with a part time job at an academic research project. Now, I am no longer a student, but a magistra. I am leaving my job at the project. I edit, translate and write. I work in a kitchen. I'm opening a business. I have a food blog. It has been a year in transit.
Change is wonderful. And stressful. And wonderful. It's helpful to have absolutes. My absolutes have been my family and my friends. They tolerate my highs and lows. They buy my muffins and give advice. They are shoulders to lean on, both literally and figuratively. For that I thank them.
The recipe for stuffed fish below is another absolute in my life. For as long  as I can remember it has been my favorite thing that my mother makes on Rosh Hashana. And when, earlier this week, I called my mother for some menu-planning advice, the only two things we could think of that she consistently makes on the Jewish New Year is this fish and my great-aunt's honey cake. (Which is entirely weird, because if there's one thing that my family does it's food traditions).  Because this is a traditional sort of recipe, the measurements are sort of vague. We've been making it for so long, that by now, we can do it by sight and feel. If you find yourself slightly flustered by the lack of measurements, take a deep breath and trust yourself. It's a good dish, this. It won't lead you wrong.
May the coming year be a year of peace and blessings and as sweet as honey.

My Mother's Stuffed Fish

1 largish firm fleshed whitefish, butterflied.

vegetable oil
 white button mushrooms, sliced (as much, or as little as you like)
2 onions, chopped
freshly ground pepper
a bit of water
1 egg

5 tbl mayonaisse
7 tbl ketchup
1 tbl lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350

Saute the onions in the oil until translucent. Add the mushrooms. Cook until they are browned. Add salt and pepper to taste, and then deglaze the pan with a bit of water. Transfer to a bowl and let cool a bit. Beat an egg into the mushroom-onion mixture. Add the breadcrumbs in slowly (I'd say start with about a 1/2 cup) until the mixture begins to hold together and look like stuffing. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.

In a seperate bowl, mix together the ingredients for the sauce.

Loosly fill the cavity of the with stuffing. Close the fish and brush the sauce over the top.

Bake for an hour* until the fish is translucent and the stuffing has set.

* My mother usually stuffs a big fish- one that fits into an 11x13 pan. If you are using a smaller fish (or two smaller fish), adjust the time accordingly.

1 comment:

  1. As the official taste-tester, i would like to know when i should report for duty.