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Baked Frozen Gefilte Fish Loaf

Each year I take a frozen loaf of gefilte fish, place it in a loaf pan, add water up to near the top of the pan, sugar, onions, and carrots. I wrap it tightly with foil and bake it for 1 1/2 hrs. - 2 Hrs. at about 375. I find it easier and less smelly than boiling the laof.

I find very few comments online about this process and wonder if anyone else does it this way. Friends and family rave about the fish!!

Any thoughts?? Someone once commented that the fish explodes but I've never had that problem. Thanks.

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  1. I am just in the midst of agonizing about gefilte fish, so your post is timely. I made it from scratch for the first time ever last year but, to be perfectly frank, it stank up the house so horribly that I am not in a big hurry to do it again. Second alternative - a friend swears by her baked gefilte fish which is done it a bundt pan and she says it's delicious. I'm in possession of the recipe and thinking about it. But now this. Baking the prepared loaf. How interesting. This really works, huh?

    And just to throw another monkey wrench into the gefilte pot, what if one were to put the frozen loaf into a crock pot and plug it in outside? Has anyone ever done frozen gefilte fish in a crock pot? Just an idea...

    1. A popular variation on gefilte in my neighborhood is to bake the loaves (as an aside, I don't know why _anybody_ eats the nasty jarred stuff; I don't know anybody who keeps kosher year-round who does) covered in a mixture of tomato sauce and sauteed onions, garlic, diced carrots, and chopped peppers. I don't make the stuff personally, and am probably leaving out some ingredients, but it's much more flavorful than the usual boiled-with-carrot-and-onion gefilte.

      2 Replies
      1. re: GilaB

        Actually there is one brand of jarred gefilte fish that is not just edible but actually good. I know that's hard to believe, but try it and you will find it is so. That brand is Noam Gourmet.

        1. re: zsero

          another that also is quite good - seems to be available only around passover - yehudah - It is excellent

      2. spedprof - I have heard of this method, though never tried it. Can you please be more specific about the ingredient amounts and directions for the recipe?
        Thanks very much!

        Also if anyone has a more specific recipe for the type of dish GilaB mentions, with the tomato sauce, could you please share it also?

        3 Replies
        1. re: Bzdhkap

          Bzdhkap,

          What I have done for the past 5-8 years is take a frozen loaf of the fish (There are different brands, although I have settled on A & B as the best) and place it in a loaf pan still wrapped in the paper that is frozen around it. I put water in until it reaches within an inch or so of the top. I've added sugar to the bottom of the pan and surround the fish with cut up carrots and onions. I wrap it tightly in aluminum foil so that the water won't evaporate. I recall putting in the oven at 375 for 90-120 minutes (Lately since I've made about 6-8 loaves at a time, I leave it for the full 2 hours). After the 2 hours, I carefully unwrap the foil and empty the water, saving the carrots for garnish. The fish is still in the paper, but I gently unwrap the loaf while placing it in a container and refrigerate.

          Simple, no smell and delicious.

          However, every year, I search for and find the recipe online to verify my memory. I was unable to find it this year so i wrote to this Board to see if anyone else can confirm it.

          Anyone?

          Thanks.

          1. re: spedprof

            What would happen if you bake the loaf unwrapped? Wouldn't it absorb more of the flavours from the poaching liqud? By unwrapped, I mean without the paper wrapping that the fish came in. I realize you'd have to keep it covered with foil or something.

            Still considering the slow cooker -

          2. re: Bzdhkap

            I asked my mother, and here is the basic recipe, although without specific measurements:

            Chop up carrots, onions, mushrooms, and celery, and saute with salt and pepper. (You can vary the veggies as you see fit.) Run the gefilte loaf under running water and remove the paper wrapper (do not defrost the loaf). Take a baking dish, and either pour some tomato sauce on the bottom or add half of a large chopped tomato. Add half of the vegetables, then place the loaf in the pan. Top with the remaining vegetables and tomato or more tomato sauce. Bake at 350, pan covered with foil, for about 1 hour, then flip over the loaf and bake uncovered for another half hour.

          3. hi, does the fish get watery? or is it nice and firm at end of baking? thanks,

            1 Reply
            1. re: 4greatkds

              Folks,
              The fish is frozen with the paper around it and cannot be removed while in the frozen state. I don't believe it inhibits the absorption of water, but even if it does, it's my opinion that the fish needs the hot water that surrounds it. After all, the recipe that comes with the loaf tells you to place the loaf, with paper around it, in boiling water and simmer for 90 minutes.

              A for the consistency, I, and everyone who has tasted fish prepared this way, believe that the fish is far less watery then that taken from a can or jar that is sitting in liquid for weeks. The moist, yet firm consistency is just right.

              I'm still looking for the recipe on line......

              Thanks

            2. I too use the A&B frozen loaf brand and I boil two loaves in a very large (soup) pot with the following ingredients added: soup greens, parsnips, turnips, carrots and two tbsp. per loaf of sugar. Our guests love it; no comparison to the jarred (yuk) and..........I have made fish from scratch-- this is way cheaper and tastes just about as good.

              1 Reply
              1. re: citified

                I don't find the boiling to be too stinky, so that's what I do. I first make a vegetable stock, discard veggies and cook the frozen fish. Delicious!!

              2. I used your method for years, spedprof, and it worked quite well. Everyone loves it and leaving the paper on ensures that it does not get watery. Refridgerating it for a couple of hours makes it really firm. Recently, though, I began to copy my mother in law for a more flavorful taste. I defrost the loaf for about an hour and then unwrap it carefully. Place some canola oil on a paper towel and brush the loaf with it all around. Spray the pan with olive oil. Season it with salt, pepper, dill, onion and garlic powder. Place the loaf in the pan. Then, season the top the same way. Place an inch of water in the pan with some sliced carrots and onions. Bake covered for one hour to an hour and 15 minutes at 375. It is very tasty.

                1. One more thing:
                  FYI: When cooking for a crowd like a Seder: Place two loaves in a lasagna pan filled three quarters of the way with water and spices, onion, carrots, covered. You may even do a lasagna pan and a loaf pan at one time in most ovens. Just add a half an hour to the baking time. Then, you can actually freeze the finished loaves--once they cool down a bit. They will be good weeks later when you defrost and serve them.

                  1. Thanks so much for posting your method for cooking frozen gefilte fish loaf, spedprof. I tried it for the first seder and it worked great. I always hated boiling the loaves in a round pot, with all that wasted space on the sides, but baking it in a loaf pan was perfect. It tasted great and didnt' stink up the house.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: AmyH

                      Thanks. I made 7 loafs and they were all delicious... I appreciate the input but I'll ry to just remember my basic recipe next year or for Rosh Hashanah. I finally found it online, although there are not too many references to the recipe. As a final test, i checked the internal temp of the fish just when I took it out and it was about 152 degrees, so I know that it cooked.

                      1. re: spedprof

                        spedprof..

                        Can you please send the link, or share the recipe that you finally found online?
                        Thanks very much!

                    2. I steam them above boiling water rather than imerse them in boiling water. I use a large steamer pot with a bottom compartment that holds enough water for the 90 minutes.

                      1. I see this thread is a little old but i have a great recipe that is super easy.

                        Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Contrary to popular belief the paper wrapping on a loaf of gefilte fish can be removed while the fish is still frozen. Simply take the loaf of fish out and let it sit for 5-10 minutes and then peel away the paper, it should come off in one piece, your hands might be a little cold after this. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray and place gefilte loaf in pan. I place the equivalent of a spice rub on top that consists of paprika, garlic powder and freshley ground black pepper and thats it! I use generous amounts of papikra to really cover the fish and give it good flavor/color, and then garlic and black pepper as it suits your taste. Back for 1 hr 15min - 1 hr 30 minutes, let cool and take it out of the loaf. Chill and serve. It usually doesn't even need horseradish because the flavor from the spices is so good.

                        1. This was so good, my family kept helping themselves to more.

                          This recipe was inspired by what was served to me by Rishi Hein (Chabad Lubavitch of Pittsford, NY) when I had Shabbos dinner at their home. I used Ungers Frozen Gefilte Fish, other than the jarred variety, is the only other option in my favorite grocery store.

                          Remove the fish from the carton, but leave wrapped during the initial preparations.
                          In a bit of canola oil, I sauted 2 thinly sliced Vidalia Onions, some carrots and celery. I placed half the veggies in a lightly oiled 2 1/2 qt. round Corning casserole dish, I carefully unwrapped the frozen fish and placed this on the veggies, then seasoned the fish with a little salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder and cilantro. Then, I placed the remaining veggies around the fish. Next, I poured on a bottle of Newman's Own Tomato & Basil Bombolina sauce (only choice in my pantry at the time), covered and baked at 375 degrees for 1 hour. Uncovered, and baked an additional 30 minutes and checked with a digital thermometer to make sure fish was done. I served it warm, but you can serve it cold if you like.

                          Of course, for Passover you would substitute a Kosher for Passover tomato sauce, and season to taste. Enjoy!