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.
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...
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.
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?
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.
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 -
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.
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......
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.