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It's a stretch of the imagination to even consider creating vegan gefilte fish, especially when planning the Passover menu in accordance with Ashkenazi tradition. Its strict limitations challenge even the most experienced vegan home chef. Kitniyot are foods forbidden during Passover because they could be confused with the major grains, which are also forbidden (wheat, barley, oats, rye, and spelt.) Kitniyot foods include rice, lentils, peas, corn, soybeans, peanuts, mustard, sesame seeds and poppy seeds
I confess, I've taken grand liberties with tradition by including tofu and miso to add flavor and body to the patties. Some reform Rabbis are receptive to including tofu and soy products during Passover, since these foods are so changed from their original form and no longer recognizable as soybeans. Most orthodox and conservative rabbis strictly adhere to tradition and forbid these soy foods.
Because many vegans feel their food choices are so limited during the week of Passover, they may include soy products. So, we wrestle with our imaginations just a bit and recognize these delicious baked patties are simply representative of real gefilte fish that may have spent a little time at the tanning studio. The patties are easy to prepare ahead and taste great served with the plain or beet juice flavored horseradish.
MOCK GEFILTE FISH
Yield: 24 patties
5 pieces matzoh, broken into small pieces
1 1/2 cups (360 ml) diced onion
1 cup (240 ml) coarsely shredded carrots
1/4 cup (60 ml) water
14 to 16 ounces (340g to 450g) firm or extra firm tofu
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons red (dark) miso
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees (Gas Mark 5) and line 2 large jellyroll pans with parchment.
- Place the matzoh pieces into a large bowl and pour hot water over to cover. Soak just long enough to soften completely, about 1 to 4 minutes. Thoroughly drain off all the water, squeezing firmly down on the matzoh while draining. Set aside.
- Combine the onions, carrots, and water in a large, deep skillet. Water sauté over medium-high heat, stirring frequently for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned. Add small amounts of water as needed to prevent burning. Drain off excess water and add the onions and carrots to the soaked matzoh.
- Rinse the tofu, squeeze out excess liquid, and place it into the food processor. Process for a full minute or two until smooth and creamy and add it to the matzoh.
- Add the lemon juice, miso, onion powder, salt, and pepper and mix thoroughly to blend the flavors and distribute the ingredients evenly.
- Using about two heaping tablespoons, form the mixture into 24 one-half-inch thick, oval patties resembling gefilte fish, and arrange them on the prepared jellyroll pans. Bake for 25 minutes and switch oven racks. Bake 10 minutes longer, remove from the oven, and cool about 15 minutes before removing to a dish.
- To serve as gefilte fish, chill thoroughly and serve with horseradish on the side.
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