I happen to have two favorite fish dishes; one is Moroccan salmon (also known as “Chraimi”). Chraimi is a traditional Moroccan recipe in which one cooks salmon in a flavored tomato sauce.
My other favorite fish dish is my grandmother’s gefilta fish. My late grandmother (Bubby) used to make the best homemade gefilta fish. She made it very sweet in the Polish cooking style — as she grew up in Vilna. My Bubby would sit at my mother’s kitchen table in Sydney, Australia mixing huge bowls of ground fish with matza meal, eggs, salt, pepper and TONS of sugar. Our house would smell of yummy fish cooking in the sweet broth of fish heads and carp skin. Nowadays, we wouldn’t even consider making our own fish from scratch. We have so many companies that make their own frozen logs for us to buy; making gefilta fish is now super-easy.
I make both Chraimi as much as I make gefilta fish. Last week, I had the idea to make Chraimi sauce and then drop gefilte fish balls into it. The results were terrific! I was rather pleased that I had blended two styles of traditional Shabbat fish (Ashkenazi and Sephardi) into a unique appetizer. I served it hot on Friday night and the leftovers cold for Seuda Shlisheet — both were perfectly delicious.
Chraimi with Geflite Fish
1 loaf of frozen gefilte fish defrosted
½ cup panko crumbs
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 Tablespoon curry powder
14oz can chick peas
32oz can crushed tomatoes
½ teaspoon of cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 gloves garlic,
2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro or parsley
1 Plum tomato, diced
Kosher salt to taste
In a medium bowl mix the defrosted fish with the panko crumbs and set aside.(The mixture will still be soft)
Heat oil in a large sauté pan, add the onion, and sauté until soft. Add curry powder and cook for minute while stirring. Add can of chickpeas and sauté for another 5 minutes on low. Add in crushed tomato followed by rest of the ingredients (except the water) and cook the sauce for 5 minutes.
Take the fish mixture and roll into the size of small golf balls and drop them into the sauce.
Add enough water to cover fish (not more than 8 oz). Cook for another 30 minutes until fish is cooked through.
Garnish with fresh chopped parsley before serving.