For those of Ashekenazic descent, do not be scared off by the name! This fish dish is delicious, and can easily be served as a whole meal. I eliminate the broth-making step by wrapping the fish heads and tails loosely in cheesecloth, cooking them with the soup and then discarding them without any mess. Cooking the soup with the heads intensifies the flavor and imparts a light gelatinous texture, which you may very well find to be an interesting change.
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil -
- 4 large leeks, sliced -
- 4 ribs celery, peeled and cut in thirds -
- 4 large cloves garlic, peeled -
- 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley -
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut in chunks -
- Head and tail of a large salmon, sea bass or other big fish, quartered and loosely but securely wrapped in cheesecloth -
- 4 cups canned crushed tomatoes -
- 2 large potatoes (or 1 medium celery root), cut in ½-inch cubes -
- 1 cup dry white wine -
- ½–1 tsp cayenne -
- Good pinch of ground cloves -
- 3 bay leaves -
- 1 Tbsp paprika -
- 2 good pinches of saffron -
- Salt to taste -
- 2½ quarts (10 cups) water -
- 2 Tbsp anisette or arack (optional) -
- 3 lbs boneless, skinless fish (such as salmon or snapper), cut in 1-inch cubes -
- 1 lb frozen mock crab, thawed and flaked (or more of the fish you are already using) -
- Freshly ground pepper to taste -
1. Heat the oil in a wide, heavy pot.
2. Coarsely grind the leeks, celery, garlic, parsley and red bell pepper in a food processor and then add the ground mixture to the oil, sautéing until all the liquids evaporate.
3. Add the cheesecloth-wrapped fish, canned tomatoes, potatoes, wine, cayenne, cloves, bay leaves, paprika, saffron, salt and water and bring to a boil again.
4. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered, for 45 minutes.
5. Add the anisette or arack, the fish and the pepper, and cook another few minutes, just until the fish is cooked through.
6. Squeeze the cheesecloth-wrapped fish against the side of the pot to release as much liquid as you can before discarding it. Discard the bay leaves as well.
7. Adjust the texture and seasonings.
This recipe was featured in Kosher Inspired, Issue 2, Febuary 2011. Kosher Inspired is brought to you by Mishpacha Magazine.