Forget the Fish? Not a Chance!


There are two fish camps when it comes to Pesach — those who insist on serving gefilte fish and those who, well, wouldn't serve it if it were the last food on earth and Moshe was coming to the seder.

I live in the "you can't eat enough of it" world; my husband, not so much. He lives in a world where the only good gefilte fish is the one that remains on someone else's plate.

To compromise, I have had to come up with a few really interesting fish dishes that can be used as an appetizer at the seder or as a light lunch with a salad during chol hamoed.

The beauty of using these recipes is most can be made up a day or so before you need them, and can be served warm or cold. I find that horseradish sauce is always good with them, but I often make roasted red-pepper purée or lemon vinaigrette to accompany them.

Most are pareve/fish, but one or two are dairy as well.

You can, of course, make these tasty treats any time of the year, but try them first for the seder; your guests won't be disappointed. In fact, they're so good that Elijah might just pull up a chair and join you.


Muffin-Tin Whitefish Cakes


  • 1 lb. smoked whitefish, deboned and flaked 
    2 cups matzah meal 
    1/2 red bell pepper, minced 
    4 green onions, sliced 
    1/4 cup mayonnaise 
    3 large eggs 
    1-2 tsps. ground white horseradish 
    1/4 stalk celery, diced fine 
    1/2 tsp. salt 
    1/4 tsp. pepper 
    lemon wedges (garnish)

Preheat oven to 450°.

Generously coat a 12-cup nonstick muffin pan with oil.

In a bowl, combine the whitefish, matzah meal, bell pepper, green onions, mayonnaise, eggs, horseradish, salt and pepper. Mix until combined.

Divide the mixture evenly among muffin cups.

Bake until crispy and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.

Serve with lemon wedges.

Makes 12.


Salmon and Whitefish Bits With Cucumber Sauce


  • Sauce Ingredients:

    1 cup finely chopped, peeled and seeded cucumber 
    3/4 cup mayonnaise 
    3 Tbsps. prepared white horseradish 
    2 Tbsps. finely chopped parsley 
    1 Tbsp. finely chopped green onions

    Fish-Cake Ingredients:

    3 Tbsps. olive oil, plus more for frying fish cakes 
    3 medium carrots, peeled, finely chopped 
    12/3 cups finely chopped onions or leeks 
    2 large eggs 
    6 Tbsps. matzah meal 
    13/4 tsps. kosher salt 
    3/4 tsp. ground pepper 
    18 oz. skinless whitefish fillets, cut into 1-inch cubes 
    1 skinless salmon fillet (9 oz.), cut into 1-inch cubes 
    lemon wedges and parsley to decorate

To Prepare the Sauce: In a bowl, combine the cucumber, mayonnaise, horseradish, parsley and green onions. Mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

To Prepare the Fish Cakes: Line a cookie sheet with plastic wrap and set it aside. Place the fish pieces in a food processor and pulse until they are almost a paste, but there is still some piece left. Set the mixture aside.

In a skillet, sauté the carrots and onions in the 3 tablespoons of olive oil until just soft, but not browned. Let them cool in the skillet.

In a bowl, beat the eggs to combine, then add the matzah meal, salt and pepper. Mix to combine. Add the cooked vegetable mixture to the egg mixture and mix to combine.

Add the fish mixture and mix to combine.

Stir fish into the matzah-meal mixture and mix to combine.

Using wet hands and about 1/3 cup for each cake/patty, shape the fish mixture into 16 1/2-inch-thick cake/patty.

Arrange on prepared baking sheet. This can be done two days ahead of serving time. Cover with plastic and refrigerate.

Add enough oil to a large skillet to coat bottom. Heat oil and cook in batches.

Cook over a medium heat until both side are golden and the patty is cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.

You can make these ahead of time and rewarm in the oven or serve cold.

Garnish with lemons and parsley; serve the sauce on the side.

Makes 16.


Salmon Cucumber Rolls


  • 1 can (8 oz.) white tuna or salmon, drained and flaked 
    1/4 cup finely sliced green onions 
    2 Tbsps. sour cream or Greek yogurt 
    2 Tbsps. mayonnaise 
    1/2 cup black olives, chopped fine 
    1 tsp. white horseradish 
    1 English cucumber 
    salt and pepper to taste

In a bowl, combine the tuna, olives, sour cream, mayonnaise, salt and pepper.

Cut the cucumber in half crosswise, so that it's not as long.

Using a mandolin or adjustable blade slicer, cut very thin slices of the cucumber. You really can't do this by hand; you need the slicer. The first slice or two won't work, as it will be mostly green skin.

Spread about 1 tablespoon of filling on each cucumber slice, leaving about an inch at the end.

Roll up the cucumber slice toward the end that has the empty space. Secure with a fun toothpick. This should be made the day you're going to serve it.

Makes 12 to 14.


Orange Salmon Pâté


A great alternative to chopped liver!

  • 1 cup dry white wine 
    2/3 cup orange juice 
    1 Tbsp. zest 
    3 Tbsps. honey 
    1 lb. salmon fillets 
    4 oz. smoked salmon, finely chopped 
    1 Tbsp. minced onion 
    1 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill or 1 tsp. dried 
    1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley 
    4 Tbsps. margarine, softened 
    2 Tbsps. mayonnaise 
    2 tsps. lemon juice 
    salt and pepper

In a skillet, combine the wine, orange juice and honey to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Salt and pepper the salmon fillet and then place it in the skillet in the simmering liquid.

Cover the skillet and poach salmon for 6 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness. Fish should be firm to the touch, but flake easily when pulled with a fork. Do not overcook.

Remove the salmon from the skillet and let it cool on a plate. Remove the skin, if there is any. When the salmon is cool, place it in a bowl, flake it, and add the smoked salmon, onion, dill, parsley, margarine, mayonnaise and lemon juice.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Serves 10 to 12.


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