Passover Gluten Free Gefilte Fish Terrine
by Tamar Cohen
About 20 years ago I abandoned serving commercially prepared gefilte fish, for a beautiful homemade tri colored terrine. I used 3 frozen logs of uncooked premixed fish. One log was left plain, the second mixed with carrots and horseradish and the last was combined with spinach and dill. I layered them and baked them in a terrine dish. When served, it looked beautiful and tasted great (well, gefilte fish is an acquired taste…). To those who love it this was truly an upgraded version to the traditional fish. This holiday, I will be making a Passover, gluten free gefilte fish terrine.
I am often asked to bring my famous gefilte fish to Passover Seders. When I became a nutritionist, my standards changed but I kept the same recipe. Knowing the ingredients in the frozen logs I felt conflicted, and vowed to myself that someday I would learn to make it from scratch. This year when I was asked to bring it, I decided to try to make it from scratch with fresh organic ingredients and wild cod. I was trying to avoid using frozen logs which contain Passover matzo meal (gluten), canola oil which is highly processed, sugar… or a sugar free option which included Sucralose which is even worse. Plus the eggs were conventionally raised, the fish was farm raised and the whole mix was frozen.
Instead I obtained a recipe for homemade gefiltefish from my childhood friend in Israel. This was her sister-in-law’s mother’s recipe from Poland. Truly and authentic Jewish Polish recipe that had been handed down through generations. I adapted it to suit my desire to use all organic sustainable ingredients, and make it gluten free and sugar free. The recipe called for sugar, canola or corn oil and matzo meal. I decided to skip the sugar and replace the matzo meal with unmodified potato starch. This way we can feed our little friendly gut microbes with resistant starch at the same time! An added bonus no doubt!
I did not want to use canola, soy or corn oils which are inflammatory highly processed poor quality oils. Coconut oil could potentially give it a coconut flavor which was not desirable in this case. I also do not like to cook in olive oil since it oxidizes in high heat, so I substituted avocado oil instead. Typically I used butter, ghee (or coconut oil) for cooking, which were not a good option here for reasons of keeping kosher. Mixing dairy and meat in the same meal is not kosher, (fish is okay with dairy but typically meat is served in the second course).
Here are the ingredients:
The Fish Mix
- 2 lb. Fresh Wild Alaskan Cod fillets
- 1 large yellow onion
- 3 pasture raised or organic eggs
- 4 Tbsp. Bob’s Red Mill’s unmodified potato starch
- 2 Tbsp. Avocado oil
- 2 tsp. Celtic sea salt
- 1 tsp. white pepper
- 1 cup cooked spinach, finely chopped (frozen organic spinach works well)
- 4-5 Tbsp. fresh finely chopped dill
- 3 carrots grated
- 1 Tbsp. fresh finely grated white horseradish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large roasting pan with 1½ inches of water and set aside.
Process an onion in a food processor until finely chopped, remove and place in a mixing bowl. Process the fish filet until you get a unified mix. Transfer to mixing bowl and add salt, pepper, eggs, oil and starch. Mix well. Divide the mix into three sections and place two in clean separate bowls. Layer the first plain layer in the bottom of a nonstick terrine pan or jelly mold. Pat it down and make sure the lines are clean. Mix the second layer with chopped spinach and dill. Layer that on top of the plain layer. Mix the third layer with grated carrots and horseradish and layer that on top. Place the terrine dish in the water bath and bake in the oven for 60-75 min. Remove pan from water to cool. Refrigerate a few hours or overnight. To unmold, place a plate on top and turn over. Slice and serve with horseradish and lettuce leaves.
Optional – mix the plain layer with prepared beet horseradish and leave it out of the carrot layer.