Ordewoord van de dag is

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Food I like that practically no-one I know likes

Scorzonera (black salsify) in béchamel sauce with vinegar

Scorzonera (NL: schorseneren, FR: scorsonères) are the root of a type of daisies. It originated in Southern Europe and has been cultivated since the mid-17th century.

To prepare them the way my grandmother used to:

  • Clean like you would a carrot
  • Slice into pieces 4 to5 cm long
  • Boil in water with a little vinegar added until soft (you might want to have them al dente, but to my grandmother boiling was boiling until soft or it wasn’t boiling 🙂
  • Prepare a béchamel sauce
  • Add sauce to scorzonera
  • Serve

Gefilte Fisch

I know there must be a million people who relish gefillte fisch. However, not a soul I personally know likes it.

Which is a bit strange considering the number of Jewish people in the family. We would have Occasions (marriages, weddings, funerals, you know) at my Aunt Régine’s, and there would always be traditional Jewish dishes. And I would be the only one eating (well, actually even having seconds) of the gefillte fisch.

To prepare gefillte fisch (they would get it from a caterer, but it’s fun to make yourself):

  1. use carp as the main ingredient: you’ll need 2 parts carp for 3 parts other fish
  2. get approximately equal amounts of pike, whitefish and mullet (this isn’t writ in stone: use any old fish you like that is white-ish and isn’t too firm)
  3. have the fish filleted (keep the bones, heads, skin, basically all the muck you’d normally throw away)
  4. make a fish stock with the bones and heads, adding sliced sweet onions, celery stalks and carrots. Cover with water, add salt and pepper to taste, bring to boil and let simmer. Unless you want to spend time fishing out the vegetables later on, keep all the fish trimmings in a linnen bag you’ve tied together (alternatively you could leave the vegetables now and add them in step 10)
  5. chop up the fish and grind it in a meat grinder (or zap it in a food processor if you have one)
  6. plonk the ground fish in a bowl and mix it with sugar and beaten eggs &, black pepper (about an egg per 2 kg of fish)
  7. add meal until it almost has the consistency of minced meat and put the mixture in the fridge
  8. filter the stock
  9. bring the filtered stock to a simmer, form balls from the fish mixture and cook in them batches until they get to the consistency of a wet sponge
  10. add all balls to fish stock and leave on a low burner for about half an hour
  11. serve with grated horseradish

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