Sunday, January 13, 2013

Way Cool Gefilte Fish and Two "Cheese" Meat Lasagna Rolls

Happy 2013!!  It’s that time of year when our resolutions are fresh and new – and we’re still motivated to fulfill them!  This year I’m resolving to exercise more and to try new, exciting, and fun things.  Less than two weeks into the year and I’m doing pretty well.  I’ve actually managed to get on the treadmill a few times.  Once I got on the treadmill in a moment of self-preservation, when the heat was out and I was in the basement watching Big Bang Theory…I needed something to help me stay warm (I did get mocked a little by the family…4 layers of heavy clothing while exercising and I deserved the good natured ribbing!).  I figure if I keep the treadmilling up I may even be able to go faster than 2 mph (just kidding I go way faster than that…3 mph!).  I’m hoping to get to the point where I don’t need a huge nap afterwards too…

How cool is that??!!
I’ve also been trying new and fun recipes and ingredients.  When I was at Kosherfest this past year, the A&B Gefilte fish company had a really awesome Gefilte fish display.  I know it’s hard to fathom putting the words “Gefilte Fish” and “Awesome” together in a sentence but trust me when I tell you that fish looked awesome!  What they had done was blend some regular and salmon gefilte fish together to make interesting patterns in the fish.  I spoke to the rep and she told me how to make similar fish at home.  In a moment of throwing caution to the wind I made the Way Cool Gefilte Fish last Shabbat for an appetizer.  It was so pretty and everyone was completely impressed.  Truthfully it wasn’t hard to make at all, but I would have defrosted the fish loaves a little longer…sadly some of the pieces didn’t stick together after they were cut and would have if they had been a little softer to smush together better before being cooked.

Hey meat...say "Cheese"!!
My second recipe adventure began after dropping one of my girls off at a class in Skokie this week.  For those of you that don’t know, I live in West Rogers Park which is around ten minutes by car away from Skokie.  Considering that her class was less than an hour, it didn’t seem prudent to drop her off, go home, and then turn around and come right back to pick her up.  I remembered a produce market that some of my friends had spoken highly about not too far from where my daughter was and decided to explore.  SO fun!!  The store had a lot of interesting kosher products that I hadn’t seen before.  I found some great dried fruit (stay tuned for fabulous Tu B’Shvat recipes coming soon!), interesting vegetables, and pareve ricotta and mozzarella cheese!!  The ricotta was by a familiar company, Tofutti, so I figured it couldn’t be too bad – and besides….I’m trying new, fun and exciting things right?  Now, I’m one of those people that really fulfills the mitzvah of keeping kosher – I love the idea of eating milk and meat together but because I keep kosher it’s never to be.  I usually use ricotta for lasagnas, so when I found pareve mozzarella cheese I knew I was set to make a meat lasagna of some sort.  I have to admit I was a little scared when I was making the Two “Cheese” Meat Lasagna Rolls.  I’ve used mock meat but I haven’t ever used mock cheese before (not counting cream cheese).  The idea of using real meat in the recipe was very appealing to me for obvious reasons.  The fake cheese looked a little funny when I was mixing it, and I kept thinking – “Be afraid, be very afraid!”  In order to ensure that the cheese tasted reasonably good, I added some extra garlic to it – the flavor of garlic masks everything.  I also didn’t know if this “cheese” was going to melt.  For all I knew, after it was baked the mock cheese could have been one big gross clump.  Ugh.  And to complicate matters I even used gluten free lasagna noodles (great for the GFE) for most of the rolls –who knew how this would really end.  Well, guess what,  they were great!!!  Shocking!  The cheese was creamy and gooey, and the spiced meat was fabulous.  Wahoo! 

(And as a bonus these recipes are great for the GFE (Gluten Free Eater)!!

Finally, the Joy of Kosher “Best of Kosher” Awards is back!  And…Kosher Everyday is one of the nominees!!!  How cool is that!!  SO, as a Kosher Everyday reader and fan – YES YOU! – PLEASE vote for Kosher Everyday on this web page:  You can actually vote once every day so as they say in Chicago politics, “Vote early and often!”  Thanks!! 

Way Cool Gefilte Fish
1 loaf regular gefilte fish
1 loaf salmon gefilte fish
2 large carrots sliced, or ½ pound baby carrots
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 9”x13” inch pan with a lid

Preheat oven to 350° F. 
Remove fish loaves from the freezer.  Allow to defrost for an hour to an hour and a half until the loaves are soft enough to cut.  Remove the fish from the parchment, reserving the parchment.  Cut each fish lengthwise into 4 long pieces.  Swap two regular pieces with two salmon pieces.  Piece the fish pieces back together to create two salmon/regular loaves (see photos below).  Re-wrap the fish loaves  in the original or fresh parchment paper.  Place the loaves in the 9”x13” inch pan.  Add carrots, pepper and enough water to come halfway up the fish.  Seal tightly and bake for 90 minutes.  Allow to cool, then refrigerate until ready to serve.  Serve topped with carrots on a bed of lettuce. 

Two “Cheese” Meat Lasagna Rolls
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 pounds extra lean ground beef
2 cloves garlic crushed, or two cubes
2 medium sweet onions, finely diced
1 large red pepper, finely diced
1 small can tomato paste

8 ounces soy mozzarella
2 cartons pareve ricotta cheese (16 ounce each – I used Tofutti Better Than Ricotta Cheese)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 large eggs

1 pound lasagna noodles (regular or gluten free)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 26 ounce jar of your favorite pasta sauce
Non-Stick vegetable spray

Preheat oven to 375° F.  Spray a large baking pan with non-stick vegetable spray. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water,  2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil.  Add the lasagna noodles to the pot and cook according to the package directions, gently stirring occasionally to separate the noodles, slightly undercooking the noodles. When the noodles are done cooking, do not remove them from the water or pot, add additional cold water to the pot until the noodles are submerged in cold water.  Set aside.

Heat the canola oil in a large skillet.  Add the onion, pepper and the meat.  Sauté until the meat is browned.  Add the tomato paste and stir until thoroughly combined.  Set aside.

In a large bowl combine the “ricotta”, “mozzarella”, garlic powder and eggs. 

Place a large paper towel on the counter.  Carefully remove a noodle from the pot and dry it with an additional paper towel.  Place the noodle on the counter paper towel.  Spread some of the “cheese” mixture on the noodle, then spread some of the meat mixture on top of the “cheese”.  Roll the lasagna noodle then place in the prepared pan.  Top with the pasta sauce.  Seal tightly with a lid or foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Serve hot with your favorite crusty bread.

Way Cool Gefilte Fish
Two loaves of fish...
One salmon one not.
 Defrost the fish so you can cut and smush it...
Unwrap the fish...
Cut the fish into 1/4ths...
Swap and interchange the fishes...
 Piece the fish back together with
alternating colors.
 Wrap them back up
(you can re-use the parchment or
grab a new piece)
 Place the fish loaves in the
pan with the carrots & pepper...
 Add the water then seal tightly.
 Cool then slice!
How pretty is this?!!!
And SO cool!!!
(Your family and friends will be amazed!)

Two “Cheese” Meat Lasagna Rolls
Use the Hindy Chopper with
the fine dice insert to chop the
onions and peppers...
Tomato paste & oil...
Cook the noodles then keep them in cool water until
it's time to rock & roll...
 Sauté the meat, onions & peppers...
 Add the tomato paste then stir!!
 It's "TWO" "Cheesy"!!!
It really is kosher pareve!!!!
 Put it all in a bowl...
(At this point I was very afraid!!)
 Add the eggs....
 Rock & Roll time!
 Place them in a pan...I ended up using two
pans and two kinds of noodles!!
(GFE & regular)
 (These were the GFE noodles)
 Add the sauce & cover tightly...then into the
oven they go!
 Out of the oven...saucy and delicious!!
 (My second pan...)
 It's a (Yummy!) photo op! 

Kosher Everyday is dedicated to the memory of my father
Dr. Theodore Saltzberg - Tuvia Ben Nachum Z”L
May his memory be for a blessing - Yihi zichro baruch.

Look for additional information about Edible Experience Kosher Everyday at,, Mishpacha Magazine’s Kosher Inspired Magazine,
The Chicago Tribune Syndication,
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These recipes are for sole, personal use of visitors to Sharon Matten -Edible Experience Kosher Everyday. Edible Experience Kosher Everyday recipes are for your enjoyment but are not to be posted or reprinted without express permission from Sharon Matten. Thank you!!

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  1. I love the idea of mixing the two fish. Makes it pretty too. Stopping by via bloggy moms blog hop.
    You're making me hungry.