Sephardic Fish Loaves

Recipe by Mireille Mathalon

“You could substitute halibut for any of the three types of fish listed in the recipe,” said Mireille. “Or simply use a combination of any two. Be sure to serve the fish at room temperature.”

Fish Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh filet of sole
  • 1 pound fresh red snapper fillet
  • 1 pound fresh salmon fillet
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and finely minced or put through a garlic press
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp. ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste. (Hot pepper may be used, as desired.)
  • 1/2 cup matzo meal
  • Vegetable oil or olive oil, for frying
  • Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1, 28- ounce can tomato sauce
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • Tabasco sauce or hot pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup water

Fish Directions:

  1. Grind all the fish together and transfer to a large bowl. Add minced garlic, eggs, cumin, and salt and pepper, to taste. Add matzo meal and stir until combined. If mixture is too loose to shape, add a bit more matzo meal.
  2. Moisten hands with water and divide fish mixture into three balls. Shape each ball into a loaf, (the fish can also be shaped into meat-ball sized balls, if desired).
  3. Pour in enough oil to cover the bottom of a large frying pan. Heat oil over medium-high heat until a drop of water sizzles. Add fish loaves, turning to brown on both sides. Using a spatula, transfer fish to a large plate with a spatula. Set aside.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sauce Directions:

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  1. Add all sauce ingredients to the large frying pan in which fish was fried. Bring mixture to a boil. Add reserved fish loaves, reduce heat, and let everything simmer together, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Spoon fish and sauce into a baking dish and cover with foil paper. Bake for 20 minutes. Set dish on a cooling rack and remove foil paper. Let cool to room temperature.
  3. Slice fish loaves. Spoon sauce over slices and serve.
  4. Fish can be prepared a day in advance and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving.

Makes 20 servings. (Recipe can be halved to make 10 servings.)