Gefilte Fish: A Poem

Illustration: michaarcher

Gefilte fish is not a fish.
Gefilte fish is a dish.

You can put it in the skin.
But it won’t be a fish agin.






From Oy Vey to Olé: Lox, Eggs and Onion Frittata

This recipe solves an inherent problem with the classic recipe. You can scroll down below the recipe to read why.

Lox, Eggs and Onion Frittata


-6 eggs*

-1 medium onion, sliced thinly

-Nova (smoked salmon), about one slice per egg, cut into hearty pieces

-Fresh dill

-Black Pepper

-Light olive oil (and/or butter, optional)

-Cream cheese (optional)

*(2 servings, adjust quantities proportionately for your family)

This frittata is first cooked on the stove top then finished in the broiler: If your broiler is within the oven, position an oven rack up high, allowing room for your fry pan.

Heat olive oil and/or butter in an oven-ready fry pan. Saute the onions till they begin to brown. Add lox and cook briefly till opaque. Spread lox and onions evenly around the pan, minimizing flaking of lox pieces. Whisk eggs and pour in. Cook on stove top till eggs are almost set; the top will remain uncooked. Garnish with dill. Dot with cream cheese. Turn on broiler. Place pan under broiler for a minute or two to cook the top and brown and puff up the frittata, watching at all times to ensure it does not burn. Use oven mitt to carefully remove pan from broiler, and place on stovetop for a secure base. Use a spatula to gradually scrap around and under entire frittata with care so it can be removed from pan and served. Voila!

The story: Lox and eggs and onions (always plural with ands between!) is a classic breakfast combo, typically made with Nova and not actual lox. But it is basically scrambled eggs, resulting in a delicious but unappetizing looking meal. You don’t want an omelet because the lox and onion should be spread throughout the egg mixture and not concentrated as a filling. You could try cooking on the stove top, then flipping it, but that’s messy. The solution is to make a frittata cooked or finished in the oven, a beautiful, puffy preparation that solves the problem of an undercooked top. It does take some care to get the frittata out of the pan.

Counter top cookware note: A frittata can also be made in an air fryer with a round cake pan insert.

Lox vs Nova

Lox isn’t lox and nova isn’t nova.

When people say lox, they really mean nova (“Nova Scotia” salmon) even though it isn’t always from Nova Scotia like it used to be.

Anymore, delis and food stores don’t seem to have actual lox. So we use the term loosely and everybody is really talking about and eating only nova these days. But years ago, you could get lox or nova and you had to specify which you wanted. Even some real delis today still offer both. So it is still worth knowing the difference.

A cautionary note: Lox is extremely, almost inedibly salty. It is an acquired taste and that is why most people understandably eat only nova and why the word lox has changed in connotation to refer to the type of smoked salmon that people actually eat.

Instead of trying to explain the difference, let me link to an expert in this helpful story from Bon Appetit :



Chicken Soup Recipe

The healthful ingredients of chicken soup.
The healthful ingredients of chicken soup.

Chicken Soup

  • Flanken (or beef short ribs)
  • Soup bones (some marrow, if possible)
  • Chicken
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Carrot
  • Parsnip
  • Garlic clove
  • Potato
  • Leek (optional, if on hand)
  • Tomato, quartered
  • Salt to taste
  • Peppercorns or ground pepper
  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh dill
  1. Boil a large pot of water, or water mixed with chicken stock.
  2. Add the flanken and soup bones, some salt and peppercorns. Keep skimming off the matter that rises to the top of the soup. Continue cooking for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken. Skim off as much fat as possible. Cook another 30 minutes.
  4. Clean and cut up all the vegetables and add all, except the parsley and dill. Cook about 20 minutes.
  5. Add parsley and dill, cover and cook another 10 minutes.

I have listed ingredients in the singular but amounts will vary in accordance with the amount of soup required.


Matzoh Brei (Fried Matzoh): A Kitchen Tradition


Matzoh brei is Jewish French toast. It could be served as a sweet dish with jam or syrup or as a savory dish. I definitely prefer to use salt and pepper for a savory flavor.

Here’s how my mother used to make it, so of course, this is how I continue to make it. If I have to break the matzoh I will, but only in half. I try not to break it up. First, I quickly soften the matzoh in boiling water, most of which I try to pour off or squeeze out. You can use an 8 x 8-inch cake pan for this. After the matzoh is softened, it’s dipped into beaten egg (perhaps with a titch of water so it’s not too eggy). Some cooks put sugar in but I do not. Next, fry it in a melted spry. This is what my mother used, something that is light enough so that no other flavor is introduced into the matzoh and egg mixture as it fries. Or you could use butter or oil. Fry both sides. Keep cooked pieces warm in a slow oven as you fry more. If the matzoh breaks into smaller pieces, that’s okay, just lay several pieces close together in the frying pan so you have a nice sized piece of matzoh segment to fry and serve. I try to get nice whole matzoh “slices”.  I noticed that name-brand matzoh is thicker than the more delicate Israeli matzoh and the thicker products will be easier to fry without breaking. But I don’t believe there is any particular right or wrong way to do this. However you as the chef decide to make the dish will become your own way of making matzoh brei. Make your own kitchen tradition.


Chopped Liver: Gehakte Leber

This is so easy and so delicious. Chopped liver can be made with beef liver, calves liver, or chicken liver. In the old days, my mother didn’t always have a lot of chicken livers available, although she could get them from the butcher. Way back when, people used to buy whole chickens from a butcher or market, not parts.

One ingredient you must use is shmaltz, which is rendered chicken fat. This is sometimes found in the refrigerator case or freezer section. But it’s best to make it yourself from fat from a chicken. Just saute the fat and some skin till you create a nice amount of clear, melted fat. (I have seen some people use mayonnaise, but that is a terrible way to make chopped liver. But I must tell you that mayonnaise is kosher with meat and not a dairy item. Mayonnaise is just egg with oil. So the idea of never putting mayonnaise on deli or meat is just traditional taste and not a kosher problem as far as I know.)

Chopped Chicken Liver

  • 1 to  1  1/2  pound(s) chicken livers
  • 4-5 hard-boiled eggs, or to taste*
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 Tablespoons rendered chicken fat (shmaltz)
  • Parsley (Italian of course!)
  • Salt & pepper

Make hard-boiled eggs. Broil the livers on a baking sheet, turning halfway through. Saute the onion in the chicken fat until the onion is golden or even somewhat browned. Place the cooked ingredients in a meat grinder or food processor. Add salt and pepper. Pulse or grind to desired texture. Garnish with parsley.

*As far as how many eggs to use, it all depends on how strong you want the liver flavor. Of course the eggs dilute or “cut” the livery flavor the more eggs you use. Also, get organic livers from organic chickens. They taste so much better and you can see that they look healthier.