cookbooks

Kischkes Recipe

Kishkes, also known as stuffed derma, is a traditional Eastern European Jewish dish that has been enjoyed for centuries. With its rich history and delicious flavor, kishkes continue to be a beloved dish in Jewish cuisine. In this recipe, we will guide you through the process of preparing kishkes, step by step, so you can enjoy this delightful treat at home.

Before we dive into the recipe, let's take a moment to explore the fascinating background of kishkes. The word "kishke" is derived from the Yiddish term "kishkele," which means "intestine." Originally, kishkes were made by stuffing seasoned meat and grain mixture into the intestinal casing of a cow or chicken. Over time, kishkes evolved to be made without the casing, using other ingredients to mimic the flavor and texture.

Now, let's get started with the recipe!

Ingredients:
- 1 pound beef or chicken liver
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 cup matzo meal
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup schmaltz (rendered chicken fat) or vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
- 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth

Instructions:

1. In a large skillet, heat one tablespoon of schmaltz or vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until golden brown and caramelized, about 10-15 minutes. Set aside.

2. In a food processor or blender, blend the liver until smooth. Add the caramelized onions, matzo meal, eggs, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, thyme, parsley, sage, and rosemary. Process the mixture until well combined. If the mixture appears too dry, add the chicken or vegetable broth, a little at a time, until it reaches a moist but still firm consistency.

3. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a baking dish or line it with parchment paper.

4. Spoon the liver mixture into the prepared baking dish, smoothing the surface with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.

5. Place the baking dish in a larger roasting pan and add enough hot water to the roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of the baking dish.

6. Carefully transfer the roasting pan to the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the foil and continue baking for an additional 20-30 minutes, or until the top is browned and the kishke is firm to the touch.

7. Once baked, remove the kishke from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Cut it into slices and serve hot.

If you prefer a crispier texture, you can also fry the kishke after boiling. To do so, follow these additional steps:

1. After boiling the kishke in water for three hours, remove it from the water and let it cool slightly.

2. In a frying pan, heat one tablespoon of schmaltz or vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the kishke slices and cook them, covered, until they are nicely browned on both sides.

3. Remove the slices from the pan and serve them hot.

Now that you have successfully prepared kishkes, it’s time to enjoy this traditional Jewish delicacy. Kishkes can be served as an appetizer or as a main dish, accompanied by a variety of sauces, pickles, or salads.

Fun fact: In Jewish-American slang, the term "kishkes" is often used to refer to one's innermost feelings or emotions, much like the idiom "gut feeling" in English.

Kishkes are similar to other Jewish delicacies, such as cholent, gefilte fish, and kreplach. Cholent is a slow-cooked stew typically made with beef, potatoes, beans, and spices. Gefilte fish, on the other hand, consists of ground fish, usually carp or whitefish, mixed with ingredients like onions, matzo meal, and eggs, and then poached. Kreplach are dumplings filled with a mixture of ground meat, onions, and spices, similar to Italian ravioli.

Now that you have learned how to make kishkes, feel free to experiment with different seasonings and fillings to create your own unique variation. Enjoy this traditional Jewish dish and share it with family and friends to keep the culinary traditions alive.

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