Jellied fish is the traditional Polish dish mainly for the Christmas dinner but it is also served during the Easter. Yet this is a good opportunity to make a nice aspic :-) The measures are given for two portions but you can easily double or triple it and so on. Not everyone likes it as not everybody loves the fish. This dish allows us to use our imagination for the decoration. Every aspect of making an aspic can be practised here. It is a foolproof recipe despite the strange-sounding name.
Fish in aspic
300 g fish leftovers i.e. head, backbone, tail, a piece of the fish flesh
(I used the bream tail piece with much flesh)
60 g carrot diced
20 g onion cubed
500 ml water
3 allspice grains
5 g salt
1 egg white
5 ml white vinegar
13 g gelatine
1 small spring onion chopped
1. Cook a stock from the fish leftovers, carrot, onion, water, salt and allspice. When the flesh is done take it out and separate from the fishbones. Keep separately. Cool down the stock. It will set into a light jelly.
2. Dissolve the gelatine in a minimum of hot water. Beat the egg white slightly. Add the gelatine, the egg and the vinegar to the stock. Bring slowly to the boil.
3. Observe how the jelly is clarifying. When the egg white coagulates and the liquid becomes transparent sieve through a linen placed on the sieve. Double the sieving if necessary. Cool down completely.
4. Prepare two small containers - some yoghurt pots are fine. Grease it slightly inside using a piece of cloth dipped into the vegetable oil.
5. Place the carrots on the bottom and cover with a little of the jelly. Place the pots in a fridge for about 10 minutes (but not the rest of the jelly!).
6. When the jelly in pots sets place the fish flesh on it and pour down the jelly mixed with the chopped spring onion. Pour down the rest of the jelly and place in the fridge.
7. To take the set jelly out dip the pot in the boiling water for a 5 seconds and turn out onto a plate. Serve with white vinegar (I like particularly the light synthetical vinegar but you can experiment) and slices of bread.
Do not try to add more gelatine - it is not necessary. The jelly should melt in the mouth and not be rubber. To give it a noble flavour add 2 tablespoons of the white wine to the cold stock before the second boiling. If the jelly sets before you use it do not panic, heat it slightly, cool down and use. The fish jelly has a nice mild flavour which tends to get strength if combined with the fish flesh. Clarifying is not necessary but the difference is huge - the transparent jelly looks very elegantly. You can arranged different vegetables in pictures or layers using whole pieces of flesh and parsley leaves as well. Use your imagination. Traditionally the fish in aspic is placed in some separate pots or cups for everyone or arrange on one big plate to share. Try it!