Shama lama ding dong! It's Passover time again. North Texas Jewish families who are preparing for the holiday, which begins Monday at sundown, will sit down for a ceremonial Seder dinner that is full of symbolism. Unfortunately for many, that means jarred gefilte. These spam-like fish balls are the Thanksgiving equivalent of green Jell-O salad with mystery stuff inside. And like them or not, they are always there.
The drawback with gefilte is that they are a lot of work to properly prepare. Recipes call for three types of finely chopped fish molded into balls with a matzo meal paste. Since they are time consuming and tedious, most families just buy a jar of the processed, off-white blobs floating in a gelatinous broth and reluctantly force down a bite or two at the table.
But, Sea Breeze Fish Market and Grill in Plano is resurrecting gefilte's battered image. Using a recipe passed down through the family, owner Rick Oruch is doing a boiled preparation using Lake Superior whitefish, walleye pike, tilapia and red snapper. "For us, it's all about fresh fish," explains Oruch. "Everything is fresh, never frozen."
At Sea Breeze they are so adamant about freshness and using only the highest quality of fish that they invite anyone to come in for a sniff test. They are consistently atop "best seafood" lists in the Dallas area, a designation they work hard to maintain.
So, this Passover forget the old processed jarred gefilte and rediscover the homemade goodness like Bubbe used to make. Stop by Sea Breeze, which is located in the LakeSide Market in Plano. As for his family recipe, Oruch adds, "Everyone's grandma makes it differently, but we think ours is really good, especially since everything is so fresh."