I’ve recently been making many many potato knishes. Sometimes described as a Jewish empanada, knishes became popular in North America after the waves of Eastern European immigrants, mainly Jewish, started sharing this hearty and delicious snack with the masses. The humble knish made a great impression on folks in the early 1900′s as New York was welcoming and mixing cultures and cultures, bringing a renewed popularity to classic dishes.
Roughly speaking, a knish is just filling covered with dough. But that is what makes it so great! Versatile is the name of the game. Here’s where it gets fun; fillings vary and you can swap or add any of your favourite ingredients to make your customised knish. Although not as trendy as the empanada, knishes are coming back in a big way, finding its way to street vendors and food trucks. Which makes me entirely happy.
Original recipe from smittenkitchen, where she provides a great step by step guide to assembling these little potato-y bundles. If you’re after other flavours, I recommend spinach, feta and potato or chipotle sweet potato and corn knishes.
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 1 egg
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- ½ cup water
- 3 potatoes, quartered
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 medium leek, sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Mix the dry dough ingredients in a large bowl. Make a small well in the middle and add the egg oil and whisk. Add the vinegar and water and stir until the dough in uniform. Pour onto a lightly floured surface and knead for one minute. Place back into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside for minimum one hour. The dough will keep up to 3 days in the fridge.
- In a medium pot place the potatoes and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes until soft. Drain and set aside.
- In a medium pan, simmer the onions with olive oil for 25 – 35 minutes until they begin to caramelise. After the onions are sufficiently soft and caramelised, add the leeks and butter and cook for another few minutes until the leeks are cooked. Add the onions mixture, salt and pepper to the potatoes and mash with a fork, leaving a few potato pieces. Be sure to taste it and adjust the salt and pepper, since it usually needs more.
- To assembly the knishes: on a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the dough into a thin rectangle, roughly 30 x 20cm. Using half the potato filling, spoon three dollops of filling lengthwise across the rolled out dough, roughly 1 inch from the sides. Roll the dough away from you, not too tight. Continue rolling until the mixture is covered twice by the dough, trimming off any excess covering. Gently make an indentation that divides the dough into 3 sections, then twist the sections twice to seal and separate into three knishes. Cut in the centre of each twist, turn upright and lightly press down, creating a knish shape. See a visual step by step though the link above.
- Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, be sure they are no touching. Whisk egg yoke and water and brush over the knishes. Bake at 190ºC/375ºF for 20 minutes or until the outside is beginning to turn a golden brown shade. Let cool a bit before serving with mustard and spicy sauce.
by Clare Carmichael My Passion for Food