Potato Knishes

1 Jan

Makes 24 small knishes

Filling modified from Gil Marks’ Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World

These are unbelievably good.  I made several using various dough recipes from Marks’ cookbook, but the best are definitely with puff pastry! I like to serve them with spicy brown mustard or Coleman’s.

Ingredients:
Flour, for rolling
1 package puff pastry (I use Pepperidge Farm)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 onions, finely diced
2 cups mashed potatoes (peel and boil until very soft – mash)
1 cup (8 oz) farmer cheese (I use Friendship Farm)
1 large egg, beaten
1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
Ground white pepper to taste

Directions:
Thaw puff pastry according to directions.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until lightly golden, about 10 mins.  Stir into the potatoes and let cool.  Stir in cheese, egg, salt, and pepper.

Lightly flour counter and rolling pin. Prepare a small bowl of water and a clean, dry rolling surface. Take the pastry sheets 1 at a time. If the pastry warms up too much, it will get sticky and hard to work with; if this happens, pause to chill it, then resume. Roll out the pastry into a long, narrow rectangle about 6×24 inches, finishing with the dough about 1/8 of an inch thick. Lift and flip the dough to prevent sticking.

Align a long edge of the dough parallel with the edge of the counter. Spoon a long stripe of the mashed potato mixture about 1 inch in diameter lengthwise along the center of the rectangle, with a wide margin on all sides. (Do not overfill!)  Curl the front edge of the dough up over the potatoes and snug up this edge of dough almost under the potatoes.

Fold in both ends of the dough and snug the folds up to the potatoes. Wet the lip of the remaining long edge with water and roll the dough-encased potatoes over it until the edge seals, and you have what looks like a very long egg roll about 1 inch in diameter.

Position your hand as if you plan to karate chop the knish log. Gently, using a slow sawing motion with the edge of your hand, divide the log into inch-wide knishes, one at a time. (The sawing motion with your hand simultaneously stretches the dough, moves the potato filling out of the way, and seals it.)

Take up each one as the knish breaks free and pinch the loose ends together if needed. Take the sealed, puckered ends of each knish and press them lightly with your thumb, “dimpling” the knish to seal it – it will look like a little chinese pork bun (or the veggie dim sum variety).

Place the formed knishes on a parchment-lined baking sheet in the freezer for at least 20 minutes. Clean the counter with a dough scraper and repeat the process with the next rectangle of puff pastry.

When the knishes are frozen through, they can be stored in a freezer bag until needed, for up to 2 weeks.

To bake:
Preheat the oven to 400°F and bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown.

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