Arsip Tag: ways

potato knish, two ways – smitten kitchen

Where have I been, you ask? Did I fly off to a small Caribbean island again, only to return to rub it in? Did my book project or adorable distraction eat me alive again? For once, no. I have actually been out climbing another (slightly smaller) culinary Mount Everest for you, and I have returned bearing not one, but two recipes.

both get peeled
onion, leek

I’ve been wanting to make potato knish almost as long as I’ve had this site. I thought I’d finally tackle it this winter, when carbs-for-warmth are the order of the day but New York up and decided to not have a winter this year and so it was a 60 degree day or never. I’m glad I went with it as knish are quintessentially old New York, brought to the Lower East Side tenements by Jewish Eastern European immigrants who knew, like most of our forefathers did, how to stretch staples into belly-filling delights.

russet potatoes and caramelized onions

The first knish bakery set up shop just down the street from me in 1910 (from 1890 to 1910, it was operated from a pushcart, or you know, the original taco truck) and as Milton Glaser and Jerome Snyder delightfully note in their 1968 book, The Underground Gourmet, “No New York politician in the last 50 years has been elected to office without having at least one photograph showing him on the Lower East Side with a knish in his face.” That knishery, Yonah Schimmel, still exists (with its original dumbwaiter, and never-shared recipes) and while I know that these days the word knish means many things to many people, I’m going to defer to their approach: dough-wrapped, potato-filled and baked. Or, as the current owner told the New York Times on the shop’s 100th anniversary, “I don’t mean to insult anyone else, but a knish is round, baked and made of potato or mixed with potato. It’s not square. It’s not fried.”

kale, leeks, cream cheese, red potatoes

Well, I will mostly defer to it. I did, in fact, make a very classic potato knish, with mashed Russet potatoes and caramelized onions. But I couldn’t stop there; I never can. I made a second batch with red potatoes, cream cheese, caramelized leeks and kale (kale!). If you’re clutching your pearls right now over my red potato-and-leek sacrilege, however, don’t, because I was thisclose to also adding bacon and think I showed remarkable restraint. (Though, no need for you to.)

rolling the dough outadding the potato fillingroll it up, trim the endstwist like making sausage linkspinch and closebrush with egg wash

They’re both as excellent as you would expect from carbs, wrapped in more carbs, brushed with egg, baked until flaky outside and steamy inside and filling enough to require the cancellation of all other meals for the remainder of the day. But the latter one is, in fact, knish of my wildest dreams, a bit part of each of my cooking religions — French, Eastern European and Vaguely Nutritionally Balanced, and packed with so much flavor, you might even skip the spicy mustard. I won’t tell.

six baked potato knish
a flaky, hearty half knish

One year ago: Sally Lunn Bread + Honeyed Brown Butter Spread
Two years ago: St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake, Warm Mushroom Salad with Hazelnuts, Coconut Milk Fudge, Breakfast Pizza and Irish Soda Bread Scones
Three years ago: Pita Bread, Migas with Tomato-Chipotle Coulis and Layer Cake Tips and The Biggest Birthday Cake Yet
Four years ago: Almond Biscotti, Roasted Acorn Squash and Gorgonzola Pizza, Hazelnut Brown Butter Cake, White Bean Stew and Butterscotch Ice Cream
Five years ago: Mediterranean Eggplant and Barley Salad

Classic Potato Knish
Dough and technique adapted, just barely, from Joe Pastry

What took so long for me to make these? I was scared, people. The recipes I found online were few and far between and looked… dubious. It was until I met Joe Pastry (and by “met” I mean, became obsessed with his site and I’m sorry, but do you bake? Because if you do, you’d be crazy not to read his entire archives, right this very minute) and gazed at his crystal-clear step-by-step photos that I knew I could not only pull them off at home but that I had to use his recipe. Once again, Joe did not fail.

This dough is excellent, not only because it produces the soft, flaky dough that are the epitome of the knish experience, but because once it comes together (quickly), it can be used now or later, up to three days later, kept refrigerated. The dough can be used to make the classic Russet-and-caramelized-onions filling here, or the non-traditional Red Potato, Leek and Kale one below.

Updated 3/17 to increase the amount of water from 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup. Joe’s original recipe calls for 1/2 cup but, strangely, I found I only needed 1/4 cup. Based on responses from commenters, it sounds like most people needed the higher amount.

Yield: 6 3-inch hearty knish, though you can make them any size you please (larger for Yonah Schimmel-style, smaller if you, like most people, cannot eat more than half of one)

Dough
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil (Joe also recommends schmaltz, or rendered chicken fat, if you’ve got some)
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 cup water (see Update, above)

Filling
1 1/2 pounds (about 3 medium) russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced small
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Freshly ground black pepper

To finish
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon water

Make dough: Stir together your dry ingredients in the bottom of a medium/large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, vinegar and water. Pour it over the dry ingredients and stir them to combine. Once the mixture is a craggy, uneven mass, knead it until smooth, about a minute. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Set it aside for an hour (or in the fridge, up to 3 days) until needed.

Meanwhile, prepare filling: Put potatoes into a large pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until potatoes can be pierced easily with a knife, about 20 minutes. Drain, then transfer to a large bowl to cool.

Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add butter and oil and once they’re fully melted and a bit sizzly, add onions and reduce to medium-low. Cook, stirring frequently, until deeply caramelized, which will take about 45 minutes. Can you do this in less time? Of course. But the flavor won’t be as intense. Transfer to bowl with potatoes and mash together until almost smooth. (A few lumps make it taste more “traditional,” IMHO.) Stir in salt and many grinds of black pepper and set the filling aside.

Assemble knish: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

If your dough has sweated some beads of oil while it rested, fear not, you can just knead it back into an even mass. Divide the dough in half. On a well-floured surface, roll the first half of the dough into a very thin sheet, roughly in the shape of a 1-foot square, but really, no need to be rigid about it. For moderate size knish (smaller than the traditional “doorstops” but still hefty, about 3 inches across), create a 2-inch thick log from half your potato filling across the bottom of your dough. Roll the filling up in the dough like you were rolling a cigarette (which, of course, we would never), but not too tight. A tiny amount of slack will keep the dough from opening in the oven. Keep rolling until the log has been wrapped twice in dough. Trim any unrolled length and add it to the second half of the dough; it can be used again. Repeat the process with the second half of your dough and second half of filling; you might have a small amount of dough leftover.

Trim the ends of the dough so that they’re even with the potato filling. Then, make indentations on the log every 3 to 3 1/2 inches (you’ll have about 3, if your log was 1 foot long) and twist the dough at these points, as if you were making sausage links. Snip the dough at each twist, then pinch one of the ends of each segment together to form a sealed knish base. Use the palm of your hand to flatten the knish a bit into a squat shape and from here, you can take one of two approaches to the top: You can pinch together the tops as you did the bottom to seal them; indenting them with a small dimple will help keep them from opening in the oven. You can gently press the dough over the filling but leave it mostly open, like the knish you would get on Houston Street. Or, you can half-ass it (okay, that’s a third option, and watch your language, Deb), like I did, closing them but not sealing them well because you are indecisive. But why would you want to do a thing like that?

Bake knish: Arrange knish on prepared baking sheet so that they don’t touch. Whisk egg yolk and water together to form a glaze and brush it over the knish dough. Bake knish for about 45 minutes, rotating your tray if needed for them to bake into an even golden brown color. I have burnt my mouth on every knish I have ever taken a bite of because that potato filling, it packs heat. Don’t do as I always do and let them cool a little bit before digging in. Spicy mustard is a traditional accompaniment, but I like a dollop of sour cream too. I won’t tell if you don’t.

Red Potato Knish with Kale, Leeks and Cream Cheese

Follow the dough and assembly directions above, but replace the Russet and caramelized onion filling with this one. You might never go back to tradition once you do.

1 1/2 pounds medium red potato (about 3 to 4), peeled and quartered
1 big leek (about 1/2 pound), white and light-green parts only, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced (you’ll clean the grit out in a moment)
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 generous cup lacinato kale ribbons (about 3 ounces or 1/4 to 1/3 bundle), tough stems and ribs removed and leaves cut into strips (you’ll wash it in a moment)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

Cook potatoes: Put potatoes into a large pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook until soft, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain, then transfer to a large bowl to cool.

Meanwhile, prepare leeks and kale: Fill a medium bowl with very cold water and drop in leek rings. Swish them around with your fingers, letting any sandy dirt fall to the bottom. Scoop out the leeks and drain them briefly on a towel, but no need to get them fully dry. Do the same with the kale, but you can leave the leaves to nearly fully dry, patting them if necessary, on the towels while you cook the leeks.

Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add butter and oil and once they’re fully melted and a bit sizzly, add the leek slices. Reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and cook leek for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Raise heat back to medium, add the kale ribbons and cook until they wilt, about 5 minutes.

Transfer mixture to bowl with potatoes, add the cream cheese and mash together until combined. Stir in salt and many grinds of black pepper and set filling aside.

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avocado cup salads, two ways – smitten kitchen

I have the most boring thing, ever, to tell you today (and clearly it’s not “how to write an enticing lede”): I tried not to eat bread for a couple months. Wait, come back! Let me explain. I don’t mean ever. I am not anti-carb or anti-dessert, nor is Wheat Belly our new idea of a good bedtime story; I am ever your gluten-full host. I remain certain that freshly-baked, crackly-crusted artisanal bread is one of the greatest things in the world; to turn it down a moderate serving of it when you’re able to enjoy it (chemically and all that) is a sacrilege. But that’s not really what most of our bread looks like, does it? Most often, bread is merely bookends on a sandwich, with the goal of making filling portable. Or, it’s toasted so that it can sop up butter, jam or a runny yolk, or crouton-ed to make a salad feel bulkier. It’s all too infrequently in and of itself noteworthy. These latter categories of bread were what I suspected I wouldn’t miss if when I challenged myself to skip them. That is, at least two meals a day: an ascetic, I am not.

rainbow of peppers, black beans
bell peppers, black beans, jalapeno, white onion

But I promise, I didn’t drag you here today to sell you on a refined carb-free life as I myself have little interest in living one. What I’d hoped to share was the neat thing that many less stubborn than myself have known of eons: when you tip the food scales away from lackluster bread-fill, a wonderful thing happens: vegetables, beans and protein come back into prominence, and it was just the cooking recharge that I needed. To wit, since the beginning of the year we’ve talked about eggs baked in a nest of spinach and mushrooms (biscuits on the side), a seasonal mayo-light riff on devilled eggs, my new favorite three-bean chili (a small amount of brown rice underneath), chicken fajitas loaded with vegetables, beans, slaw, pico, and guacamole (all perched on one or two small corn tortillas) and a kale-quinoa salad I’m so addicted to, if I don’t have it for lunch at least three days a week, I feel twitchy.

radishes, cucumbers, scallions

radishes, cucumbers, scallions

I’ve also rekindled my love affair with I like to call “bruschettas” but in actuality the bread is something more interesting. In the past, we’ve done this with thick discs of roasted sweet potato or eggplant; but raw avocado, scored and then mounded with a finely chopped, well-dressed salad is even more fitting for the warmer weather as it requires no cooking whatsoever. One version has a Tex-Mex vibe, a riff on this black bean confetti salad with a chile-lime vinaigrette; the other drizzles finely diced radishes, cucumbers and scallions with a ginger-miso vinaigrette and toasted sesame seeds. I couldn’t pick a favorite, so I decided not to.

prep the avocados
avocado cup confetti salads

One year ago: Spring Vegetable Potstickers
Two years ago: Bacon, Egg and Leek Risotto
Three years ago: Crispy Potato Roast and Sour Cream Cornbread with Aleppo
Four years ago: Shakshuka and Easy Jam Tart
Five years ago: Chewy Amaretti Cookies, Artichoke Olive Crostini, Chocolate Caramel Crack and Simple Potato Gratin
Six years ago: Spring Panzanella, Lemon Yogurt Anything Cake, Fork-Crushed Purple Potatoes and Whole Wheat Apple Muffins
Seven years ago: Gnocchi with a Grater, The Tart Marg, Black Bean Confetti Salad and Margarita Cookies

Inspired a bit: By these avocados vinaigrette.

Avocado Cup Salads with Black Bean Confetti

You could bulk this up further with some diced tomatoes or even cooked shrimp, as we did in this salsa.

Makes 8 mini-salad cups; I’d estimate 2 halves or 1 full avocado per person/meal

1 cup black beans, cooked, drained (about 2/3 of a 15-ounce can)
1 large bell pepper, finely diced (I used a mix of colors because we keep them around for the kid)
1/4 cup finely diced white or red onion
1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (from about 1 lime)
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Dashes of hot sauce or pinches of cayenne, to taste
Chopped cilantro for garnish
4 ripe avocados

Mix black beans, pepper, onion and jalapeno in a medium bowl. In a small dish, whisk olive oil, lime juice, salt, cumin and hot sauce or cayenne. Adjust dressing seasonings to taste. Halve avocados and remove pits. Score avocado halves with a knife, cutting lines in both directions to form a grid, but being careful not to through the skin.

If you’re serving all four avocados right away, go ahead and mix the dressing and salad ingredients together, then heap each avocado half with salad and dressing and garnish with cilantro. If you’d like to stretch this over several days of lunches or the like, keep the mixed salad ingredients and dressing in separate dishes. When you’re ready to eat, cut and score your avocado, dot a little dressing directly on each half, heap with salad filling and drizzle with more dressing. Garnish with cilantro.

Eat with a spoon.

Avocado Cup Salads with Cucumbers, Radishes and Ginger-Miso Dressing

You could bulk this up further with cooked edamame. This carrot-ginger dressing would also be excellent here, but I didn’t want to make a simple recipe too complicated. My 4 year-old, who has peculiar tastes, thinks that dried seaweed snacks would also be good crumbled on top. Proceed at your own risk.

Makes 8 mini-salad cups; I’d estimate 2 halves or 1 full avocado per person/meal

1 cup finely diced cucumber (from about half a long English or 2 small Persian cukes), seeds removed
1 cup finely diced radishes (from about 4 large red ones)
2 scallions, finely chopped
4 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons white miso (shiromiso, which is more mild/less salty)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon finely grated or minced fresh ginger root (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon white sesame seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
4 ripe avocados

Mix cucumber, radishes and scallions in a medium bowl. In a small dish, whisk sesame oil, miso, rice vinegar and ginger. Add dressing flavor and seasonings to taste. Halve avocados and remove pits. Score avocado halves with a knife, cutting lines in both directions to form a grid, but being careful not to through the skin.

If you’re serving all four avocados right away, go ahead and mix the dressing and salad ingredients together, then heap each avocado half with salad and dressing and garnish with mix of sesame seeds. If you’d like to stretch this over several days of lunches or the like, keep the mixed salad ingredients and dressing in separate dishes. When you’re ready to eat, cut and score your avocado, dot a little dressing directly on each half, heap with salad filling and drizzle with more dressing. Garnish with mix of seeds.

Eat with a spoon.

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