Sometimes I wish I had Jewish roots, for the food alone. (Although, in that case, I’d like Jewish-Indian-Thai roots, just to cover all my bases.) Like when I saw this recipe from Smitten Kitchen: potato knish, two ways. I immediately ran over to where B. was working and asked him if it sounded as good to him as it did to me. And that is why we had these for lunch last week.
We ate them with salmon, peas, and a little bit of mustard. And we thought they’d be especially good for a picnic lunch, as they’re filling, tasty, and easy to eat with your hands.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 cup water, or more if needed
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
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon water
(Word to the wise, pay attention when you’re caramelizing those onions. Please don’t be like me and carefully keep track of the process for forty minutes, then go do something else really quick and come back to a pan full of blackened pieces. They go really quickly there at the end.)
To make the dough, mix your dry ingredients in one bowl and your wet in another, then pour wet over dry and combine. You’ll soon get a crumbly kind of dough, stop and knead it for about a minute at this point, until it’s smooth. Then put the dough back in its bowl and lay it aside (or even in the fridge; it’ll keep for three days).
Once you’ve made your dough, you can move on to the filling. Boil the potatoes until soft, for about 20 minutes, drain and put in a bowl to cool.
Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat, add the butter and oil to melt, and then add the onions. Cook on low and stir a lot until they’re caramelized, 30-40 minutes. Once the onions are done, mash them with the potatoes until smooth (enough), and season with salt and pepper.
The assemblage sounds complicated, but it really isn’t. Roll out your dough into really thin, square pieces on a floured surface. Create a log by placing the filling on the dough and then rolling it up (until it’s been wrapped twice, ideally). Trim the dough so its even with the filling. Twist and divide the log even 3 inches, give or take, pinch one of the ends shut, and kind of flatten the knish into a more squat shape. Then slightly pinch together the tops.
Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (make sure they don’t touch). Whisk together the egg yolk and water and then brush it over the knishes. Bake for about 45 minutes in a preheated oven at 375 F or until they’re evenly browned.