Allez, Cuisine! Potato Knishes

Claire Littlefield and Emma Ellis

On September 24 of last year, there was a small fire at Gabila’s Knishes’ factory, the world’s largest producer of these popular potato-filled balls of dough. This set off a nation-wide knish shortage. Knishes (pronounced ka-nishes) are a classic New York City snack food, so the shockwave hit there the hardest: “For the last month I haven’t had any knishes – my heart is broken,” native New Yorker Carol Anfuso said to The Huffington Post (November 11, 2013). Although Gabila’s representatives initially promised that their knishes would return before Thanksgiving, production has yet to resume.

 At this point, well over 100 days since the fire, we have to be skeptical. It is time to learn how to make knishes on our own. This recipe (adapted from “Smitten Kitchen’s”) can help Colgate knish lovers satisfy their cravings and survive the Great Drought. For the rest of us, it’s just a fun recipe for wads of creamy mashed potato wrapped in crispy layers of dough. Hard to argue with that.

Ingredients:

Dough:

2 ? cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

? tsp salt

1 large egg

? cup vegetable oil

1 tsp white vinegar

? cup water

Filling:

1? lbs (about 3 medium) potatoes

1 small yellow onion, diced small

1-2 Tbsp butter

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Servings: 6

Process:

Dough:

1. Stir together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, vinegar and water.

2. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

3. Next, form it into a ball and knead until smooth. This should take about a minute.

4. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set aside for an hour. If need be, the dough will last up to three days in the refrigerator.

Filling and Assembly:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Add a splash of olive oil to a large skillet, and then add the diced onions. Over very low heat, cook until the onions are caramelized. This can take a long time (up to 30 minutes or so), but they’re likely to burn if you rush it.

3. While the onions are cooking, peel and chop the potatoes. Next, put them in a pot and add water until the potatoes are covered by about an inch. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until fork tender.

4. Drain the potatoes and put them in a bowl. Add the onions and butter and mash until smooth, adding salt and pepper to taste.

5. On a well-floured surface, roll half of the dough out into a 10 x 12-inch rectangle.

6. Take half of the potato filling and form it into a log along one edge of the dough. Roll the filling up in the dough until you have one long tube.

7. Cut the log into thirds. Pinch the dough at the ends of each section together to form a ball (no potato filling should be exposed).

8. Repeat with the second half of the filling and dough.

9. Transfer the uncooked knishes to a greased baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

10. Let cool for 10 minutes, and then serve with mustard (or hot sauce, if you’re feeling unconventional).