A savory Jewish snack or side, these knishes are stuffed with broccoli, leeks, potatoes and cheddar cheese. Enjoy them at the holidays or any time of year.
It’s Hanukkah this week and a good time to appreciate Jewish food a bit more. There are many staples of the holiday. The fried potato cakes known as latkes are one of the most popular. Or maybe you’ve tried the delicious crescent-shaped pastries called rugelach. They are stuffed with ingredients such as cream cheese, nuts, raisins, preserves, cinnamon, and chocolate. Both are worth bringing to a holiday gathering, no matter what it is you celebrate.
what are knishes?
Looking for something new to try, I decided to makes knishes. A traditional knish is a pastry filled with mashed potatoes and caramelized onions. Carb heavy they may be, but the comfort they provide makes it all worth it. They may not be a top contender for the Hanukkah feast, but I don’t think they’d be unwelcome, either.
where do knishes come from?
Originally from Eastern Europe, knishes gained popularity in New York City – the boardwalks of Brooklyn, to be exact – in the early 1900s thanks to Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants. At the time, you could find them for sale in pushcarts. Compact and already in self-contained pastry vessels, knishes are ideal street food. Knishes recently made a comeback, and you can now find shops in New York specifically dedicated to them.
You can find knishes filled with all kinds of foods and not just savory ones. The common theme is that knishes are small pockets of stuffed dough. If you think about it, they’re not all that unlike several other foods found in cultures worldwide, such as the samosa, calzone, Cornish pasty, or empanada. All of which make great snacks, perfect party fare, or reasonable meals when served with a side salad, of course.
leek and broccoli knishes
I replaced the onions in my knishes with leeks, added in a little cheese and some chopped broccoli to give the pretense of healthiness. I used the popular dough recipe found at joepastry.com, with a couple of tweaks, such as using butter in place of oil, adding more flour, and reducing the water. But if your dough seems too dry, certainly add more water.
Don't let the length of this recipe intimidate you. It mostly describes how to cut and shape the dough. You can make things more time-friendly by preparing the dough up to a few days in advance and storing it in the fridge until you're ready. You may prepare the filling ahead, as well.Print