Knishes with Meat and Potato Filling

Knishes (nish-iz), savoury fillings encased in thin pastry, are an integral part of European Jewish cooking. Both the pastry and filling can vary widely, depending on the country of origin of the cook, and different versions of the dish can be found all over Europe and the United States. The recipe given belozo is a fairly basic Central European version. If you wish, cheese, potato or even kasha may be substituted for the filling suggested here. Serve Knishes with Meat and Potato

Filling as a substantial after-school snack for the children or, with lots of salad and crusty bread, as a light lunch or supper.

5 oz. tepid water H oz. margarine, melted

1 lb. cooked chicken, minced

8 oz. cooked potatoes, mashed

2 spring onions , finely chopped

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 teaspoon salt { teaspoon black pepper 2 teaspoon caraway seeds

First, make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.

In a small bowl, beat the egg, water and 1 tablespoon of the margarine together until they are well blended. With a wooden spoon, stir the egg and water mixture into the flour and mix well. Knead with your hands until a firm dough is formed.

Place the dough on a floured board and continue kneading until it is smooth and elastic. This will take about 10 minutes.

Place the dough in a large, warmed mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with a cloth and set it aside in a warm, draught-free place for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the filling ingredients, beating with a wooden spoon until they are all well blended. Set aside.

Spread out a large, clean cloth (a sheet is ideal) on a table. Sprinkle the cloth with flour. Place the dough on the cloth and, with a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough as thinly as possible.

With the back of your hands, lift and stretch the dough, pulling it until it is paper thin. This should be done as care fully as possible. Do not worry if a few small holes appear in the dough. With scissors, trim the outer edges of the dough so that the sides are straight.

Preheat the oven to very hot 450°F (Gas Mark 8, 230°C). Grease two baking sheets with 1 tablespoon of the melted margarine. Set aside.

Brush the dough with half of the remaining margarine. Spoon the filling in a long strip on to the dough, about 3 inches away from the edges of the side nearest to you and within about 2 inches of each end.

Using the cloth, lift the dough over the filling and roll it up as you would a strudel. Tuck in the ends. Brush the top of the dough with the remaining melted margarine.

Cut the dough into 2-inch slices, crosswise, and place the slices on the baking sheets. Put the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to fairly hot 400°F (Gas Mark 6, 200°C) and continue to bake for a further 20 minutes, or until the knishes are crisp and golden brown.

Remove the baking sheets from the oven and allow the knishes to cool slightly. Serve warm or cold.

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