Making meatballs and knishes tonight for dinner.
Think of it as an elevated, a modern version of Meat and Potatoes for dinner.
The meatballs are actually from the freezer – I made them 2 weeks ago in honor of E kicking a winning soccer goal. The recipe actually made too many, so I shoved the leftovers in the freezer.
I served them with Rainbow Pasta:
The pasta, by the way, was the BIGGEST hit at our dinner table. E actually measured out the food coloring and tossed the pasta herself. Oohing and Aahing each time the colored pasta emerged. A little food coloring makes SUCH a difference in a little girl’s life!
Anyway, I have leftover mashed potatoes from dinner the other night. I don’t know why knishes popped into my head, but there the idea was. So I looked up how to make knish dough and voila – now it’s on the menu for tonight. BTW, Knishes are mashed potato mixed with sautéed onions, a little salt and pepper and whatever steamed veg you have. I’m going solo with mashed potato. So you take the filling and wrap it in a pastry dough and bake it. I’m using the Smitten Kitchen recipe for the dough, opting to use the leftover mash I already had on hand. I added in a little s&p, a little sautéed onion and away we go.
And THESE are happiness on a plate!
Next time I think I’ll roll the dough out waaaaay thinner. They were DELICIOUS. I smothered mine in yellow mustard, which led to all kinds of conversation about best types of mustard to use on your knishes, which is the most authentic, blah blah blah. I love love love the cheap yellow stuff. Yes, I have Grey Poupon, and Yes I can whip you up some fresh mustard from powder. But it’s the cheap yellow stuff that makes me all giggly inside.
These were so good, in fact, that the three leftover ones were hidden in the fridge. I raced home after work to see if I could snag one before C gets home!
Can you see me doing a Happy Dance??
Rainbow Pasta By Gimmesomeoven from Tablespoon.com
1 lb. Dry Spaghetti or Linguini
1- Prepare pasta according to box. WHILE it’s cooking, grab your food coloring. You’ll use ONE ziploc per color. Add 2 Tablespoons and 20 drops of food coloring to EACH bag.
2- Drain pasta and immediately add to each ziploc (I usually just put a handful of the hot pasta in each bag until the pasta is all gone. DON’T SEAL YET – your bag will explode!! Let it sit for a minute to cool off.
3- Carefully close and use your hands to gently toss. The color will spread all over the pasta. Let it sit in the color for at least a minute and then drain off the excess food coloring.
4- Add pasta to your serving dish, lightly drizzle with olive oil or melted butter and serve to many gasps of little kid joy.
Knishes by Smitten Kitchen
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
1/2 cup Water
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/Margarine
1/2 teaspoon Table Salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 large Egg Yolk
1 teaspoon Water
1- 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.
2- 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.
3- 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. Transfer to bowl with potatoes and mash together until almost smooth. Stir in salt and many grinds of black pepper and set the filling aside.
4- Assemble knish: Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 375ºF.
5- 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.
6- 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, 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.
7- 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.
8- 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.
**I know this looks a little complicated to read. You’ll get the hang of it once you start. You’re laying out the dough, making a mashed potato log across the bottom and rolling it up, making sure the dough circles the filling twice. Then you’re gonna twist the log into sausages. You’ll take a knife and slice the log at your twist marks. Now you’ll have a series of logs on your floured counter. You’ll pick up one log and tuck the ends together, sorta mushing them into the center, closing around the mashed potato gap. That’s now the bottom. Set it down on the baking sheet. You’ll probably want to make your knish look less like a cylinder and more like a knish, so with the flat of your hand you’ll lightly flatten the knish down so it’s squat. Now you’ll bring the top of the tube in and lightly mash than down too. You should do the top with your fingertips, sorta pinching/mashing it. You’ll totally get the hang of it. You will.
9- 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.
10- Let cool for a few minutes, otherwise you’ll burn your mouth on the really really hot potato interior. Serve with mustard and enjoy!
Here’s a photo of my little ones ‘helping mommy clean’.