Saturday, March 16, 2019

Coney Island Knishes – St. Patrick’s Day Leftovers Edition

One of my earliest “exotic” food experiences was eating potato knishes with my Dad when we’d visit Coney Island. There were the square variety, and we’d buy them from a hot dog cart, and since potatoes were my favorite food growing up, I was in heaven. I mean, mashed potatoes in a warm, flaky pastry? I’ll have two, please.

Back then they were still made with copious amounts of chicken fat, also know as “schmaltz,” which was the real secret behind their awesomeness, but you can make a perfectly fine version without that, especially if you have some leftover corned beef around. Regardless of how you fill these, the technique seen herein will work, and half the fun is trying new versions. As long as the base is mashed potato, spiked with onions fried in lots of fat, anything goes.

I think the baked version is the easiest, but if you feel so inclined, these can also be deep-fried, or pan-fried. No matter how you cook them, one of the keys is getting the dough nice and thin, so your finished product is mostly filling. Other than that, these are relatively simple to make, and the kind of snack that fills more than just an empty stomach, which is why I really hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 16 Knishes:
(Please Note: I only used half the dough in the video, and only made enough filling for 8 knishes, but the following ingredients will make 16 total)

For the dough:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon fine salt)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup warm water

For the filling (might make extra):
2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, quartered, and boiled in salted water until tender
1/2 cup melted butter, and/or rendered chicken fat
2 cups diced yellow onion
2 teaspoons kosher salt (or 1 teaspoon fine salt), plus more to taste
freshly ground black pepper and cayenne to taste
8 ounces diced corned beef
1 cup finely chopped cooked cabbage

- Bake at 375 F. for about 40 minutes, or until golden-brown


FMK said...

Between the outrageous dumplings and now these knishes, I’m in potato heaven!

Unknown said...

Looks great, Chef!

My food wish is authentic Greek Moussaka to remind me of the time I spent there!!

Unknown said...

These remind me of kolaches (except that the kolache dough is a slightly sweet yeasted dough). I recently watched a Q&A with you on the all recipes youtube channel where the subject of kolaches came up and no one knew what they were. Someone said pigs in a blanket and someone said sweet rolls with fruit in the middle....and they were both right. They are huge in Houston, TX and extremely delicious! When we moved from Houston, TX to San Diego, CA, we missed them so much that we were so excited when Tustin, CA opened a Kolache Factory franchise. It's the only location in California. :( We often drive up to Orange County just to pick up several dozen of these amazing pastries! I love the breakfast ones....they are amazing and very similar to these knishes! I would love to see you make kolaches in the future! I've tried making them at home and they've been pretty good but not quite right....I'm pretty sure your knish rolling technique is the difference!!! I can't wait to try making these knishes and then attempting the same assembly method with some kolache dough! Thanks so much for this amazing recipe and what a great way to use up corned beef and cabbage leftovers! Genius!

Blind Bat said...

Thank you so much, Chef John, for making my food wishes for knishes come true! Will be making these this weekend!

Daniel Melo said...

Oh, those look very easy to make! I might bake them for college snacks.
Chef John, where do you store your recipes? At a physical paper recipe book? Any app or online recipe manager?



Unknown said...

Can I use olive oil instead ???

Unknown said...

That looks amazing. Now on to my real reason for commenting, do you have an Instagram? I looked and looked, and all I've found are "impastas"!

Winddove said...

These are absolutely delicious as well as fun to make! A real hit! Thank you for sharing. :-)

Justjoy said...

Making now. Eff yeah!

elangomatt said...

Hey Chef John, I just want to say thanks for this recipe! My Jewish mother has been making an old family recipe for years but I've never been able to find another recipe like it. It is basically your knish dough without the egg, baking powder, and vinegar but only uses 2 cups of flour due to the lack of the egg moisture. The dough is then stuffed calzone style with spinach and baked off. I know knish is assembled in a completely different way but it never occurred to me that the dough might be similar!

I think I'm going to try using your leavened dough with my mom's recipe sometime to see if it is improved at all! Oh and I'll try to make some knishes sometime too.

dmk said...

This looks amazing, but I always make hash (my husband's favorite) after St. Patrick's Day.

Many years ago (early 1970's) we used to eat at a Mongolian BBQ in Orange County (whatever happened to Mongolian BBQ?). I think this would have been a family restaurant, before it became a chain. "Mom" did the back of the house, "Dad" and kids did the griddling in the front. In addition to the usual suspects, like white rice, "Mom" made these sesame biscuits or rolls that were hollow enough to stuff with the stir fry off the griddle. They were amazing, and I have never found a recipe or another version of them in a different restaurant. Any ideas? I would love to make them at home.

KBO said...

G'day Chef John,
Thank you for this recipe. It will help make this fantastic dish more widely known. I had a Jewish auntie who showed me how to make these many years ago. Where we Iive in Tasmania it's almost impossible to buy jars of chicken fat and rendering your own chicken skin and fat is a lengthy job as you need quite a few chickens, besides I simply can't do a chicken wiithout the skin so I use a mixture of butter and duck fat, which works very well.
i've done these with leftover roasted chicken, duck, goose and lamb all with onions but your leftover corned beef is a stroke of genius; can't wait to try that filling.
One time when I set out to make ordinary sausage rolls, I decided to up-end them and finish them off like Knishes and suddenly a somewhat dull pastry dish became something truly special. Thanks again. Cheers BH (KBO)

Anna Anna said...

There you go college students. Chef John to the rescue with a much better alternative than what smany of you are eating now, right Sarah?? Thank you Chef!!

Unknown said...

In northern England we have a similar 'meat and potato' pie. What's that 'corned beef' ?? We only the stuff you get in a can (Fray Bentos).

Carl Pond said...

Dear Chef John, I made these last night for my wife and me. They were picture perfect with a taste to match.

After dinner I thought these could be a main for company, but what would be a good side dish?

I’m curious to know what you think.


Carl Pond said...

Chef John, if knish were the main dish what would be a good side?

arbpen said...

I'm making these today from corned beef that I made in my Instant Pot with Guinness, Old Bay seasoning, mustard seed, garlic and bay leaf. I lucked out, I had leftover duck schmaltz. I sauteed cabbage and onion in that duck schmaltz, and wow, what flavor. We were supposed to have Silk Road Kabobs tonight, but I think that the knishes are going to be much better with a salad. I had extra dough, so I made palmiers as well. A good time in the kitchen today I'll say.

Dbob said...

These look positively amazing! I'm going to do a trial run for our next progressive dinner, which I have the appetizer/cocktail portion. Do you think some sort of dijon mustard sauce would be a good accompaniment? Or best just to eat as is?

Love Chef John videos - informative and extremely entertaining!

Wlada Poljakova said...

Perfect flavor!!! Why do mine always break open halfway baking? Still tasty and all but not half as pretty looking or good to transport!

Grammom said...

If I were to make these a day or two ahead of time in a smaller size as h'ors d'oeuvres,should they be frozen, refrigerated, before or after cooking?? also, where do I find answers to fans' questions, as most would be helpful? thank you! P.S. I was making crab rangoon and shrimp toast for parties about 35 years ago, and your recipes are almost exactly the same! good is good,always!!

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