"Sharing a meal is a simple, yet sacred occasion. It is a universal act that is important to building relationships within people groups. Intentionally eating together creates time and space to engage in the spiritual and intellectual levels that are unique to human beings. Sharing food cultivates community because the implications of the meal extend beyond the time of eating together. While there are other places people meet, gathering around a meal is the most accessible because if nothing else, everyone must eat."
-Passing the Salt by Rebecca Katz
We made a modified version of the Smitten Kitchen knish recipe below in that we rolled them to a much smaller size. If you follow the recipe as listed here, you'll get knishes nearly double the size of what we made in class. As full-size pieces, they'd be great to serve as a plated appetizer. The bite-size versions we made are great for passing around at a party.
(makes 15-20 small knishes, 4-6 doorstop sized ones)
2 1/12 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp white vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp water
1) Make the dough: Stir together flour, baking powder, and 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together egg, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, vinegar and water. Pour over dry ingredients and stir to combine. Once combined, knead until smooth (about one minute). Place dough back in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least one hour (it can stay up to three days).
2) Put peeled potatoes into a large pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and cook until potatoes are easily pierced with a knife (about 20 minutes). Drain and let cool.
3) Caramelize onions by heating a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter and 1 tbsp vegetable oil and add onions once melted. Cook until deeply caramelized - about 45 minutes. Transfer onions to bowl with potatoes and mash together. Stir in 1/2 tsp salt and black pepper.
4) Line a baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Divide dough in half and roll the first half into a very thin sheet (about 1 foot square). For larger knishes (doorstop size), create a 2-inch thick log of potato filling all the way across the bottom of the dough (side closest to you). From there, roll the dough from bottom to top, encasing the potato filling, and leaving just the tiniest bit of slack so they don't burst. Roll the dough twice over the filling and trim off any unrolled length (you can incorporate it into the second half of the dough). Repeat this process with the second half of dough.
5) Trim the ends of the dough on the right and left sides so that they're even with the potato filling. Make indentations every few inches (about every 3 inches for doorstop sized knishes) and twist the dough at these points (as if you were making sausage links). Snip the dough at each twist and pinch once side together to form the bottom of the knish. Flatten that side into the parchment paper just slightly, and leave the tops open.
6) Arrange knishes so that they don't touch on the parchment paper. Whisk 1 egg and tsp water together to form an egg wash. Glaze over each knish. Bake knishes for about 45 minutes (for doorstop sized knishes), or until an even, golden-brown color. Serve with spicy mustard.
Crostini with Roasted Tomato Jam
1 large baguette or 3 small baguette rolls
4 cloves garlic, minced and divided
1/4 cup olive oil (for crostini)
2 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 red onion, diced
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
3 tbsp olive oil (for tomatoes)
1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet, combine tomatoes, red onion, half of the minced garlic, 1 tsp salt, 3 tbsp olive oil, and black pepper to taste. Toss until tomatoes are evenly coated with oil and spices and roast until tomatoes have burst (about 15-20 minutes).
2) Slice baguettes into 1" thick horizontal slices. In a small bowl, combine remaining minced garlic with 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tsp salt, black pepper, and rosemary. Brush top of each crostini slice with oil.
3) Remove tomatoes from oven and let cool. Place crostini slices on baking sheet and toast in the oven at 400 degrees until lightly golden and not soggy, about 5 minutes.
5) Blend cooled tomato mixture in a blender (or in our case, a Magic Bullet!) and pour into a small saucepan. Cook on low heat until reduced, about 10 minutes. Adjust spices to taste and serve atop crostini or as a dip alongside.