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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Knish


  Ok, so more than likely you have either never eaten, or never heard of knish. If you have eaten it, then odds are you have not bothered to try and make it. Maybe you are intimidated by this seemingly laborious dish? Maybe the thought of  having to make from scratch dough has you unnerved? Maybe you can't pronounce it so making it is a deal breaker.....blah blah. ITS EASY YALL!! I swear. It's a tad time consuming, but honestly most from scratch dishes are. The upside is you can double your filling recipe, freeze half, and next time only have to make the dough. Thus making a super yummy, easy, and quick week night dinner.
  So what is Knish. I suggest you google the origin if you have to know, but basically it is an easter European street food. Normal filled with a mix of potatoes, veggies, and some kind of cheese. You can make them with meat too. Brisket makes delicious knish. We typically make a variation of potato, veggies and goat cheese. Its the family favorite. We bake ours but they can be fried, or even grilled.  I found and adapted my  recipe for the dough on the  Smitten Kitchen website. She found hers from some guy who seems to know his stuff when it comes to knish. I suggest you give that a look one day. He uses rendered chicken fat (schmaltz) vs oil, and I bet its amazing. So really, give them a try. They are sooooooo good, and pretty simple. You won't be sorry, promise!

Dough:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
teaspoon baking powder
half teaspoon salt
1 egg
1/2 cup oil ( I use grape seed oil, but you can use any mildly flavored oil)
1/2 cup water
teaspoon vinegar

Filling:
potatoes-depending on the kind you use, I used 5 ukon gold for this recipe and made 2 batches of knish
1 small onion
2 roasted red peppers
1 bunch rainbow chard
A few big dollops of goat cheese

*You could use ANY veggie you like, you could add bacon, you could sub the goat cheese for another  cheese...the filling is all up to you. In our house it varies depending on what we have on hand. The base is always potatoes, though.

Step 1- DOUGH:
  Mix your dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl add water, oil, vinegar, and the egg, then whisk. Next, pour the wet with the dry and mix. I use a big spoon at first then normally finish mixing with my hands. Once the dough has come together, form it into a ball and let rest in the fridge while you make the filling. I always wrap mine in wax paper, but you could just leave in the bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.

Step 2- FILLING
  -Peel or just clean your potatoes, its up to you if you want the the peel on there. Chop and boil. Once they are soft, drain.
  _chop your onion, greens, peppers, and any other veggie you are adding and sauté util tender.
-add the sautéed veggies into the potatoes, and any cheese you are using and mash with a hand masher ( ***if using a hand mixer instead, mash the potatoes first then use a large spoon and fold in the rest----for the sake of not making a huge mess)

Assembly:
So if a picture is worth a thousand words, then I could just show pictures of this part...or type  1,000 words, or split the difference. I"ll split the difference and give you both.

- First flour a flat surface ,and your rolling pin
-Next, roll your dough out into a nice large rectangle .....or as close as you can get. It needs to be about as thick as pie crust dough. Once you get it rolled out into a rectangle, trim the 4 sides to even them up.

-Take your filling and make a line of the mixture down the dough starting a few inches from the edge. Don't pile it too thick, it will ooze out while baking.

-Now, you are going to start rolling your knish. Fold the extra dough closest to you,over your mixture ,and start rolling.

-Once you get to the end, brush with egg wash to seal up the seam. (1 egg and a few teaspoons of water whisked together)


             
NOW FOR THE TRICKY PART:
(not really, I'm just messing with you)


 -Now we you have to cut the knish. Start at the end of the "roll". You will pinch and twist the dough about 2-3 inches in.



 -Next you will cut the twist with a sharp knife



 -Finally, place the "twisted" side down, (the knish bottom) and use your finger to tuck the extra dough into the center of the top.

                                                                       not so pretty

much better


REPEAT WITH REMAINING DOUGH!
*Place prepared knish on a baking sheet sprayed with oil, or lined with parchment
*Brush all knish with remaining egg wash
*Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown!



SERIOUSLY, WORTH ALL OF THE  EFFORT!
Enjoy!


Monday, July 6, 2015

Roasted Eggplant and Portabello Lasagna:

  Its Monday and that means produce delivery day! Unfortunately I went grocery shopping last Wednesday and our produce list is not emailed until Friday. Long story (I mean its really not a long story at all, but whatever) short, I had more eggplant and Mushrooms than I had planned for. I was going to make eggplant parm but decided I would try and make something with the eggplant and the mushrooms together ......mostly because I am out of room in my fridge and needed to use them before they went bad...I found a few recipes online, but ultimately decided to mix a couple and make my own. I did not use mozzarella cheese because we have dairy issues around here. I thought the ricotta and parm would be enough without being overkill. You could easily mix some grated motz into your cheese mix though. I personally believe there can never be too much cheese. My stomach tends to disagree, though. I love mixing as many veggies into my sauce as I can. I always add some greens, because I love pretty much any green. Plus, you sneak in some flavor and vitamins! win, win!!!  So here is how I used some of my organic produce delivery this week!

What you will need:
* 2 small or large eggplants
* 2 portobello mushroom caps, stems and ribs removed
* 1 bell pepper ( I used red, but use any you like)
* 2 medium yellow onions
*2 carrots
*3 cups of any green, spinach, chard,  kale (I used heirloom spinach)
*a few cloves of garlic
*1 package of lasagna noodles
* 16 oz ricotta cheese (I prefer whole milk)
* 3/4 cups of grated parmesan cheese
*1 egg
*1 large can of whole stewed tomatoes
*1 can of diced or stewed tomatoes
*salt, pepper, dried thyme, oregano, and oil of your choice.

Roasted veggies:

preheat over to 450:

-Slice eggplant in thin, quarter inch circles. Lay out on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 5 minutes.
-Slice the pepper, 1 onion, and mushrooms into thin strips.
-Arrange the vegetables on a baking sheets. Spray or drizzle oil over veggies and a few shakes of salt.  Roast in oven until they begin to brown, maybe 20-25 minutes. (this is when I start my sauce)

Sauce:
-blend large can of tomaotes (I use my nutribullet)
-chop onion and carrots into small pieces
-crush and chop garlic cloves (or add 2 teaspoons already prepared garlic)
-heat a large pot with oil of your choice (I use grape seed oil) and sauté the onion and carrots for  a few minutes.
-wash and chop your greens and add to the pot. Let the greens cook down until wilted
-add the blended tomatoes. Drain the diced or stewed tomatoes and add those.
-season with salt, pepper to taste, about 1 teaspoon oregano, and 1 teaspoon thyme  (or whatever herbs you prefer)
-let sauce simmer for about 25-30 minutes (while veggies roast)

cheese mixture:
-mix ricotta, parm and egg in a bowl.

Build the lasagna:
-spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish
-next add a layer of noodles, then add a few big spoonfuls of cheese mix on the noodles and spread evenly
-evenly layer half of your roasted veggies on top of cheese mix
-add another thin layer of sauce
-repeat above steps once more
-finally add a last layer of noodles, left over cheese and a thin layer of sauce.
-sprinkle a thin layer of grated parm on top
-bake at 350 for half an hour. Should be golden and bubbly on top.
- LET COOL, SLICE AND SERVE