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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!

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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


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