There are so many special ways to use a piece of matzah in cooking. How can something so simple be this delicious?
Excerpted from Remaining Kosher Volume Two: A Cookbook for All with a Hechsher in Their Heart..
Matzah Potato “Knishes”
It’s Passover again. Time to play with matzah! A sheet of store bought matzah can have many hidden guises.
This recipe is also about cooked onions in chicken fat.
I call these “knishes” because there is a filling inside a baked dough. The baked dough here is matzah. In this recipe, the matzah sheet first has to get softened with an easy and approachable technique.
Next, the matzah is topped with a stuffing, then rolled up and baked.
Before serving, each roll is cut sushi-style. Again duplicating sushi, these rolls are eaten by the piece.
I use chicken fat in spades. And nothing beats a heavy black iron skillet to cook those onions.
Potatoes are just about my favorite food. Here they are folded in with those onions slow-cooked in chicken fat.
Note: make the delicious Manischewitz Red Onion Preserves. Put atop the potato “knish” and eat. Yum.
Yield: 4 rolls (making about 28 sliced pieces): about 2 cups mash filling
Special Equipment: skillet, sauce pan, potato masher or standing mixer and batter hook, half baking sheet pan, or large aluminum foil disposable for dunking matzah, bowl, (optional) pastry brush, parchment paper, foil
- ½ cup chicken fat
- 1 large yellow onion: peeled and diced
- 1lb. baking potatoes, peeled and boiled
- ½ tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 full sheets unsalted matzah: no cracks!
- 3 eggs: checked and beaten
- 1½ cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 extra large egg, checked and beaten
- Combined during finishing:
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 egg (checked)
Optional Garnish: Manischewitz Red Onion Preserves (recipe below)
To cook the onions:
Melt in the chicken fat in a heavy black iron skillet (preferable).
Add the onions, kosher salt and pepper. Cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions soften and just start to brown- about 15 minutes.
Turn the heat down to low. Cook the onions for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions become darker. Some will have crispy edges.
Remove from heat. Set aside.
Meanwhile, place the cut potatoes in water to cover. Cook at a brisk simmer until tender.
Drain the potatoes. Mash with a potato masher (or standing mixer with batter attachment on low). Lumps are allowed!
Beat in the cooked onions and all the remaining fat. Taste for seasoning. Scrape into a bowl and cool.
Add the beaten egg into the cooled potato-onion mixture. Combine thoroughly. Taste for seasoning: I like even more freshly ground black pepper in my mash.
To prepare the matzahs to be filled with the potato mixture:
Combine the egg and water in a small bowl. This will be used during rolling.
Whisk together the eggs, water, salt and pepper. Pour the liquid into a half baking sheet pan with sides (or a large disposable aluminum pan).
Tear or cut 4 pieces of parchment, each a little larger than the matzah. Tear off the same amount of foil.
Place two pieces of foil down on the counter top. Place one piece of parchment centered over each piece of foil. Brush the top of each sheet of parchment generously with vegetable or olive oil.
Turn the hot water tap on and wait until the water turns baby bottle warm. Pick up one sheet of matzah. Quickly soak the piece of matzah quickly underneath the warm water, then turn the water off.
Place the first matzah into the egg wash filled sheet pan/ aluminum disposable pan. Repeat with the next piece of matzah: two pieces of matzah should be able to soak side by side in the egg wash.
Using both hands, carefully turn over each piece of matzah after five minutes. Let soak for 15 minutes.
Again with both hands, carefully pick up one piece of matzah from its egg bath. Let the excess egg wash drip back into the pan. Place the matzah 2” from the nearest edge of the first oiled parchment. Repeat with the other piece of soaked matzah, placing it on another piece of oiled parchment.
Let these sheets of matzah sit for another 10 minutes. This insures a pliable piece of matzah.
Repeat the above soaking/softening procedure with the two remaining matzahs.
Filling and rolling “matzah” knishes:
Paint the surface of each prepared soaked sheet of matzah with the egg-water.
Measure out two cups of the potato filling and place into a mixing bowl. Based on 4 rolls, each roll takes ½ cup of filling.
Measure out a ½ cup of potato filling.
Distribute the filling evenly an inch from the edge directly in front of you.
Lift the parchment up and over the roll. This begins the rolling. Fold the oiled parchment over the matzah and filling (the matzah should be soft enough so that it will bend). Keep rolling using the parchment edge to guide you as you go up, forming a log.
Sometimes the matzah cracks: that’s fine, keep going. Continue to roll the log into the remaining parchment.
The filled log will now be at the top of the sheet of foil. Roll the foil/parchment over the filled log and back down towards you: the log will now be sealed in foil.
Tightly twist the ends like a tootsie roll: his will tighten the log. Then bend each foiled end up.
Fill and roll the other prepared sheets of matzah.
Note: the uncooked, filled and rolled knishes could now be refrigerated for one day.
Preheat oven to 350 °F.
Place the foil wrapped logs on a sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove. Snip off both ends once cool enough to handle. Unroll; discard both the foil and parchment.
Use a sharp knife to cut each roll into 6-7 pieces.
Reheat the Manischewitz Red Onion Preserves
Place the warm knishes on serving platter.
Serve with the preserves and a small fork.
To reheat cut knishes: place on a microwavable proof dish. Cover the knishes with a wet paper towel. Microwave for 10 seconds.
Lauren Stacy Berdy (Aish.com)