Goat Cheese and Herb Knish
Source: Ramni Levy, King Knish
This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on September 23, 2017.
Makes 75 cocktail-size knish
½ cup oil
½ cup warm water
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
2½ cups all-purpose flour
8 large red new potatoes
5 large Yukon gold potatoes
4 large white potatoes
1 pound soft fresh goat cheese
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons herbes de Provence, plus more for garnish
½ dozen egg yolks (for egg wash)
To prepare the dough: In a large mixing bowl add the eggs, oil, and water and thoroughly mix with a fork until blended and frothy. Add the salt, baking powder, and flour and blend well together. If you use a food processor, be sure not to overwork it, or the dough will become rubbery.
Cut the dough into 4 sections and place on a lightly floured plate. You may freeze some of the portions if you don’t want to use the dough all at once; wrap it in plastic wrap and then in a freezer bag.
Flour a wooden cutting board and roll out the pastry dough very thinly (like wonton wrappers) with a rolling pin. Use a small round cutter to cut the dough into circles. Add more flour to the dough as needed to prevent it from sticking. Keep the rounds on a plate lightly floured and cover with plastic while you cut the remainder of the dough, so they do not dry out.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
To prepare the filling: Cut potatoes in half, then cut the halves into thirds. Fill a large pot with water (the water level should be about ¼ inch less than the potatoes’ volume) and bring to a boil. Boil the potatoes until they are soft (test with a knife) and beginning to break down. Pour the potatoes into a colander and wash with cold water 3 times (this reduces the starch level and helps give the filling a creamy texture).
Place the potatoes into a mixing bowl and, with a potato masher using a rake and pull method, work the potatoes until they are the consistency of dough (do not mash as if you are making mashed potatoes). Add salt and pepper by sprinkling it around to help properly distribute it. Add the goat cheese and blend using the rake and pull method until it looks mixed and creamy. Add the Herbes de Provence and distribute using the rake and pull method. It is very important to do each step separately; this actually makes a better batter. Set aside in the refrigerator until you are ready to begin forming the knish.
To make the egg wash: Whisk the yolks in a medium bowl until they are completely blended.
To form the knish: Use an ice cream scoop to measure the filling, using a nice full scoop of the mixture, and place it in the center of the dough round. Form the knish by shaping your hands like angel wings and wrapping the dough around the mixture until it looks closed. Place the knish on parchment paper on a sheet pan, brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with a little herbes de Provence.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until golden brown. Set aside to cool a bit before enjoying.