Introduction: Baconish Nosh the Bacon Knish
Delish. The one and only fried bacon knish done New York Coney Island hot dog cart style. With a side of bacon inside for a better nosh. Blasphemous but you can wash it down with a Brooklyn Egg Cream.
It actually looks like you are biting into a perfectly snack-sized fried slab of deliciously cured porkfat but it really is a potato filled dumpling of sorts. Serve with a schmear of mustard or horseradish. It's good for you.
Caution: No calorie count has be done on this food product. Enjoy in moderation.
Step 1: Down to Earth Ingredients...
The knish is a traditional Jewish deli food so adding bacon would be inviting a bolt of lightning from above. Well, under the guise of the Hipster Union, I think we can get away with adding bacon.
My product is a derivation of the distinctive fried square knish made by Gabila's, which no has been able to duplicate. Maybe it's the je ne sais quoi when it is reheated on a tinfoil lined flattop at a deli restaurant or warmed up in the firebox of a dirty water dog(hot dog) street cart.
For this you will need:
Potatoes - use any kind you have, they will be mashed.
Bacon, lots of bacon
Onions, lots of onions
Flour to make the dough
oil for the dough and oil for frying
red and yellow dye - optional, used to get the look of bacon on the dough
salt and pepper, additional onion powder, garlic powder or any other seasonings
Step 2: May the Schmaltz Be With You...
I guess you could add a shot of rendered chicken fat(schmaltz) for bonus flavor but we are going with bacon.
Dice up about a quarter to half pound of bacon.
In a large pan, render out the fat from the bacon over medium heat. I like to add some additional cooking oil to help the process and to prevent bacon bits from burning and sticking in the pan.
Finely dice up two large onions. Once the bacon starts to brown and the fat has rendered out of the bacon strips, add the onions to brown. It may take a while for the onions to release its moisture and start to caramelize or brown.
Keep stirring to keep things from burning.
When everything is nice and browned, take it off the heat to cool. You will end up with a smaller volume of soft baconey caramelized onioney goodness.
You can pick out the larger pieces of remaining bacon and finely chop that up.
Step 3: Make a Lot of Dough...
We want to make two different colored doughs to simulate the look of bacon.
We need a red dough for the meaty part.
We need a yellow or plain dough to be the fat part. Gabila's knish dough seems to be a brighter yellow possibly from added tumeric.
The red dough portion should be about one third of the total batch of dough.
Start out with a few tablespoons of water in a bowl. Dissolve a few drops of red food coloring in there.
Put in a generous splash of oil.
Add in a good pinch of salt.
Start adding flour by the spoonfuls and mix.
Incorporate all into a ball that you can knead together into a soft dough.
Repeat all for twice the size to make the plain or yellow color dough.
Place in a covered bowl in the fridge to rest while you work on the other ingredients.
Step 4: Mix and Mash...
I do like to eat the skins and it adds flavor. Peel your potatoes if desired.
Wash and chop up your potatoes. Potatoes will cook faster in smaller pieces. Excise any darkened bits and sproutings.
My pot fits about 2 pounds of potatoes or half a bag. Rinse the chopped up pieces in the pot to get rid of excess starch.
Add a good sprinkling of salt. Cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Don't cover the pot, it will eventually boil over. They should simmer until cooked. Use the fork test to see when they are done and drain before you get a mushy potato soup.
Put aside to cool.
You can then add your bacon caramelized onion to the mix and mash. You should have a fairly thick and smooth mix. Add milk or cream for additional liquid if needed. A spoonful of sour cream might be good to make a loaded potato knish...and chives or broccoli bits too.
Season to taste.
You can then put this back in the fridge to cool and mingle all the flavors.
Step 5: Baloney Sandwich...
On a big piece of plastic wrap or on your dough worksurface:
Take your dough out from the fridge and press out into a flat patty.
I guess I made more red color dough than I wanted, but that's ok.
Layer up the red and yellow doughs to make something that looks like a baloney sandwich.
Cover with your plastic wrap to shape and press into a solid slab.
Use a big knife to make slices from the slab.
Line them up together and cover with the plastic wrap to further form them into on big sheet of dough to be used as the knish shell or outer wrapping.
The dough should maybe be about 1/8th of an inch or like the thick sheet of cardboard attached to the back of a paper pad. Lasagne noodle thick, no need to get it see-through paper thin.
Step 6: Production Line...
Take your bacon-onion-mashed-tater filling and make a thick layer in the middle or one side of your dough.
Bring the top and bottom sides to cover the filling. Pinch the seam to seal together. Do the same for the ends.
If you placed the filling closer to one of the edges, roll it all up like sushi or a burrito to cover the filling with dough.
You can now make smaller portions by dividing with a knife.
Use the blunt edge to stretch the dough into the portions. Cut on the indentations.
Pick apart each of the servings and stretch the dough around to pinch and seal the open seams.
On a Gabila's knish, there is some kind of texture that adds to the crunchy crust. I don't know if that just happens to be the production conveyor belt markings or it is an intended added texture. I just pressed in the milled or rough face of my meat mallet to give the surface of each knish its texture. Actually, a quick blow with the hammer works so you don't have to add flour or oil to the hammer to keep it from sticking.
Step 7: Fry Now or Later...
You could really deep fry the knish but it is best done with traditional pan frying. I think they would explode in a deep fryer with all the moisture puffing out from the filling.
Put a good layer of oil but not enough to get halfway up the sides of all the knishes in the pan. Fry on one side and turn over when browned. Finish cooking the other side.
You will now have some delicious knishes that look bacon wrapped but aren't.
Serve with a good mustard or horseradish.
Or just pick and eat as is.
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