When I think of knishes, like most people, I think of New York Jewish deli-style discs of creamy potato or savory meat, enveloped by a flaky crust. Potato knishes are my favorite, because they act as a vehicle for as much good, grainy mustard as I see fit.
The last time I enjoyed a potato knish, the dough reminded me of empanadas, a classic Latin dish. Each Latin country has their own version of empanadas, and the variety of fillings are endless. With that in mind, I set out to create a Cuban-inspired knish that pays homage to both the New York Jewish delis of the past, and the aromatic flavors from my family’s kitchen.
In Cuba, and many other Caribbean countries, green plantains are often used interchangeably with potatoes as the starch component of a meal, so adding them to a knish felt like the natural thing to do. Of course, it is written in the laws of Cuban grandmothers everywhere that all savory dishes must contain at least a hint of garlic, and thus smashed plantains covered in a citrusy garlic Mojo sauce seems like the perfect filling to a Cuban-inspired knish. Feel free to dunk these knishes in mustard if you’re more traditional, but keep in mind that even this mustard-loving girl can’t resist the pull of a good Cuban mojo sauce. The special filling inside these savory discs has just a hint of sweetness that makes these a winner for the dinner table.