What’s the best way to ring in the (secular) New Year? With spiced meat wrapped in puff pastry of course!
Last year my husband and I planned to have a real New Year’s Eve out in NYC – which was probably a little overambitious for a 6 month pregnant meatball like myself. And so at the last minute I came to my senses and decided staying in with some close friends, food and wine was a wiser option. I hadn’t planned to cook anything so didn’t have too many ingredients on hand. I did, however, have some ground beef and puff pastry in the freezer and so – voila! Puff pastry meat knishes were born.
Everything tastes better wrapped in puff pastry, so throw some of these together as part of your party spread, or to nosh on before you head out on the town.
4 sheets puff pastry (1 box)
2 yukon gold potatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 lb ground beef
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Remove puff pastry from freezer and let sit on counter for 20-30 minutes until it has softened a bit and can easily be unfolded.
Peel potatoes. Boil potatoes in salted water for 20 minutes, or until fork tender. Drain water and mash potatoes using a masher, ricer or heavy fork. Add 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 2 tsp olive oil to potatoes and mix.
In a large saute pan, heat olive oil. Saute onions and garlic until translucent. Add cumin, paprika, salt and pepper. Add meat and brown until cooked through.
Drain excess oil and liquid from meat.
Lightly roll out puff pastry with rolling pin. Cut each puff pastry sheet into 6 squares.
On each square add approximately 1-2 tsp of potato and 1-2 tsp of meat mixture. Fold each corner of the puff pastry square up until they touch. Pinch and twist tips down to form the knish.
Brush with lightly beaten egg. Bake until golden brown, around 25-30 minutes.
Serve with spicy brown mustard.
Bon Apetit Magazine recently featured variations on deviled eggs that included a recipe for bacon deviled eggs which got me thinking about: how to make a more Jewish version!?
Shortly after reading through the recipes, I was munching on some crunchy gribenes from 2nd Avenue Deli in New York, and it came to me: deviled eggs with chicken fat and gribenes could be the perfect Jewey alternative!
So what is gribenes? I always describe this traditional Eastern European food as a “Jewish pork rind,” which Wikipedia agrees with. Never made it before? The Shiksa in the Kitchen has a great step-by-step schmaltz and gribenes guide.
1 dozen large eggs
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp chicken fat (schmaltz)
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 batch gribenes
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Place eggs in single layer in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and when water comes to a full boil, cover and remove from heat. Let eggs stand in water for 15-17 minutes. Allow eggs to cool.
Peel shells from eggs carefully, and cut eggs in half lengthwise. Remove egg yolks.
In a small mixing bowl mash egg yolks, chicken fat, mayonnaise, salt and pepper. Add egg yolk mixture to piping bag or plastic bag with the tip cut off, and pipe into egg white halves.
Garnish with pieces of crispy gribenes and fresh parsley.