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Friday, October 9, 2015

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Knishes or deli rolls to eat in the sukkah

Tags: Food

Every year I serve the same soups, cholent and meatballs in a bread bowl in the sukkah.

I decided to buck the tradition this year and reinvent my menu for the week of meals that will be served outdoors. That being said, I’m not going to go totally off the rails and serve something wildly outside the realm of Jewish cuisine, but rather I’m turning to the deli roll and knish to serve as a reminder that different is still delicious.

A knish is the name given to a baked or fried dumpling. Dough wrapped around a savoury potato, meat, onion, kasha, and/or vegetable filling. Super easy to make, they can be small-sized appetizers or meals all by themselves. Think calzone without the pizza sauce and cheese.

A deli roll in its simplest form is a sheet of puff pastry (typically slathered with sweet or savoury mustard wrapped around corned beef, pastrami, turkey or a combination of these meats and/or vegetables rolled up jelly roll style, baked and served with extra mustard.

These descriptions of these two delicious treats don’t do justice to the dishes, but the following recipes, when tasted, take over where the words end.

NOTE: For those with a vegan or vegetarian in the house, feel free to substitute grilled eggplant, portabella mushrooms or any combination of mashed potatoes and grilled vegetables for the meat in any of the recipes





2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 large egg

1/2 cup oil

1 tsp. white vinegar

1/3 to 1/2 cup water


3 medium russet potatoes, peeled and quartered, boiled until soft

1 medium onion, diced small

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. margarine or butter

1/2 tsp.salt

pepper to taste

1 egg yolk

1 tsp. water


To make the dough, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix well. In another bowl, combine the egg, oil, vinegar and water. Whisk to combine and add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients in the other bowl. Mix to combine. Once the mixture is combined, dump it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it until it becomes smooth, 2 or 3 minutes. Return the dough to the bowl, cover it and refrigerate it at least 1 hour but no more than 2 days.

Place the cooked potatoes in a large bowl. Heat the margarine or butter and oil in a skillet and add the onions. Cook over a medium heat, stirring frequently for about 25 to 30 minutes and they are caramelized. Add the onions to the bowl with the potatoes and smash them all together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 375. Line a large baking sheet with sides with parchment paper. Divide the dough in half. On a well-floured surface, roll the first half of the dough into a thin sheet approximately 12 by 12 inches square. Spoon a 2-inch thick log of potato filling across the bottom of the dough square. Roll up jellyroll style making sure it’s not too tight. Roll so that the filling has been wrapped twice. Tuck or trim the ends. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

Cut each log in half and then each of the halves into halves again. Pinch closed one side of each piece to form the bottom of the knish. Slightly flatten the knish and place it on the parchment paper on the cookie sheet. You can pinch the top closed as well if you prefer, but make sure there is enough of an opening to allow the steam from the filling to escape.

In a bowl, combine the egg and the water and whisk. Brush the top of the knish with the mixture and bake 40 to 45 minutes, until golden. Makes 8. This recipe can be doubled or tripled and you can make them smaller.

Modified from a recipes posted on




1 large onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1/2 cup diced green pepper

3 tbsp. oil

1 1/4 lb. ground beef, turkey or chicken

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

2 tbsp. tomato or barbecue sauce

1 3/4 cups flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

5 tbsp. margarine

2/3 cup nondairy creamer or water

mustard to taste


Meat Mixture: In a 10-in. skillet, fry onions, celery and green pepper in oil until soft, but not brown. Add meat and sauté until brown. Add salt and pepper. Stir in 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce. Remove from heat and cool.

Dough: Combine flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl. Cut margarine into dry ingredients with two knives until mixture reaches consistency of corn meal. Add nondairy creamer, a few drops at a time, mashing with fork after each addition, until dough holds together in a ball.

To Assemble: Roll out dough on floured board into a rectangle, about 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick. Spread dough with mustard, then spread meat mixture on dough. Roll up jellyroll fashion. Place roll on ungreased pan, seam side down. Prick dough in several places with fork to allow steam to escape.

Preheat oven to 350. Bake until brown, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand a few minutes before slicing.

Modified from Spice and Spirit The Complete Kosher Jewish Cookbook by Esther Blau, Tzirrel Deitsch, Cherna Light




2 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup oil

3 eggs and 1 egg white

1/2 lb. beef, cooked and drained

4 green onions, sliced thin

1 baked sweet potato, cut into small pieces

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 to 2 tbsp. water or beef broth


Preheat oven to 400. Line two cookie sheets with sides with parchment paper or foil. In a bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Add 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup water, 1 egg and 1 egg white. Mix to combine and then set aside. In another bowl, combine the cooked beef, green onions, 1 egg, sweet potato, salt, pepper and water.

Roll out the dough until it’s about 1/4 inch thick or less. Cut out as many 3- to 4-inch circles as you can, and place a small spoonful of filling in the middle of each circle. Pull up the sides of the circle and press them together to make a dumpling-like packet. Place them on a cookie sheet and brush with a beaten egg. Bake for 15-20 minutes golden brown. Makes 3 to 3-1/2 dozen depending on the size.

Submitted by Katya Raronlen New York, N.Y. Source unknown




1 large onion, very thinly sliced

1 tbsp. minced garlic

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted

1/4 cup honey Dijon mustard

1/2 lb. pastrami, thinly sliced

1/2 lb. turkey breast, thinly sliced

1 egg

1 tbsp. warm water

non-stick vegetable spray

additional sautéed onions and mustard for garnish


Preheat oven to 375. Cover a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Spray with non-stick vegetable spray. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic stirring occasionally, until onions are caramelized. 

Spread a thin layer of mustard on puff pastry. Place a layer of pastrami on the mustard, covering the entire sheet, using the entire 1/2 pound. Place a layer of turkey on the pastrami, covering the entire sheet, using the entire 1/2 pound. Evenly spread the caramelized onions over the layer of turkey. Roll. Place on the prepared cookie sheet

With a sharp knife, make several diagonal slits across the top of the roll. Whisk together the egg and water. Brush over the top of the roll. Bake for 45 minutes until top of roll is golden brown. Serve sliced with additional mustard and sautéed onions.

Modified from




12 to 14 sheets of filo dough

4 tbsp. mustard

2 tbsp. Dijon seeded mustard

2 tbsp. honey

1/4 lb. sliced salami

1/4 lb. sliced turkey

1 onion, sliced and sautéed in 1 tbsp. olive oil and 2 tsp. brown sugar

1 egg yolk


In a skillet, sauté the onion and brown sugar in the oil until soft. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or grease it very well. Place 6 to 7 sheets of filo on a work surface. Spread 2 tablespoons of yellow mustard and 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard on top of the filo dough, but make sure to leave about 1 in. around the edges.

Place 1/2 of the salami and 1/2 of the turkey on top of the mustards then drizzle the honey over the top of the meat. Place half of the sautéed onions on one end of the dough. Start to roll the dough from the end with the onions.

Placed on the prepared cookie sheet, seam side down. Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients. Brush the top with the beaten egg yolk and sprinkle the sesame seeds on the top. Cut 3 or 4 slits in the top of the roll to allow the steam from the filling to escape. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the top is golden. Serves 8 to 10 depending on the size of the pieces you cut. This recipe can be doubled or tripled.

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