Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thank You / Good Morning America Feature!

Thanks everyone for your Thanksgiving orders! Had a great time delivering them in person, and a reminder for those picking up at Malt & Mold -- they're there and awaiting your pick up!

In case you missed the boat, there are some for sale at Malt & Mold, and if you really want to go crazy, go make 'em yourself! The fine folks at Good Morning America on ABC has posted our recipe on their website, so go check it out!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Now accepting Thanksgiving Preorders on our Pumpkin & Butternut Squash knishes! (KOSHER, too!)

Gobble gobble y'all

It's that time of year again: the biggest national food holiday is upon us! And what better way to make your fellow Thanksgiving folk kvell than with a savory pumpkin knish? 

Last year we did our very first special ordering offering for Thanksgiving: Pumpkin & Butternut Squash knishes.This year, we're doing it again. Place your order by 8am, Saturday, November 17th, and you will be able to either pick them up on Monday through Wednesday at Malt & Mold (221 East Broadway) noon-8pm,  on the Lower East Side, or have them delivered to your door on Sunday (afternoon or early evening) for a minimal fee.

AND for this week only, starting tomorrow (Tuesday), Malt & Mold will have a limited number of pumpkin knishes for sale! Go try one before you go all-in on an order. All knishes (including potato, pastrami, and kasha) are on sale for only $3 each this week!!

Special orders are:
  • 6 pumpkin knishes: $20
  • 12 pumpkin knishes $30
  • 18 pumpkin knishes: $40
And in VERY limited quantities: Kosher pumpkin knishes! Same knish, just made under the strict supervision of the Vaad Harabonim of Queens in their commercial kitchen. 

  • 5 Kosher pumpkin knishes: $20
  • 10 Kosher pumpkin knishes $30
  • 15 Kosher pumpkin knishes: $40
Cash only at point of pick up/delivery. They will arrive cold, and will hold up in the refrigerator quite well until Thanksgiving. [Reheat in oven at 300 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.]

To order, email knisherynyc(at)gmail.com; you will receive a confirmation email. We have limited capacity; orders placed will be filled first come, first serve.

Pumpkin knishes are vegetarian and dairy-free, not vegan (due to eggs) or gluten-free (due to wheat). Depending on availability, they are  made with about 95% organic ingredients.

Friday, November 9, 2012

THIS IS HARDCORE (kosher knishing!)

Rolling dough with found equipment, the Kosher Paddle of Punishment
The fine folks at Gefilteria got in touch with KnisheryNYC to a make some knishes for an event they were catering. The catch: it's gotta be KOSHER. Not "kosher-style" where you avoid the pork and don't mix the dairy and meat, but all-kosher ingredients in a kosher kitchen under the supervision of a kosher supervisor who keeps it all, uh, kosher.
As Jan Brady never said, "Kosher, Kosher, KOSHER!"
So what's a non-kosher knishman to do? All the ingredients were collected the day before carefully, which wasn't too hard -- potato and onion and vegetable are kosher by default, the eggs and flour I use are already kosher, just had to substitute one brand of shortening for another. However, I was not permitted to bring any equipment, and would have to rely on the equipment that was already in this kitchen I never visited. If I absolutely had to bring some equipment, it would have to be cleansed in a mikvah. Or, as the East River is considered a mikvah, "cleansed" in a mikvah. Yeesh!

The earliest snow storm on record killed our street fair debut last year, and this year Hurricane Sandy brought our Kickstarter to a shuddering halt. Now the night before the Kosher cooking session, a Noreaster blew through town. With thick wet heavy snow lying on the ground, gas stations still closed or with long, long lines, and over 14 miles between me and my supplies and the kitchen, what does one do? Go for a bike ride, of course.
Powered by beans.
Slow and steady won the race, and got me into the warm, ever loving arms of the Gefilteria...
Jackie, Liz, Peter the Masgioch & Jeff. Masgioch Pete & Jeff, coming to ABC on Wednesdays!
We toiled away like little Jewish grandmas all day, with our onions, our beets, our white fish and potatoes, while Masgioch Pete jumped in with the peeling, the cleaning and the APPROVAL FROM GOD. Dough had to be mixed by hand and odd things were used to roll it, but over-all knish production went smoothly along side the production of huge amounts of gefilte, kvass and other top-secret tools of mass Jewish deliciousness.  

While the 30 miles of biking 60 lbs of supplies in the wind, snow and cold wasn't ideal, it was well worth the effort to spend the day with people of the same spirit. And before you ask, "But Noah, I only eat kosher, I need a kosher knish, can you get me one?!" I say, "Hold tight, there is an announcement coming on Monday to make you AND your treif friends happy!"

Thanks to Jeff, Liz & Jackie for sharing their kitchen time with me, and Jeff for the two pics I didn't take myself! Gefilteria is at Zabars this weekend, go for taste and pick up a loaf!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sandy ate all the knishes. Kickstarter to reboot for Spring!

Hello all you beautiful supporters,

I am sad to report I am pulling the plug on the KnisheryNYC Kickstarter project with about 3 days to go. Due to Hurricane Sandy, all the plans to promote and build excitement around the project in the last 10 days were delayed or cancelled, and I was too busy relocating my family to safety for the past week to give KnisheryNYC much thought.

There has been a really nice uptick in support in the past 2 days, but regardless I do not feel comfortable reaching out to friends, family, knish-lovers and NYC residents for money (or even the time to think about knishes) when our city is still reeling.

As this Kickstarter is incomplete, you will not be charged for your contributions. As much as I like to tease the borough of my youth as something I'd like to forget about, my heart aches about the ongoing fallout from the storm on Staten Island, affecting many families of the friends who, like I, left the Rock years ago. The funds you were going to contribute to KnisheryNYC, please consider donating to an organization like Tunnel to Towers, where you can direct 100% of your contributions to the relief those put out by the storm on Staten Island.

Do not worry, KnisheryNYC is ongoing. We are about to make a few announcements (hint: Thanksgiving knishes!) and will relaunch the Kickstarter in late February/early March, just in time to help us spring into the busy season! Please sign up for regular updates by going to our website  or liking us on Facebook!


Noah Wildman
KnisheryNYC, Owner/Operator

PS - While I was a refugee on the Upper East Side at Hotel Grandma, I purchased some knishes from Gourmet Garage. In the midst of chaos, it was the off-flavored, mealy inspiration I needed to keep on knishin'

Monday, October 22, 2012

We(were) here, we're qunishy, get used to It!

Top row: Jorge, Fredricka, Fat Bob, Arturo. Bottom row: Spike, Ruby and Lil' Punchy
Well, we spent both Saturday and Sunday takin' it to the street (fairs), and by any measure, it was a success. I could credit the perfect weather, or the organizers for running class operations, or my wife for propping up the home front while I did the dip, or the friends for coming out and giving moral support, or the Crowleys for giving up their refrigerator to hold the stock, or the Rodens for lending me their toaster oven, or La Crepe C'est Si Bon for generously sharing their space with me, or....but I won't! All the credit goes all to me to all the customers and new friends and who purchased knishes through out the weekend!
Mrs. Plotting and Mr. Scheming
A special thank you to the Gefilteria massive. While we were all in a daze early in the morning, we made arrangements for everyone who purchased their "Old World Platter" were directed a few booths down the way to KnisheryNYC for a couple of complimentary minis. I guess I shouldn't say anything, as its obvious evidence of a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world Grub Street.

All kidding aside, we had a great weekend, blew out of almost all of our 600+ pieces, and feel good about the future. I still feel a little punch-drunk, but check back this space next week for an announcement of our next few moves!

Looks like all the noise we made on social media and the two events raised some awareness: we're less than half-way through the funding period, but more than half funded on kickstarter! So, Kickstarter!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hester is History, Grub St is Upon Us

Buy two dozen knishes, get a free toddler!
Today went pretty smoothly, met some cool people, saw some good friends, sold a few knishes, enough to about break even and have a good number left to sell tomorrow at the Grub St event. The film crew was there to catch me setting up and selling some 'nishes, and my knish guru Laura Silver came by to show some support and give some good knish juju.

For the record:

  • One request for kosher knishes
  • Two requests for vegan knishes
  • One request for dairy free knishes (which these were!)
  • One request for gluten-free knish
  • One confession that someone actually reads this blog-thing.
  • One little old lady stood in front of me and ate her 3 minis in silence, looked up, and stated flatly while looking pensive, "I haven't had a knish in years. These are better than those then." Only when I told her that I would quote her on that, did she give me the whisper of a grin.

One wonder what a kosher, vegan, gluten-free would taste like....and would it be better than those then. Deep knishy thoughts....

Hope to see y'all tomorrow at Grub St, I'll be at table 28 sharing a booth with La Crepe C'est Si Bon, but if you get lost, eat some yums at Gefilteria, and they'll direct you over my way....

And kickstarter!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Hester Tomorrow, Grub the day after

Replace cake with knishes. Now make her a dude. Now shmear him with potato and flour. THAT'S ME!
Today was a bit of bizarre blur. Rolled out of bed and knocked out the spinach-roasted garlic. I was peeling potatoes when the film crew came in to film me making the pastrami knishes from boiling potatoes to getting them in the oven. When they left, my best friend who moved to Portland, OR happened to be in town for the weekend and stopped by to hang out. It was quite a change from the last few days of listening to NPR's infernal fund-raising spiel!

Today's production:

  • 72 Spinach & Roasted Garlic
  • 215 Spinach minis
  • 72 Pastrami
  • 143 Pastrami minis

I was going to go bigger on the pastrami minis, but I found that since I cut the meat large for a big satisfying taste in the full-sized, I was at risk at having only one or no pieces in the standard mini size. So i made them bigger, which resulted in fewer made. The more ya know...

Spent the evening running around picking up a toaster oven for Sunday (thanks Rodenfolk!), some grill-lighters for the sternos, etc etc. It is now 10pm, the knishes are in the fridge, the equipment check list has been checked, and I'm tired. Gotta go beddy so I can move some of these 'nishes tomorrow.

Heads up: Since KnisheryNYC is such a late add to Grub Street, we will not be on the "map" at the entrance of the fair. We're at table 28, with La Crepe C'est Si Bon, on the left towards the rear when you come in. If you can't find us, just find out friends at Gelfiteria, they'll point you our way!

And kickstarter!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

2 Days to Hester, 3 Day to Grub

 So the cooking begins. First out of the gate was kasha & pumpkin, which presented a few technical problems. Without a mashed tuber or gourd to act as a binder, even the extra eggs I added wouldn't make them that tight. After baking, they were a bit too open for my taste, but their actual taste was fine and should make it to the weekend. However, rolling them into mini-form was a crumbly fumble, so I moved on.

From the trickiest to the most dependable, the potato & onion. However, another bump in the road: if you peel 25 lbs of potatoes, put them in a large pot full of acidulated water, store them in a dark closet for two days, forget to change the water, then take them out, you will have

  1. smelly, mushy but very white potatoes
  2. the precursor to vodka production
  3. the main ingredient to "kombucha-flavored knishes"
  4. a lot more last-minute peeling to do.

So rather than cry over spoiled potatoes, I peeled on, mixed it up, and got those knishes done. Today's production:

  • 59 kasha & pumpkin knishes
  • 72 potato knishes
  • 208 mini potato knishes

I missed my goal of 72 kasha, and scrapped the mini-effort, but now I have the measurements for next time...  Nine to 9, actually that's a pretty reasonable day by food-service standards. Tomorrow, spinach & roasted garlic, pastrami, and a film crew to make me all self-conscious.

And kickstarter!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Three days to Hester St AND four days to Grub St!

Today was a stutter-step, a day away from the kitchen to take meetings, teach my weekly culinary class at a high school in Brooklyn, and steel myself for the next 3 days living in a cloud of dough, potato, onion, fillings, baking, storing, worrying, kvetching, etc. Well, those three days just gave birth to a fourth!

KnisheryNYC is teaming up with La Crepe c'est si bon to share a table on Sunday at the massive Grub Street Food Festival! La Crepe is a local shop on Eldridge St in the heart of the Lower East Side, and I guess their way of big-upping the 'hood is reaching out to little fish like KNYC to see if we'd like to hang out for a day. I'm excited, flattered, a bit nervous and greatly looking forward to two days of back-to-back feeding y'all some 'nishes.

Tomorrow, food-porny knish shots from the first round of baking.

And kickstarter!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

4 Days to Hester: Pumpkins, Kasha & Spinach

Another day of prep, can't bake knishes today as I don't want to be serving not-so-fresh knishes on Saturday. Working by myself with a baby nipping at my heels and pushing everything through pots, pans and ovens sized for home-cooking definitely makes a few days of prep necessary to make a few days of knish making possible.

So what went down at KnisheryNYC HQ today? Due to limits of the kitchen, we had to outsource the making of the pastrami. We took a whole side of the meat from Katz's home and had our way with it.
Many moons ago I tried a pastrami knish and it was just a tube of mashed potatoes with little slivers of deli-sliced pastrami scattered in. KnisheryNYC's knishes will have thick nubbins of hand carved pastrami studded all through out. And freshly ground coriander. Oh yes.

We went into our fields and harvested a few bushels of kasha just for you. And then we, uh, put them in a box, took them out of a box, tossed them with some egg and quickly sauteed them....
Out of the caste-iron and into seasoned boiling water for a quick simmer. Sauteing with egg before simmering guarantees the kasha will have some definition, and not just be an odd groaty tasting mush.

To lighten up the kasha and get all seasonal wit' it, we chopped up some pumpkin (and some butternut squash), baked it in the oven, then mixed it in with the kasha.
I've never done this before in this style -- I could have chosen to mash the squashes and use them as a binder, but I think soft cubes of pumpkin will give a nice punch of flavor.

And then there was the spinach, chopped, tossed with oil and salt and baked for 30 minutes. Tossed again with the mashed roasted garlic from last night, and it's ready to go.

Finished up ahead of schedule, so I peeled 15 lbs of potatoes while feeding an amusing the gremlin that was dogging me all morning:
Yes, I peeled potatoes 48 hours before I need to use them. But have no fear, this will not hurt the potatoes. Once peeled in a pot covered with water for about 30 minutes, I changed the water, dropped a tiny capful of vinegar in with fresh water to cover, covered the pot, and into the cool, dark closet until I need them Thursday. I would usually put them in the fridge at this point, but it's getting just too jammed up.

Tomorrow, I'm out with other work and teaching a culinary class. However, I'm taking a meeting in regards to the knishing in the morning and may have an interesting announcement to make tomorrow evening. Stay tuned!

And kickstarter!!

Monday, October 15, 2012

5 Days to Hester Street: Dough n' Onions

If knishes were the Enterprise, these would be dilithium crystals.
Hopefully this will be the last time I'll be cooking in quantity from my home kitchen, so I thought I'd sit down and document it a little, create a little time capsule to look back at when I'm in charge of a multi-national knish konglomerate.

Including this past day, it is five production days to the Hester Street Fair. (And Wednesday I'm taking a meeting for my other work stuff, and teaching culinary at a high school in the evening.) Thing is, if you make a knish more than 2 or 3 days in advance and don't freeze them, they start losing maximum flavor. So Thursday and Friday are the big baking days, but there is plenty to do before then.

Today was two major components: caramelized onions and dough. All my savory knishes, regardless of flavor, have a healthy dose of properly caramelized onions. Forty pounds of onions, minced, tossed with some fat and some salt, then slow-baked for about 8 hours. Cooled, drained, stored.
Balls of knish dough, rare imported giant slugs, or black market butt-implants: you be the judge.
My dough is potato based, so thirty pounds of potatoes were peeled, boiled and sent through a food mill. Due to lack of a commercial-sized mixer, I had to do ten batches. Eggs, fat and salt beaten, then potatoes added and beaten some more. Flour added and mechanically kneaded until it comes together, wrapped and stored. Too busy for grammar.

I found I shorted my potato pile, and needed to turn a couple of bagged potatoes into mashed potatoes in the shortest amount of time possible, as I had to leave time to clean up, feed my 1 year old, shower and go pick up my toddler from school. So I did what every great chef does: I googled a video.
And it worked! The potatoes came out wetter than I like, but for the purpose of potatoes for dough, it was more than acceptable.

In the evening, after Mrs. Knishy took over child care after a long day of work of her own, I roasted a pile of garlic heads, which will cool over night and be ready to be processed into a spinach filling tomorrow...

The house smelled like wonderful onions this morning. Smells like round roasted garlic this evening. So tired. So knishy. And it's only day 1!

And Kickstarter!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Thanks / Hester Street This Saturday

Wow! Thanks to everyone who kicked in to our Kickstarter so far, we're 25% of the way there. Please keep on passing on the word -- to help, here is an outtake from the video where Mrs. Knish felt compelled to jump in and give you a piece of her mind. It's not for the faint of heart!

Knish-production is starting at the HQ, caramelizing buckets of onions and putting together dough. This coming Saturday, unless there is another freak storm, we'll finally be debuting at the Hester Street Fair from 10am to 6pm. Though subject to change, this is the menu:

  • Potato & Caramelized Onion
  • Spinach & Roasted Garlic
  • Pastrami & Coriander
  • Kasha & Pumpkin

In addition, we'll be doing a sampler of one mini each. Well, I gotta get back to cooking before Baby Knish wakes up and demands my attention. Thanks again!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Giving birth to a knish start-up and a establishing a new baby boy around the same time are not two great tastes that go great together. It'll make you mix your metaphors! Anyway, after a lot of build up, here is the big news, in four parts. Two biggies, two....not so biggies.
  1. KICKSTARTER: We gone dun it, now! It starts today, ends in 30 days. See video above for the basics, and visit the page for the full story, the goodies you can get for contributing, and more!
  2. HESTER STREET FAIR: After our debut was smooshed by the cold hand of a freakishly snowy late October day last year, we're debuting...again. Saturday, October 20th, at the Hester Street Fair. Come meet your knishmaker, and have a nosh.
  3. MALT & MOLD IS ON FIRE: Well, not literally, more like electrically glowing with heat, because they just got an electric oven-thingy that can heat your knishes up to a toasty temp if you want to eat them on the spot.
  4. KNYC ON YOUR SCREENS: A network-affiliated film crew will be filming Knishery NYC baking for the Hester St Fair, then filming at the fair itself. Details TBA.
Phew! This is a short post, but long-gestating. That's it for now, expect updates leading up to the 20th and the end of the Kickstarter campaign. Thanks!!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

My Knishes TALK!

If these knishes could talk, what would they say? Well, the two fine people pictured below came to KnisheryNYC headquarters yesterday and spent a few hours finding out. They were kinda disappointed to find that knishes are actually just inanimate objects that you are supposed to eat, but once they got over it, they filmed me making our signature knishes and talking about three things I consider myself an expert in:

  • Myself
  • Makin' 'nishes
  • New York (because all native NYers are experts in NYC, fugeddaboudit)
Heather & Mitch, knish-anthropomorphisers

Heather & Mitch have been working on a documentary about New York City accents called If These Knishes Could Talk for over half a decade, and now that they are near the end of filming, they found they were light on actual knish content. I asked Heather why she'd feature the knish in the title of her passion project that ostensibly was not about knishes, she replied, "I was hungry." After an awkward pause that never happened because she didn't say that, she explained that to her, the knish was a proud and uniquely NYC icon that still exists, but seems to have faded a bit in recent decades, just like the Noo Yawk accent.

Did they go to a dirty water dog cart for their knish? NO! Did they go to the Gabilla factory to check out a big machine stamping out doughy yellow fried potato bombs? NO! Did they  go to Smorgasburg and change the name of their doc because Heather discovered Korean Tacos? NO! They came to the Lower East Side, and filmed me giving birth (excuse me, boith) to these little ones:

From left to right, from top: Hymie, Nachum, Malka, Elie, Schlomo, Milli, Edie, Edna, Milty, Aggie, Miriam, Harry, Sara, Herschel, Hershel, Hershell, Rodrigo and Sol.
And guess what? After Heathala and Mitchala took their fare share, the rest of the kids are now at Malt & Mold ready to be adopted! Just think! You can be eating a famous knish that is starring in a big moderate budget Hollywood NYC action adventure documentary!

Speaking of Malt & Mold, they're having a beer tasting this Saturday (8/11) from 4 to 7pm. On hand will be a whole mess of mini knishes (spinach & roasted garlic, pastrami and potato & caramelized onion) for sampling with your beer. Huzzah!
And no, that was not the big news I've been hinting at this summer. Plans are still in the work, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Eat some freebies this Saturday!

What's up, Knishophiles! Some announcements are coming down the pipe, but until then...

Malt & Mold will be having a beer tasting this coming Saturday, July 21st. That's right, free beer. And what's better with free beer than FREE KNISHES. We're baking off a whole mess of minis to munch on while gettin' yo drank on. Be there.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Pastrami Knish Has Landed

Pastrami?! She hardly knew me!
Starting today, Malt & Mold will be carrying the Pastrami Knish, along side Spinach & Roasted Garlic, Kasha, Vanilla Bean Cheese and Chocolate Hazelnut Cheese. I supplied mini versions of potato & caramelized onion, broccoli cheddar and the pastrami to Malt & Mold for their Grand Opening this past weekend, and according to reports, 9/10 eaters went straight for the meaty bites.

I must say, this is the quickest a knish went from experimental mode to the sale floor. Thanks to Kevin @ Malt & Mold for allowing his customers to be Knishery NYC's guinea pigs!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Malt & Mold to offer...FREE KNISHES?!

For a brief period in the space-time continuum, there will be TWO things in life that are free: love & knishes.

This coming Saturday, June 16th, from noon to 8pm, Malt & Mold will be holding their official Grand Opening, as they just got their liquor license and are now selling beer on tap via growlers and the like.

To help celebrate, Knishery NYC is giving away a limited number of mini-knishes in three flavors: potato-onion, broccoli & cheddar and a new flavor: Pastrami Coriander. There is only a limited number of knishes, so first come first served.

Pastrami Notes:
I actually only had my first pastrami knish a year or so ago, at a Laura Silver knish lecture. It was very...unimpressive. It was smooth mashed potato studded with a few slivers of thin sliced pastrami, shaped like a cheese log, lightly breaded in something crunchy and fried, very similar to a potato croquette from a mid-western high school prom, if Woody Allen was the principal. Bleah.

So I went to that counter at Katz's that always seems underutilized and ordered myself a few pounds of the UNCUT stuff. That's right, a big ol' block of pure pastrami. At home, I cut the side of blackened, fatty meat into batons a.k.a. thick stubby matchsticks. When dealing with something like bacon in French cooking, this shape gives a huge bang for the meaty-flavor buck. I mixed it in generously to my standard potato-onion mix, and loved how the outside coating of the pastrami started to mix in with the filling. The main spice in it is coriander, so I took some ground Berber coriander from my spice rack and amped it up -- the coriander is like a megaphone for the pastrami, and it is not messin' around.

It's a work in progress, but definitely shows promise out of the gate.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"Excellent knishes!" - Flo Fabricant

The NY Times is gettin' hep to the knishin' going down these parts! Rumor has it that as Mz. Fabricant left Malt and Mold, she muttered "Party time!" as she got into her Gremlin. Bolding is mine....


Brews and Bites Off the Usual Track

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

Suppose you are deep downtown, where Canal Street and the Lower East Side disappear into blocks of apartments past Seward Park, and you crave a beer. No, not just a Corona, but maybe something artisanal, like Ithaca Beer, from upstate. Kevin M. Heald’s smartly tailored little shop, Malt & Mold, is there to help. With his beard and hat, Mr. Heald (shown), 43, looks every bit the monger of cheese and beer he calls himself. He has assembled about 50 craft beers, mostly domestic, and a well-curated assortment of cheeses, also artisanal and American, along with some imports like taleggio. Pickles and chocolates from Brooklyn, yogurts, vinegars, crackers and cured meats line the shelves and display cases. For now, the beers are in bottles and cans; eight tap lines, and growlers in various sizes, await a state permit. The shop may be out of the way, but it is the only local retailer for the excellent sweet and savory knishes from Knishery NYC, a new company; for salami by Charlito’s Cocina, of St. Louis; and for ice cream from the Bent Spoon, of Princeton, N.J., which shares the freezer with Blue Marble, Adirondack and Van Leeuwen.
Malt & Mold, 221 East Broadway (Clinton Street), (646) 238-0272, maltandmold.com. Knishes are $4 for savory, $3 for sweet; Charlito’s Cocina dry salami is $15.50 for a six-ounce piece, and Bent Spoon ice cream is $9 for an 18-ounce container.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Kasha Brings All the Boys (& Girls) to the Yard

Sign of the Times, if the Times were a Knish.

Last week, in the great Malt & Mold Knish Drought of '12, Proprietor Kevin sent me a note that several people had been inquiring about a kasha knish. Oddly enough, I had already put kasha into the pipeline to bloom this week. Evidence that Knishery NYC and the Lower East Side are on the same knish wavelength, darn it!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Vanilla, "Great Art", and New Knishes for Sale

That ain't dirt, son,  that is real grown-@ss vanilla bean! 

Spent a day making knishes for sale at Malt & Mold. Starting today (Tuesday 5/22), on tap will be potato onion, spinach-roasted garlic and three flavors new to M&M: Kasha, vanilla sweet cheese, and chocolate hazelnut cheese.  Rather than use an alcohol-laced vanilla extract, I always scrape whole vanilla beans for a bigger, purer flavor. Go get 'im!

They were out of stock over the weekend, but we're learning and hopefully there will be no more interruptions in the supply chain.

I  popped in on the Hester Street Fair and sampled a few items from Pie Corps. I had two savories, one was potato curry, the other was beet-horseradish. They strongly reminded me of Cornish pasties I used to eat on a regular basis when I lived in England (most common flavor - potato cheddar with lots of onion), which are the root pie for Jamaican beef patties, if you want to start tracing hand pies across the globe....but I think that' a different blog.

I first had the curry potato, cubes of potato slow cooked, nice texture, mild spice, very British with the brown flaky crust. The second was quite surprising. I asked the woman behind the table which savory she would recommend. She said she was a vegetarian (to which I wanted to say, so I guess you're NOT the proprietor?) and steered me to the one I wanted least, the beet-horseradish. I just don't like beets, even when I made them  in culinary school in a variety of ways -- they just taste like metal and dirt.

I'm familiar with beet-flavor horseradish from the purple horseradish served with gefilte fish at the passover table. The sweetness of the beet cuts the heat of the horseradish, and the sharpness of the horseradish takes away the dirt metallicness of the beets. Same thing happened in this delicious pocket pie. Chunky cooked pieces of beet in a thickened beet juice matched with fresh white horseradish to make a perfect sweet-spicey chord, with the crust bringing it together and calming/amplifying it with a fatty flake.
"Good artists borrow -- great artists steal." 
I am so developing a beet-horseradish knish!

Amazing how 30 lbs of onions cook down into less than 10 lbs of caramelized goodness. If pizza is just a vehicle for cheese delivery, then a proper knish is just a vehicle for caramelized onion delivery.

Vanilla is a culinary passion of mine. "Vanilla" means plain and boring, but REAL vanilla...oh my. The problem with even the best vanilla extract is that the more you use, the more your product...will be altered by the alcohol and water you are pumping into it. If you use more and more real vanilla bean pod-paste, your product will get....just more and more vanilla-y. (FYI, I save all my scraped beans and put some in a nest of sugar to develop vanilla sugar, and the others I put in a jar of grain alcohol, and when it's full, I blend it, strain it and cut it with 50% water to create quadruple strength extract for personal use in things like smoothies and wot-not. Vanilla is MAD expensive, I've seen it at two pods for $10 at Wholefoods, but you can get a pound for $20 here -- pennies on the bean, well worth it if you want a more delicious kitchen...or sweet knish.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cheese Knishes Delayed

Unfortunately, upon cutting up the cheese knish loaves this morning, they were all together too loose and runny to be served or sold. I'll be tweaking the recipe and making them open-faced cupcake style, and should be available for sale in about one week. For an artisanal knish maker and artisanal knish lovers, those, my friends, are the breaks! Let my friend Kurtis explain further...

Monday, May 14, 2012

Update: Cheese Knishes Coming to Malt & Mold

 I'm happy to report that the knishes are moving briskly at Malt & Mold, and they're already on their third delivery since opening about a week ago. But look at the picture below...
Hey! You got cheese on my knish! Yo! You got knish on my cheese!
There is a lonely platter of knishes surrounds on all sides by wedges of cheese, rounds of cheese, slices of cheese, cheese to the left of me, cheese to the right of me, stuck in the middle with cheese cheese cheese! What's a knish to do?

If you can't beat them, join them. Starting Wednesday, Malt & Mold will be carrying cheese knishes. We're starting with plain vanilla and chocolate hazelnut, and we'll go crazy from there, depending on the feedback.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Our First Retailer: Malt & Mold

Today, Knishery NYC is proud to announce our very first retail client: say 'ello to Malt & Mold, a new cheese n' beer shop on the Lower East Side. They'll have a well-curated selection of growler-ported beer, cheese, pickles, chocolate, bread, mustard, ice cream, yogurt, granola, charcuterie, local sourced and locally made artisan foods....particularly, KNISHES!!

The Lo-Down has more info on the shop here. Malt & Mold opens this Sunday, May 6th. Unfortunately, the entire staff of Knishery NYC will be riding with the Bluecard Team in the 5 Boro Bike ride that day (you can donate to the Knishery NYC-sponsored team here), but will be there in spirit...and knishes.

Yup, our knishes are now available for purchase at a real brick & mortar (& malty & moldy) shop for purchase, 7 days a week. Just show up and plunk down your duckets, no emails, no shipping, no fuss, no muss! GO NOW! GET IN LINE!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Brooklyn Historical Society: Knish'd

 Want to to taste a Knishery NYC knish? Want to know what this knish noise is all about? Then come to the Brooklyn Historical Society for a lecture and tasting with Knishery NYC's guru, Laura Silver!! Knishery NYC will be providing the nosh at this mighty meeting of the knish minds!
Wednesday, April 25 - Knish History - 7:00 p.m.
What is a knish? Perhaps you've encountered the square fried version at a street cart, or come across the baked, round kind at one of New York's surviving knisheries. Join journalist and food expert Laura Silver in exploring this wrapped potato pastry of Eastern European Jewish origin through legends, songs, and tastings. Knish enthusiasts, knish veterans and the knish curious are all warmly invited to join this interactive exploration. We'll explore the history of this storied food on American shores. From the Knish Wars of Rivington Street to Mayor Rudy Guiliani's 1990s regulation of oven temperatures in the city's sidewalk food carts, the potato pocket is inextricably linked to the history of New York City. We'll conclude the class with a knish tasting. Bring your questions and memories. Tickets $10/$8 BHS members. Purchase your ticket here. This program is part of Brooklyn Jewish stories, in partnership with BHS’s Brooklyn Jewish Historical Initiative.
Ten bucks for an inspirational lecture that will make you believe in the knish dream, AND some handmade, artisinal knishes? Whatta bargain! The staff of Knishery NYC will be attending toward the end of the night for the tasting and to take any questions and comments about those lil' balls of oniony potato goodness.

A few points of order:
  • Thank you to all who ordered Passover-style knishes! I did not write too much about these because I really struggled with getting the matzoh-meal dough to not be so...crumbly, chalky and dull, and resorted to the tricks of powdered potato gluten, adjusting water ratios and soakings, to get something that....just did not satisfy me as much as normal dough. Next year, in Jerusalem! I will try to spend more time working on the formula.
  • There is still a big-ish piece of news coming down the pipe which will hopefully be announced in the next week or two, but, alas, it is not under my magical knish mind control powers....
  • As previously announced, Knishery NYC is THE official sponsor of the Bluecard Team in this year's 5 Boro Bike Tour. The Bluecard gives support and direct financial aide to destitute Holocaust survivors living in the United States. You can give here, and if you give $200 or more, Knishery NYC will send you complimentary knishes (details here)

Friday, March 30, 2012

Place your Passover Knish orders no later than Sunday!

We will be accepting orders for Passover kosher-style knishes only until Sunday, so if your sitting on the fence, now is the time to make a move! See details below....

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pre-order Kosher-for-Passover Style Knishes!

Passover is perhaps my favorite holidays for two reasons: it centers around getting family from far and wide together, AND it gets said families around a big table o' FOOD! Food is so codified in the Passover tradition that it ain't Passover unless there is a dinner involved, with a Seder plate full of symbolic foods that relate to the story being told.

Now I'm not saying that a knish can replace the lamb shank or the egg on your seder plate (though a series of hard boiled egg knishes, charoset knishes etc etc might be a future Passover project), but it definitely belongs at the table. What would go better with your matzoh ball soup than a nice spinach knish? Perhaps a potato knish to help down that blob of jellied gefilte? So we're proud to announce:
Knishery NYC is baking 3 kinds of knishes for Passover this season! There are three kinds on offer:
  • Traditional Potato & Onion
  • Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash
  • Spinach & Roasted Garlic
All three will be made with a specially formulated dough that uses kosher for Passover flour. NOTE: Though all the ingredients in these knishes will be kosher for Passover & pareve & and kept separate from all trief foods, they will NOT be cooked in a kosher kitchen or hechshered by a rabbi.We just don't have the resources for that....yet!

Knishes are vegetarian. They are NOT vegan (eggs) or gluten free (wheat). Depending on availability at time of baking, 50% or more of the ingredients will be organic.
Mix and match any three kinds in your order in any quantity. Place your order by Sunday, April 1st, and you will be able to either pick them up on Thursday, April 5th, between 7am to 2:30pm, on the Lower East Side or have them delivered to your door that afternoon and evening.*
  • 1-9 knishes: $3.50 each + tax
  • 10-19 knishes $3 each + tax
  • 20+ knishes: $2.50 each + tax
Cash only at point of pick up/delivery. They will arrive cold, and will hold up in the refrigerator quite well for up to a week. [Reheat in oven at 325 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.] If travelling more than 3 hours without refrigeration, freezing is strongly recommended.

To order, email knisherynyc(at)gmail.com; you will receive a confirmation email. We have limited capacity; orders placed will be filled first come, first serve.
*Delivery zone limited to anywhere in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. Deliveries to be made via the knisher's own cargo bicycle. So here is your chance to meet KnisheryNYC in 3-D! Rough delivery times assigned a few days before delivery. In case of scheduling issues, limited deliveries can be made on Wednesday and early Friday morning. No extra charge for delivery. So be nice, not a nudgenik!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Passover Knishes are coming!

Knishery NYC will be announcing the details of Passover knishes available for pre-order! Be the Fiery hero of your Seder! Details next week, stay tuned!

When I image-googled "Passover Hero", this came up. Our passover knishes would totally dominate this menu. Or at least not run home screaming.
I love me some slammin' knishes!

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Full Court Press of Knishes

J. Lin not pictured.
Scheming, scheming, bubble & boil! Mid-week, I did a full-court knish press to present a full plate to a fellow traveller on the path of starting an updated modern Jewish-inspired food product. In the house was none other than one of my original inspirations to get knishy with it, Danny Macaroon, of, ummm, Danny Macaroons! (Noah Knish just doesn't have the same ring to it.) I caught sight of a Danny Macaroon table at Smorgasburg last summer, a week before I attended Laura Silver's knish lecture, and it all just clicked.  Later in the summer, I introduced myself to Danny, and this that and the other, he's comin' to dinner!

I spent a day in the kitchen while looking after the baby, had a baby sitter come in the afternoon -- thank goodness, because I was getting nothing done. Having to run out because you discovered that your potatoes were too close to the oven and sprouted over night didn't help with the schedule.

Full court press: one day, two different kinds of dough, 2 different cooking methods, nine different fillings. Here is a run down of what I made, with notes on production and outcome....

Square circled
  • Potato: Kinda like how vanilla ice cream custard is a base for many many other flavors of ice cream, the potato filling is great on it's own, but is also used as a base for the spinach, sweet potato and broc-ched, as well as a binder for the kasha. This batch came out well, but I went a little too far with the salt, brought it right up to the edge of big flavor/too salty. For the other knishes that took it in, I skipped adding more salt.
  • Fried Potato: Second time I've whipped these up, again surprised how good they are. 400 degree peanut oil, same filling and dough as the baked, just square and contained. Plop in the square in, wait until it looks nice and golden & serve. Talking to Danny Mac, I realized how hard these will be to sell in any setting other than where it is fried to order. Damn my American palate, this is good! 
  • Spinach - Roasted Garlic: Four heads of garlic roasted in the oven, wrapped in foil and hit with oil and salt. Only gave it an hour, tasted good but a bit too firm, had to run them through the garlic press. Did about a 3/4 spinach to 1/4 potato mix as an experiment and...yup, 50/50 is the right way to go. This was the only knish Danny Mac didn't finish, said he wasn't a huge garlic fan. On one hand, if the garlic was mushier, it would have blended in better, lesson learned. Then again, Danny has macaroons for brains, so what the heck does he know?!
The Children's Champion
  • Broccoli-Cheddar: Working only with what was on hand, I didn't have as much broc as I'd like so I chopped in finer to spread it. (Once concept taught in c-school: the more surface area you give an ingredient, the more able it is to contact the taste buds and give a bigger flavor.)  Hmmm - still needs more broc BUT I do like the texture and mouthfeel of small bits of broc. I imagine next time when I up the broc amount, the flavor (amplified by the fat of the cheese) will step up a level. Of note, this seems to be the only knish my toddler seems to go gaga for.
Yam, Bam, Thank You Maam!
  • Sweet Potato: I don't like sweet potatoes, they have a weird texture and are too damn sweet to be a potato. 
Oh Sweet P, how did I ever doubt you?!
However, when mixed 50/50 with the plain potato mix, it works to give a nice light orange color, it becomes extra silky instead of loose, and the note of sweet is just right. I'm happy.
    Ka$ha is no second rate Lady KnaKna. -sigh- I'm sorry.
    • Kasha: There is a reason why you hit your freshly toasted kasha with boiling water and not cold water: if you hit it with cold then bring it up to heat, you will have very mushy kasha - instead of soft individual grains, you will have an undifferentiated gray mass that looks like mashed potatoes that have been used, abused and left for dead. I tossed the first pot and started over, but it made me think - some day, I may have a use for this, a trick where I can subtly add kasha flavor to something without the granular texture...
    • Brisket: Oy. Oy. What the what! I just made brisket knishes for the first time a few weeks ago, and I held aside a cup of my last brisket in the freezer for this. However, instead of going to the nice market, I sourced my tripe from a small super market close by. It read "Canadian-previously frozen" and was a half section of a roll of tripe, unlike last tripe I used, which was fresh and NY State raised. So as with before, I boiled the hell out of it for about 3 ours. Last time, no issues, it came out looking a little bit smaller but ready for grinding. THIS time, after 10 minutes, a weird bleachy ammonia smell took over my kitchen for an hour, and when I checked it 3 hours later, it had disappeared!! Dissolved into the water, leaving behind a few threads of white snotty-looking slime!!! Aigh dios mio!!! So suffice to say, these brisket knishes went with out the softening power of nice bouncy tripe, and like a meat perogie in a Slavic diner in the East Village in the early 80s, were a bit heavy. I mixed it 50/50 with kasha, which flavor wise was the right deal, but it was just a bit leaden. Perhaps I could have thrown a few eggs in there. Next time I'm gonna get the right tripe.
    Oatmeal  Hashbrown Knish: it's what's for breakfast
    • Hash Brown-Oatmeal: First time experiment, needs work but the concept is solid. Start with some left over oatmeal. Not some lame quick cooking rolled faff, but proper hardcore steel cut Irish oats. No half-oatin'! I prepare my breakfast oatmeal with brown sugar, salt, butter, vanilla and cinnamon. It keeps it real up in the hizzy. It makes me speak 1990s ebonics, yo. Any way, like kasha, this grain needs a potato counter point. So instead of going to the potato knish mix bowl, I cubed a potato and cooked it in butter.
    MC Potato Hash lockin' it down
    Then the potatoes met the oatmeal and was joined by two other breakfast elements: some egg and some maple syrup....
    Maple sizzyrup!
    In the end, not particularly good but has potential. I liked the syrup's flavor, the whole thing is sweet and savory, and the browning of the potatoes gave a nice toasty flavor that complimented the oatmeal. In the future, the potatoes will be cubed smaller, and in addition to syrup, all the add ins of the oatmeal (brown sugar, vanilla, etc) will be amped up. Also, lose the butter and use oil or shortening, to keep it in a kosher stylee....

    • Chocolate Hazelnut: Due to time constraints, rather than continue to experiment with hazelnut paste and dutched cocoa, I reverted back to an earlier recipe from the Knishening, that involved Nutella. The filling hit it's mark, and Danny Macaroon seemed to really like it (he is a man with a professional sweet tooth, after all) but I'm still not happy with it's form factor.
    A carpenter's dream
    Cooking it loaf style on a flat sheet just makes it go too flat, and to keep it at a reasonable portion, it looks too much like a cookie. I want knishes! I think I just need to find some long, thin loaf pans or something.
     So there ya go. If your still reading this, you must really care! (Or at least really like ebonics-based jokes!)  Since you've come this far, a note on KnisheryNYC's future...

    As I hinted at earlier in the post, I got NOTHING done while having a 3 month old baby underfoot. I've come to the realization from this day of cooking that my plans for the season are overly optimistic, if I don't want to semi-abandon my young family. I was thinking a few tables every weekend, but now I think one or two tables this season is more likely. In addition, I have 2 or 3 vendors in mind who expressed interest in carrying my knishes in their shops, which means anyone can go get 'em anytime -- expect some announcements in the next few months. Around that time, I'll start offering special orders to the public. In the begining, it'll be limited to the 5 boros, but once I get the packaging down, shipping will be offered to. 

    Thanks for everyone's enthusiasm and support so far! I hope to get a knish in yo mouf sooner than later. F'shizzle!



    Want to see this child boop a raw knish? Here ya go...
    (all booped knishes were promptly unbooped then baked in a 400 degree oven to prevent boopalism)