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!!

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