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!

No comments:

Post a Comment