A New York Memory
I don’t know what it is about the spring, but I find myself wanting to be in New York: exploring the city, relaxing on Long Island or being a little farther north visiting The Husband’s family. Alas, the opportunities to visit New York are growing fewer and farther between. The In-Laws moved to Montana a few years ago so the visits to New York have been nonexistent.
One of the fortunate things about living the military life is the culture that surrounds military communities. Just like The Husband and I, there are thousands of people that have been transported and dropped in the middle of a town without having ties to their roots. Thankfully for us, the locals (generally retired and separated military along with their families) set up shop throughout the town.
Though we may not be in Korea, just head down one of the main drags off base for a few minutes and you’ll bump into a hole-in-the-wall Korean BBQ joint. One bite and instantly you’re transported to Korea. Hungry for German? Head off in another direction and soon after you’ll notice a German restaurant. The same goes for all sorts of Nationalities and areas throughout America as well. Southern food? Got it. Philly steak sandwiches? You know it. California fare? Done. Most military bases are surrounded by eateries bringing a taste of home wherever we are.
In North Carolina I worked just down the street from a pizza joint that had New York City tap water shipped in to make the pizza dough. There were actually two New York pizza joints in town that were incredible. The only noticeable difference between the local pizzeria and the authentic New York pizza dive was the absence of Charlie Chest Hair* dishing out the slices.
One of my favorite New York treats is a Knish; usually served with spicy brown mustard and a hot dog. Since we don’t currently live in a military community brimming with New York delis or any other fabulous eateries, I have to come up with the dishes on my own.
Memories of New York Knish
Delta Whiskey Original
2-3 Russett potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 T butter
1/2 t thyme
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Buttermilk, about 1/4 c depending on consistency
2 sheets puff pastry, defrosted
Prepare the pastry by flouring a work surface and rolling pin. Gently roll out the pastry to 10″x10″. Cut each pastry sheet into 4 equal parts, once across, once down: making 4 squares. Place on a silpat lined or greased cookie sheet. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Place the peeled and cubed potatoes in a pot, cover with water and bring to a slow boil over medium-high heat. Cook until fork-tender, about 10-12 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat butter and thyme over medium low heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until tender and slightly carmelized (alright, they should be carmelized but I was impatient).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Drain the potatoes and transfer to a large mixing bowl. With an electric mixer, begin whipping the potatoes to a smooth consistency. Add just enough buttermilk to keep the potatoes bound together without becoming to runny. The potatoes should be firm. Gently fold in the onions and garlic along with any remaining juices in the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste (loads of pepper f0r me.)
In the center of each pastry square, drop about 2-3T of the potato mixture. Begin in one corner of the pastry and gently fold in. Work your way around the pastry until the potatoes are fully wrapped then gently poke your finger in the center where all points join to close it (makes a slight dimple).
Picture shows process clockwise starting top left corner.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
Serve New York City style with a hot dog and spicy brown mustard… or serve it with Dijon and a Kielbasa because you’re married to a Polock.