Yonah Schimmel Low-Fat New York City Knish copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur
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Yonah Schimmel Low-Fat New York City Knish

Score: 5.00. Votes: 3
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Here's a recipe that comes from a challenge issued by the New York Daily News. The paper wanted to watch a West Coast dude duplicate the taste of an authentic New York City knish. But, mind you, not just any knish. This knish comes from one of the oldest knisheries in the Big Apple, a place that also takes pride in the low fat content of its knishes as opposed to the popular deep-fried variety. When I tasted the famous Yonah Schimmel knish (the first knish I had ever eaten), I realized that not only could a good clone recipe be created, but even more fat grams could be eliminated. The Daily News had a food lab analyze the fat content of the original knish and the clone, as well as the fat in a street vendor knish and a supermarket knish, just for comparison. The lab results are listed following the recipe.

Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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  • 6 medium russet potatoes
  • 5 tablespoons reduced-fat butter
  • 3/4 cup minced white onion (about 1/4 of an onion)
  • 1/2 cup fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 12 sheets phyllo dough
  • Do This
    • Restaurant/Brand
      Yonah Schimmel
    • Instructions

      1. Peel and quarter the potatoes, then transfer them to a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 25 minutes, or until a knife stuck in a potato quarter encounters no resistance. Strain the water from the potatoes and then mash them in a large bowl.

      2. Saute the onion in 2 tablespoons of butter over medium/low heat for about 5 minutes, or until translucent but not brown. Add the onion to the mashed potatoes, along with the broth, salt, pepper, and chives and/or red pepper flakes, if desired. Melt an additional 1 tablespoon butter (in your microwave is easiest) and add that to the potatoes as well. Stir to combine.

      3. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a small bowl in the microwave. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

      4. Slice in half a stack of 3 sheets of phyllo dough (roll up all remaining sheets so that they do not dry out). Measure 1 cup of potato mixture and roll it into a ball with your hands. Place the ball into the center of the phyllo, then bring up the dough and wrap it around the potato filling. Brush the dough with melted butter to keep it sealed around the potato filling, and place the knish onto a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining ingredients–you should have 8 knishes–and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the knishes are nicely browned.

      Makes 8 knishes.

      How They Stack Up
      Top Secret Recipes knish–Price: 40 cents, Wt: 6.75 ounces, Fat: 3.63 grams
      Yonah Schimmel knish–Price: $1.50, Wt: 11.27 ounces, Fat: 7.01 grams
      Street vendor knish–Price: $1, Wt: 4.35 ounces, Fat: 4.53 grams
      Supermarket knish–Price $1.50, Wt: 9.89 ounces, Fat: 11.27 grams

Average rating:

Score: 5.00. Votes: 3
Rating of votes (3)
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Jun 2, 2007, 22:00

i've eaten new york knishes and this is real close. good

Aug 8, 2005, 22:00

Never been to Yonah Schimmel's, so I can't say if it's an accurate copy, but this is an excellent Knish recipe - absolutely dee-lish!

I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

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