The Knish Wars

Episode 17


Guest: Joanne Oppenheim

The Knish Wars

It’s my first ever interview with a children’s book author. And not just any children’s book author…she’s the author of a children’s book called: The Knish War on Rivington Street. How could I pass up the opportunity to talk about this? We had a great time together and Joanne even shares two knish recipes with The Big Schmear! Very generous. Now that the episode is finished the only thing I can think about is eating a knish. I’m in a bad way.

The Knish Wars

t’s a knish war and you get to choose the winner yourself! Is your favorite baked or fried? Try them both, how can you loose?

Fried and Baked Potato Knishes


  • 4 medium potatoes (aprox. 1 1/2 lbs)
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
  • CRUST for Molly's Knishes
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cold margarine
  • 1/2 cup + apple juice
  • 1 egg beaten
  • CRUST for Mrs.Tisch's Famous Fried Knishes
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup tap water
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar


  1. FILLING Instructions
  2. Boil unpeeled potatoes in salty water until they are soft.
  3. While potatoes are boiling, heat oil in a pan and saute onions until soft and light golden.
  4. Peel boiled potatoes under cool water.
  5. Cube and mash potatoes with onions while warm, than add beaten eggs and season. Set aside.
  7. Sift flour, salt, and baking powder. Cut in margarine into the mixture until it forms coarse crumbs.
  8. Add 1/2 cup of apple juice. If needed, add one extra tablespoon of juice at a time until the dough forms into a ball.
  9. Count to sixty as you kneed the dough and work in all the flour.
  10. Cover and refrigerate for half an hour.
  11. Place a rack on ha high shelf in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  12. Grease baking sheet.
  13. Take half the dough out of the refrigerator. Roll it out on a well-floured surface. You may need to add a little flour if the dough is very sticky. Cut into 4" circles. Pu a tablespoon of filling into each circle and lift dough around the filling, leave some of the filling in the center exposed.
  14. Brush the top and sides of each knish with egg for glaze.
  15. Place on baking sheet.
  16. Repeat until all dough as been used.
  17. Bake for 20-35 minutes.
  18. Let cool. Serve with mustard. Enjoy!
  19. INSTRUCTIONS for FRIED knish
  20. Combine the flour, salt, and turmeric. Make a well and add eggs, water, oil, and vinegar. Knead for a minute or two. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
  21. Break dough in half. the dough will be sticky. Dust rolling pin with flour and roll dough vet thin on a well-floured surface. Add a little more flour to the top of the dough if needed.
  22. Cut into 3" by 6" rectangles. Spread a tablespoon of potato filling on one half of the rectangle. Fold the other half of the dough over the filling and use a fork to crimp the sides of the knish. Repeat until all dough has beeb used.
  23. Heat one tablespoon of oil in a deep skilled. Carefully place one or two knishes in the oil. Use a spatula to slide them into the oil. The knishes should not touch each other. Fry about one minute on each side or longer if you like the m crispy.
  24. Place on paper towels to dream.
  25. Let cool.
  26. Serve with mustard. Enjoy!