Speed Scratch: Knishes | Kretschmer Wheat Germ
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Speed Scratch: Knishes

When life gets crazy, those homemade dinners often fly out the window. But as we first mentioned last fall, there is an alternative that will make you feel like you didn’t let the family down, while at the same time lightening up your weeknight load. It’s called speed scratch: incorporating packaged foods with home-cooked goodness.

This time, we used the technique to make knishes. Akin to Russian piroshki, Mexican empanadas and Italian calzones, these Eastern European Jewish delicacies found their first stateside home on the Lower East Side of New York City toward the end of the 19th century. Lucky for us, knishes can be found all across the United States these days—and they’re easy to make if you can’t find a local restaurant or deli that serves them up.

These delectable pastry pockets can incorporate leftovers and need-to-use ingredients hanging out in your refrigerator. Traditionalists opt for cooked and mashed potato with caramelized onion, but you can also use ground beef (or any ground or chopped meat), other sautéed vegetables, cheese—experiment with whatever you have on hand, or find a recipe on your favorite foodie site. Adding a generous tablespoon of Kretschmer Wheat Germ to your filling boosts your knishes’ health benefits and creates a heartier dish.

We sped up the process by using Krusteaz pie crust mix. Just add water, roll out the dough into a large rectangle and fill away. (If you’ve never made knishes and aren’t sure how, check out Joe Pastry’s step-by-step.) You can adjust the size of the knishes depending on whether you prefer smaller bites or heartier pastries. Kids love to eat them as finger foods—the filling is very hot straight out of the oven, though, so give the knishes a few minutes to cool off before the kids dig in.

Served with a mixed green salad or some steamed veggies, knishes are a weeknight dinner sure to please the whole family.