Broadway Panhandler is one of those rare New York stores that has managed to maintain a loyal following since it opened 40 years ago. The cooking supply shop in the East Village provides kitchen tools and toys to the city’s top chefs, like Michael White and Jeremy Marshall, as well as a haven for gourmet enthusiasts who are looking for a new gadget to try. But earlier this week, owner Norman Kornbleuth announced that he would be retiring and completely shuttering the New York institution.
Thankfully, the family-run business will live on through a new cookbook recently self-published by his daughter Michelle and her husband, James Chana. The Panhandler’s Daughter is comprised of a collection of recipes from various chefs and longtime Panhandler customers like Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin, David Chang of Momofuku, and Geoffrey Zakarian of The Lambs Club. It also fittingly includes a few personal dishes from the Kornbleuths’s cooking repertoire, like Michelle’s own pork sausage stuffing and “Norman’s Pickles.”
In celebration of this New York cooking institution, below is another old family recipe from the book to keep the charming traditions of the Broadway Panhandler alive.
Grandma Frieda’s Knishes
Makes approximately 50 knishes
Grandma Frieda, as she was known to so many, was the quintessential European grandma—a great cook with classics such as her famous potato nick, potato pancakes, potato knishes, and potato pierogi. For many years she enjoyed a daily drink of vodka and led us all in slivovitz shots at Passover Seders.
5 lbs. Idaho potatoes (peel, boil, and grind)
Shredded chicken from chicken soup
5 onions, chopped and sautéed
Salt and pepper to taste
Equipment and tools
Large mixing bowl
Large fry pans
Jelly roll pans
For the filling
Chop the onions and sauté in oil until caramelized. Add shredded chicken from the homemade chicken soup. Add salt and pepper to taste.
For the potatoes
1. Peel, boil, and grind the potatoes. Add the egg and mix thoroughly. Make small potato ball and use your thumb to create an indent. Fill the hole with the filling and close the indent by pushing the potato over the hole. This is your knish. Pour matzo meal on a plate. Pat each side of the knish with matzo meal. Put finished knishes on a tray until ready to fry.
2. Heat oil and fry knishes until brown on both sides. Flip gently with an icing spatula. Line finished knishes on a jelly roll pan and bake for 30 minutes prior to serving. Can be made 1 day ahead.
For this recipe you can replace chicken for beef or use leftover chicken parts—liver, neck, et cetera. You can also use flour or panko in place of matzo meal.