A Classic Knish Recipe From a New York Culinary Institution

A Classic Knish Recipe From a New York Culinary Institution

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)
1 egg
Matzo meal

Shredded chicken from chicken soup
5 onions, chopped and sautéed
Salt and pepper to taste

Equipment and tools
Large mixing bowl
Large fry pans
Icing spatula
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.

Link to Vogue


Broadway Panhandler, Longtime Manhattan Cookware Retailer, to Close in Spring

Broadway Panhandler, Longtime Manhattan Cookware Retailer, to Close in Spring

Broadway Panhandler, a packed-to-the-rafters kitchen store that opened in Manhattan 40 years ago and is beloved by home cooks, celebrities and restaurant chefs, will close by the spring when its owner and founder, Norman Kornbleuth, retires.

“I’ve been in this business for 40 years,” Mr. Kornbleuth said on Thursday. “I’m now 72; my wife has health issues. It’s time.”

Mr. Kornbleuth said that his two daughters were not interested in running the business and that his efforts to sell the company fell through. He has yet to decide the date when the store will close its doors for good.

Outfitted with towers of industrial shelving overstuffed with pots, draped with gadgets and stacked with cookware, Broadway Panhandler has a customer base that includes the chef Jody Williams, who owns Buvette and is an owner of Via Carota, and the actors James Spader, Uma Thurman and Daniel Craig. Knives, a store specialty, are displayed in a rear corner, where Mr. Kornbleuth freely dispenses advice. He said he might open a small knife shop sometime after Broadway Panhandler closes.

Knives are a store specialty. Mr. Kornbleuth has said he might open a small knife shop when Broadway Panhandler closes.    NICOLE BENGIVENO / THE NEW YORK TIMES

Knives are a store specialty. Mr. Kornbleuth has said he might open a small knife shop when Broadway Panhandler closes.


Bill Telepan, the chef and an owner of Telepan on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, said the value of a store like Broadway Panhandler was that customers could depend on the expertise of staff members they saw all the time. “They know which kind of immersion blender is best for you,” he said.

For Ms. Williams, the store was a source of inspiration. “I would go in there and find a cocotte or some other cute item and make a certain dish because of it,” she said. “It’s our go-to source for a lot of things. They have everything.”

Mr. Kornbleuth said he was born into the kitchen equipment business. His father, Harry, started selling restaurant supplies in 1939. During World War II, with a contract from the United States Navy for food service materials, he opened Anchor Equipment. That evolved into a business that supplied hospitals, schools and other institutions. James Beard, an American culinary figure, was a customer, Norman Kornbleuth said, and bought heavy-duty aluminum pots.

Mr. Kornbleuth joined his father in the business in 1967 and opened Broadway Panhandler soon after. The store got its name from its first location, on Broadway in SoHo, where it opened in 1976. By 1995, escalating rents led to a move to Broome Street, and in 2006 the store finally relocated to Greenwich Village, on Eighth Street near Broadway.

“We were never just about housewares,” Mr. Kornbleuth said. “With my background, we could continue to sell equipment to restaurants.” He knew that restaurants wanted high quality and low prices, and understood that home cooks would appreciate the same: durable knives, for instance, and basic, heavy pots and pans that might not match the décor, but offered excellent conductivity.

“My first question is, ‘What do you like to cook?’ ” he said. “We can help tailor a purchase to suit a customer’s needs instead of just selling sets. We’re more traditional, with just one store. As independent stores disappear, people are going to remember them fondly.”

The chef David Waltuck, who is now at Élan in the Flatiron district, said he remembered shopping at Broadway Panhandler on Broome Street when he owned Chanterelle, in SoHo. “It’s a fun place to browse and they always seemed friendly, knowledgeable and passionate,” he said. “It makes me sad to see so many things like this disappear.”

New York Times Original Story

All profits from this cookbook go to City Harvest

All profits from this cookbook go to City Harvest

Nearly 20% of New Yorkers currently live in poverty, struggling to afford basic necessities such as rent and medical care and put food on their tables.

City Harvest helps feed the nearly 1.4 million New Yorkers facing hunger each year.

We rescue some 150,000 pounds of food each day. We regularly give food to 500 community programs. It costs City Harvest just 26 cents to rescue and deliver a pound of food. 93 cents of every dollar donated directly supports our programs fighting hunger in New York City.

All profits from this cookbook go to City Harvest.