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Yid.Dish: Savory Hamantaschen

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Tradition, shmadition, I hate poppy seed hamantaschen. I find this old-world filling to be gritty and saccharine and really just a vile affront to the taste buds. So when a friend suggested bringing a can of the corn syrup-laden stuff to my recent hamantaschen-making party, I kindly (but firmly) let her know that my home is mohn-free.

I don’t think she missed it too much. My kitchen table was strewn with interesting pots of jam (cherry-apricot from the farmers’ market, and blueberry canned last summer by the Adamah fellows), a container of raw honey, another of Nutella, and even a jar of peanut butter brought by a friend who insisted it could be great (it was).

But the highlight of the evening, without a doubt, centered around our experiments with savory hamantaschen - pockets of dough filled with an earthy mixture of sauteed mushrooms, browned onions, and a garlic and basil-infused jack cheese by the Sugar River Cheese Co.  As we bit in to the warm, herb-flecked treats, it felt like something of a Jewish food revolution. Poppy seeds, watch your back.

Photos and recipe below the jump…


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Savory Hamantaschen

Dough
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 tbsp sugar
2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp dried rosemary, basil, or oregano

Cream butter, sugar and egg. In a separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, and herbs together. Add 1/2 of dry mixture into wet ingredients and combine until smooth. Add milk, then remaining flour, mixing until incorporated. If dough is sticky at this point, continue adding flour until it is firm enough to withstand being rolled out.

Gently roll out dough until it is 1/4 inch thick. Cut into rounds with a circular cookie cutter or the rim of a wide-mouthed glass and put on a baking sheet. Dot each circle with filling (see below). Sprinkle with grated cheddar or jack cheese, if desired. Pinch corners into triangles. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes until delicately browned.

Savory Onion and Mushroom Filling
3/4 pound white cap or cremini mushrooms
1 medium onion, diced
4 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup red wine
pinch salt

Remove mushroom stems and chop finely. Chop onion into a small dice. Heat oil in a large pan or skillet over medium heat and brown onions – 5-8 minutes. Add mushrooms and let cook until fragrant and about halved in size. Add red wine and salt and cook an additional 2-3 minutes, until liquid is dissolved. Let cool before stuffing into hamantaschen. If you have leftover filling, it also makes a great pasta topper or bruschetta.

Filling variations:
- feta, spinach and kalamata olives
- sun-dried tomatoes and ricotta,
- ground beef (or meatless Quorn grounds) sauteed with pinenuts, currants, nutmeg and cinnamon. Leave the herbs out of the dough recipe, if you’re going this route.

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Photos taken by Yoshie Fruchter, Chris Ahern, and Ellen Smith.

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14 Responses to “Yid.Dish: Savory Hamantaschen”

  1. mamboboy Says:

    I am an avid reader of your blog (read:big fan). However, your attitude towards Mohn hamentaschen is totally off-putting. As I sit here with fresh poppyseeds, raw honey and farmers market bought raisins stewing on the stove waiting to meet its destiny and read your post, I can only imagine that whoever made you your so despised mohn hamentaschen went for the store bought brand. Boo hoo, hoo poor, poor you. Next year you are welcome at our house for some sumptuous delights – all homemade and fresh.
    -staring at the mohn in seattle

  2. Leah Koenig Says:

    Hey – glad you like the blog!

    I knew there’d be at least one or two die-hard mohn fans out there – more power to you! But while it’s true I’ve only ever tried the fake-y stuff, I’m still a bit skeptical. Maybe I’ll have to take you up on your offer to try the homemade version if I ever make it out to Seattle – or you can always send a batch to the Hazon office! ;-)

    p.s. You can buy raisins at the farmers’ market in seattle? that’s amazing!

  3. chanie Says:

    first of all, add some chocolate to the peanut butter next time…yum! (we’ve also done peanut butter and jelly, but the ‘reese’s’ ones are always a hit)

    i’ve also done hamantaschen shaped calzones (which i’ll be making tonight for shabbat)- dough is different, obviously, and dont have the crunch, but a fun variation.

    another variation we’ve done are large galette – savory and sweet – shaped like a hamantaschen (you just fold up the dough like a hamantaschen instead of all around like you normally would.)

  4. Leah Koenig Says:

    Dont you worry, Chanie – there was plenty of honey and/or nutella swirled in with the peanut butter!

    What do you put in your galette?

  5. chanie Says:

    i’ve made an apple/lemon/nut galette, and also spinach/onion/cheese. the larger one is more like a ‘pie’ and a nice addition to a purim seudah.

  6. Ketzirah Carly Says:

    that’s a brilliant idea! I’m still going to make mohn-filled ones — but I may make a few savories too!

  7. Bea Wyler Says:

    Everything savory that goes into Burekas, should also be fit for savory Hamantashen. Happy Purim!

  8. Leah Koenig Says:

    Thanks Ketzirah Carly – if you end up making them, let us know how they turn out.

    Good point Bea – I was thinking calzones as a comparison, but burekas work too :)

  9. Ketzirah Carly Says:

    Mohn filling is ready to go! I made that last night using Gil Marks’ recipe!

  10. TamarLeah Says:

    This year in the eternal endeavor to have the amount of filling match the amount of dough I made MANGO-PAPAYA
    hamantaschen-YOWZA I highly recommend them.

  11. Natalie Says:

    Hmm…Savory!
    I’m always on a quest to try a recipe for Hamantaschen each year. Glad I ran across your blog :-)

  12. Jenny Says:

    We are a mohn-free home as well. Can’t stand the stuff. Your savory hamantaschen ideas are BRILLIANT! Will be duplicating them ASAP…

  13. Young Jewish Brooklyn Says:

    [...] Leah Koenig’s Lekvar (Plum Butter) Hamantaschen and Savory Onion and Mushroom Hamantaschen [...]

  14. Karen Says:

    Hi – My dough fell apart while cooking. Any tips? Thank you!

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