Recipes for Shabbat
You call it cholent if your family came from Eastern Europe, schena if Morocco was where your ancestors came from, tbit if ground zero was Iraq, and hmin if Yemen was the point of origin. A cholent, for those who don't know, is the slow-cooked, casserole-like stew that is traditionally served on shabbos. Our ancestors invented Cholent in order to enjoy a steaming hot meal without breaking the restriction against cooking on Shabbos. To that end, many and various methods were devised of cooking the food before the onset of shabbos and keeping the food heated overnight. One of the finer lines we walk is with the precisely defined borderlines between maintaining the heat (which is permitted) and cooking the food (which is strictly prohibited). The word "cholent" has its origin shrouded in history. Linguists surmise that the words origin is somewhere back with medieval French word for heat (related to the modern French chaleur), correlating with the early migrations of the Jews who would later settled in central and Eastern Europe.
A surprising early example of the importance of cholent in Jewish life comes from the Spanish Inquisitions "Edicts of Faith". In it there were specific instructions in ways to recognize "Conversos" who secretly remained true to their Jewish heritage. The edict says to look for "cooking on Fridays such food as is required for the Saturday, and on the latter eating the meat thus cooked on the Friday, as is the manner of the Jews." In essence the preparation of cholent became a "red flag" of someone secretly practicing Judaism. Cholent is a dish best savored fresh and not to be reheated (it NEVER reheats well). Throughout our history whenever this unassuming pot of beans and roast meat (or whatever ingredients you might happen to prefer) makes its appearance on the table it's a universal call to friends and relatives alike as an invitation to come and eat. So this shabbos chuck (pardon the pun) your old cholent recipe and try one of these exciting new ones. Who knows, you could start a new tradition.
In a large stockpot soak the lima beans overnight in water (to cover). Bring the pot to a boil and cook 30 minutes. Remove from heat and drain the beans and set them aside. In a skillet brown the lamb shanks and onions in the oil. Place the lamb, garlic, seasonings and water in the cholent pot. Cover with water and cook in at a low temp (225 to 250) over night. Serves 6.
In a LARGE skillet fry the onion in the oil until
golden brown. Add the garlic and let cook for 2
minutes. Move onions and garlic over to one side and
add chicken, skin side down. Brown the chicken (3 to 4 minutes on
each side) then rearrange on top of garlic and onions, season with salt,
pepper and paprika, cook a few minutes
then turn chicken over. Add beans and/or lentils and potatoes and cook 20
minutes, do not disturb the chicken. Add the
kasha and enough water to just cover. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, cover and simmer 1 1/2 - 24 hours adding
water if necessary. You can make this dish the
slow cooking way by placing the onions on the bottom of
a crock pot or cholent pan and then putting the browned and
seasoned chicken on top of it. Continue by
placing the beans and potatoes on top, covering
with water and then cooking at a low temp (225 to 250) over night.
Serves 6 to 8.
In a skillet brown the meat on all sides, in the
oil, turning frequently. Remove the meat from
the skillet and sauté the onion and garlic in the remaining oil
until onion is lightly browned. Stir in bouillon, tomato sauce,
chocolate (broken), and peanut butter. Stir
until chocolate is melted and peanut butter is
thoroughly blended. Remove from the heat and set aside. In a bowl mix
together the corn meal, chili powder, sesame seeds, and cumin. Add
the corn meal mixture slowly to the bouillon
mixture, stirring constantly over low heat until
well blended. Bring to a boil, turn heat the to low and simmer for
about 5 minutes. Place all ingredients in a large heavy pot or
crock pot. Add water only if chocolate sauce
does not cover meat and beans. Cook at low temp. 250 overnight. Serves 6
to 8.This can be doubled.
If the beans have not been pre soaked, wash them
carefully, discarding any that are broken or discolored. Place in a large
pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to
soak for about 1 hour. In a large, heavy pot sauté the onions, garlic and
mushrooms in the oil. Add the beans, barley, herbs and seasonings. Add the
carrots, potatoes, the wine, soy sauce and bay
leaf. Add boiling water or stock to about 1 inch above
the contents. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Cover the pot tightly
and allow to simmer slowly in a 225 degree oven
or over very low heat on top of the stove. Let
it cook all night Serves: 6 to 8.
In a skillet sauté the diced onion until they are
translucent. Drain and put onions in bottom of crock pot. Layer chopped
celery and carrots, barley and beans, diced sweet and white potatoes and
meatballs. Mix wine, orange juice, ketchup and
garlic. Stir well and add to crock pot. Add enough water
so that approximately 1/2 - 3/4 of mixture is covered. Salt and
pepper to taste. Cover. Cook on high at least
one hour. Leave on low setting (225 to 250) over
night. Serves 6 to 8.
Place all the ingredients in a pot and cook at 350 for 1/2 hour. Lower the temperature to 300 and allow to simmer for another hour. Make sure that the water is covering all the ingredients and reduce the heat to 250 and place the kishke on top. Serves 6 to 8.
© Eileen Goltz 2002