Monday, October 31, 2005


Ahhhhhh Cholent. YUMMY Warm filling comforting Shabbasy food. I made cholent!!!!

What is cholent??? Hmmmmm.... Kinda a combo of chili, and potato stew, and soup, and thick warm Shabbasy goodness. It's a food that was developed through the centuries so Jews could have a warm meal on Shabbat afternoon without cooking, as cooking isn't allowed on Shabbat. I tried to do a bit of research on the history of cholent but that was basically all I found out. It's a stew that's usually started on Friday afternoon, and then left covered on a low flame, or in a low oven or a crock pot overnight. Cholent usually simmers for like 8-15 HOURS or more!!!! PERFECT for a Shabbat lunch, ESPECIALLY on a cold afternoon.

Different ingredients are used in different regions of the world and when I went looking for a recipe there wasn't really a set one, I saw about a million different ones all calling for a different combo of things. So I basically just wung it, as cholent probably was meant to made that way anyway.

Basic ingredients are potatoes, yams, parsnips, carrots, barley, beans, beans, beans, garlic and onions. Most cholents have meat in them, beef or bones for flavoring, I found a recipe with lamb, but usually beef. I made a veggie cholent. And well I didn't make it on/for Shabbat, but it was yummy anyways. I was in the mood for something warm and filling with protein that was different from my usual routine. And I hadn't had cholent since I was in Binghamton, and I missed it. So cholent it was!!!

I used all of the above ingredients, except for the meat. I got a bag of "cholent mix" which had red beans white beans and speckled beans in it. But anything around should be ok, or you can look up cholent recipes here. They'll have bean types you can use. ALL of the ingredients are in different amounts depending on what you want, or for how many you're making it for.

So I soaked my beans overnight. Then I cut up 3 potatoes, one yam, 3 parsnips, 3-4 carrots. I put them in a LARGE pot with the beans and the barley. (A crock pot if you have it is GREAT for cholent) I covered it with water. I added a can of chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, and a TON of spices. Salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders, basil, oregano, parsley, paprika, a couple of bay leaves crushed, some hot pepper, veggie stock cube (crushed into a powder), and a "beef" stock cube(also crushed) and I don't even remember what else. I sautéed 3 onions and like 4 cloves of garlic and added that to the pot. Covered with more water as needed, about 1-2 inches over the stuff, mixed it up, and put it on the stove. Brought to a boil and then I simmered covered for 10 hours on LOW heat. I stirred occasionally, but less and less and more and more carefully as time went on because I didn't want to break up the potatoes into mush.

The result? YUMMY YUMMY cholent worth of a Shabbat meal, the kind of comfort food stuff that sticks to your insides and warms you up and fills you up and makes you all happy. It was GOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!!

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