Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cholent

Yes, I know some of you call it "cholent"; others "chulent." Tomato tomahtowww.

Now, there are all kinds of cholent. There's the classic "cement-mixer" type (my favorite!); there's the soupy kind; dafina, plus other types I probably don't know about.

I can't cook to save my life, but am an expert eater, though. I can't really tell you how to make it (unfortunately), though from what I'm told, you just throw a whole bunch of stuff into a pot. Okay, it's more complicated than that :P.

In my yeshiva in New York, there were a few guys who really knew what they were doing. Every Thursday, they would prepare two giant pots of cholent. Oh, that was good. Friday afternoon, you could always sneak a bowl. Friday night was the best. A few hours after the meal, we'd all go downstairs and help ourselves to giant servings of cholent. I can smell it now. Only the second pot would be saved for Shabbos day. Good times.

Some stores know how to make good cholent too. Deli 52 on Thursday night is supposed to be incredible. I've tried it once or twice, and it was good.

There's a million secrets to cholent success. Many use ketchup, plenty use beer, some even use hot dogs! My sister, who makes a mean cholent (knocks you out for at least six hours) I'm convinced uses peanut butter. She denies it categorically.

And no, I am NOT discussing the aftereffects we all suffer the next day or two in the form of air pollution, or its long-lasting effects on the environment:P.

Now, we have the not-so-simple matter of what to wash it all down with, or even eat together with. Personally, I'll eat it with anything except bread (too heavy). Kichel is good, snacks, etc. Oh, and sunflower seeds or chewing gum etc. do wonders for the digestion.

How do you wash it down? Lots of choices. Soda works. And I LOVE Sprite. A few years ago, they came out with Sprite Remix. I was crazy for it. When they discontinued it, I was probably the saddest guy in the tri-state area:(.

Schnapps works too, or beer (all beer just tastes like pish anyway, who we kiddin'?) But really, cold heineken is okay.

How do you like your cholent?

(Btw) Speaking of food, I love shwarma. Yeah, you can get it in Shmutz La'aretz too, but Israel's best. Let's face it: Israeli pizza sucks, even their falafels aren't all that special, but their shwarma? Ahhh.

Halo Teiman (by knisah l'ir, also in bnei brak) ROCKS. I know, there's tons of awesome shwarma places all over the country. But I know I loved Halo Teiman.

For like 30 shmek, you get an awesome wrap. Plus tons of salads on the side; they let you put them on by yourself.

Out of this world.

16 comments:

  1. lol, funny about the tomato tomahtowww connection!

    lol, I just started cooking and made one type of chullent so far. From the same recipe, the first time it came out more liquidy and darker brown, the second time thicker and less brown.

    I never imagined peanut butter being used in chullent.

    I eat it in a mixture, my family calls it baby food, but I mash up kishke, potato kugel and chullent together, and then it taste delicious, I was actually thinking of creating a recipe for it and selling it. It's delicious!

    Never heard of sprite remix.

    I've had falafel in Israel, loved it! I haven't thought of tasting shwarma there, o well.

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  2. Thanks:).
    You know, kishke, kugel and cholent together sounds GREAT! I think some people even cook them all together. Those are three of my favorite foods right there.

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  3. The thicker and dryer and spicier it is, the better.

    I eat mine with mustard, try it.

    When the house smells like cholent on Friday and Shabbos it's heaven, but the second the meal is over, I can't look, smell or touch the cholent. It's an exclusive Shabbos food that is disgusting any other day.

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  4. Sporadic:
    I'm with you about the first part for sure.
    Mustard sounds great.
    I hear you that it's no good after the meal is over. Nothing worse than cholent leftovers.

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  5. I don't know what to say. This post seriously left me nauseated. ;)

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  6. Rachel:
    Sorry;).
    I'll try to write more appetizing posts in the future.

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  7. I love cholent. Mmmmm so good!

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  8. Oh, and yaptzuk makes my day!

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  9. I know this sounds conceited, but I have never had a better chulent than my own. I'll tell you the story.

    When I became a flaming Baal-Teshuva, I decided that I wanted to make chulent, and not just any chulent, but a sweet-and-sour chulent, somewhat like the chicken. It took me a solid year of experimentation to get it right, when, instead of water, I used orange juice as a base. I was ecstatic when it came out like I hoped, but after awhile, I got tired of having to make it, along with a whole bunch of other food, so I sank down to eating the shul's version for my own sanity.

    Ingredients:Chicken breast (or beef if you don't care much for health,) pearl barley, pinto beans, dill, orange juice

    Spices:Allspice, Cinnamon, Pepper, and now, on reflection, I would probably add turmeric.

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  10. Margo:
    Thanks.
    Never had yaptzuk. some kind of kugel/cholent mix? sounds awesome.

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  11. LM:
    I love your profile:
    "Occupation: Blogging and sitting on my tuchus"
    I laughed for like five minutes after seeing that.
    Your recipe sounds good, although orange juice sounds a bit unusual.
    Sounds like you know how to cook. I'm jealous;)

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  12. I have no clue what is in yaptzuk, I just know that I love it!

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  13. I no longer eat cholent (either it's got stuff I'm allergic to in it or it has meat in it) but back when I did, I made a great veggie cholent. It was my dad's recipe, but I made it much better than him, to my own dismay, since his kiddush club buddies always wanted me to make it, not him. But it was this very complicated process where everything had to go in in the right order or it wouldn't work.

    And the best falafel (which I also cannot eat anymore :( ) in Israel is at Massive outside the Tachana. I lived on laffa falafels, complete with french fries, while being extremely depressed my second year in Israel.

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  14. Julia:
    Thanks for sharing.
    That's funny, you made your father's cholent better than him. Don't tell me you barbecue better, too!;)
    I think I've tried Massive too. They're really good, right?
    You've reminded me, they love putting fries, or "cheeps" in those laffas in israel!

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  15. I'm a master chulent maker, coming from a long line of distinguished male chulent makers.
    (admittedly, im probably the first in this line of male chulent makers to have eaten pork & shrimp)

    Whoever thought there is more to chulent than throwing a bunch of ingedients into a pot, is dead wrong, good chulent totally requires the throwing of ingredients into a pot and if it takes more than 5 mins to put together, its not gonna taste good. Here is my recipie.

    Cook
    eat
    enjoy
    for gods sake open the windows

    -get a nice big crock pot
    -throw in (must be thrown) a bunch of barley and various different beans, to include copious amounts of soy bean
    - use a mini food processor to mush up about 6-8 garlic cloves and a large onion- then throw that in as well
    - add copious ketchup
    - add salt and some white pepper
    - mix everything together
    - add a couple of hot dogs
    -add a packet of lamb meat (beef can work but lamb is better( and causes flatulence with a far more complex odor))
    - add water till the top of the crock pot-
    -place the crock pot on your back porch and use an extension wire to plug in to an outlet so that yoy dont have to go to bed smelling chulent all night-
    - wake up shabbos morning and have a medium sized bowl for breakfast for quality control
    - eat another bowl for lunch
    - fan resulting flatulence into your spouse's face while uttering lamb chulent flavor

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