Jewish Shabbos Cholent

If you are lucky enough to live in a high rise when you first get married, as you walk up the stairs after going to shul (synagogue) you will invariably smell cholent on each floor. The thing I noted was no two cholents smelled the same. One smelled sweet, one smelled spicy, one smelled of beans, one of barley. As Jews we all shared in the afternoon meal yet no two cholents were ever alike. It seems it’s a lot like us as a people. We all share the same experience yet each of us brings something different to our “table”.

The above picture was taken of my cholent before Shabbos (because on Shabbos I refrain from all work including turning on my phone). The end product is a warm brown colour with soft beans and perfect flavour.

Ingredients:

Package of beef marrow bones

Two strips flanken (fattier the better)

2/3 cup pearl Barley washed and checked

1/2 cup Cholent beans washed and checked (use kidney, pinto and navy beans if you can’t find the mix)

Two large potatoes cut in quarters

One medium whole onion

Half of a sweet potato layered in slices

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp garlic

3 tbsp ketchup

2 tbsp brown sugar

1/4 tsp pepper

Salt to taste (kosher meat is pretty salty)

Directions:

Add some canola oil to the bottom of your slow cooker recipe sauce pan. Add marrow bones and flanken. Add spices and ketchup directly to meat. Top with beans/barley and finish with potatoes and slices of sweet potato. Fill pot until water JUST covers everything.

If using a slow cooker, turn on high for three hours and reduce heat until Shabbos lunch. For stove top method, bring to boil and then simmer until Erev Shabbos. Before Shabbos place a “blech” (metal separation) between the heat source and pot and leave on the blech on a very low burner until Shabbos lunch. For my oven, the burner is set to 2 ( where 1 on my burner is the lowest) for the blech to have a slow heat.

You can alter the ingredients depending upon the amount of guests you have. More guests, add more potatoes or more barley. It doesn’t have to be expensive. People come for your company, not your meat. Before Shabbos if you find your water has gone down, add more and give it a stir. The water should be sitting at the top of the mixture before Shabbos so it doesn’t dry out.

Note: this is NOT for Pesach (Passover)

Puff Pastry Schnitzel

I haven’t been feeling well. 2 weeks ago I was bitten by some insect and had a bad reaction. I ended up in hospital for a week and this is Canada…we don’t keep people in hospital ever…unless it’s bad.

So I’ve been having trouble making the meals. I can’t stand for long periods of time etc. This week for Shabbos I came up with this recipe for phyllo schnitzel. I used to make this by cutting up the schnitzel into bite sized strips and then covering each strip with a piece of puff pastry (like wieners in a blanket) but today I just couldn’t. If you want something that presents well that you can serve on a tray, do it that way. This way worked well for me right now and took only 35 minutes to bake. Hope you enjoy it. The result looks awesome.

Ingredients:

4 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken

Honey mustard

Puff pastry dough squares

Garlic powder

Pepper

Take the chicken pieces and sprinkle with garlic and pepper

Place two squares together and roll out to make a rectangle.

Place one piece of chicken chicken on one side of the pastry dough and on the other half smear with a thin layer of mustard

Seal the pastry dough and tuck the ends under so it looks like a pocket.

Repeat with the other three piece until you have four pastry pockets.

Place on an oiled 9×11 pan. Cover with egg wash and sesame seeds

Bake for 35 minutes at 375F or until pastry is golden. Serve warm.

If you have any questions about this one, just ask.

Chaya

BBQ Skirt Steak

With the nice weather upon us, I love to BBQ. Actually, we were even BBQ’ing when it was snowing, but we are used to the cold weather. I will try to blog more about BBQ ideas, as I even have baked cookies on my BBQ in the really hot weather.

This past week I made our family skirt steak. I make my steak a bit under cooked because I like to warm it in a 200F oven before we eat our Friday night meal. If you want your meat darker, just BBQ it longer on each side

Ingredients

1 skirt steak ( 2 lbs)

3 tbsp canola oil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp sweet paprika

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp soya sauce

Turn bbq on and wait 10 minutes until it reaches 400F

Take steak and wash it well under water. Lay it on a plate. Take canola oil and add spices and soya sauce to it, mixing it evenly in a small bowl. Baste the steak on both sides with canola/spice mixture.

Take tongs and lay steak onto grill. Cover and wait 6 minutes. Grill second side for an additional six minutes. If you want a darker steak, grill longer.

Remove from grill and sit onto a clean plate. Let meat sit for 15 – 20 minutes. This allows the juices to settle in the meat. Serve sliced with some garden herbs around it for decoration.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out

Chaya

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Spaghetti and Meat Balls

Growing up we never had meatballs with our spaghetti. My mother would take ground meat and mash it apart with a fork directly in the frying pan. She would scoop any excess oil out and add that meat to tomato sauce. Somehow it wasn’t satisfying enough for me and I decided when I had my own family, I would make meatballs.

I don’t tend to measure when I’m making meatballs, but this time I did. It’s easy if you want to experiment with amounts. Take your spices, and add them to the ground meat or chicken. Anything works: basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder. Have fun with different ones and change the taste. Honestly, once I added some cinnamon and a bit of sugar. It worked!

Ingredients:

Meatballs:

1 package ground meat (can use chicken)

1 egg

2 tblsp oatmeal

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tblsp ketchup

1 tsp soya sauce

Blend ingredients with wet hands. Form into balls.

Sauce:

I can Hunts tomato sauce

1 can water

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp ketchup

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp pepper

Salt to taste

Boil sauce. When sauce is boiling, drop in meatballs. Allow to simmer for 1 hour.

At the same time bring water with a tsp of salt to a boil. Add a half a package of spaghetti noodles. Let boil until noodles are done (around 10 minutes). Drain noodles and rinse with cold water. This will remove any starch on them.

Plate your noodles and serve with sauce and meatballs. Kids seriously love this meal. The meatballs are soft and easy to chew. Hope you like it. Send me a message if you have any questions. 🤗

– Chaya

Hearty Meat Borscht (Beet Soup)

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(Guest Recipe Post by Batsheva Asbell)

HEARTY MEAT BORSHT

Ingredients:

Large soup pot (6 quarts)
4 quarts of water
6 extra large beets
2 large carrots
4 medium onions
3 medium potatoes
1/2 cup sweet red wine
3 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons of salt
1 tablespoon of black pepper
1/2 tablespoon of garlic powder
2-3 steaks

Directions:

Peel the beets and put into the pot of boiling water.
Add whole peeled carrots.
Add onions diced.
Add potatoes that are peeled and sliced into 1 inch non-uniform
Add red wine, lemon juice and honey.
Add the salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Add cubed meat pieces (meat scissors work well with this).
The meat should be 1 inch cube cuts and can even be larger cuts.
If the steak has bones, add them for flavour.

Put a large soup pot on a low boil for 1 – 2 hours or until beets are soft enough to cut and all the contents are tender and cooked. Add more salt or pepper for flavour if needed according to personal taste.

Remove beets and slice into hearty chunks or slices. The inner part of the beets should be red and juicy and placed back into the soup to eliminate the brown colour and replace it with a dark pink colour. Serve in a white bowl with portions of meat, potato, beet and carrot distributed in the magenta pink soup broth.

Hints: if you loose the pink colouring on a reboil for another meal, you can open a can of beets and pour the beet liquid into the soup. Also, there are some companies that pre-peel and cook the beets and they can be cut and added.