Monday, February 14, 2011

Cholent Review - Shabbos Parashas Tetzaveh

I made very successful vegetarian cholent this past Shabbos, and I would to share the fortunate concatenation of events that made it happen. First of all, I realized that most of my vegetarian cholents are largely potatoes and therefore very starchy. So I decided to reduce the number of potatoes and compensate by increasing the amount of beans, since these contain also contain fiber and should be healthier than potatoes. Now I have tried this in the past and discovered that one of the defects of the otherwise mighty six quart Hamilton Beach Stay-N-Go slow cooker is that it tends to cook at a low temperature (when on low; high is too high), which means that dried beans such as kidneys do not get cooked all the way through. So, I compensated for this problem by soaking the kidney beans overnight, which definitely helped. Secondly, I added hot water to the pot (until all the ingredients were covered) as opposed to the cold or room temperature water that I normally add. In the end I estimate that in included two to two and a half cup beans (a cup or so of kidneys and the same amount of large lima beans). I chopped up and threw in six large carrots, one large potato (as opposed to two) and a sweet potato. Finally, I added some button mushrooms together with some dried shiitake mushrooms. For flavoring I hard three teaspoons salt, one teaspoon black pepper, a healthy amount of paprika and olive oil. After I pulled the cholent off the heat on Shabbos morning, I added some soy sauce to taste. It was a delicious cholent with a perfect, almost creamy consistency. Geshmak!