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Emergency cholent HELP!!!

Hi Chowhounds!

This is a weird request, but I hope someone can help.

My kids volunteered our house for NCSY (synagogue youth) after dinner tonight and they have a tradition of serving cholent at their "onegs." I just got a call from their advisor reminding me that Friday night cholent needs to be started on Thursday to be ready 16 hrs earlier than normal. (Would have helped if he had called me last night.) I completely forgot about that - last time we started it on Thursday just before we went to sleep.

Is there any way I can make a cholent or something that I can pass off as a cholent that will be ready tonight? I am on the west coast so I have about 8 hrs before Shabbat starts.

There are too many kids to buy the MealMart boxed cholent. I can use canned beans but what else can I do to cut the time down?

Should I just give up and make more cake?

These are teenagers who will already have eaten a normal Shabbat dinner, but I have never met a teenage boy who wasn't hungry.

I do not own a pressure cooker but I do have a microwave.

Even if it's not too great they will eat it anyway.

Maybe I could cook some flanken with a couple cans of refried beans?? I've always thought that refried beans taste like leftover cholent.....

HELP!!!!

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  1. Hot dogs! Boil as many hot dogs as you have, slice them up, and throw them into the pot with canned beans.

    1. Cholent, even regular chulent made with dried beans, is perfectly edible after eight hours, but the flavors haven't melded in the same way. I would try cooking it in a pot on the stove at a higher temperature for a bunch of hours today, then transfer to the crock pot.

      1 Reply
      1. re: GilaB

        Cook that sucker in the oven at 375 and say some tehillim.

        Also, canned potatoes.

      2. We decided to make Louisiana style red beans and rice and put hot dogs in it instead of sausage. I can even get Crystal here...

        Thanks guys!!!

        1. A week late...but maybe someone in need will stumble across this in the future. GilaB has the right idea. I have many many times been short on time. Get your cholent started in a pot on the stove, keep it on high. You do NOT need to use canned potatoes..just keep it there on high until the meat is cooked for certain, then bring it down to a simmer and keep on the flame until you need to dump it in the crock pot. Alternatively, you can just keep it in the pot and throw it on a blech.

          1. Well just for the record, we made the beans and rice (with hot dogs) and although DH and I liked it, the kids didn't. Fortunately we had plenty of chips, salsa, candy, cake, etc.

            8 Replies
              1. re: shoelace

                We used the recipe on the back of the Westbrae can and then added hot dogs that I had broiled until they were a bit blackened. The Westbrae web site doesn't have the recipe but this one is similar: http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/authent...

                It was basically red beans, green pepper, celery, onion and a bunch of spices mixed in with a pot of rice. We put the bean and rice mixture and the pan with the hot dogs on the blech before Shabbat and then left everything until after dinner. Before the kids came over I took it all off the blech and put in on a trivet and then I chopped the hot dogs up into little pieces and stirred them into the rice and beans.

                As I said, the kids (teenagers) didn't like it but DH and I did. The kids ate the chips and salsa and other junk food. We ate beans and rice leftovers for the next few days. Since we were expecting around 30 kids, we made a lot of it. :(

                The last time we had NCSY over they ate an entire pot of cholent. Remember, although this was AFTER they all had their regular Shabbat dinners at home, we are talking about teenagers.

                Not a big success but lessons learned about hot dogs or sausage with cholent is to NOT cook it in the pot but rather cook it on the side and mix it in when I serve it.

                1. re: SoCal Mother

                  I'm trying to figure out the other lessons learned here.....my oldest ones will soon be 9 and I can completely see this happening in a few years.

                  Do I keep a cholent in the freezer?

                  1. re: vallevin

                    I have been told that the cholent Friday night is an NCSY thing. Just make your usual cholent but start it Thursday night just before you go to bed or the very first thing when you wake up in the morning. Make it mostly potatoes and beans. Don't waste meat on what is essentially dessert.

                    Don't buy any sort of candy that can be tossed into the air and then caught in the mouth.

                    You should know that any time teenagers are involved you need to plan 1.5 to 2 times adult portion size per teenager, plus expect a phone call or text message (around 1/2 hr after your favorite store closes for Shabbat) that goes something like "Mom, Shimon and Reuven are coming for Shabbat because we have a game Saturday night and we live closest to the school where we are playing and anyway you're driving everyone."

                    Do not think that you are exempt if your kids are girls. I understand that some teenage girls eat as much as the boys.

                    1. re: SoCal Mother

                      thi si maybe a little off topic but I am curious. Is your approach for NCSY or Jr NCSY? I ask because my YU attending son recently took on the responsibilities of advisor to the local (former) NCSY JR branch which has about 50 middle school kids in it. I say "former" because apparently regional diecided to disband NCSY JR except in certain communities. In any event we were duped into having "movie nite" in our den with the surround sound and wide-screen last Motzie Shabbos and had to serve "light snacks". Well it turns out that all the soda was consumed, but little of the chips, etc. because they all wanted chulent of which we had a bout two spoonfuls left over and obviously did not serve. Since this advisor role seems to last until med school and beyond, any tips on how to do a Satuday nite Chulent?

                      1. re: Arinoam

                        You can freeze cooked cholent (beans, barley, onions, garlic, spices, meat/chicken if using -- all your regular ingredients except potatoes, which do not freeze well). Move it from the fridge to the freezer some time Friday morning, and reheat Motzei Shabbos.

                        1. re: almond tree

                          Or make it the right way and leave out the potatoes. :-)

                        2. re: Arinoam

                          Senior. They have a thing about cholent, especially Friday night.

                          Basically as far as I can tell, the N in NCSY stands for Non-stop eating. I did not have much success with New Orleans beans and rice, but we had a burrito party that went well.

                          Also, anything that can be thrown into the mouth will be all over your room. (Think Jelly Bellies. DON'T GET THEM!)

                          The good thing about snacks at that age is that they really will go for healthier food choices rather than chips and junk food.

              2. You can make it with chicken only (leg and thigh) and sear the chicken and onions on the stove first as you would when making a braise. You can add canned beans and potatoes and amp up the spices a bit as chicken is milder than beef (using chicken broth instead of water helps too). It should all be cooked and ready to go after 8 hours on high in a slow cooker. You can also put some dish towels over the slow cooker to trap in steam and keep it even hotter.

                1 Reply
                1. re: azna29

                  I have used lentils but not for cholent. Out here the Meal Mart cateror makes a delicious brown lentil cholent. It is not parve but really good, i do not know if they sell it at their store.