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What stays hot?

Just looking for some new ideas for food that doesn't immediately cool down as soon as it gets to the sukkah. Shepherd's Pie is a standby for me, and beef casseroles, but does anyone have a good chicken recipe, or other ideas for beef beyond cholent? (Brisket doesn't work for me because too much surface is exposed to the air.)

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  1. Any kind of stew, served in a bowl with lots of sauce/gravy, works. Goulash, pepper steak, sesame chicken, various kinds of curry.

    1 Reply
    1. re: The Cameraman

      I agree on the pepper steak- I make it often and usually a double recipe b/c it freezes well.
      Chicken chow mein also stays hot for a while, and can be made in advance too.

      I serve both with 'fried' rice, which husband loves and is a joke to prepare.

    2. I think there's a thread on here with ideas for alternatives to cholent. I'm doing a lamb tagine this year served in a covered terrine.

      1. I make a hearty chicken-based version of Senate Bean Soup, which would be good as either a starter (holds the heat much better than traditional chicken soup) or, with larger chicken pieces, as a main course stew.

        4 Replies
        1. re: almond tree

          Senate Bean Soup? I googled it and it was ham and beans and not much else! Can you give me your recipe - I know it's better than that :-)

          1. re: Chatsworth

            Will try - although my recipe is one of those "a little of this and a handful of that" types. I originally started making it to use up leftover chicken soup, bits of cold cuts, etc, from Shabbos.

            1 kilo chicken wings
            1 large onion
            1 carrot
            1 or 2 stalks celery
            2 or 3 cloves garlic (or more, to taste)
            4 or 5 large potatoes
            500 g dried white beans, or a combination of white beans and limas, checked, soaked & cooked till tender
            1 bay leaf
            few leaves thyme
            handful of fresh dill and/or parsley
            leftover chicken soup or gravy, if you have

            Dice the vegetables and put all ingredients into a big soup pot with water to about an inch above the level of solids.
            Bring to a boil, then simmer for an hour or more, stirring occasionally and adding water if necessary, until the potatoes are very very tender, starting to fall apart. I like to "moosh" the soup a bit with a long-handled spoon.
            Can be cooled at this point and reheated. Add 1/2 cup or more frozen corn and/or chopped cold cuts such as smoked turkey, plus salt and pepper to taste. My son likes sliced hot dogs in his, if I dare to say so on this site :).

            Good luck!

              1. re: Chatsworth

                YW, Forgot to mention, chunks of leftover chicken make this even better.

        2. My husband believes that Sukkot food = stuffed cabbage. Spaghetti and meatballs are a good weekday meal.

          But we live in an area where Sukkot lunches can be very hot so we often do cold food during the day. Bees somehow love salmon. Go figure.

          1. Stew. The advntage is not only that a large serving bowl of stew will hold the heat, bu that it simplifies the serving and the schlepping, useful because many sukkahs are crowded, poorly lit, located far from the kitchen and, in general, on Sukkot you may especially want wonderful things, not fussy things.

            Stew can be a way to pleae vegetarians, to stretch the flavor form a small bit of meat, or to be a spendthrift. It can, in other words, suit every budget and inclinatin.

            For those who want to go upscale, Boeuf Bourguignon. Or stewed lamb in Moroccan spices. Or sauerbraten venison. If any guests are new to America, I like to serve stewed buffalo, the concept sort of gets to them. Although it really doesn't taste very different form beef. And I love stewed chicken. I stewed chicken thighs with tomatillos, leeks, and gooseberries on Rosh HaShanah, thickened with a handful of red lentils. Delicious. I do lamb stewed with onions, prunes and Moroccan spices. The prunes disappear, giving a dark, thick, richness to the broth. Another magical thing you can do is to dazzle with a stew is buy Bird's Eye petit peas (they are very sweet) thaw them to room temperature, and stir them in just as you turn the stew into the serving bowl. Superb, with beef or chicken.

            I think stew has sometimes gotten a bad name because they are a favorite resort of cooks who must stretch a budget. I understand this. Truly. I have been there. But I think this has caused many of us to overlook their great virtue. Which is that they don't suffer when a guest is late, maariv runs over, or you wait an hour inside to see if the rain will let up so you can eat in the sukkah. They simmer happily. And perhaps even taste better when dinner has been put back.

            That is an important virtue on Sukkot.

            And if the stew is made with top-quality, carefully chosen vegetables and first quality meat, your guess won't think you are stingy.

            6 Replies
            1. re: AdinaA

              Have you had any luck finding buffalo recently? I haven't seen it in about a year, maybe more, so I have assumed they are not currently schecting any.

              1. re: queenscook

                Now that you ask, I realize that I haven't bought it in a while. I did notice it on the Supersol/Seasons website just last week.

                1. re: AdinaA

                  If I may ask, what is their website? I've googled "Seasons" and "Supersol," but don't see any dedicated site, just a reference to a Facebook page. I'm not on Facebook, and have no interest in joining at this time. And I just stopped in to Seasons in Queens for the first time a few days ago. I asked about bison, and they literally had no idea what I meant. The first guy asked if I meant buffalo chicken wings. When I said "no," he directed me to someone else, who was also clueless. The third guy did call someone on his phone, and said I should inquire after the yom tovim, but it really struck me that A) they were so clueless, and B) that maybe I'm the first to ever ask this!

                  1. re: queenscook


                    I don't know about the store in Queens, but the staff in Manhattan is generally very good.

                    1. re: avitrek

                      Thanks for the info. I'll give them a call and see what they have in stock, if I can figure out how to get stuff from there to here.

              2. re: AdinaA

                Thanks for the great ideas for expanding my repertoire. (You'll see I call stews "casseroles" in my original post because then food snobs have less grounds for their snobbery for what can be a great dish.) Stews/casseroles are also great because (like me!) they improve with age.

              3. I like to make a chicken enchilada casserole......I use cooked chicken that I previously cooked and froze, corn tortillas, enchilada sauce (store bought), canned corn, and canned black beans. Layer like a lasagna. Freeze until needed and put straight into oven for about 1 1/2-2 hours. Before reheating you can add a cup of water to ensure it doesn't burn. My husband and I like it really spicy but the kids don't so we will then add my home made pico de gallo to our plates to spice it up. Yummmm !

                1. So a long time ago I remember seeing a trivet in catalog that was oil filled and could be warmed in the oven and then used to keep food warm. I've just spent 20 mintues trying to re-find it on the web and cannot, but I did see some trivets that use tealights to help keep food warm....it's at least a thought.

                  There are also silicon trivets meant to warmed in the micro...but I guess those could be oven warmed as well.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: vallevin

                    What about running with the idea and serving a fondue?

                    1. I think the emphasis should be on the container as much, or more than the dish. For example, we have some heavy cast iron and some heavy anodized aluminum that will keep contents warm for quite a while without using any additional insulation. Same with heavy pottery casseroles with lids. And back in the day, people wrapped heavy blankets around heavy pots. All of these can prolong heat retention.

                      1. I you want a chicken dish that stays hot for eating in the Sukkah, I've found that Chicken Pot Pie, Chicken and dumplings (I tend to use matzo balls instead of noodles or biscuits, or chicken ala king served over rice work extremely well.

                        Basically I look for WET recipes that can be served piping hot right out of the oven and served in the sukkah.

                        This year I bought a triple crockpot/buffet server from Kohl's that'll will be plugged in to the outlet on our outside wall that forms one of the sukkah's walls. It will allow us to keep food hot all during the meal.
                        Too often people rig lighting for the sukkah, but forget to run outlets for coffee urns, crockpots and blechs.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: bagelman01

                          Do you live in a place where there is no possibility of rain? Or will rain not be a danger to these appliances?

                          1. re: queenscook

                            Connecticut gets lots of rain.

                            There is no problem erecting a rain covering over a serving table in the sukkah if needed.

                            The outlet is on the outside of our house and has a metal cover that opens upward at 45 degrees to let you plug in and protect the plug from the elements. We used it to plug in a pump to lower our swimming pool during hurricane Irene, no problems.

                            The appliance itself has no exposed parts that cannot get wet. We certainly wash the exterior with wet (not damp) sponges. AND having had lots of rain this yuntif it worked fine.

                        2. 3 Words for you....CAST IRON POT. Be it a casserole, stew, cholent, soup, tagine, veg dish, kugel, souffle, rice, pasta or main protein... A good Le Creuset (or any of the other cast irons on the market these days) is the best way to keep food hot. Not only will your "dutch oven" maintain it's heat for hours, even in the chilly outdoors....it will love you year round too. If you've got 'em use 'em...if not, do yourself the biggest foodie favor ever and invest...no kitchen should be without...no sukkah either:) That's this chef's 2cents for the day.

                          Moadim b'Simcha & Enjoy....on a total tangent, one of my many favorites from the Le Creuset this chag has been to finish our meals in the Sukkah passing around warm mugs of mulled wine. Set it up around 5pm, wine(the cheap ones your guest bring without knowing any better or the 1/2 bottle sitting around:), orange peel, sugar, cinnamon sticks, clove & all spice. Simple.... Easy.....Perfection.

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: gotcholent

                            How ironic that many try to hold by the "not bringing pots into the sukkah" thing, when that is often the best way to make sure the food stays hot. I'm not knowledgeable enough to know if it's a halacha, a chumra, or just a "thing." It's a delicate balance, to be sure.

                            1. re: queenscook

                              Small table just outside the Sukkah doubles as a buffet, staging area and washing station = no issues ( and no running upstairs more then is needed:)

                              1. re: gotcholent

                                Ahh . . . if only I had such an option. My 8 ft wide sukkah on my 9 to10 foot wide porch wouldn't allow such a thing. The length, too, is just a foot or so shorter than the length of the porch. Those of us in Queens who do not have major money for pricey renovations have small outdoor areas of our houses; I'm lucky to have a longer porch than some do (about 17-18 feet, 16' of which is taken up by the sukkah); some have only about 10' X 10' (though they usually have slightly more room indoors). My sukkah is actually longer than my dining room!

                                1. re: queenscook

                                  these are the tradeoffs made when choosing to live in or outside NYC. My parents left for CT 60 years ago. We have a 20 x16 patio right off the kitchen with 2.5 walls in place. There is a columned pergola over the patio, real easy just to cover with schach. I built a framed outside wall out of pressure treated lumber and marine plywood that I can bolt on to the pergola columns. It spends the other 51 weeks in the back of the garage.

                                  We access the Sukkah through the sliding glass doors from the kitchen. Electricity for plugging in and overhead lights are in place year round. Wife is a designer builder and we try to build with multiple functions in mind.

                                  Last Year, they filmed a movie at our house, the people in the picture are actors, not my family. This is looking out the kitchen sliders and you can see the pergola and understand how easy it is to convert to a sukkah. There is a full wall to right and a half length wall not visible on left.

                                  Picture follows, it won't post here.

                                  When I think of my Ocean Parkway apt in Brooklyn in the 70s, the 3 rooms could fit in my living room. The kitchen was smaller than my Pesach grocery closet. Yes, I'm spoiled but 7,000 square feet in Fairfield county costs less than a tiny house in Forest Hills. I'd rather have space and live 45 minutes from Manhattan.

                                  In NY, I would not be able to have multiple kitchens, a huge sukkah and backyard grills and pizza ovens. I don't have a choice of 30 minyanim in the neighborhood, but I don't care.

                                  1. re: bagelman01

                                    I totally agree; when I got married, I opted for community, staying in the shul I had already davened in for 15 years then, access to many restaurants, choice of schools (in case that became necessary), and the friends that had supported me through my longer than average years of singlehood. I can live without the larger sukkah, never even grill on the tiny grill we do have, and am content to choose from the six pizza places on Main Street (I don't even like pizza). This is, as they say, what makes a horserace.

                                  2. re: queenscook

                                    Picture of the patio that converts to easy sukkah using the pergola to define space and support schach

                                2. re: queenscook

                                  The "no pots in the sukkah" thing is indeed a halacha, but it refers to the sort of pot one would never bring into the dining room, and certainly not if one were having a formal dinner party with important guests. A rough earthenware pot that's good enough for the kitchen but not for company. But a nice pot that one is proud of and would not hesitate to put on the table at a formal dinner, there's no problem bringing it into the sukkah.

                                3. re: gotcholent

                                  The mulled wine sounds good ... and warming. You can offer the non-drinkers what my kids used to love when they were small - mulled apple juice, made from 1/2 aj, 1/2 water, a teaspoon of honey and a little cinnamon.

                                  1. re: gotcholent

                                    The final touch for our yearly Succos mulled hot cider spiked with rum is placing it in restaurant caraffes which we bought at a local restaurant supply store. They hold about a liter or two of liquid and keep it piping hot for a couple of hours. Worth the price. The neighbors all love our Simchas Beis hashoevah cider.

                                    1. re: gotcholent

                                      agreed - mulled wine is delicious. and if you want to make it even more delicious (if that's possible), try spiking it with some hard liquor - cointreau or any other orange flavoured liquor - and enjoy the gentle befuzzlement that adds to your b'sameach - Sharon

                                    2. Another great Idea which came to me today as I was picking up a load of squash and pumpkins for a display we are doing this Chag was that they could be baked and make a great edible serving piece. My initial thoughts for a hearty dish to serve at my meal (and for my militant vegetarian wife:) in the Sukkah tomorrow night is going to be something along the lines of a salad with toasted wheat-berries, bourbon and maple glazed pumpkin, craisins & edemame....finished off with a warm apple cider vinaigrette. Any thoughts or suggestions fellow chow hounders?

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: gotcholent

                                        I would think a squash with a firmer texture would be better than pumpkin, but otherwise sounds awesome. Let us know how it comes out.

                                        1. re: gotcholent

                                          Baked pumpkin gets floppy, and doesn't look as nice, I wouldn't use the baked hollowed out pumpkin as the serving piece.

                                          But what you described sounds delicious.

                                          I have made a chick pea casserole topped with biscuits in the past. That was good.

                                          1. re: vallevin

                                            Maybe a baked Hubbard squash? What's big enough to be a serving piece, but doesn't get floppy?

                                          2. re: gotcholent

                                            I have used hollowed-out pumpkins as serving pieces, even as individual soup bowls.

                                            Raw - This gives you a bowl that holds it's shape and looks great.

                                            Baked - half and hollow out the small ones: very small sugar pumpkins or acorn squash, stuff with just about anything and bake. They will collapse (slump) a little, but not much, since the thick flesh holds a shape pretty well. The flesh seasoned by the stuffing tastes wonderful. It can be a little messy to eat at a formal meal, since you sort of have to hold onto the collapsing squash shell as you scoop the flesh out. They also lose their color, and don't look as dramatic as the bright orange raw pumpkin does.

                                            I've never stuffed and baked a large pumpkin.

                                            1. re: gotcholent

                                              Thanks everyone for the great input it was hugely helpful. Below is a picture of some of the beauties I had to choose from. In the end we used different squash or pumpkins for either cooking or serving purposes. I opened and hollowed out a few of them, baked the seeds, and then would stick the whole thing in the oven for 5 minutes just to take the chill off before putting in the piping hot food. This way we were able to keep both the shape and luscious colors (the giant green etrog looking and ghost pumpkins were the most dramatic) , it kind of of reminded me of Le Creusets veg shaped pots making cameos at our Sukka's buffet which in itself had an AWESOME panoramic backdrop of the Shook in Machaneh Yehuda thanks to a remarkebly talented artist in Tzfat name Eliyahu Alpern. The gouds totally acted well as very beautiful insulation and made totally phenomenal presentation pieces. Meanwhile with the 30 or so left at work, we're making kugels this week:) Shana Tova everyone and thanks for the great tips!

                                            2. Since we've segued to wonderful things to serve in the sukkah, I suggest plum pudding flamed in brandy.

                                              It is spectacular carried flaming into a dimly lit Sukkah at night.