I am told there are many people out there that serve the same cholent every week, every shabbat!! There is no regard to outside temperate and there is no interest for something different. Is it really true?
I understand the desire for an easy to prepare meal that fills everyone up and can stay warm all of Shabbat without overheating the kitchen, but I can't understand two things.
One, I can't imagine eating the same thing EVERY week.
And two, I don't particularly enjoy the traditional meat and bean heavy cholent on a hot Summer day.
I know for some your family will revolt if you make any changes to the weekly routine, but I offer these suggestions to those brave enough to try something different this Summer.
These cholents are still hot and made in a slow cooker and they will still fill everyone up and they are by no means light. They are just a bit less heavy and wintry than traditional cholent, say Jamie's Famous Cholent.
However, if you just can't make the change, go ahead and try these easy to prep meals during the week, slow cookers sure beat having to stand in front of a hot stove on a hot Summer day.
Just throw everything in the pot in the morning and come home to a fully cooked dinner, no sweating for you.
This Lemon Lamb Cholent is the one that I am famous for. I have been making it for years and it never fails to impress. In the good ole days when I couldn't afford lamb I used ground turkey meatballs, sometimes I add chicken and sometimes I just use lamb. Over Passover I made it with quinoa instead of rice and left out the chickpeas and everyone still raved. When I visited my Sister she begged me to make it and we tried it without meat, we added some carrots and we still loved it!! It is versatile like any good cholent should be and I find that although it is filling it is not too heavy and works very well in the Summer.
Hamin is the classic Sephardi cholent, distinguished by the way all the parts are kept in their own separate baggies. I like this for Summer because you can play around with what you include and keep the meat minimal, some recipes I have seen used ground beef, some use stew meat. It is a great cholent for those with picky eaters, everyone can make it their own.
The Tuscan White Bean Cholent is easy to keep as a flavorful hot bean side dish to a basic chicken meal or add chicken to the pot and enjoy a different kind of lunch.
The Healthier Root Vegetable Cholent is better for us and filled with veggies, even though they are Fall veggies, I find anything with more veg and less meat to be better in the Summer.
This Cabbbage, Lentil and Sausage Slow Cooker Cholent is a fun Summer time cholent. It is most flavorful made with sausage, but hot dogs will work to keep it on a budget if desired. I could almost imagine a BBQ where I could top a dog with sauerkraut and some baked lentils, this stew combines it all into one perfect cholent.
One final recommendation is the Curried Cholent, something about adding coconut milk makes it feel Summery to me.
Let me know in the comments below - how many of you serve cholent every week?