Sunday, June 26, 2016

Quick Shabbat Cooking with Minimal Water

This was not quite what I had been expecting... there have been major water problems in the Shiloh and Shomron areas, as far as we've been told. While I had been in New York, my neighbors had suffered from total lack of water due to shoddy infrastructure in the Mekorot Water System. Also, usually, when I return home, especially when it's late in the week, we get invited out for a Shabbat meal, but not this time.

OK, I'm an experienced and creative housewife. I found a way to prepare delicious Shabbat meals.

One thing that helps is disposables. I did the cooking, all the cooking in the oven in aluminum pans, and I made sure that we have enough disposable dishes and cutlery if needed. I even bought more disposable gloves and "wipes." And the kettle was full hours before "Shabbat.  And there are bottles of water all over the place.

Baked Potatoes: unlike pasta and rice, you don't need any water for baked potatoes. I just slice them up a bit for quicker cooking and then wrap in foil and bake.You can't get easier than that.

Chicken: I cheated. I didn't do my usual soaking and pouring boiling water over it before baking. I just quickly rinsed the thawed (bought fresh) chicken under running water, and since we did have some water at the time I used my poultry shears to cut it into serving-size pieces. I squeezed fresh lemon juice over the chicken and added my usual paprika, black pepper and granulated garlic.

Baked in a hot oven, it was delicious as usual. Maybe I don't really need to do all that soaking etc...

Chicken Breast Plus: Since my poultry shears were out and chicken-dirty, I decided to use them to cut up the thawed chicken breast.

Over that I layered eggplant, mushroom, onion, tomato paste, fresh garlic and some oil in a disposable aluminum pan. I covered it with foil to be baked in a medium-hot oven. It tasted fine. I think it would have been even better if I had mixed up the tomato paste with oil, spices and water to make it more of a sauce.

Vegetable-Side Dishes: Yes, these too were baked in aluminum pans to save on washing, since we had no idea if there would be water. And considering that in the summer, dirty dishes and pots are a magnet for ants and other undesirables.

These are my usual variety of baked vegetables, as you can easily see. Basic ingredients, (not all in each dish,) are onion, squash, mushroom, eggplant, sweet potatoes and oil. I find that they cook more quickly in aluminum than in my ceramic or Pyrex baking pans. I suggest a medium heat.

For those of you who want specific temperatures and times, I'm sorry. Each oven is different. Also the smaller the pieces, the more quickly they cook. Just keep checking for smell and crispiness. I do not add salt.


YMedad said...

It was delicious and satiating. And I didn't have all that many dishes to do (I'm on duty for Shabbat)

Batya Medad said...

Thanks, glad you didn't starve. Oops, must make some rice for the week, since there's water now.