Last Shabbath, I cooked for a new friend who was staying over. I asked him what he liked, to get a general idea of what to prepare. He said, “Grilled chicken, rice, and potatoes.”
Pretty standard fair for Shabbath.
Well, I do not own a grill. The barbeque got lost in the last move, and there would not have been any place to set it up anyway. Even the balcony is so small that my apartment, along with a few of the neighboring apratments, would have smelled like smoke all of Shabbath.
But I digress....
Sans grill or barbeque, I prepared “Almost Grilled Chicken,” rice, and potatoes. However, vegetables were still conspicuosly missing from the menu. So, I prepared an old standard and very simple recipe, qishu'im (green squash, similar to zucchini) in tomato sauce.
We did not end up eating much of the qishu'im. Even though it turned pretty well. I just figured that it would be good for a couple of lunches during the following week, and prepared to take it off the plata (electric warmer designed for Shabbath).*
But, then my friend said, “Just leave it on the plata for tomorrow.”I left if where it was, the only place where there was any room, on one of the corners....
“Huh? It'll burn.”
“Nah. It won't burn.”
“Um,...OK.” What the heck, I thought. Let's see what happens.
Well, what do you know? The next morning, I woke up to find that it did not burn afterall. In fact, the qishu'im had not even become too squishy since the night before.
Qishu'im In Tomato Sauce
3 meidum size qishu'im (green squash)
3 medium tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic
basil, black pepper, cumin (all optional)
*oregano to basil ratio 4:1
Bring a liter or two of water to a boil. Add the green squash which has been already sliced into circles. Meanwhile, chop up the tomatoes and garlic and purée in a food proessor or blender, along with the tomato paste and your choice of spices to tasted. Once a knife can easily be stuck through a circlet of qishu'im, add the puréed tomato mixure.
Cook until the sauce thickens to your likening. If preparing to leave on the heat all night, then add boiling water to it, as you would for your regular chollent or hamim.
I used tomato paste instead of more tomatoes and sugar, because I figured that between the combination of fructose and glucose in the tomato paste, and the sucrose in processed sugar, the tomato paste was the lesser of two evils. If anyone has any suggestions for healthier sweetening of sauces, please leave them in the comments section.
*This post does not address if, when, nor how one may put food items onto a heat source on Shabbath. Please consult your local local authority on halachah (Jewish Law).