Monday, October 28, 2013

Chanan HaChatan (2 Quick Shabbos Recipes)

כ"ד לחודש השמיני תשע"ד

"Chanan HaGanan"
A friend of mine, Chanan, is a professional gardener, thus he is "Chanan HaGanan," which rhymes, of course, and also happens to be the title of a children's book by Rinat Hofer. Last Monday night, Chanan got married, so now he is also "Chanan HaChatan," thus the title of this post.

Chanan and I were roommates for a while, WAY back when. We would often host Shabbath meals, inviting men from the various yeshivoth in the neighborhood. Often these guys were new to Torah and, in particular, Shabbath. So, we would show them that yes, Shabbath can be a lot of fun without bars, nightclubs, movies, road trips, or whatever else they had always associated Friday nights and Saturdays with.

I remember when one guest accidentally bumped into a light switch, shutting it off. He started to freak-out, and get all apologetic on us. I do not mind saying that I am glad we were both there to be chilled-out about it, and simply say, "It happens. Don't worry about it. Let's eat."

Along with my soup, there are two items I remember making, in particular. I intend to include them in The Yeshivah Bochur's Cookbook, if I ever finish putting it together. So, like all of the recipes I intend to included, try them out, and distribute them, but please include a link back here.

Running around, getting ready for Shabbath can be fun, and make the relief feel even greater, when you're done! You have little candles, and are off to minhah, settle into your seat at schul, and WHEW!

But, what do you before hand, when you realize that you might not have enough food, or the barbecue failed on you, and you only have an hour to do anything about it?

"An Hour Before Sheqi'ah Chicken Wings"
chicken wings, 1 package (12-14 wings)
1 medium brown onion
3 cloves of garlic
soy sauce (optional)
Throw (literally, because it's almost sheqi'ah) the chicken wings into a pan, and into a toaster oven (without any light that goes on when you open it) with a timer. Broil for 20 minutes. Set aside the melted off fat for this Shabbos's or a future chicken soup. Flip the wings over.

Add the onion, which has been chopped into eighths, and the coarsely chopped garlic. Sprinkle the paprika over the wings, according to taste. As you should know by now, I use way too much soy sauce, but add tablespoon or two if you like.

Reset the timer on the oven, before you leave for schul. Forget about it.

Come home, take out of the oven, and enjoy!

One Shabbath, I was running particularly late, and did not make it to schul. It was after sheqi'ath hahamah (sunset) when I picked up the lettuce to make a salad. When I opened the package, I saw that it was teeming with ants!

No, this should not suggest anything about how clean (or not) my kitchen is kept. So, while it was in my hand, I put in the mahsan. Perhaps after Shabbath, it could be salvaged,...after the ants had their fill.

In the meantime, I had to rifle through the refrigerator and cupboards to see what I had on hand to throw together to make a salad. This is what I found, and the recipe which Chanan and I came up with, when he came back from schul.

"I Ran Out of Lettuce, Salad"
garlic power
Chunk the cucumbers and mushrooms. Coarsely chop* the garlic. Add the spices to taste and toss together. Preparation time: 5 minutes.

*Chopping something too finely could be one of the melakhoth (particular labor), forbidden on Shabbath: Tehinah (grinding). Consult your local rabbinic authority.

In conclusion, from my experience, the more practice you have with both the fundamentals in the kitchen, as well as attempts at being creative, including the failures, the quicker you will be able to problem-solve when necessary. And these normally panicky situations will no longer be panicky situations.

Mazal Tov, Chanan and Zoe!

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