Food Update for Boiling Cauldron and Almond Stick Week

So we were thinking of making a slow- cooker/ crockpot meal-in-a-pot for Shabbat, with chicken, rice and vegetables. We did that last week (minus the rice), and it was excellent (okay, not exactly a meal-in-a-pot, because we made other side dishes, but it was still excellent)! We chopped up a bunch of vegetables (carrots, onions, garlic, sweet potato- I think that was about it). I browned the chicken pieces (quarters- legs and backs) on the stove with some vegetable oil, and then dumped them into the slow cooker over the carrots, sweet potato, and most of the onions. I put some onions on top and sprinkled the minced garlic over the chicken. I added some leftover chicken soup (which also had zucchini pieces) , and also poured in some white semi-dry wine. The slow cooker did its thing on high for hours, and everything was excellent. Next time, though, I would try it with less liquid- there was a LOT of broth! We also made zucchini soup.

Oh, and “we” may refer to the writer of this blog, her dear husband, or both. Last week we also made petitim (“Israeli couscous” or this pasta that is sort of reminiscent of pearl barley in shape, but not really in texture, consistency, etc). Petitim can taste good IF you fry the dry pasta with oil and preferably onion, garlic, spices, etc. before boiling. Otherwise it can be a bit bland, so you MUST dress it up somehow! I have also had it in a tomato-based sauce, but I’m not always the biggest fan of tomatoes. Anyway, we made the petitiim with fried mushrooms, onion, and garlic.

There were ample leftovers of the petitim, and they came  in handy during the week. It has been really hot outside, and I was craving light meals for some of the days.

One such day, we made up a really excellent salad! A special twist on a pasta salad: mixed petitim, cabbage, and some other vegetables (usually carrots, occasionally with baby corn added or something else), and then diced up some Tzfatit cheese (feta or Bulgarian would also work, but the cheese I had was a little milder). Occasionally we added some light dressing- maybe a bit of olive oil and soy sauce, sprinkled with celery seed, etc. It was really refreshing!

We also made pasta with mushroom cream sauce (first with spaghetti noodles and then with fusilli- for the same meal). The next day, there were leftover fusilli noodles.  I was really craving macaroni and cheese, and it was getting pretty late in the day for lunch. I wanted something fast! So I thought I would use the fusilli leftovers to make a really fast but delicious Microwave Macaroni and Cheese:

So I dumped a portion into a bowl, added some milk, dolloped a bit of butter on top, and stuck it into the microwave for about a minute. Then I added two slices of cheese (cut up a bit), and put it back into the microwave for another 30 seconds. I took it out and stirred, stirred, stirred, mixing the noodles, cheese, and milk. Result: excelllent creamy “macaroni and cheese”-type dish. Or should I say “fusilli and cheese?”

I also made some watermelon popsicles by pulsing watermelon in a food processor and then pouring the result into popsicle makers. No added sugar.

Someone is currently making granola (with almond pieces- very appropriate for this week’s haftarah).


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