A reader asked me how she can cook for Shabbat in two hours or less. I referred her to my tips for winter Fridays. Today I’ll describe what I actually do most weeks.
The biggest revelation for me was that I could serve the same thing both on Friday night and Shabbat morning. My kids are all happy with chicken and potatoes, so I make up a tray of cut-up chicken (my husband usually does that chore) for the oven and fill the pressure cooker with potatoes, which I scrub and don’t peel. If sweet potatoes are in season I add some, leaving them whole because they cook faster than white potatoes.
I don’t bake every week. I try to make a double batch of challah early in the week and freeze it. This week I made it on Friday, but I try to avoid that even though the taste is superior. Sometimes I roll out a piece of the challah dough for cake, spreading it with a thin layer of oil, cocoa powder or cinnamon, and sugar. You can add raisins, nuts or fruit, then roll it up like a jelly roll. Challah and/or cake is one convenience that I buy when I am short on time. With a big family, though, those expenses add up. Often one of my teens is happy to make a cake.
I always serve chicken soup on Friday night. If I don’t have a container frozen from a previous week, I use the neck or wings from a whole chicken. Since the family prefers dark meat I started putting the breast in the soup, removing it when it fully cooked and saving it for another recipe. Making soup involves peeling and cutting vegetables so it helps if some can be done in advance.
Appetizer for lunch is always cut melon or grapefruit, depending on the season, and we always have a fresh salad.
For seudah shlishit, the third sabbath meal in the afternoon, I’ll serve the side dishes or make a salad from the leftover potatoes. Otherwise we’ll have tuna, or cottage cheese in the summer.
That’s my basic menu. Time-permitting, or if I have company, I add techina, chumus, bulgur, or another cooked vegetable or salad. It’s a little low on vegetables, so I try to make up for that the rest of the week.
When you are planning don’t forget that washing dishes, cleaning and setting up for Shabbat can be time-consuming, especially if you have kids underfoot. So start early and remember that people get hungry on Fridays too.
If you enjoyed this post you might also like:
Keep the Heat Out of Your Kitchen This Shabbat (see the update at the end)
Putting Quick Meals Together (CookingManager.Com)
Pressure Cookers for Quick, Tasty and Frugal Meals (CookingManager.Com)