Some people make big, elaborate meals for Shabbat and enjoy making one thing every day in preparation for the Friday festivities. Others (like myself), prefer the Thursday-night or Friday-morning whirl of activity.
For those interested, I have found the following formula for making a yummy, nutritious Shabbat in no time flat -- even with a whole pile of guests coming!
It goes something like this:
Friday Night Menu
Soup (chicken or vegetable)
Roast potatoes and onions
Spicy string beans
Shabbat Day Menu
Soup (from Friday night)
Teriyaki chicken and roasted veggies
In an hour?? Well, kind of...
Challah -- I use Meira's Famous Challah recipe -- never fails, and people love it! We even auctioned off eight loaves at a fund-raising auction for the shul, and it brought in a tidy sum). I make enough for two weeks at a time. Or, buy some at your local kosher bakery, warm up a loaf before Shabbat for the Friday night meal, and it tastes practically homemade.
(Okay, so I didn't include baking your own challah in the hour, but who's counting?)
Wine and grape juice and other beverages -- a good thing to ask guests to bring, or include it in your grocery shopping.
Soup -- I alternate between chicken soup and vegetable soup, depending on whether our guests are vegetarians or not.
1 chicken, skinned, cut in tenths (have your butcher do this)
chicken soup powder (1 or 2 pkgs.)
Start with a large pot of boiling water, add everything, spice it up with some salt, garlic, and parsley flakes (to taste). Cook FOREVER, simmering on low. I start it Friday morning, add matzah balls in the afternoon (use the boxed mix, it's great!), skim the fat from the top occasionally, and by Friday night, voila! I always make a big potful, and keep it on the stove all Friday night and serve it the next day for lunch. It gets even tastier and takes on a darker look. Even the matzah balls are better on Shabbat day!
4 packages dried soup mix (comes in long clear plastic-tube packages). Any kind will do, lima bean, barley, vegetable... you can have any, or combine them
sweet potatoes, peeled
2 handfuls of oatmeal
Add everything to a big pot of boiling water and simmer all day Friday. The oatmeal helps make this soup very thick. Add salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.
You can also serve this Friday night (great with homemade whole-wheat challah), keep it on the stove, and serve the next day for lunch. It's a hit, even if you're not vegetarian!
1-2 chickens, skinned and cut in tenths
1 jar of duck sauce (sweet-and-sour, or hot-and-spicy)
1 can of peach slices (or pineapple rings)
Place chickens in a roasting pan (make sure your butcher skins and cuts them for you, a real time-saver!). Sprinkle with spices. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F. (175 degrees C.) for one hour. Uncover, pour on sauce, continue baking another 30 minutes or so, basting occasionally until golden brown. Remove from oven, place fruit on top. Yummm!
"Spicy String Beans"
1-1 1/2 lbs. string beans
1-2 dash garlic powder
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. minced onion
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. thyme (or allspice)
2 Tbsp. oil
Break string beans into 1-inch pieces. Put all ingredients into a medium-sized pot. Cover and cook over medium heat 20 minutes or until tender. Good hot or cold. Serves 6 to 8. If serving Friday night, don't forget to undercook them because of the warming period.
"Leora's Roast Potatoes and Onions"
paprika garlic powder
Cut up lots of potatoes (leave skins on) and onions and place in a large oiled pan. Sprinkle liberally with spices. Bake uncovered for about an hour, stirring occasionally until golden brown.
"Shabbat Day Teriyaki Chicken and Veggies"
1-2 chickens, skinned and cut in tenths
Place vegetables in large chunks at the bottom of a roasting pan. Put pieces of chicken on top, and sprinkle liberally with spices. Shake on teriyaki sauce (comes in a bottle), and squeeze a little bit of ketchup over it all. Cover and cook for 30 minutes at 350° F (175° C).
Then place the covered chicken in the oven at 200° F (100° C), where it will remain overnight. Halachically, you must set the oven on a timer, so the oven will go ‘off’ a few minutes before you’re ready to take out the chicken the next day. You may not open the oven prior to that time.
Serve the chicken on a platter and the vegetables in a large bowl. Pour some juices over the chicken. Serve with a salad. It's a whole meal!
When pressed for time, try one or all of these:
- Have a guest bring dessert from a kosher bakery.
- Serve a nondairy "ice cream" in pretty dishes and pour some liqueur on top.
- Serve it all with a tray of dried fruit, candies, and dark chocolate.
Putting It All Together
Friday morning (or Thursday night):
- Your challah has been bought, or you take the loaves you baked earlier in the week out of the freezer.
- Put the water on for your soup. Preheat the oven for the chicken and potatoes.
- Make your Shabbat Day Teriyaki Chicken, cutting up extra carrots and onions that you will use in your soup. (Takes about 10 minutes to put together.) Put the pan in the fridge, because you will put it in later that day before Shabbat begins.
- Water should be boiling, so add chicken and veggies for chicken soup (or veggie soup mixes and veggies for vegetable soup). Cover and simmer all day.
- Make roasted potatoes and onions (takes another 10 minutes because you leave the skins on, also more nutritious). Pop into oven, which is now hot.
- Make Duck Sauce Chicken (takes 5 minutes), put in oven too.
- Now snap together the Spicy String Beans, cook them now, or wait until just before Shabbat.
- Green salad ... and you're done!!
Adapted from "Friday Night and Beyond" by Lori Palatnik (Jason Aronson Pub.)