The only strategy that I know of with cholent is to make it hot, goopy, meaty, and savory.
Cholent is a beef stew typically eaten for Shabbat lunch.
Basic ingredients: beans, barely, potatoes, fatty fanken meat, sometimes a kishka is thrown in, onions and other veggies, salt, pepper, and lots of savory spices.
Usually it cooks in a crock pot overnight.
The sephardim call this dish Hamin (instead of cholent) and typically put in some hard-boiled eggs as well.
With cholent, you can essentially throw in the kitchen sink as long as it add to the heartiness and flavor of the dish.
Eating cholent is such a tradition that it is almost considered a special mitzvah to do it. Ah, would that make it commandment #614?
When cholent is served at the kiddish (the meal after Shabbat services in synagogue), it is usually the highlight where everybody gathers around with big laddles to dig in and get the nice portions of meat bopping around in the stew or often sunken to the very bottom to be found and surfaced by the lucky lunch patrons.
In New York, my friends used to have a running joke that there was a secret ingredient the Rebetzin used to make it so good–what it was, all bets were on.
The biggest problem with cholent are the loads of beans (“the musical food”) and the most unpleasant odor-filled aftereffects–and of this we will not speak again!
What type of game can you play with cholent? You can probably just toot out the answer when you’re ready. 😉
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)