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Laura Frankel, executive chef at Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering in Chicago, explains the importance of the crock pot in traditional Jewish holiday cuisine. “It’s a paradox that part of the enjoyment of keeping the Sabbath is eating a hot meal. Yet you cannot turn on your stove and cook a hot meal,” she tells The Recipe Box host Barbara Howard. “In the old days in Europe and all throughout the Middle East, people arrived at the same solution, which was a long-cooked meal. So Jews will frequently make what’s called the cholent, or Sabbath stew, and put it in a slow cooker. But before the days of slow cookers, they’d take it to the Christian bakerys—which had fires going 24/7—then pick it up on the way home from the synagogues,” adds the author of Jewish Cooking for All Seasons. “I personally use my slow cooker every day of the week. It’s good to brown your food the night before putting it in the slow cooker. That gives it its rich brown color and hearty caramelized taste.”
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