I know that I need to write a post here about using the crockpot to make cholent. One of my readers asked in the comments if I know how to make the crockpot or slow cooker actually work! The only tips I have so far are:
1. Make sure your lid fits tightly so that the water doesn't escape. If it doesn't, use some foil. I believe that in many Jewish cultures it was traditional to use dough to seal the pot lid.
2. Presoak or even precook your beans to be on the safe side!
3. If you are using onions (and you probably are!) make sure to precook those. Preferrably sauté them in oil, but if you are trying to eat very low fat, sauté in wine or stock before you put them in the pot.
I am taking additional suggestions. I have heard good things about Robin Robertson's book Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker, but I have not cooked from it yet!
I have researched the history of cholent, or hamin, in the past. This is the traditional stew that observant Jews set up to heat and finish cooking on Friday in order to have something hot for Saturday lunch. (Is that an accurate definition?) I am lucky though: instead of having to dig up my old notes, my friend and fellow anonymous Jewish blogger Kaspit has put up a very interesting post on the origins of cholent and their relationship to environmental regulations. This blog is a lot of fun! If you are reading and thinking, "I don't know if he's being silly and joking, or if he's saying something so brilliant that I can't understand it"--he's just like that in real life, and it's probably both. I am a bit jealous that there is a ready-made comic book superhero to fit his web personna. I couldn't find one for mine. Maybe this one:
This is from The Jewish Superhero Corps--this is Sabbath Queen. Looks just like me, kind of.