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Al on Kosher Dinners with No Beef

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2003 6:25 am    Post subject: Kosher or Pareve dinners with no beef ...

Hi

First off: Lamb is not necessarily too expensive for a college student's budget. A little shopping around, a little perusal of the, "Reduced for Immediate Sale" area, a store discount card, and some patience got me two really nice, big legs of lamb (twelve pounds or so, if I remember rightly) for five bucks.

Secondly, look at the non-traditional foods available to you: Vegetables are usually/mostly pareve (neutral) in the milchig/fleishig confrontations.

bulletA big bowl of vegan chile should go a long way towards making your campers happy. Just don't tell them that there's no meat in it, or use ground turkey.
bulletTofu is a purely vegetable product: roast, pan fried, deep-fat fried, stewed, you name it. It picks up the flavors of the foods it's cooked with, so use strong flavors and lots of texture and color to keep things interesting. 
bulletCelery root is tasty and flexible. Strips for a salad, cubes for boiling and maybe mashing.
bulletTurnips and rutabagas. Boiled and mashed with butter, cream, salt and pepper, or oil 'em, salt 'em and roast 'em. Hey! Don't knock it until you've TRIED it!
bulletNever underestimate the power of a potato. A nice latke is a thing that ANYone would enjoy with a meal. Fried, it goes as a side-dish with almost everything. Try chopping it into 1" cubes, deep-frying it, then mixing it in a salad or some steamed cabbage or spinach to give them some body. Cut it into spears, oil, salt and pepper them, then roast the results.

And cheese, although VERY milchig, can be a nice source of protein...
bulletAB's mac-and-cheese, in either of its incarnations (Hmm - incarnations - that would be meat: inlechtations??), is a really fine meal. As a main dish, with a big salad, or a side to a nice piece of broiled fish, you're in business.
bulletThat potato, from above, baked, with butter, salt, pepper and cheese, it's a nice milchig meal for Jew and (just to offend as many people as possible) goy alike.
bulletGrilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup is a cold-night classic.
bulletCut the cheese into strips, batter it and fry it. Yum.
bulletWrap a nice, young, firm brie in puffed pastry and bake. Slice like cheese cake and it's main-course munchies. Scoop out of the middle, and it's hors d'oeuvre for the next party.

Don't forget fish. Fried, steamed, baked, poached... heck - even RAW. Get it FRESH, and cook it when you get home. I've seen stuff like turbot (requires special cooking - be careful) for less than a buck a pound recently. Of course, it may have been kind of old, and reduced to sell it off more quickly... <<sigh>> I got a half of a salmon filet the other day: Three or four people's worth for $7.

Chicken and duck aren't the ONLY things you'll find in the store. This may not be the season for it, but, later on in a couple of months, sneak turkey back into the rotation. A small turkey breast is a nice thing to have in the freezer.

Also: Mix and match: Baked potato, topped with that veggie chile. You know how to make a nice cheese sauce, right, from the mac-and-cheese? Try that cheese sauce on a nice fluffy baked potato!! Broiled fish with boiled celery root. Roast that turkey breast on a bed of speared potatoes, sliced turnips and cut rutabagas.

I don't know how much help this is to you, but heck: It's made ME hungry!

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2003 5:21 am    Post subject: Kosher soups ...

Hi

saintstryfe wrote:
Moose wrote:
I am also curious to know whether this ban will affect the availability of oxtails. Maybe the intestinal lining is exempt from the ban. Anybody know if collagen is kosher?

BTW, glad to see you posting more. The missus and the Gang of Two say hi!

Moose


it isn't. Collagen breaks down into gelatin, which is the thing that's banned in Kosher. I can't use stock in a lot of my cooking as a result due to feeding a kosher eater.

Nearly every recipe for kosher soups I've read entails whole chickens (with bones) or beef marrowbones, followed by long simmering.

That's a stock if ever I heard of one.

Gelatin, as such, like Jell-O and Knox, isn't kosher because of how it's produced, I think: beef hooves and bones, mostly, but MAY ALSO contain bones and hide from ANY animal slaughtered for food.

bulletBeef: Hind quarters of a beef have to be specially treated to remove a nerve (sciatic nerve, maybe?), its blood vessels and some kinds of fat, and it's a pretty time-consuming and expensive process, so it's usually bypassed and the hind quarters are sold to butchers selling to us non-Jews. Since you can't trace a hoof back to the leg, and on back to the needed nerve-removal, and since anything non-kosher TOUCHING something kosher makes it non-kosher (pretty much forever, too, but there is a re-koshering process that you can use on SOME things...), the gelatin and Jell-O are considered non-kosher.

bulletNon-beef: Pork, Ok? 'Nuff said.

Jell-O even marks some of its product with a kosher mark! I dunno who the certifying authority is, though, nor how they get away with it. They also make a vegan gelling agent, which should be either kosher or pareve, if you REALLY need to have a jelly-jiggley, cold, transparent dessert for your seder.

Mmm - celery-horse-radish Jell-O and apikomen! YUM!!

If you make your OWN stocks, from kosher beef or chicken, and keep to the other rules (Mmmm-MM! Cream of Chicken soup, right?? Ranks right up there with the cheese-burger and breaded pork tenderloin), you should be allowed to use it.

Check with a local rabbi, though. Just give a call and say that you're preparing meals for a Jewish friend, and would like to keep as close to kosher as you possibly can. If he doesn't shake off his phylacteries, laughing, he can probably give you the real word.

Kosher is a large undertaking in all phases and tools of slaughter, handling, storage, preparation, consumption and cleanup, with strict separation of meat and milk, as well as a MESS of rules that can't be explained as easily. One house I know of has two DISHWASHERS. Kosher homes with only ONE dishwasher sometimes use separate dish racks, and run the washer empty between loads of dishes.

Face it: If you EVER fried a pork chop in that kitchen, you're not keeping kosher.

I admire you for going the distance in trying to though, and your local rabbi probably will, as well.

Don't limit your choices even MORE by not checking things out.

Of course, the ultimate authority on what your roomie will or will not put down his gefilte-fish hole is your ROOMIE. If he/she has a thing about simmering kosher bones, then you're well and truly... uhhh... BONED. Check with the rabbi, though, and have your duckies all in a row before you ask.

A simple, "well - your rabbi said it was Ok," might just turn the tide in your favor.

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Last Edited: 08/27/2010