Monday, January 12, 2009

Cook for a Day!

Its a really good thing I like my kitchen, cause I sure spend a lot of time there!

18 more meals in my freezer! :) Yeah! I spent all of yesterday cooking and prepping for more meals to go in my freezer. I was asked for my recipes and so here they are! I will also try to tell you how I put them all together since many were modified for the freezer etc.

Jaimey's Chili
modified from the Aaron's Favorite Chili
From this book

this is a double-ish recipe from the original. Serves 28-30

3 lbs mixed ground meats- I used 1lb each of grnd beef, turkey and italian sausage
2 green peppers- chopped
2 onions- chopped
4 (16 oz) cans corn- drained
4 (32 oz) cans crushed tomatoes- I used some italian some plain. What I had on hand.
8 (16 oz) cans kidney beans drained- I used 4 chili beans
(in chili sauce not drained) and 4 kidney beans
4 T chili powder
4 T ground cumin

In a large stock pot (used my canning pot) cook meats , onions and peppers all together. Add all other ingredients. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for as long as you want or at least one hour. I did mine for about 3-4 hours. I like all my ingredients well flavored.

We ate this last night for dinner and then froze the rest. To Freeze, let cool. Ladle in to freezer-safe bags or containers and freeze. I use quart ziplocks, squeeze all the air out then put that and a 3 x 5 recipe/ direction card of how to reheat in a Food Saver Bag. Suck out all the air and freeze flat so it stacks well. Makes 5 quart size bags and day of meal. So 6 meals of 4.

Heat and Eat Instructions: Thaw overnight in frig. Pour into a saucepan; heat over medium heat until hot and bubbly.

Chicken Enchiladas
this is about the tastiest white sauce I have ever had! Extras are great on a quesadilla too!
From this book
this is doubled from the original

2 onions- chopped
1 cup green pepper- I used red cause I had it
4 T butter or marg
4 cups cooked chicken or turkey - I used turkey cause I had extra frozen from the last time
8 oz canned green chili peppers, chopped and drained
6 T butter or marg
1/2 cup flour
2 t ground coriander
1 1/2 t. salt
5 cups chicken broth
2 cups sour cream
3 cups Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
24 6 inch tortillas- I used the taco size flour ended up being about 17 enchiladas or 3 pans of 5 and two extra for a friend.

Cooking day instructions:
1. Cook onion and green pepper in 4T butter until tender. Combine onion mixture in a bowl with chicken and chili peppers; set aside.
2. For sauce, melt 6 T butter in a large sauce pan. Stir in flour, coriander and salt. Stir in chicken broth all at once; cook and stir until thicken and bubbly. Cook and stir 1-2 minutes more. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream and 1 cup of cheese. Stir 1 cup of sauce into chicken mixture.
3. Dip each tortilla into remaining sauce to soften. (I tried this with corn tortillas but they just broke all to crap no matter what I did so I scrapped that and used the flour and didn't dip- might have been cause I froze them previously) Fill each with about 1/4-1/2 cup of mixture. Roll up. Arrange rolls in a lined baking dish for freezing.
4. Pour remaining mixture sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Freeze.

I used one of those tin disposable pans sprayed with canola. Then I put that in a gallon Zip lock and once frozen into a food saver with the recipe/ direction card.

Heat and Eat Instructions: Thaw completely. Bake uncovered at 350 for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Creamy Basil Pork Chops
From this book, doubled

In two, 1 quart bags place:
2 T olive oil
4 pork chops
4 t. minced garlic

In two sandwich bags place:
1 T. olive oil
2 T chopped Basil (I used dried- I never use fresh, goes bad too fast)
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

In two sandwich bags place:
1/3 cup heavy cream

Place one of all three bags in two 1 gallon bags and a recipe card. (so in each gallon bag: a bag of pork, a bag of spices and a bag of cream) I put those small bags in a food saver bag for freezing.
Freeze at flat as possible.

Cooking Day Directions:
1. Thaw completely. In a large skillet, heat pork, garlic and oil. Saute for 6-8 minutes per side,
until brown on both sides.
2. Meanwhile, mix the bag of oil and spices.
3. add to skillet a few minutes before pork is done. Be sure to coat pork evenly.
4. When pork is cooked through, remove from pan and keep warm
5. Whisk the cream into the pan drippings for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, until the sauce thickens slightly. Pour the sauce over the cooked pork and serve immediately.

*Disclaimer- have not tried this recipe yet. You could use chicken too.

Honey- Cinnamon Pork Chops with Carrots
From this book- doubled

In two, 1 gallon bags place:
1 bag (16 oz) frozen slices carrots
4 boneless pork chops, rinsed and patter dry
salt and pepper (I did about a 1/2 t. each)
1 can condensed tomato soup
1 T. cinnamon
1/3 cup honey

In a sandwich bag place:
2 T. shelled pistachios, chopped
1/4 cup raisins
For Garnish.

Cooking Day instructions:
moosh all ingredients in large bag then place in a 5 qrt crock pot. cook on low for 4-5 hours.
when done place raisins and pistachios on top for garnish.

Pecan "Stuffing" Chicken Breasts
From this book also- doubled

8 T. butter (could use a little less)
2 celery stalks- chopped
2 small onions- minced
2 1/2 t. salt- divided
4 cups crumbled toast (8 slices)
2 cups pecans- chopped
2 t. parley flakes
1/2 cup water
8 chicken breasts

Prep directions:
In a large skillet, melt butter and cook celery, onion, 1/2 of the salt and pepper until tender. stir in crumbled toast, chopped pecans, parsley flakes and 1/2 cup water. let cool.

In two, 1 gallon bags place:
cooled stuffing mixture
4 chicken breasts
other half salt and pepper

place those gallon bags in another gallon bag or food saver bag with recipe/direction card. freeze as flat as possible.

Cooking Day Instructions:
Thaw completely. Place all ingredients in the bag into a foil lined baking dish (or Demarle mold like this that I did) and bake 400 degrees for 20 minutes covered, 20 minutes uncovered or until chicken is cooked and tender. Stir as necessary.

Carmelized Pork Slices (I did Chops)
From this book- doubled

In two, quart bags place:
4 pork chops
2 t. minced garlic

In two, sandwich bags place:
2 T. packed brown sugar
1 T orange juice
1 T molasses
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper

Place both in a freezer or food saver bag with recipe/direction card. Freeze as flat as possible.

Cooking Day Instructions:
Thaw completely. Cook pork and garlic in skillet 6-8 minutes each side for chops, or total if doing slices turning occasionally, until pork is slightly pink in center.
Drain if necessary. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook until mixture thickens and coats pork.

Cranberry Chicken
From this book again- doubled

In two, 1 gallon bags place:
8 oz Catalina dressing
1 pkg dry onion soup mix
1 lb can whole- berry cranberry sauce (I used homemade cause I had cranberries to use up)
4 chicken breasts

squish to mix together.
place those bags in a second freezer bag or food saver bag. Freeze as flat as possible.

Serving Day Instructions:
Thaw completely. Place chicken with sauce in greased baking dish, and bake uncovered at 350 for 1-1 1/2 hours.

Helpful Hints:
1. make sure you sqeeze out as much air as possible out of all bags. they freeze better and keep longer and save space that way
2. If you don't have a food saver, its fine, use a second freezerbag. If you plan to make meals to freeze long term or a lot of meals I highly reccomend the Food Saver. I have never had a problem with freezer burn with those bags but I have with double ziplocks.
3. Once you do a day of cooking or however many you do. Its easy to maintain. If you make a meal from scratch (or fake scratch) just make a double or triple batch and freeze the uneaten portions. You will always have a freezer stock this way.
4. Always freeze your meals flat so they take up less space and are easy to get back out. I just tossed one in when I ran out of time and it was wedged in between some stuff, it took forever to get it out of there.

Good luck! Most recipes can be accomodated to freezing. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Amy H said...

Jaimey, your kitchen is beautiful. What a blessing!
I like your recipes. I will have to try some of them!