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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

freezeriffic

On an entirely different note, I can't wait until we can get a spare standing freezer. I saw this fantastic-looking recipe on the Food Network over the weekend, and it and a few others I have in mind are perfect for freezing. I plan to either go to the restaurant supply store (there's one down the street!) or look online and get some disposable aluminum baking dishes of various sizes with sealable lids so that I can prepare dishes and then freeze them pre-baked. Plus, I'll be able to freeze things like fresh strawberries and cubes of pesto (that may be going a little overboard, considering my general lack of aptitude for productivity). Right now, we have just a regular above-the-fridge freezer, which is crammed full all the time, so there's no room for big containers full of pre-made meals and the like.

I did try my plan out in miniature the other day, though: I was grilling chicken breasts for fajitas, and instead of the usual two, I went ahead and grilled four and stuck the extra pair in a tupperware container in the freezer (crammed it in under the ice cream, barely had room for the bagels!). Then, several days later, I came home on a busy, stressful weeknight, pulled the grilled breasts out of the freezer and defrosted them in the microwave while I boiled some pasta, then chopped them up and threw them into a baking dish with the pasta, a jar of alfredo sauce, and some shredded cheese (I keep shredded mozzarella and cheddar in giant ziploc bags in the freezer at all times, we heart cheese). Threw it in the oven for ten minutes at 400 and dinner was ready. So easy! And almost no extra dishes! I love it. I can't wait to do it on a larger scale. A couple of extra minutes on the weekend or a free day, and I'll have practically instant food for those nights (read: all of them) when we are busy, stressed out, and exhausted. And so much cheaper than going to Let's Dish (although I still think it would be fun).

Don says that once the downstairs subfloors are in and we stop throwing things through the floor into the basement, I can get my big freezer. Yay!

Got any good freezing recipes? I've found that most of what I've been coming up with are pasta dishes, although YNL's pre-marinated chicken variations are awesome.

5 comments:

quietnightwing said...

You don't need the foil pans - they do better if you bake them in the large pan, divide it up into serving sizes, and put them in those Glad type containers. Sometimes if you bake items in smaller dishes, they get over done.

Right now my freezer is full of serving size containers of chicken tangine, eggplant lasagna, venison chili, chili verde, and buffalo potroast - each with the number of fat grams obsessively written on the side.

I don't suppose you want the recipe for buffalo pot roast.

Jamaila said...

Well, I don't want to pre-cook the stuff like you do -- I want to assemble it and have it ready to cook, in its large (or largish, since it's just the two of us) pan.

And no, I don't eat ENDANGERED MEAT!! ;)

Jordana said...

Most soups freeze well. When I cook those, I freeze leftovers for fast lunches.

Meatloaf also is a good one. I make two and freeze one in a silicone loaf pan. Once it is hard, I pop it out of the loaf pan. When I want to cook it, it still requires planning ahead a day to defrost, but then I can just pop it in the oven and have it done without any extra work.

Kate said...

Hello, I'm here via LibraryThing.
I've heard good things about Saving Dinner and their Mega Menu Mailer which works like that. I've got her basic book and the receipes I've tried have been lovely (but unfortunately the price differences are so big between the US and UK on certain things, which makes them non-cheap for me).
I love your blog by the way, makes me long for a place of my own.

Jamaila said...

Yay, a LibraryThinger! I love that place. Thanks for reading! I'll have to check out Saving Dinner.