Author Topic: Fill the freezer & batch cooking  (Read 1319 times)

plainjane

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Fill the freezer & batch cooking
« on: April 24, 2018, 08:52:53 AM »
This is the companion to cooking all the food in your house. Sometimes it just feels really good to do a big batch of something and fill the freezer. This could be ingredients for future meals or full meal preparation. Also to celebrate new ways of using things you have made.

So I'm happy that this weekend tomatoes and bell peppers were on sale, and I spent the time to roast them up. Now I have vegetables in ziplocs that are easy to drop into dinners and lunches.

Also made 6 meals worth of pulled pork - using up pineapple juice leftover from making carrot cake, some more of the tamarind paste, and kecap manis - and 4 of them made it into the freezer.

50% off stewing beef was turned into a laksa curry, with 2 meals in the freezer and one eaten over the weekend.

Next up is a cauliflower. Undecided on whether to make roasted florets, or to boil it, blend and freeze in ice cube trays.

TheWifeHalf

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Re: Fill the freezer & batch cooking
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2018, 01:27:35 PM »
TheHusbandHalf sometimes works on the weekend, when the  cafeteria at at work is closed, so I like to have 'something' for him to take.
I just got finished with 6 lunch sized containers of chili and going to make beef stew tomorrow.

For the chili lately I've been buying cans of Tony Packo's chili mix, adding meat, more beans. and a lot of tomatoes.  Sure, I could make it cheaper, but I've never been able to get the same taste.

We just decided that our old girl dog, who's 15, eats better when  I put a bit of cooked chicken on her kibble, with some juices. Sure, she's spoiled, but she's the oldest and has seniority. So this week I'm cooking a bunch of chicken in the crock pot.

sparkytheop

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Re: Fill the freezer & batch cooking
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2018, 02:03:41 PM »
I do this in spurts.  If I have a bunch of eggs and bread I need to use up, I'll make up a bunch of French toast, cool it completely, then bag it and freeze (reheat by popping the frozen toast in the toaster).  I also do this whenever I make waffles, since it's easy just to make a bunch at once.

I love making a big pot of chili and then separating into smaller containers to freeze.  I'll do the same with meatloaf (cook in muffin tins for individual serving sizes), "lazy enchiladas" (all the ingredients for enchiladas, but layered like lasagna, cook, cut, and freeze in individual servings).

Another thing I do to save some time is to cook up a bunch of ground beef and then freeze it.  I can pull it out of the freezer and use for chili, tacos, shepherd's pie, etc, and cook something up quick when I'm tired.

Kind of goes with the batch cooking, but whenever I make pie crust or cornbread, I make up a bunch of "mixes" from the dry ingredients.  That way I can just dump a bag of the measured flour/sugar/salt/etc, add the wet ingredients, and have stuff all ready to go without having to pull out all the dry stuff and measuring it each time.

Dragonswan

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Re: Fill the freezer & batch cooking
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2018, 06:10:50 AM »
I love packing the stand alone freezer with meals as my days are long and I don't do sustenance cooking during the week. I always have thick tomato sauce on tap.  I use it in many things. I make pesto sauce; sometimes it goes into the tomato sauce and sometimes a cube gets turned into pesto mayo. I make cheese stuffed shells (with a pesto cube or two), lamb meatballs, chicken and broccoli/cauliflower casserole (adapted from Budget Bytes).  At least one type of soup; at the moment I'm in a low carb Zuppa Tuscana phase.  I also make muffin tin fritatatas as I leave so early in the morning I have to eat breakfast at work.

I also have a gourmet fussy BBQ sauce I make (like 15 ingredients) so I make 3-4 batches (each batch only services 1 rack of ribs).   It thickens as it cooks so I always use the whole batch. Now I had noticed that each batch gives a little extra sauce after roasting.  So the last couple of times I froze it until I could find a use for it and boy did I.  I made some meatloaf and instead of using my tomato sauce like I normally do, I used the leftover BBQ sauce.  I will never make it any other way again!  It was next level delicious. And the second loaf (wait for it) went in the freezer.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Fill the freezer & batch cooking
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2018, 06:39:33 AM »
I like to make a big ass meatloaf using hamburger and then a package of meatloaf meat mix. Add onions, dehydrated onions soup add bread crumbs, an egg and about a half a can of mushroom soup. I put the other half can of soup on the top of the meatloaf and spread it around. Then add some black pepper to the top. I have cooked in oven or crockpot. We usually have one dinner and then it is cut up into serving slices and frozen. Then, we also take a few slices and cut them into chunks for a future spaghetti sauce, then freeze. It makes a lot of dinners! I rewarm in a skillet with brown gravy.

plainjane

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Re: Fill the freezer & batch cooking
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2018, 06:39:59 AM »
I do this in spurts.  If I have a bunch of eggs and bread I need to use up, I'll make up a bunch of French toast, cool it completely, then bag it and freeze (reheat by popping the frozen toast in the toaster).  I also do this whenever I make waffles, since it's easy just to make a bunch at once.

[...]
Another thing I do to save some time is to cook up a bunch of ground beef and then freeze it.  I can pull it out of the freezer and use for chili, tacos, shepherd's pie, etc, and cook something up quick when I'm tired.

This french toast idea is very interesting, I've never heard of doing this before. Do you separate the toasts out before you freeze them with wax paper or something? How many toasts in a bag?

For the ground beef, best way to freeze it? Plastic bags? On a sheet tray and then into baggies? What size baggies?

Roadrunner53

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Re: Fill the freezer & batch cooking
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2018, 06:45:18 AM »
I would like to know how to make the French Toast for the freezer. Can you post your recipe?

I cook and freeze ground beef cooked with onions all the time. I have a vacuum sealer and use the largest bags which are about gallon size. If I didn't have a vac sealer, I would use gallon size ziplocks meant for freezing. They are a bit thicker. After placing on a sheet pan to freeze flat, I might consider wrapping the ziplock in foil to prevent freezer burn. The vac sealer bags are thicker thus preventing freezer burn. If you are using ziplocks make sure to press out as much air as possible. Air is not your foods friend. Air pockets is where the ice crystals seem to form.

kaypinkHH

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Re: Fill the freezer & batch cooking
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2018, 07:00:43 AM »
Loving the ideas for batch cooking, I like the idea of french toast! We have also frozen pancakes, good quick breakfast!

I tend to just make double/triple batches of normal meals and freeze them for later. Mr.HH just made a ton of pizza dough last night. We could now HAVE PIZZA FOR DAYS.

I've shared this on other threads but breakfast sliders have been our fav batch cooking success recently. They freeze/reheat really well and make a fancy breakfast on the week days.
https://tasty.co/recipe/breakfast-sliders


sparkytheop

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Re: Fill the freezer & batch cooking
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2018, 08:22:55 AM »
I do this in spurts.  If I have a bunch of eggs and bread I need to use up, I'll make up a bunch of French toast, cool it completely, then bag it and freeze (reheat by popping the frozen toast in the toaster).  I also do this whenever I make waffles, since it's easy just to make a bunch at once.

[...]
Another thing I do to save some time is to cook up a bunch of ground beef and then freeze it.  I can pull it out of the freezer and use for chili, tacos, shepherd's pie, etc, and cook something up quick when I'm tired.

This french toast idea is very interesting, I've never heard of doing this before. Do you separate the toasts out before you freeze them with wax paper or something? How many toasts in a bag?

For the ground beef, best way to freeze it? Plastic bags? On a sheet tray and then into baggies? What size baggies?

If you let them cool completely on a rack (you can stack them a little, like fallen dominoes), they won't stick together when you freeze them, so no need to separate pieces with anything.  I go through them fast enough that I just put the full loaf back in the bread bag (or a gallon ziplock freezer bag) and freeze it.  Pull out a couple slices at a time. 

When I'm ready to eat it, they might go two rounds in a toaster, or I'll set them in the toaster, give them 10 or so minutes to thaw, then heat them up.

I just do my regular recipe-- a few eggs, a little milk, cinnamon.  I usually add a little vanilla, nutmeg, and sometimes some sugar.  I can cook up a bunch at once by using a large griddle.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Fill the freezer & batch cooking
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2018, 08:36:02 AM »
Thanks for the French Toast information!

Dragonswan

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Re: Fill the freezer & batch cooking
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2018, 02:23:20 PM »
I like to make a big ass meatloaf using hamburger and then a package of meatloaf meat mix. Add onions, dehydrated onions soup add bread crumbs, an egg and about a half a can of mushroom soup. I put the other half can of soup on the top of the meatloaf and spread it around. Then add some black pepper to the top. I have cooked in oven or crockpot. We usually have one dinner and then it is cut up into serving slices and frozen. Then, we also take a few slices and cut them into chunks for a future spaghetti sauce, then freeze. It makes a lot of dinners! I rewarm in a skillet with brown gravy.
This sounds yummy too!