Suggestions for Make-and-Freeze Foods?

Discussion in 'Dancers Anonymous' started by Peaches, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Every year when it starts getting cooler, I get a very strong urge to start making huge batches of stuff and freezing it. Don't know why, but I do...seems to run in the family.

    So far on my list of stuff to make and freeze: lentil soup, split pea soup, chili, meatloaf, pasta sauce, meatballs, braciola, mahogany chicken, taco filling, and beef stroganoff.

    What else can I make and freeze in small containers (2-3 servings)? Recipes not necessary, but if you want to supply one, I won't complain. :D

    Thanks, peeps!
     
  2. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    "yiouvarlakia" freeze brilliantly... they are walnut-sized greek rice-meatballs that you boil in a tomato paste-butter broth, then finish with a froth of egg & lemon. you freeze them before they're boiled. one would never know they'd been frozen...

    this is a MAJOR wintertime comfy food, and a family favorite. in a big bowl with some great fresh bread and a glass of wine... DREAMY.
     
  3. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    beef stew, lasagne...or stuffed shells might be easier to "portion control", chicken parm.
     
  4. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Oh, thanks for the reminder. Lasagna and mac and cheese are staples.
     
  5. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    shepards's pie...or what everyone else calls shepard's pie...

    Mashed potatoes with egg to help bind. Grease baking dish, and put thin layer of potatoes (sides and bottom)./ Add your filling. IN my case it is ground beef with olives, nuts...etc..) and then cover up with thin layer of potato. Can put stuff on top to decorate. One can use other fillings, or even use some sort of pastry crust to substitute the potato if that's not your cup of tea.
     
  6. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Do you freeze it before or after baking it, Sagitta? (I'm assuming it gets baked after...cooking isn't my strong point.)
     
  7. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    And you make all that stuff! I have normally baked, had some and frozen the leftovers. The issue here is that the crispiness of the crust may be lost. Forgot to mention that after oiling baking pan I dust with bread crumbs, and often sprinkle bread crumbs on the top. That way after baking there is the crispy crust. I usually have the defrosted shepard's pie cold as I'm lazy so don't know if the crispiness is retained.
     
  8. tj

    tj New Member

    Most of those pasta sauces seem to freeze pretty well. Nuke it while the noodles are cooking.
     
  9. tj

    tj New Member

    Hey question for you (and everyone else feel free to chime in here) - what do you do for your taco filling? Can't say I've ever been happy with mine, which have mostly been my trying those 'kits' or the pre-made spice mixtures.
     
  10. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I'm no help. I just brown ground beef, and then follow the direction on the back of one of those "taco filling" spice packets. You know, the ones with waaaaaaay too much sodium? I usually double the amount of ground beef that their "recipe" calls for, though, otherwise it's too strong.

    Ditto with chili. Ground beef, some tomato stuff, some beans, and a seasoning packet. If I'm feeling creative I'll add some red/green pepper chunks and some onions...but that (along with the beans) annoys DH.

    Does anyone know if onions freeze well? I always buy peppers when they're in season and cut, freeze, and bag them. Would be really nice if I could get away with doing the same thing to onion pieces.
     
  11. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    i make it from scratch... love tacos!

    in addition to the regular starting saute of meat, onions, and garlic, i include chopped green pepper, sugar, cocoa, cumin, chili powder, white vinegar, S & P, and water...
     
  12. DWise1

    DWise1 Well-Known Member

    Peaches, I'm pretty sure that I've seen packets of frozen chopped onion being sold, so I would think so. Google on freeze onion for more info; eg, at http://www.onions-usa.org/about/faq.asp:
    I'll often freeze chopped extras as ingredients for my next big batch of beef vegetable soup. Even though they will have lost their texture from freezing, that shouldn't matter much since they'd lose it from cooking anyway. For example, my soup calls for chopped cabbage, the quantity of which is about a quarter of a head. Since I have no other use for cabbage, 3/4 of the head would go to waste (being both Scottish and Schwabish, I don't like to waste anything) so I finish quartering it, then chop and bag each quarter and freeze them for future batches of soup.


    Though I'll have to admit to often using granulated onion instead of chopping one fresh. For one thing, I don't like onion unless it's well cooked into the food. For another, there are some recipes, such as when I cook up a batch of frijoles, where I really don't want to have chunks of onion mixed in regardless of how well cooked it is.
     
  13. tj

    tj New Member

    Re: Pre-made spice mixtures - yeah, I completely agree about the too much sodium thing.

    Re: taco meat from scratch
    Cocoa & sugar? Wow, I would've never have thought to try that. Does it make a big difference?

    Re: freezing onions
    In addition to what Dwise has said, I'll vouch for freezing cooked/browned chopped onions. Have made a dish or two in the past where I wanted to add onion, but only had one of those ginormous ones available. So I chopped & cooked the whole thing and froze about 2/3rds of it. Was fine the next time I wanted to add some onions to a dish.
     
  14. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Oooh, great idea. Thank you. (Especially since I've got a couple sitting around right now, and we never feel like taking the time to brown them nicely when we want them.)
     
  15. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    I'm getting really hungry reading about all of these "comfort" foods!
     
  16. tj

    tj New Member

    Oh, one more thing learned about freezing chopped onions - be careful of clumping. Either put them into smaller portions using plastic wrap, or maybe just put them into separate ziplock bags.
     
  17. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Clumping?

    Usually when I freeze chunks of stuff I spread it out on wax paper on baking sheets and put them in the freezer. Then when they're all frozen I dump them into a ziploc bag. Works for everything.
     
  18. tj

    tj New Member

    Talking about comfort foods - one of my issues is with reheating a single portion. Do any of you size out portions as you know you'll reheat them? (i.e. if you're cooking for one, single size portions, or family size for the whole family)

    There are dishes that get overcooked if you have to reheat them more than once. And while I don't necessarily mind overcooked rice or pasta, I do prefer slightly al dente (dunno what the rice equivalent term is, but you get the drift, right?)
     
  19. tj

    tj New Member

    Oh, very good! Great idea!

    Hmm... I bet I don't have enough freezer space to do this initial freezing however... :(
     
  20. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    tj, I size out everything into single portions, do my cooking on weekends. Will do a big batch, size it out into gladware/ziploc/whatever (Love these semi-disposable plastic containers) and then freeze it. Generally pull out couple days ahead of time and let thaw in fridge. Besides being easier and saving me time, also makes me less likely to overeat.
     

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