Our third cooking club meeting will be making the following:
Freezer-Friendly Brown Bag Burritos from Money-Saving Mom -brown 1 lb. ground beef with 2 T. diced onions, drain. Add 1 can refried beans, 1 can enchilada sauce, 1/4 c. water, 1 T. chili powder, 2 t. cumin, and 1 t. oregano. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20-30 min. Place 1/4 cup of the meat mixture and 2 T. cheese in each tortilla and fold into a burrito. Make 10. Wrap each burrito in foil, then place in a freezer bag. To prepare later: Place foil-wrapped burritos in an oven at 350F for 30 minutes.
Salsa Chicken from 6 Cents-In each bag, place 1 chicken breast per person, 1 can black beans, 1/2 bag frozen corn, 1 can diced tomatoes, 2-3 t. green chilies, if desired, 1/2 jar salsa, 1 T. chili powder, 2 t. cumin, 1 t. oregano. Freeze. Later, cook in the crockpot on low for 8 hours. We will be making 2 of these.
Hawaiian Chicken Sandwiches from 6 Cents-Place the following in a freezer bag: 1 chicken breast per person, 1 cup chicken broth, 1 can pineapple rings, 1 red pepper (cut into strips), 1/2 large onion (cut into strips). Freeze. Later, place in a crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours. Serve on buns with provolone cheese.
Honey Sesame Pork Tenderloin from “The Everything Freezer Meals Cookbook by Candace Anderson Pork tenderloin will be browned on all sides, brushed with ginger, garlic, and soy sauce and baked. Brush with honey, brown sugar, cayenne pepper and soy sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and flash freeze. To prepare later, defrost and bake uncovered at 350F for 20-30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes, then slice.
Shrimp Pesto from “The Everything Freezer Meals Cookbook by Candace Anderson-I am increasing the amount of shrimp to 1 lb and using cooked cocktail shrimp. Cook 1 lb. pasta. Saute 1 chopped onion in 2T olive oil for 5-10 minutes. Add 3 minced garlic cloves and saute 1 min. Toss pasta, onion, garlic, & 1 diced tomato. Add 3-4 T. pesto to lightly cover. Place in a freezer bag. When preparing, I will thaw the shrimp at the same time, remove the tails, and add to the pasta. Heat the mixture in a saucepan over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes.
It’s time to prepare for our second cooking club gathering. This time we will make the following recipes:
Manicotti from “Fix, Freeze, Feast” by Kati Neville and Lindsay Tkacsik – The original recipe makes 4 entrees. I am halving it to make only 2 entrees, so divide between 2 baking dishes or pair up with a friend. 2 entrees-worth of filling has only 1 egg, so the ingredients are difficult to halve again. We are going to pair up and share the filling. Mix 24 oz. cottage cheese, 1 egg, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 1/4 t. salt, and 1/4 t. pepper. Stuff into uncooked manicotti shells, using fingers, spoon, or piping from a plastic bag. Spread 1/2 cup of spaghetti sauce into the bottom of each 8″ square baking dish. Place 6-7 manicotti in each dish. Place another 2 1/2 cups of sauce over the top of the manicotti. Wrap with plastic wrap, then foil and freeze. After it has thawed, remove the foil and plastic wrap, replace foil, and bake at 350F for 45 minutes. You can also bake this directly from the freezer for 1 hour. If you will need the pan for another use while this is in the freezer, first line the pan with plastic wrap and after the entree has frozen. remove it from the pan and freeze in a plastic storage bag.
Shrimp Creole – Saute onion and bell pepper. Add garlic and saute. Add remaining ingredients except shrimp and remove from heat. Pour into a freezer bag and freeze. Keep shrimp frozen separately. After it’s thawed, put bag of veggies and sauce and shrimp into a saucepan. Simmer for 20 minutes. Serve with rice.
Italian Lemon Chicken – Place chicken in a freezer bag. Combine the rest of the ingredients and pour over chicken. Freeze. After thawing, prepare using your favorite method-bake, grill, or place in a crockpot.
Layered Enchilada Casserole – Everyone will bring cooked chicken and assemble their lasagna with black beans, Sante Fe Cooking Creme, tomatoes, cheese and tortillas. This can also be made meatless by using extra beans or veggies. Instead of chicken, feel free to try this with cooked beef or pork.
Royal Thai Thighs, from “Fix, Freeze, Feast” by Kati Neville and Lindsay Tkacsik – Place 2 lbs of chicken pieces of your choice into a freezer bag. Whisk together 2 chopped scallions, 1/4 cup hoisin sauce, 2 T. peanut butter, 2 T. water, 1 T. soy sauce, 1 T. toasted sesame oil, 1 T. lemon juice, 2 t. minced garlic, 2 t. minced ginger. Pour over chicken in the freezer bag. Freeze. After it’s thawed, bake, uncovered, at 375F for 45 minutes.
Everyone will be doing their shopping this week for these recipes. Watch for the post next week about our experience!
Here are the recipes we used for our first gathering (October):
Rachael Ray’s Chinese Orange Barbecue Cashew Chicken – Place cut up raw chicken in a storage bag. Combine all cut vegetables into a different storage bag. Prepare sauce and put into a storage bag. Place all storage bags into one large freezer bag to keep everything together. Freeze. After it’s thawed, stir-fry the chicken, remove from skillet. Stir-fry the vegetables, add chicken back to the pan, then pour in the sauce. Cook until thickened. Top with cashews.
Chicken Fiesta Soup – Chop and combine all ingredients, store in a freezer bag, freeze. When thawed, pour into your crock pot or heat on the stove. Top with tortilla chips.
Tortellini Vegetable Bake (unsure of original source of this recipe) – Cook 9-oz. tortellini according to package directions, blanch 3/4 cup sugar snap peas and 1/4 sliced carrots during the last minute. Combine 3 T. chicken broth, 1 t. flour, 3/4 t. oregano, 1/4 t. garlic salt, and 1/4 t. pepper. Cook in a skillet along with 1/2 cup milk, add 4-oz. cream cheese. Remove from heat and add 1 1/2 t. lemon juice. Stir in tortellini, cooked chicken (optional), 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes, and 1/4 cup red bell pepper. Transfer to a freezer bag or a 2-quart baking dish. Freeze. When it has thawed, bake, covered, at 350F for 30 minutes.
Chili Wagon Wheel Casserole (from Favorite Brand Name best-loved Casseroles) – Cook 8-oz. pasta according to package directions. Brown 1 lb. ground beef or turkey, 3/4 cup green pepper, 3/4 cup chopped onion. Stir in 14.5 oz stewed tomatoes, 8 oz. tomato sauce, 1/2 t. black pepper, 1/4 t. allspice (optional); cook for 2 minutes. Stir in pasta. Place in a freezer bag or in a 2 1/2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese. Freeze. Thaw, then bake for 20-25 minutes at 350F.
Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops (from The Everything Freezer Meals Cookbook) – Salt and pepper 6 pork chops. Brown in oil for 3-4 minutes per side, place on a baking sheet for freezing. Make the sauce: melt 2 T. butter, stir in 1/3 cup flour, 2/3 cup milk and whisk until smooth. Add 1 egg and mix well. Cook 5-10 minutes until shiny. Stir in 1 small finely chopped onion and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Spread on each pork chop and flash freeze. Transfer to a freezer bag to bake later. For dinner, bake frozen chops for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350F. If thawed, bake for 30-45 minutes.
Everyone in attendance will provide their own meat, so everyone is happy with their own choice (organic, etc). I am asking everyone to RSVP one week in advance to allow time for everyone to gather ingredients. After all RSVP’s are in, I will divvy up all of the ingredients by price, then assign a group of ingredients to each person, so that we all spend approximately the same amount, but don’t have to run all around the store. For example, one person can pick up 10 red peppers, instead of 10 different ingredients. To save time, there may be some light prep at home, such as chopping some veggies before-hand, or cooking chicken. Some meals will be taken home in freezer bags, and some will be taken home in everyone’s own casserole dish or foil pan.
The important thing is to have fun!