Tuesday, August 27, 2019
4 MAKE-AHEAD FREEZER MEALS
Cheryl & Pam came to visit me yesterday afternoon – and Cheryl brought some of the ‘down south’ Pinto Beans, her husband Mike, had brought back with him from his New Mexico trip. I am told they are milder and smoother tasting that the pinto beans we have here … we’ll see: I am making a batch of ‘Baked Pinto Beans’ with them this morning ;-)
I stored the Pinto beans Cheryl brought me in a separate baggie, so I can tell them apart; to test the taste differences; if there are any.
The Pinto's Cheryl gave me do look lighter ...
I googled a chuck steak recipe – basically because I wanted a change of pace in that regard; and I was just too lazy to thumb through my cookbooks – and I found a recipe that sounded good. It did smell good while cooking, so I think I will be happy with this change of pace ;-)
Gravied Chuck Steak - portioned for Freezer meals.
The ‘Curried Carrot Soup’ recipe came from my August 1985 Bob Appetit cooking magazine.
Curry Carrot Soup; frozen in 1-serving portions alongside 1-portion packages of Baked Pinto Beans - for future meals.
And the ‘Orange-Curry Grilled Chicken w-Tarragon’ recipe came from my August 1986 Food & Wine cooking magazine. The house smelled wonderful!
Orange-Curry Grilled Chicken w-Tarragon; portioned for freezer meals.
For Supper tonight, I had a mug of Curried carrot Soup & a side of Cajun Shrimp – I got the recipe for the spicy shrimp from my ‘2003 Taste of Home/Light & Tasty’ cookbook. Delish!
==BAKED PINTO BEANS ~Serves 6 (1 cup servings)
This recipe comes from my ‘Betty Crocker/New American Cooking’ cookbook my sister gave me decades ago; Bob really liked it. It is a good source of thiamine (vitamin B1) – which is essential for our bodies.
I cook this dish in my crockpot** – works better for me; but I am posting it as written in the cookbook for the cooking purists :
4 cups Water * 1 pound (about 2-1/2 cups) dried Pinto Beans * ½ cup Brown Sugar * 1 teaspoon Sea Salt * ¼ teaspoon ground Cloves * ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper * ¼ teaspoon Celery Seed * ¼ cup Water * 1 tablespoon Cider Vinegar * ½ cup strong Black Coffee * 2 Tablespoons Brandy * 1 medium Onion. Sliced * 4 slices Bacon
Heat 4 cups water and the beans to boiling in a 3-quart saucepan. Boil 2 minutes; remove from heat. Cover, and let stand 1 hour. Add enough hot water, if necessary, to cover beans. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover, and simmer until beans are tender – about 1-1/2 hours (do not boil, or beans will burst). Drain beans, reserving liquid. Heat brown sugar, salt, cloves, pepper, celery seed, ¼ cup water & the vinegar to boiling; stirring occasionally. Stir in coffee and brandy.
Place half the beans in an ungreased 2-quart casserole; arrange onion on top. Pour half of the coffee mixture over onion; top with remaining beans. Pour remaining coffee mixture and the reserved bean liquid over beans. Cover & cook in 350-degree oven for 1-1/2 hours. Stir beans; arrange bacon on top. Cook uncovered 30 minutes longer.
**I like this recipe more as a soupy dish … so I just dump everything into my crockpot (slicing the bacon into smaller bits) – and cook on LOW for about 6 hours. The house smells great! And the dish is delish ;-)**
I didn't have any brandy, so I improvised ;-) It works fine.
And that 2nd little empty bottle joined the 1st - waiting in the cupboard until I make a batch of Garlic Syrup this Winter.
I added eggs to the crockpot meal, to hard-cook; the cooking liquid adds a nice flavor to the cooked eggs.
==GRAVIED CHUCK STEAK (https://cullyskitchen.com/a-1-steak-sauce-chuck-steak-recipe/)
Prepping the skillet to go into the oven - I wrapped the handle with foil.
Browing the steak, and setting it aside.
.I used regular mustard in the sauce ...
I used onion diced large - because i like them like that ;-)
And finished cooking the dish in the oven.
==CURRIED CARROT SOUP ~8 servings (or 4 generous servings)
1 Tablespoon Butter * 1 large Red Bell Pepper, chopped * 12 medium Carrots, thinly sliced * ½ cup Water * 1 Tablespoon Sugar * 3 Tablespoons Butter * 2 Tablespoons all-purpose Flour * 2 cups hot Chicken Stock (I freeze my homemade stock in freezer baggies) * 2 cups Milk * Sea Sat & Black Pepper *1/4 teaspoon Curry powder * ½ cup Whipping Cream * Slivered Pimento
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy large skillet over medium high heat. Add bell pepper and cook until it begins to soften, stirring occasionally – about 4 minutes. Add carrots, water, and sugar. Cover & cook until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally – about 20 minutes.
I just dumped everything in the pot - including 2 eggs - and cooked it that way - this is what works for me: I am not a fancy cook; I cook TO EAT - not show off.
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a heavy medium saucepan over low heat. Add flour and cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Whisk in 2 cups stock, then the milk. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer 40 minutes to blend flavors. Add curry. Cool to room temperature.
Puree soup in blender until smooth. Strain into bowl. Mix in cream and enough additional stock to thin to desired consistency. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead & refrigerated). Serve hot or cold; garnish with pimento.
Puree the COOLED soup in batches.
I portioned the soup out into 1-cup servings: I am determined to stick to my calorie counting and shed another 20 pounds. So help me God! I portioned the servings out and froze them in baggies.
==ORANGE-CURRY GRILLED CHICKEN w-TARRAGON ~8 servings
I used half a chicken in this recipe – and I did not grill my chicken: I baked it in the oven; a personal preference. But I am posting the recipe as originally written …
Not needing a sauce, this dish will benefit from the sweet pungency of a Mango Chutney. It will also go well with a wild rice & mushrooms dish, and fresh snap peas or a green salad. A summer melon will round the meal out nicely.
8 skinless, boneless Chicken Breast halves * 4 teaspoons Dijon Mustard * 1 cup Orange Juice * 4 teaspoons Curry powder * 4 teaspoons Tarragon
Trim off any fat or cartilage from the chicken, and rinse under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. In a large bowl, thin the mustard with ¼ cup of the orange juice. Blend in the curry powder, tarragon, and remaining orange juice. Marinate the chicken for at least 15 minutes at room temperature – or refrigerate up to 24 hours.
Preparing the marinade. Tarragon is VERY PUNGENT. It literally "takes my breath away" - so I use it sparingly and it lasts a good loooooong while with me.
Since the chicken cooks quickly, have the rest of the meal well underway before putting the chicken on the grill. Grill the chicken for 5 minutes on each side over a very hot grill. If not done, baste with the marinade, turn and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer on each side. The chicken should be slightly springy to the touch and juicy and moist – but not pink on the inside.
I opted to bake my chicken - it got drier, but I like it best this way; I am not fond of grilled meats ... though I do like the recipes for grilled meats
==CAJUN SHRIMP ~4 servings
2 teaspoons Paprika * 1 teaspoon dried Thyme * ½ teaspoon Salt * ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg * ¼ teaspoon Garlic Powder * ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper * 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil * 1 pound uncooked, medium Shrimp, peeled & deveined
In a large nonstick skillet, sauté the paprika, thyme, salt, nutmeg, garlic powder, and cayenne in oil for 30 seconds – stirring constantly. Add shrimp; sauté for 2-3 minutes; or until shrimp turns pink, stirring occasionally.