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Anna N

Challenge: Cook your way through your freeze (part 1)

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14 hours ago, robirdstx said:

Apparently it is true! Nature abhors a vacuum.

 

We had been making some good progress, but today we went to Sam's, together. We always get more stuff when we shop together. Nothing we bought duplicates what is already in the freezer but we are definitely at capacity! I even had to take the reusable freezer packs and two bags of flour out to make room for today's purchases

 

6 hours ago, Anna N said:

Do not give up hope. This is the way with any recovery program. Ask a recovering alcoholic. Ask an ex smoker like me,  two steps forward and one step back. We are here to support you. You are not alone. Just ask @BeebsxDxDxD

 

Welcome to Freezers Anonymous, @robirdstx.

 

Yesterday I ate some ice cream and tossed the old ice cubes.  Baby steps, baby steps.

 

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1 hour ago, FauxPas said:

 

Anna, I put it in a big bowl with a bit of water and microwave it for a couple of minutes. Then drain and put in freezer bags. And yeah, it's perfect for things like lasagne or soups. :)

Neat. Thanks.  Of course it will probably be 100 years before I get Costco again.xD

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10 hours ago, Thanks for the Crepes said:

By the time it was done, the water was at a full boil for my lovely green beans, and the mushrooms were cooled off some and a little dehydrated. I added some water to the skillet with the creminis to deglaze and turned the heat way up. I dropped the green beans I'd happily been munching on raw during prep, pulled the twice baked potato out of the oven and plated it. I set the timer for one minute on the beans, because my foggy memory nowadays told me that's what @JoNorvelleWalker does, but let them go maybe 30 seconds longer because I was stirring the mushrooms. I love them raw, and I love them cooked just a bit longer, but I wasn't in love with 90 second green beans. They were not cooked and not raw, very crunchy still, but not what I think is ideal. Maybe I screwed up by stirring the mushrooms, but, I'd prefer them either raw of cooked a bit more. Perhaps Jo will speak to this.

 

I have never been happy with green beans boiled in water.  I pressure steam mine for 30 seconds.  In my six quart Fissler I place the beans in the steamer insert above the trivet.  Bring rapidly to pressure, wait 30 carefully timed seconds and rush the pot under cold running water to release.  Much longer than thirty seconds, not good.  Also, I use this technique with young, small beans, such as the ones imported here from Guatemala.  Local beans sold here in season are typically much larger and may or may not require a different treatment.

 

No beans in my freezer...unless you count the old fava beans, I guess.  Or did I throw those out?

 

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Since we're predicted to have another foot of snow here tomorrow I dug thru my freezer looking for that corned beef that's been hiding for years!!!  I hope it's still good because I'm really looking forward to a New England boiled dinner for tomoorow's dinner.  

Edited tonadd:  I must confess that I first tried to buy a fresh corned beef at my local grocer but they didn't have any due to the huge remodel they're going thru right now.

I thought I had one w-a-y back in the big freezer and I lucked out.  Otherwise I was going to go forth with a pork butt which is often what Mom used to use with her boiled dinner.


Edited by lindag (log)
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Sunday's dinner also came from the freezer.  I roasted a Capon and served it with mashed potatoes, green beans, and Carrots with Chives.

 

capon.jpg

 

carrots.jpg

 

I must report some backsliding on my quest to clean out the freezer.  After the dinner was over, the capon carcass was returned to the freezer to make stock later.  And I added four pounds of turkey meatballs that I made yesterday.  Tonight I put in a pound of haddock from my fish share since I am eating alone this week and the share came with Faroe Island salmon in addition to the haddock.  I can only eat so much fish on my own. Husband is in Milan for work.  I have a feeling he will be eating better than me this week.

 


Edited by liamsaunt (log)
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6 hours ago, Beebs said:

 

 

Welcome to Freezers Anonymous, @robirdstx.

 

Yesterday I ate some ice cream and tossed the old ice cubes.  Baby steps, baby steps.

 

 

Thank you for the welcome! :D I wasn't able to match any one of today's meals with similar letters, but each meal did include ingredients taken from the freezer and no new items were added. For breakfast, I had a couple of (from frozen) pork sausage links with my scrambled egg. Lunch was a pork dumpling soup made from frozen chicken bone broth and potstickers. Dinner was the same as lunch, using up the last of the soup. Baby steps!

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With the best of intentions, I reached into my freezer and pulled out a package of chicken thighs............that had been placed there last week.  I was at the grocery store and they had some thighs on for 50% off (enjoy them tonight! the sticker said).  So I bought a couple of packages of thighs and one of drumsticks, came home and plunked them in the freezer.  I did not need them, I truly didn't, but I have a hard time passing up a bargain.  

 

Because I pulled out chicken that was purchased AFTER the challenge started, I'm not sure if this gets me any points.  But, cook them up I did.  We had Japanese curry Chicken thighs, with peas and red pepper in the sauce, pan roasted Carrots and a Cucumber salad.  The curry was served over rice.  Rice and curry were cooked in the IP.

image.jpeg


Edited by ElsieD Fixed a typo (log)
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My Chinese New Year resolution: I WILL NOT buy any more protein of ANY kind until the freeze is half empty!9_9

Now is a good time to take up the challenge of this thread.

Had picked up packages of ground lamb at Safeway in October - at 50% off. Finally using up the last 2 packages for Greek Moussaka tonight.

This had the low-carb version of "bechemal". Eaten with mashed cauliflower and bok choy.

                                           Lamb Packet0002.jpg

                          Lamb Moussaka 0004.jpg

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 Sorry no photo for which you should be thankful. I had the chicken with shallots I spoke of earlier over mashed potatoes. The photograph looks rather like the aftermath of a horrific murder.   The chicken was good but I think it would have been better with fresh rather than canned tomatoes. But it didn't belong over mashed potatoes.  The potatoes were reaching their last breath and I was trying to save them. I failed because most of them went into the garbage anyway but not until after I'd cooked them and added butter and milk. Duh. But I will always be impressed with the method of cooking mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot along with the milk and butter  so it is a one pot speedy side.

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this counts :

 

EM.jpg

 

the question for discussion and debate is :  One point ( for the lot )  or six points ( one EM / day )

 

Im currently favoring 6 points total , but awarded daily until finished.

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3 hours ago, Anna N said:

 I will always be impressed with the method of cooking mashed potatoes in the Instant Pot along with the milk and butter  so it is a one pot speedy side.

 

I tried cooking potatoes in the IP exactly once and haven't done since as I thought they retained too much water, resulting in gloopy potatoes.  Maybe there is a secret to cooking them that way I don't know about?

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1 hour ago, ElsieD said:

 

I tried cooking potatoes in the IP exactly once and haven't done since as I thought they retained too much water, resulting in gloopy potatoes.  Maybe there is a secret to cooking them that way I don't know about?

I think it is a matter of determining the appropriate amount of liquid that will result in a final texture that you like. This may take a little experimenting and perhaps even a little ma I think it is a matter of determining the appropriate amount of liquid that will result in a final texture that you like. This may take a little experimenting and perhaps even a little math. Last night I determined that the amount of prepared potatoes that I had was 750 g. According to the recipe I was referencing I determined that the appropriate amount of milk was 240 mL but having run into the same trouble you did I dropped that down to 200 mL.  I found that to be much more satisfactory and still allowed me to add milk and or cream if I so desired to adjust the texture at the end.

 

So the recipe I used last night was

750 g of russet potatoes cut into 1 to 1 1/2 inch chunks

45 g butter

200 ml 2% milk

salt to my taste

 

 Melt the butter using the sauté function then add the potatoes and toss around to coat them in the butter.  Add the milk and salt. Cook for seven minutes on high pressure. Use quick release.   You will be horrified when you take the lid off. Get over it. Mash them well, add some pepper, nutmeg or whatever other things you like and serve. Easy peasy.  If you use different potatoes for instance, Yukon gold, or different milk, like homo, you will most likely have to experiment a bit but this is a good starting point. 

 

Oh my God I'm going to have to stop taking this Harvard course with all its math. 

 


Edited by Anna N (log)
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2 hours ago, rotuts said:

this counts :

 

....

 

the question for discussion and debate is :  One point ( for the lot )  or six points ( one EM / day )

 

Im currently favoring 6 points total , but awarded daily until finished.

Depends. Are you putting them in or taking them out of the freezer... it matters. :D

 

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the 6 came out of F, posed for a pic , one was taken out and became part of breakfast , and the 5 left went into Fupstairs 

 

and will be death with daily one at a time.

 

so  one point / day seems only fair.

 

and a kudos for remembering the were in Finitially.

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@Anna N Next time I want mashed I'll try this.  Maybe tonight, depending on what gets pulled our of the freezer.  I use 1% milk but I always have whipping cream on hand so a bit of that should transform the 1% into 2%.  Thanks for posting this.

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Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa. I went to Aldi today, and now my freezer is laden down with things that Were Not There Before.

 

1. A Boston butt roast. At least, given the Melissa Clark NYT column on the Instant Pot, there's a good chance of me cooking it in the near future. And it's a good size for me, a 2 1/2 pounder, which will make a nice dinner without enough leftovers for the next month.

2. A 12-oz bag of ahi tuna steaks (three of 'em). I really do like the 12-oz bag size; I can use them before they get old. Poke in my future.

3. A bag of green peas, because I was out. And one needs green peas in the freezer.

 

On the other hand, dinner tonight got rid of things that had been in the refrigerator side of the house -- pork chops and a head of cauliflower that was nearing the end of its useful life. Oh, and a bunch of homemade ricotta. Do I at least get an "attagirl," if not points, for that???

 


Edited by kayb (log)
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4 minutes ago, kayb said:

Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa. I went to Aldi today, and now my freezer is laden down with things that Were Not There Before.

 

1. A Boston butt roast. At least, given the Melissa Clark NYT column on the Instant Pot, there's a good chance of me cooking it in the near future. And it's a good size for me, a 2 1/2 pounder, which will make a nice dinner without enough leftovers for the next month.

2. A 12-oz bag of ahi tuna steaks (three of 'em). I really do like the 12-oz bag size; I can use them before they get old. Poke in my future.

3. A bag of green peas, because I was out. And one needs green peas in the freezer.

 

On the other hand, dinner tonight got rid of things that had been in the refrigerator side of the house -- pork chops and a head of cauliflower that was nearing the end of its useful life. Oh, and a bunch of homemade ricotta. Do I at least get an "attagirl," if not points, for that???

 

 

 I for one am more than happy to give you an "attagirl".   I bet I am not alone.  But please don't make this a habit.xDxD

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@Anna N. I made the spuds tonight following your directions.  I'm glad you warned me about what was under the lid.  It looked a mess.  But wow, are they ever good.  Even my non-potato loving husband thought they were great.  I do believe that is the only way I'll be making them from now on.  Thank you.

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I haven't been to the store today AT ALL! That's quite an achievement.
In keeping to this challenge, I found 2 pork tenderloins buried in the plethora of protein - purchased in October. They weren't even vacuum sealed.:(
Tonight's supper was a recipe I googled and seemed easy enough to do on a work night: Creamy Mustard Pork Loin - adapted for tenderloin.

It turned out fine, eaten with sauteed mixed vegetables from the equally packed fridge: kolhrabi, bell peppers, mushroom, red onion, zucchini. The sauce was from deglazing the pan with chicken stock, apple cidar vinegar, a splash of cream, and half a Meyer lemon. The meal was in keeping with Keto-low carb way of eating.

                                            Mustard-Lemon Pork Tenderloin 0002.jpg

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Truly reached in the freezer randomly today, and pulled out a package of tenderized round steaks, labeled cube steaks by the butcher, and always known to me from childhood as minute steaks. I believe they will get seared and then simmered in onion gravy, with a package of frozen c-for-cube caramelized onions. as well as m-for-minute mushrooms Berkeley (sans the peppers; sue me). And maybe some mashed potatoes for good measure.

 

I shall report.

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@kayb. Thanks for reminding me about those delicious mushrooms.  I'd forgotten about them.

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Nothing random about today's choice. Going to use up the last of some meatballs. I will be making some fettuccini (sort of) alfredo and the meatballs will go into the sauce to be the protein for the meal. Hopefully that counters the brats and ground beef that I just bought and put in there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Nothing random about my choice tonight either and it certainly didn't make much of a dent. I cooked up another batch of bacon and ate some of it for dinner along with some eggs and some rather ragged cauliflower fritters.   For anyone following along carefully you might be wondering how on earth I went through all the bacon I cooked the other day. Well I stuck some of it in the microwave to keep it out of the jaws of my four-footed houseguest and forgot about it. When I discovered some days later it seemed sensible to bin it. Did not make that mistake tonight!image.jpeg

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Tonight's dinner, as posted on the Dinner Topic, used up a small portion of Pork Tenderloin and some Chicken Bone Broth from the freezer, while giving equal time to Habaneros Apricot Jam and Broccoli from the fridge and Jasmine Rice from the pantry. Not seeing any matching letters! But, only a little bit of the Rice was leftover and I will dispatch that in the morning.

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The freezer has been relieved of 1 package of Pork Sausage.  With it, we had mashed Potatoes, (thanks, Anna N!), apple Sauce and a mixture of Spanish onion, red Peppers and charred corn.  

 

Rotuts, are you keeping track of the points?

 

image.jpeg

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