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


Anna N
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here is my FCO dinner :

 

N.B.:  

 

the EM  was Fz before this thread started.   Plain Facts.  not so much as 

 

@Anna N

 

as

 

alternative fact

 

how Knowledge Oozes across borders  N and ( perhaps S. ) !

 

smiley-ptdr.gif

 

the Sausage was Jones  , noted above  

 

the butter did come from the Fz  , indeed .

 

so Ill take : re : FCO points  :   

 

one for the muffin , 1/2 for the butter , and indeed  5 for the Jones Breakfast Sausage

 

you see 5 on the plate ?   get over it !
 

this meal : 6 and 1/2.

 

no you say ?

 

Ill just stop right there.

 

MC is giving me a Look.

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32 minutes ago, rotuts said:

Chopped up Nicely Raw ?

 

Room Temp?

 

Im only guessing here :  Tiger has a Nose for Freezer Burn ?  

 

well good for him.

 

had you made some Pate ................

 

well   a different mater.

I think we had better stay on point else.......

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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This afternoon I reached into the freezer drawer that holds leftover cooked meat and out came some Capon Breast left from Christmas.  With that we had dressing, Beets, Cranberry sauce, squash and gravy.  A rather monochromatic plate, other than the Cranberry sauce.

image.jpeg

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10 hours ago, Anna N said:

I was so excited to get rid of my previous fridge which had a top freezer and which was constantly attempting to fracture my feet as frozen blocks of things fell on them but these drawers...I don't know.  

 

 

I'm similarly ambivalent. I thought pull-out bottom drawers sounded wonderful until I actually had a fridge with the bottom-drawer freezer. 

 

Now that I have my big upright, of course, the fridge freezer holds just my gf's popsicles, several pounds of butter bought on sale, and a few containers of leftovers for quick reheating (the microwave is two feet away). 

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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image.jpeg

 

Not all of the ragu will have to be returned to the freezer.  Some of it went over a baked potato for dinner!

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Here is yesterday's freezer meal.  I only have the things I made in serving dishes rather than plated because I served dinner on my buffet.  The Bratwurst and Chicken Apple Sausages from the freezer:

 

bratwurst.jpg

 

Side dishes were a Beet salad with goat Cheese and hazelnuts:

 

beets.jpg

 

A variation of Polish Hunters Stew with Bacon, Cabbage, and Sauerkraut:

 

bigos.jpg

 

Polish Potato Bread

 

potato bread 2.jpg

 

And pierogies topped with Bacon, Chives, and caramelized onions

 

pierogies.jpg

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Wow.  I don't know what to say.   That is an amazing meal.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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image.jpeg

 

Might not look like much of a freezer-clearing meal but both bread and bacon came from there.  I actually cooked up much more bacon then you see here so it did make a little room.

 

 Edited because I can't believe IT changed what I said 

Edited by Anna N (log)
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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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2 hours ago, Anna N said:

Wow.  I don't know what to say.   That is an amazing meal.

 

Thank you!  I had some help making the meal.  My sister did most of the work on the pirogies.  I just crimped the dough.  She also grilled the sausages.

 

 

2 hours ago, ElsieD said:

@liamsaunt Is there a recipe for the beet salad or did you wing it?  The whole meal looks delicious but I am a huge fan of beet salads.

 

This is the recipe I used:  http://www.polskafoods.com/polish-recipes/beet-root-salad-salatka-z-burakow

 

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image.jpeg

Terrible photo but good food. SV'd duck breast (from freezer). Crashed potatoes -- SV'd, squashed and fried in duck fat. 

 

In the spirit of the challenge :  Poitrine de canard and crashed potatoes.  Feel at liberty to groan.  

 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Mine is so BORING! But I grabbed some ground beef along with several unlabeled items in freezer bags. I put the blueberries back, ha. But also had some frozen mixed peppers I had chopped up, some frozen cooked Rancho Gordo pinto beans and some tomatoes that I had steam-baked, peeled and then froze. Also had some frozen spinach (leftover from a huge bag or two of fresh baby spinach from Costco). I thought about lasagne, but decided on a slow cooked chili since I had stuff to do this afternoon and put the spinach back in the freezer. So beef and beans work for the basic challenge, right?

 

I only have a top freezer here but it gets filled fast because there's a big ice maker in there. I love my ice and put it in water, milk, extra in chocolate milk and use lots for iced teas. I also put lots of ice in wine - both red and white and some of you may stop reading right now and vow never to share vino with me. :) 

 

Here's the Instant Pot photo. I'm sure it will look more appetizing in a bowl with some cheese and fresh tomato or something. I'm pretty sure it's going to taste good, though. 

 

IMG_20170129_180124.jpg

 

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Today I grabbed a smoked pork sausage.  I remembered liamsaunt's post showing a beautiful meal that had sausage and perogies amongst many other beautiful dishes.  So, we had perogies and pork sausage.  Unlike liamsaunt, the perogies were not homemade.   No picture because, well, it wasn't picture worthy.  The perogies also came from the freezer.

Edited by ElsieD
Added the last line. (log)
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17 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

I keep vodka in my freezer for monitoring the freezer temperature.  What do you use it for?

 

For an occasional vodka martini.  Sadly, it puts me to sleep rather quickly.  Middle age is a $&?!/ challenge.

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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

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9 hours ago, chefmd said:

My pristine beach house freezer.  Ice cubes, duck fat, butter, ice packs, vodka, gin.  I will take a photo of my condo, it looks very different ;)

image.jpg

 

That's too neat! xD

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~Martin :)

I just don't want to look back and think "I could have eaten that."

Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it!

 

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I had taken a rib eye out to thaw a couple days ago. I intended to cook it yesterday, but when I checked the 2" / 5cm steak last night and found ice crystals, I used it as an excuse to indulge my lazy mood to cook something else that wasn't as labor intensive as a charcoal-fired steak. I had also made up a twice baked potato last night to avoid the last minute rush I experienced last time I was trying to coordinate a charcoal fire with it when I had a baked potato explode in my microwave after baking it in the oven and finding it just a titch underdone. I barely beat the winter sundown and the charcoal burning down on that one.

 

So tonight, I put my prefab potato in the oven, cleaned the ashes from the grill, set my charcoal to light, and went back inside to clean some cremini mushrooms and nice fresh green beans. I set some water to heat for the beans, sliced the mushrooms and melted some butter in a skillet to saute them with only a little salt this time. I cooked the 'shrooms most of the way and left them in the skillet on super low heat.

 

Then I went out to "burn" my steak when the fire was ready. It was in the 50 F/10 C so a pleasant grill with a nice sweatshirt that has sleeves that push up and stay put. I rarely wear long sleeves in the kitchen, but this one works really well. 

 

I like my beef Pittsburgh, which is almost impossible to achieve with thin steaks, so I have to buy much larger steaks than I can eat in one sitting. That's not such a terrible hardship, and more on this later.*  I like to get the fat on a rib eye crispy, which means a hot fire, dripping fat, lots of smoke, and flames leaping up. I use long-handled BBQ tongs to hold the steak up edgewise to crisp the outer fat cap, and the flames come up up above the steak cooking it on both sides! It doesn't take too long to cook even a thick steak the way I like it on a hot charcoal fire. Close the lid to get the heat up and warm the interior of the meat, but you can't leave or you will incinerate in just seconds! You have to keep moving it around and let the dripped fat fires die down. Lots of sizzling going on, and as usual, it was seasoned only with salt and fresh ground black pepper. That's all I need for good meat.

 

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.

 

The steak rested on its plate on the hot stove top during the bean and mushroom last minute prep. I plated the mushrooms and beans, and when I cut off a portion of steak I knew I could eat, it was juicy and rare, but didn't gush bloody juices like when you cut it too soon. This was a feast! I went back for a small portion of rib eye because it was so tender, and cooked perfectly, at least for me.

 

I had three roasted marshmallows for dessert from the embers after dinner.

 

Later, I found out that strawberries float in a water drink, both sparkling and flat. I feel so fortunate to find an exquisite garnish for a rather lackluster vodka digestif. Why, at my advanced age, did I have no knowledge of this, one may ask? I guess my aversion to spending $18+ for a cocktail under any circumstances keeps me out of fancy bars. 

 

Okay now for the coordinating ingredient ... I could have just had Rice, of which I already had some cooked and frozen which would jibe with Rib eye. I really wanted that herby (chives and parsley) , cheesy twice baked potato, though. So I'm going with Beef steak and green Beans. :P

 

*There's an ultimate Philly cheese steak with my name on it tomorrow with more freshly sauteed creminis, onions and peppers. There's no provolone in the house at the moment, but I don't think whole milk mozzarella will fail me.

 

 

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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8 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

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

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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@FauxPas

 

I read your posting upthread rather quickly but something continued to wiggle around in my subconscious.  It's the baby spinach  from Costco. I often look longingly at these big bags of baby spinach but walk away because with only one of me I would end up tossing most of the bag. So inquisitive minds want to know: how do you deal with it to freeze it? I know of course it's no longer good for salads once frozen but I'm happy to use it in cooked dishes. 

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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So I am unbelievably fickle. Despite having files and files of hundreds and hundreds of recipes that I want to attempt I heard the siren call of this 

Click

 

It required that I dig around in the freezer with my eyes open in search of some chicken thighs thus  making me not in compliance with the rules of the game. But it still took something out of my freezer so I get a pass I hope. 

 

image.jpeg

 

 Here it is chilling in the sink to be reheated for dinner this evening.  I made it with just two thighs and since I had no fresh tomatoes I used some canned cherry tomatoes.   And there's the rub. I only needed a partial can of tomatoes so the others are going into the freezer.  Arrrrrgh.  

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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4 hours ago, Anna N said:

@FauxPas

 

I read your posting upthread rather quickly but something continued to wiggle around in my subconscious.  It's the baby spinach  from Costco. I often look longingly at these big bags of baby spinach but walk away because with only one of me I would end up tossing most of the bag. So inquisitive minds want to know: how do you deal with it to freeze it? I know of course it's no longer good for salads once frozen but I'm happy to use it in cooked dishes. 

 

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. :)

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