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Okanagancook

Challenge: Cook your way through your freezer (part 2)

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Dinner tonight consisted of BS chicken breast (freezer), potato (pantry), chicken stock (freezer) & broad beans (freezer), with a few flavourings etc. 

Now I know how the majority of you feel about boneless and skinless so I did at least brine them for a little bit, ( a trick I learnt about on EG, and got obsessed with for a little while, but I don't know which specific person or post to thank, apologies).  

 

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Roast Brussels, Green Beans & Steak (all freezer) with mashed carrots. Not going to lie the steak was awful. Thin, chewy, fatty in the not good way - I have a pretty good feeling I was meant to label the bag 'stir fry only' or perhaps 'Dogs' but labelling and I, are not great mates. 

I am getting slightly frantic with my freezer busting mission. I have 6 ish weeks left, and 3 (!!!) freezers. And I keep putting things in them. I have a problem. 

 

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I feel for you. Condensing my mother's two chest freezers into the smaller 7 cubic-footer was a heck of a challenge, and set me pretty far back in the quest to empty my own. :P

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Working my way through the beef in mine in preparating for the new beef coming next month. Found two packages of "fajita strips." Doubt they'll wind up as fajitas, but they've got me thinking some sort of stir-fry this weekend. Maybe spicy Korean beef with veggies and rice?

 

Got a sirloin tip steak in the fridge now I thawed out Sunday and didn't use. Stroganoff tonight, I think. Have mushrooms, too.

 

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Rescued some chicken drumsticks from the freezer. Quick BBQ Honey marinade, corn and capsicum salad and a baked potato that I had greater dreams for but I ran out of time. 

Regarding the drumsticks, I read a post/thread  where someone (tentatively Anna N?) suggested you take the knuckle off the chicken and it will make magical succulent shrink free chicken. I then searched the forum further and found another thread of posts (something to do with knives) that basically said only cut bones with a cleaver unless you hate your knives. So I attempted to "French" my drumsticks. First off I'm really grateful for the advice to cut the tendons etc, I was really happy with the result as were the boys... however as it was the first time I had ever tried to french something (in the kitchen at least) I really should not have tried when I was already 45 minutes late home from work and had hungry people waiting for their supper! My first attempt was not pretty, although I will continue to practise! ( I will also learn how to link and give correct credit, eventually). 

 

Anyway. Six less things in my freezer. 

 

 

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Edited by CantCookStillTry (log)
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I haven't posted much on this topic lately, but so far a Very Large Chicken has been roasted and used for several fine meals.  A pork tenderloin has been sous-vided and may be tonight's dinner.  Other impulse-buy meats have been cooked and eaten, with commensurate money savings at the grocery store because of our (for now) iron will.

 

I found a bunch of frozen fruits at the bottom of our chest freezer, and have been working my way through them. I'm pretty sure the original plan was pies, tarts or other baking - or ice cream.  The blueberries (from 2003!) have held up well and have been part of my morning yogurt-and-flax seed breakfast instead. I opened the last container today. The top had split, so there's a bit of frost, but it doesn't seem to have hurt the flavor of the berries.

 

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I can see the bottom of that freezer now.

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'Spending time' with you guys is really pushing me out of my comfort zone. I purchased some Tasmanian Salmon a while ago (frozen), despite the fact I have never cooked salmon before (I was sure I could find a post to teach me how), I have however come to the conclusion it will probably not be in my repertoire.    

 

Seared and Roasted Salmon with Basil Pesto Pasta, Zoodles & Roasted Tomatoes.  

 

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So disaster number 1 - half way into prep it is casually mentioned to me that one person I was feeding would not eat salmon. I managed to grab some whiting (also in the freezer) and grill that as a quick substitute but the stuff was so thin it took a mere minute and was NOT pretty. I'm certain the thickness (or lack thereof) of the fillets was the reason the whiting was languishing in the ice.  

 

So, honesty time, as it leads neatly into disaster number 2. I don't actually like Pesto or Tomatoes so.. uh... this was MY actual dinner. :$xD

 

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So while the salmon was definitely over done  by most standards (I had to be cautious, dinner eater number one was present at the food poisoning incident that has sworn dinner eater number two off salmon for life) what ruined it for me was that shiny looking bit in the lower left portion of my plate. I have 0 fish experience and I think you all know I'm here to learn, I munched away happily until that bite. It had a mouth feel of loose jelly - I am assuming it was fish fat? Freezer burn? Whatever it was it turned my stomach and I doubt i'll be trying salmon again for a while! 

 

Cat was exceptionally happy though. 

 

 

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The jelly-ish bit was indeed the fatty belly, which some cherish and some trim away (I'm in the cherish camp). If your salmon has been in the freezer for a while the belly fat is where off-flavors will turn up first, so you may well have had a piece that was nearing the end of its useful storage life.

 

Salmon is rather like turkey, in that it can become dry very quickly once it's cooked past a certain point. When that happens, I generally advise re-purposing the salmon into fish cakes, or some kind of a salad bound with mayonnaise or your preferred equivalent. 

 

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Pizza Dough, Pizza Sauce and Bacon have been released from the freezer! 

Lunch Box additions for the smallest of us. My weapon against the Lunch Box police should they rear their heads is that there are so many vegetables in my thickly layered pizza sauce if the kid knew what he was actually eating I would have ruined pizza forever. 

 

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Quality Control 

 

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This is by no means a pretty picture but I have been rather successful in my continued freezer thin out. 

I no longer have bags of 3/4 portion frozen veg, the Broccoli, Brussels, Green Beans and Broad beans all got evicted tonight, the stuffing balls and Yorkies have also come from the freezer, I make and freeze big batches when I am in the mood - to combat those times when I am not but really want a roast. Bacon in the cabbage, also evicted. All in all a pretty successful day - One freezer is completely empty! (Ssssh its the little one). 

Excuse the dried out pork steak, liberal gravy was added, but I figured that would make an even uglier photo. 

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Edited by CantCookStillTry rookie grammar (log)
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My freezer is literally, 100%, completely, without reservation EMPTY!

 

Time to start working towards overfilling it again, I think.

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I'd been making progress, but the No Frills near me had whole pork shoulders at $0.50/lb. 

 

If I had more room, I'd have bought the 10 or so remaining in the case. 

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I was getting there, until the beef for the year came.Along with the Thanksgiving turkey and two whole chickens. I cannot buy meat for at least three months. Both chest freezers are full to the top.

 

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6 minutes ago, kayb said:

I was getting there, until the beef for the year came.Along with the Thanksgiving turkey and two whole chickens. I cannot buy meat for at least three months. Both chest freezers are full to the top.

 

If your freezer is full of things you want it to be full of I don’t think there’s a problem. Mine was so full that I couldn’t put things I wanted in there and that’s why I started the challenge. Nothing much has changed in all this time!  It goes down and then it goes back up again. I feel like Sisyphus.

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FB was purchased at a fantastic deal

 

including free shipping to my basement

 

( ed.: make sure your Free Sipping does not mean Your Door ! )

 

for the purpose of helping me defrost FA every couple of years

 

in the past the defrost involved moving the contents of FA

 

into very heavy plastic garbage bags and placing the bags outside when it was

 

10 - 20 F outside for a day or two.

 

Now FB  

 

is more or less full  but with the Best Stuff !

 

working of the Best Stuff ion FA to make room for St.P's Day's  On-Sale  point cut CB

 

hopefully as good as last years from Stop&Shop

 

no room for even one  57 cents/lb turkey.

 

O.o

 

 

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It is fortunate that lots of the good stuff I like to put in the freezer (corn, peaches, peas, etc.) go there when the beef quantity is dwindling. My sole regret is that I won't have room to take advantage of those great specials that sometimes occur on pork. But, hey, they'll come back around, eventually.

 

Meanwhile, it's beef for the winter! 

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 There must surely be worse things than beef for the winter!

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GreenBells  w Zoooks.

 

possibly w celery stalks.


Edited by rotuts (log)
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It may not look like much in the way of cleanout progress, but this fully-packed trailer-refrigerator freezer contains most of the erstwhile contents of our chest and refrigerator freezers from home. The containers on the right have travel/microwaveable meals; scattered at the bottom and on the left are the hunks of meat (pork, chicken, burger, etc.) and stray bits like persimmon pulp, nuts and frozen vegetables.  The bottoms of both freezers were visible when we left home in our trailer. It isn't quite a clean sweep, but it was gratifyingly close. Sorry I didn't take time to snap those freezer bottoms before we started traveling!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             20171112_085932.jpg                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

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Looking forward to the princess-mobile travels!

 

Be SURE to let me know if you get anywhere near the Memphis/Northeast Arkansas area!

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I had 4 braising ribs that I had at the start of this challenge and used them up yesterday in a slow cooker Thai curry.  I still have some dribs and drabs left but compared to what I started with, it's hardly anything at all.

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20 hours ago, blue_dolphin said:

@Smithy, sounds like the princess-mobile is underway once again, is that right?

 

Yes, we've been on the road a little over a week.  So far it's been mostly freezer-cleanout food, so hardly worth writing about except in this topic.  (We did pig out on barbecue for 3 days in Llano, Texas. :D)

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2 hours ago, ElsieD said:

I had 4 braising ribs that I had at the start of this challenge and used them up yesterday in a slow cooker Thai curry.  I still have some dribs and drabs left but compared to what I started with, it's hardly anything at all.

 

Is that slow-cooker curry something you've posted about before?  If not, do you have a recipe or a reference for us? 

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