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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Single Portion Beef and Chicken


 Ground Beef or Turkey and sautéed onions:  Brown the meat and add one large onion chopped.  Add salt and pepper to taste. (if you don't want to chop an onion you can use dehydrated onions. (1/2 c dehydrated onion soak in 1 cup cold water for 15 minutes. drain liquid and brown). Cool the mixture. Pack into a plastic ice cube tray, use your fingers to firmly pack down the meat and onions. You want to remove as many air pockets as possible.  Freeze. When frozen pop them out of the tray and seal in freezer bag for storage.

What to do with these single portions? Thaw and add to spaghetti sauce, noodles, rice or beef soup.

Chicken: When chicken is on sale and you have a large quantity. Cook all the chicken in the oven in a large covered roasting pan. Season with sage, salt and pepper. When the meat falls off the bones cool and remove the bones. Save all the liquid and fat for future soup. Spread the meat onto a large cookie sheet. Yes, the meat will be greasy, that's good. Freeze the mean and break into portions for single servings approximately four inch by four inch portions. Place in bags and store in the freezer. The fat on the meat will keep it fresh for up to six months in the freezer but it is best used within three months.

What to do will all that chicken fat she are saving? That fat is a wonderful flavoring. Use it instead of butter in rice or noodles. It's ready to make gravy for mashed or baked potatoes. I'm sure you will think of other uses. It's very convenient sitting on top of the stock you will use to make chicken based soup.

Parsley - Sage - Rosemary - Thyme - Garlic - Onions: Soup is at your finger tips and ready in the time it takes to make canned soup. Scrap off the layer of fat (make sure to keep it in a baggie in the freezer for gravy and as a flavoring). Open a can of mixed veggies, drain and add to the stock. You can add rice, noodles or dumplings. (remember that self rising flour? mix with water to a thick paste and push through a sieve into the boiling soup for spaetzle.) Don't forget the song and add the spices listed above.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

COOKING FOR ONE - BEEF



If you get that Home Alone face I find my biggest problem with dinners for just me is meat. Meat, unless it's hamburger patties or hot dogs just doesn't come in single servings. I like spaghetti, but I don't like noodles frozen in tomato sauce. Yuck! So I either eat several meals of spaghetti in a row or don't bother.

 I experimented with making and freezing leftovers but as I said earlier some things just don't freeze well. Noodles being one, potatoes another. Frozen potatoes are to be avoided at all costs. They turn granular and pasty. Noodles tend to soak up the liquids around them making the dish dry.

In this post I'll deal with beef.


Ground Beef Base
 Brown the beef and add one large onion chopped.  Add salt and pepper to taste. (if you don't want to chop an onion you can use dehydrated onions. (1/2 c dehydrated onion soak in 1 cup cold water for 15 minutes. drain liquid and brown). Cool the mixture. Pack into a plastic ice cube tray, use your fingers to firmly pack down the meat and onions. You want to remove as many air pockets as possible.  Freeze. When frozen pop them out of the tray and seal in freezer bag for storage.

Now when you want spaghetti with meat sauce you can cook the noodles, thaw two ice cubes of beef, add yo
ur spices (I like to use chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, parmesan cheese, garlic and a little wine in my sauce. It's runny but yummy!)

You could decide you want a flavorful taco salad or taco dip (that's salad without the lettuce). Just add taco seasoning to the beef. Layer with chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, grated cheddar cheese, guacamole and sour cream. serve over lettuce or eat with crisp tortilla chips or spoon onto soft tortilla for a yummy wrap.

Beef Pot Roast
Pot RoastCook a one to two pound roast as follows. In a frying pan set on high head sear all sides of the roast until brown. Transfer the roast to a covered roasting pan and add: 1 packet dry onion soup, 1 can cream of mushroom soup and 1/2 can of water, 1 cup wine, salt and pepper. (This is my recipe,
if you have one you like use it just remember to add no vegetables)  Set the oven to 300 degrees and slow cook until the meat falls apart. Cool. Now using a 1/2 C measure, portion out just the meat into freezer containers. cover the meat with the gravy. This is what you freeze. To use, cook the vegetables you want to add to your meat like potatoes and carrots in a steamer. Thaw the beef in a glass bowl in the microwave and combine the veggies with the meat.  Now you have a ready stock of  pot roast for dinner.
Arrow Containers
Arrow Freezer Pint Containers




I like Arrow Plastic Stor - Keeper Freezer Storage Containers.  I like the Arrow because the lids seal well and easily. Although they say you can microwave in them, I do not. The shape of the container is such that I can easily turn out the contents after running a little warm water on the bottom.