Friday, August 3, 2012

Freezer Cooking (Part III)

Yesterday I cooked ALL day. 8AM to 10:30PM. It was a long day, but I definitely feel like I accomplished a lot. I will show you pictures :). Lots and lots of pictures. 

The first thing I made was Bolognese sauce. This is a recipe I have made before and it is delicious! 

I didn't want it too soupy so I left out some of the tomatoes. When we cook the sauce in the future we will need to add a 28oz. can of whole tomatoes. 

Chopping jalapeno, grating carrots and blanching broccoli. I was always running out of bowls and containers. Note to self, for future freezer cooking, either purchase or borrow more big bowls that can hold large quantities of food. 

Cooked Brown Rice.

I found a great way to make brown rice! Whenever I have made it in the past it turns out mushy or crunchy. I read about a technique on Pinch My Salt that says to cook rice like pasta. You boil your water first (at least 4 cups for every 1 cup of rice) and then add the rice. Let it cook for 30 minutes, drain out the water, put the lid back on the pot and let it steam. This time my rice turned out perfect. 

The token picture of my messy kitchen! So much stuff is going on in this picture. The funniest part is Bowdon lying on the floor. He is on the kitchen floor a lot these days trying to stay cool. He's got one eye open though, ready for the moment I drop food on the floor so he can be the first one to get it :).

All the ingredients for chicken and brown rice casserole. Instead of cream of chicken soup I used cottage cheese and egg whites. The recipe that I found only called for broccoli, but I took liberties and added sauteed carrots, onions, garlic, peas, and mushrooms. 

The lighting is not so good, but I have everything mixed up and ready to bag. I didn't have enough room in my freezer to put it in pans, so I scooped it into bags. We will defrost it the night before, and dump it into a pan when we are ready to bake it. 

With leftovers I filled quart size bags with 2 cups each of white beans, black beans, brown rice and chicken.  

It is hard to see it, but it says 96 degrees! Ah. 

Here are the chilies for my enchilada sauce. I got chile guajillo, chili ancho, and (not pictured) chile de arbol. I tore off the stem, and shook out the seeds into my compost bucket. Then I tore them in half and put them all into a bowl. 

After they were prepped, I set up a system where I could blister the chilies and put them into the pan on the right. 

After all the chilies were blistered, I poured boiling water over them until they were covered. I let them sit for an hour or two to rehydrate. 

Then I poured out the soaking water and pureed the chilies in the blender. I had to do it in two batches.

Then I mixed in crushed tomatoes, chicken broth and spices. 

Then I tasted it.

 It is incredible!

 Of all the things I made the last couple days, this steals the show. It is really really good! 

After the sauce was made, and all the other ingredients prepped, I set up my assembly line to make enchiladas. I don't know what I was thinking, but I didn't get anywhere near enough tortillas. I bought 30 tortillas for 8 pans of enchiladas. I used only 4 tortillas per pan (some only got 3 1/2) and layered them like a casserole instead of rolling them. I think I will like it better that way anyway and it will be a lot less starchy. 

I had my hubby take a picture of me when he got home. In all my hot and sweaty glory. haha

The first layer is done. It went sauce, tortilla, black beans, ground beef, a mixture of onions, collards and mushrooms, and finally sharp cheddar cheese. Then I repeated all the steps for a second layer.

Everything wrapped up and labeled with the name and date. 

The most exciting part was that I made way too much enchilada sauce. I made around 2 gallons and only used half. So I put the rest of it into jars. I will freeze most of it, but I definitely plan on leaving a big jar in the fridge to use immediately :). I am sure it won't last long. 

Last but not least, I made pot pie filling that will be served over rice. It has blanched broccoli, blanched squash, chopped chicken, corn, peas, sauteed garlic carrots and jalapenos, and white beans. Whew. That was a mouthful. haha I am always liberal with the veggies. The sauce isn't pictured. I added it directly to the individual bags instead of mixing it into the big bowl. It was actually gluten free and had coconut milk, olive oil, rice flour and nutritional yeast in it. 

Another picture of my messy kitchen. Unfortunately it still looks like this. I should really do something about that...  

The random toiler paper on the table is for blowing my nose. We are out of kleenex, and I was a crying fool with all the onions I had to cut up. Too bad I didnt' have any goggles with me. haha

The speakers were set up so I could plug them into my computer and listen to the online broadcasts of Adventures in Odyssey :). Oh yeah. 

Finally, I wanted to show you what I ate for lunch today. I made a chickpea flour crepe with a mixture of tomato, black bean and egg topped with yoghurt and enchilada sauce. After I took the picture I doused the crepe with more enchilada sauce and loved every bite! Seriously, if you ever get the opportunity, make enchilada sauce from scratch. The store bought stuff doesn't hold a candle to the real thing. 

I am not done yet, but I had to work today so I will be finishing everything up tomorrow. Also, for anyone that is interested, I will be writing a post either tomorrow or Sunday that includes all the recipes from the last few days. 

1 comment:

If you are a blogger and not using blogspot please feel free to leave your blog URL as your nickname or in the body of your comment.