I saw this on www.tastingtable.com and thought it was worth sharing
I go through spurts with cooking and have always tried to overcook, the amount not the food. I use leftovers as additions to my daily lunch salad, others freeze for another day in perfect one meal portions, while some I use for leftover meals, look at what I have and experiments on how to use.
Some of my best minced chicken lettuce wraps came about in this manner. This has come in handy recently especially with Lyn on her special diet. This is not to say I won’t cook during the week but I do tend to cook more on weekends. I think any Chicken or meat dishes freeze and reheats well especially the meatballs in or out of sauce.
After a while the freezer gets pretty full so I pull out my frozen menu for the week and place them on the frig shelf. It’s kind of fun when one can plan a week worth of meals just sitting there waiting to be reheated. Some things freeze and reheat well other do not American Chop Suey did not reheat well after freezing – the pasta got a little mushy but that Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai I made the other day did, I reheated in a fry pan added fresh peanuts and bean sprouts and a little more sauce mmmmm. Lyn freezes plain spaghetti squash but told me it is a little watery when reheated so I got my pan very hot and stir-fried until reheated this got rid of the excess moisture.
Freezer burn is not a food safety risk. It appears as grayish-brown leathery spots on frozen food, and occurs when air reaches the food’s surface and dries out the product. This can happen any time food is not securely wrapped in air-tight packaging. Color changes result from chemical changes in the food’s pigment. Although undesirable, freezer burn does not make the food unsafe. It merely causes dry spots in foods. Kind of looks like when you defrost in Microwave and some of the edges or thinner parts start to cook, I know you’ve been there.
Making meals in advance can be as simple as doubling a casserole recipe or tossing an extra meatloaf into the oven.
Before freezing hot food, it’s important to let it cool down. Heat will raise the temperature of the freezer; and the food will not freeze uniformly, the outer edges of the hot dish will freeze hard quickly while the inside might not cool in time to prevent spoilage.
There are just a few things to keep in mind:
Poorly wrapped foods run the risk of developing freezer burn and unpleasant odors from other foods in the freezer. Follow these simple wrapping and container tips to ensure the quality and safety of your food:
With the exception of muffins, breads, and other baked goods, do not thaw foods at room temperature. Bacteria can grow in the thawed portion of prepared foods, releasing toxins that are unsafe to eat even after cooking.
To ensure that your food is safe to eat, follow one of these proper ways to thaw:
In the refrigerator: This is the slowest but safest thawing technique. Small frozen items might thaw in a few hours, while larger items will take significantly longer–overnight and then some.
In cold water: Place the frozen food in a leak-proof bag and place in a large container of cold water.
In a microwave on the defrost setting: Plan to cook the food immediately after it has thawed in a microwave, because some areas of the food might have begun cooking during the defrost cycle.
Although freezing keeps food safe for an indefinite amount of time, eventually the flavor will be affected. If the food is obviously damaged (shriveled, with white or frosty spots) it should be discarded.
This chart lists recommended storage times for popular precooked foods–casseroles, soups, lasagna–to ensure high-quality results:
Tomato/vegetable sauces – 6 months
Meatloaf (any type of meat) – 6 months
Soups and stews – 2-3 months
Poultry and Meat Casseroles – 6 months
Poultry (cooked, no gravy) – 3 months
Poultry (with gravy/sauce) – 5-6 months
Meatballs in sauce – 6 months
Pizza dough (raw, homemade) – 3-4 weeks
Muffins/quick breads (baked) 2-3 months
A temperature of 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C) is best for maintaining food quality. Proper air circulation is key to keeping your freezer operating at maximum efficiency.
Freezing does not kill bacteria, yeast and molds that might be in your foods–it merely holds them at bay by keeping them inactive. If the freezer’s temperature is disturbed often or altered for an extended period of time (such as a door left ajar or power outages) these microbes can compromise your food’s safety.
Lyn got to choose 2 of her meals that are not from her strict diet this week, she reached her half way goal and that is what they do for you at that point. Let you taste real food as she calls it. Heck, it is working, every week she losses a pound or more and that is the good way it stays off. Now I like her just the way she is but get a Yes Dear look if I say something. Anyway she chose Pan Seared Sea Scallops but whole foods also had Haddock on sale and while surfing the net she found this recipe. As I am not that adventurous when it comes to fish, Haddock should be fish and chips, swordfish and tuna steaks should be grilled, salmon well there are a lot of ways that my palate has been introduced to so when she showed me this recipe I said why not give it a try on Sunday. It was our pregame meal which turned out to be disappointing, the game not the meal this was light, flaky and just right.
Spicy Oven-Baked Fish and Sweet Potato Chips
Makes: 4 servings
Prep 20 minutes Bake 425° 20 minutes to 25 minutes
Other recipes from stevesacooking.com you might find interesting
I am trying to see how I am doing, so far just a few comments not that I expected hundreds this early on or ever, and I am just overwhelmed that I have 67 followers between Facebook and my blog I could not imagine when I began that anyone would be interested in what I cook or write about.
I am learning things everyday about writing recipes, taking pictures, cropping pictures the list goes on….
What I am looking for is how am I doing, any suggestions, what might you like to see, what improvements would you suggests, what should I stop doing? I have so many recipes that I don’t prepare any more but they were/are good, should I share those? I could go on but I won’t….
I am asking is that if possible, would you could you make the comments on the blog site not Facebook, I know it’s an extra click and wait but hey it’s for a friend right. Use the comment section at bottom of recipe and let me know what you think. Exchange ideas to try. Rate the dish if you tried it, there is the “Rate this” section below the Title then others might think to try.
But most importantly I encourage you to enjoy cooking and eating and watching for that smile on someone’s face when they take the first bite and shake their head.
Thanks so much!