Why So Many Recipes Call for a 350-Degree Oven

Why So Many Recipes Call for a 350-Degree Oven

I saw this on www.tastingtable.com and thought it was worth sharing

Why So Many Recipes Call for a 350-Degree Oven

 

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Saving leftovers

 

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.

leftovers

We have a FoodSaver an ancient model and works fine for us.

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

Freezer burn on a piece of beef 4003882014_6aba7bdc0eshutterstock_70258339Freezer Burn (film)

 

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.

Save It for Later

http://allrecipes.com

Making meals in advance can be as simple as doubling a casserole recipe or tossing an extra meatloaf into the oven.

Before You Freeze

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:

  • Cool precooked dishes as quickly as possible before they are placed in the freezer.
  • For fastest cooling, place the pan of hot food in a sink filled with ice water (or in a larger pan of ice water). If you’re cooling a soup, stew, or sauce, stir occasionally to help it cool evenly.
  • Once the dish is cooled, portion it into meal-sized containers or packages. Label and date the containers. Place them in a single layer in the coldest area of your freezer until completely frozen. Rearrange as necessary.

Tips for Freezing Foods

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:

  • Use only specialty freezer wrappings: they should be both moisture-proof and vapor-proof.
  • Leave as little air as possible in the packages and containers. When freezing liquids in containers, allow a small amount of head room for expansion. When using freezer bags, be sure to remove as much air as possible before closing.
  • Wrap solids foods like meats and baked goods tightly in foil before you bag them.
  • Use rigid containers with an air-tight lid and keep the sealing edge free from moisture or food to ensure proper closure.
  • Secure wrapped packages and containers with freezer tape, and write the dish and the date on the tape with a marker.
  • In many cases, meats and fish wrapped by the grocer or butcher need no extra attention before freezing. However, meat wrapped on Styrofoam trays with plastic wrap will not hold up well to freezing. If the food you want to freeze was not specially wrapped, then re-wrap them at home.
  • Freeze in small containers with no more than a 1-quart capacity to ensure that freezing takes place in a timely manner (i.e., within four hours). Food that is two inches thick will take about two hours to freeze completely.

food saver

Thawing Frozen Foods

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.

Best if Used By:

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:

Type of Food

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

Don’t Crowd the Freezer

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.

Spicy Oven-Baked Fish and Sweet Potato Chips

Spicy Oven-Baked Fish and Sweet Potato Chips

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

From BHG.com

Makes: 4 servings

Prep 20 minutes Bake 425° 20 minutes to 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh or frozen white fish fillets, about 1/2-inch thick
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, cut into ¼ to ½ inch sticks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning or seafood seasoning
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Lemon wedges and fresh parsley (optional)
  • We added homemade Tatar sauce

How:

  1. Cut fish into 3 x 2-inch pieces. Rinse fish; pat dry with paper towels. Cover and chill until needed.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with foil; lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  3. For chips, pat potatoes dry with paper towels; place sweet potatoes in a large bowl. Add olive oil, Old Bay seasoning, 1/2 tsp. chili powder and 1/2 tsp. salt. Toss to coat. Arrange potatoes in a single layer on one half of the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, for fish, place milk in a shallow dish. Place flour in another shallow dish. In a third shallow dish combine bread crumbs, 2 tsp. chili powder, paprika, 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper. Add melted butter; stir until combined.
  5. Dip fish pieces in milk; coat with flour. Dip again in the milk, then in the bread crumb mixture. Remove baking sheet from oven. Using a spatula, carefully turn potatoes over. Place fish on the other half of the hot baking sheet; return to oven. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes more or until potatoes are golden brown and fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve fish with lemon wedges and fresh parsley, if desired.
Cut fish, prepare milk flour and bread crumbs

Cut fish, prepare milk flour and bread crumbs. Place the sweet potato fries in oven on 1/2 cookie sheet.

ready to cook 2

Dip in Milk, Flour back to Flour and then coat with bread crumbs

add the fish

Add the fish to the other half of cookie sheet and return to oven.

done

20-25 minutes until fries are golden brown and fish flakes with fork

Spicy Oven-Baked Fish and Sweet Potato Chips

Serve it up

Other recipes from stevesacooking.com you might find interesting

Almond-Crusted Salmon

Dijon Myer Lemon Glazed Wild Salmon

Almond-Crusted Salmon

Grilled Salmon with Herb Crust

Big Fat Cod potato pancakes

Reality check

Reality check

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….

I need your help.

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!