Freezer Cooking, part 4

This is the final segment of freezer cooking for this month.  I can’t say that I won’t return to this topic again sometime, I just feel like I’m becoming a cooking blog and that wasn’t my intent.  I certainly will always welcome your comments and questions about freezer cooking.  And don’t worry about thread-jacking, I’m not a comment purist-post the questions where ever you like.

I’ve already covered some of the dishes for summer and fall, so let’s look at winter and spring.  And breakfast, I love a good, quick, homemade breakfast.

Winter:

Casseroles-oh you knew that was coming didn’t you?  Most casseroles freeze very well.  About the only thing that doesn’t freeze well in a casserole is fresh vegetables and chunks of potatoes, they get watery when thawed.  I’ve learned to substitute frozen chunked hashbrowns for the regular potatoes in any recipe calling for potatoes that I would like to freeze.

Side dishes-I freeze rice pilaf, creamy noodles, mashed potatoes and mac & cheese to use as side dishes with roasts, chicken, pork, burgers, hotdogs and fish.  I like being able to put everything in the oven so that pre-dinner time can be used to help with homework or to just have time to knit or crochet.

Meatloaf-I’ve done meatloaves with ground beef or ground turkey and both types freeze very well.  I don’t pre-bake them, but I will give you a little tip:  Freeze the meat mixture in gallon size zip bags (not the slider zip ones-they can leak).  Press the mixture flat inside the bag once you’ve pressed the air out and sealed the bag.  This will make a thin layer that thaws much faster than a thick preformed meatloaf.  If you need to bake the meatloaf quickly, pat the thawed meat mixture into a pie pan rather than a loaf pan.  Bake at the temp you usually use, the meatloaf should be done in 25-30 minutes rather than the usual 50-60 minutes.

Spring:

For this season, I usually make and freeze many of the items I’ve made in Fall and I begin to get the Summer grilling items ready.

Ham & Potato Casserole-this is a good way to get rid of Easter leftovers.  Ham balls are another good way to use up cooked ham, although personally I have not gotten around to making them yet I have heard that they freeze well.

Meatballs-we usually begin the rounds of potluck dinners in the spring and meatballs, either in barbeque sauce or white sauce, make a tasty addition to a potluck.  I have also served the barbeque sauced meatballs over cooked rice for supper, or the white sauced ones over noodles.

Breakfasts:

French Toast-either whole french toast, french toast sticks or as french toast casserole, this freezes well and makes for a nice, quick breakfast.  I use regular bread to make the casserole (9×13 pan) and put the bread down in two layers.  In the middle, I put flavored cream cheese (8oz) mixed with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.  I also put 1/4 cup sugar into the milk/egg mixture and pour it over the casserole once it’s layered.  Cover and freeze.  Bake at 350 for about 40-45 minutes, thaw prior to baking.  For the french toast and/or french toast sticks, I use Texas Toast bread.  Cut the slices into thirds for sticks.  Use your favorite french toast recipe and bake the toast/toast sticks on cookie sheets to save having to stand over a hot griddle for hours.  Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes each pan, turn the toast/sticks about halfway through the baking time to brown the other side.

Oatmeal:  Baked oatmeal is wonderfully easy if made ahead and frozen.  Reheat in the microwave or in the oven.

Quiches, stratas and egg bakes:  These can be prepped and frozen.  For quiches, prep and bag the egg mixture.  Freeze the pie crusts separately.  You can freeze pre-baked quiche if you prefer.  I find my pre-baked quiches ended up with tough eggs so I no longer do it that way.  Any strata or egg bake mixture will also freeze well.  You can use foil pans to freeze them or the Gladware plastic pans.

Pancakes:  These also freeze well precooked and can be heated up in the toaster for a quick breakfast.  I have not tried to freeze pancake batter yet.

Well, that’s all I can think of off the top of my head.  Again, if you have any questions or comments, let me know.

Happy cooking.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pepibican
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 05:44:45

    This is a good blog message, I will keep the post in my mind. If you can add more video and pictures can be much better. Because they help much clear understanding. 🙂 thanks Pepibican.

  2. thefrenchchick
    Nov 10, 2010 @ 15:13:36

    Adding video I’m not good at, but I will try to add pictures when possible. Thanks for the feedback.

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