Come and tell me your top 10 cook-and-freeze meals - if you don't, you are condemning my family to a future of fish fingers and waffles!!!

(106 Posts)
Greensleeves Fri 18-Jan-13 15:50:21

We just seem to have less time these days, and I am finding that I don't actually want to come in from a long day's work and start chopping bloody vegetables blush

I love cooking and am pretty good at it, and so is dh, and we all have very wide taste, no veggie-refusenik kids etc

So what are your top 10 freeze-for-later dishes/ Joking aside, I do cook from fresh a lot and I like doing it, but there are increasingly frequently times when dh and I just look at each other and say "fuck it, there are some fishcakes in the freezer"

I've cooked and frozen things like soups, lasagne, burgers, veggie burgers, falafels, apple pies, strudel, steak pies

but would love some inspiration and some more exciting and tempting ideas!

Never, ever, ever, put anything warm in the freezer.

<hyperventilates>

Leave it to cool COMPLETELY before freezing.

Ilisten2theradio Sat 19-Jan-13 14:31:45

pica The turkey parcels are just rolled and put into a baking try - not ties. - Oh and the last time I made them I smothered them with duck fat under the bacon to stop them drying out as I had used very hig quaity sausages in the stuffing - so no fat there.
About 45 mins-1 hour depending on how big they are at about 200c

Frikadellen Sat 19-Jan-13 14:33:55

Pies of almost any sort.

Also when you make stuff up from fresh make a double portion and freeze one half

Lafaminute Sat 19-Jan-13 14:35:54

Spinach & Ricotta Canneloni and Macaroni with leeks and bacon. Also brown bread and soup. bolognese made with veg and lentils.

Virgil Sat 19-Jan-13 14:43:55

Moussaka is a big favourite here. Home made quiches freeze well too, we like pesto and feta cheese.

MollyNollyNoo Sat 19-Jan-13 15:38:30

Bolognaes- turned into pasta bake or spag bol with extra long spaghetti to hold the DC's interest.

Chicken casserole.

Mice for shepherds pie, I add ocardo mash to the top and put it in the oven.

All above 5 litres worth cooked in the slow cooker so I only need to cook properly once a week or so...(except for weekends when I don't mind so much).

LauraPashley Sat 19-Jan-13 20:39:04

YUM thank you! Presumably could just simmer chicken breast strips in that?

I have to say my problem is that I always buy meat on offer like the 3 for £10 in sainsburys, then put it in the freezer as have too much to get through. Then when I make my lasagne or whatever I can't re freeze it!

I thought you could re-freeze meat once if defrosted then cooked? I do confused

RainbowsFriend Sat 19-Jan-13 22:44:52

On similar lines - how long can you keep home cooked stuff in the freezer for? I have some tuna pasta bake that was cooked and frozen possibly October..... maybe September - would it still be OK?

LauraPashley Sat 19-Jan-13 23:23:08

Well I've never been sure but dh swears blind you can't! Maybe someone here will know the definitive answer!

I just found this and it says food can be frozen forever but its the quality not safety which is the issue with long term freezing. It also says that defrosted raw meat which has then been cooked can be refrozen (relevant paragraphs are just over halfway down the link)

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 19-Jan-13 23:36:07

I am doing a level 3 cert in food safety I can 100% assure you that you can freeze raw meat cook it and then re freeze it.

LauraPashley Sun 20-Jan-13 19:14:59

Oh thank you! Is it sad to be very excited?! So what is the no-no, is it cooking, freezing, defrosting then re-freezing?

Zoomania Sun 20-Jan-13 19:27:31

I always make big batches of red Thai curry made with chicken thighs and freeze portions to have in a hurry with microwave rice. I have also just frozen the sauce with peppers and veg in and then added fish or prawns or whatever I have in the fridge. Always seems to freeze well.

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 20-Jan-13 20:24:01

You can get something raw cook and re freeze but you can't get something raw defrost and then re freeze laura

Greensleeves Sun 20-Jan-13 20:57:52

am definitely going to do a sausage casserole, am thinking cassoulet with chunks of bacon <slaver>

one thing I am struggling with is portions - I can never work out how much of something is right for 4 of us, it never looks like enough when I put it in pots confused

Greensleeves Sun 20-Jan-13 21:20:34

bumping for more pearls of wisdom smile

BertieBotts Sun 20-Jan-13 21:24:00

Hmm, not sure if I have 10 TBH! I'll give it a go grin

Portion wise I use the containers you get from Chinese takeaways, a full one is an adult's portion size (when you add something to it, rice, naan bread, crusty bread, pasta/spaghetti, mashed potato, mashed potato topping, baked potatoes, veg etc) Half of one of those is a child's portion - although my DS is 4 so perhaps a small child's portion. Maybe fill it around 2/3 full for an older child and mark with "C" or "A" on the lid?

I make:

Spag bol (obvious!) Can also make just pasta sauce to have with sausages and pasta or chicken and pasta.
Curries - this cauliflower curry with added chickpeas is lovely. (Chickpeas make it filling) I usually use the leaves from the cauli instead of spinach.
Chicken curry too - can use a jar if you like, but much nicer if you make a big batch using curry pastes and then coconut milk or tinned tomatoes or whatever to make the sauce - experiment with sauces and ingredients too smile
Cottage pie filling - beef mince with onions, garlic, beef stock cube, peas and carrots.
Shepherd's pie filling - lamb mince, onions, white wine, peas, parsnips, honey and loads of mint. May want to add gravy browning & a little bit of veg or lamb stock to make gravy.
Veggie shepherd's pie filling - either rattatouille or a hugh-fearnley whittingstall lentil and butternut squash mixture is fantastic - my friend gave me a batch of this for the freezer and it's lovely in a "shepherd's" pie!
Beef stew - I make in the slow cooker. My secret ingredient is a generous dollop of dijon mustard smile
Coq Au Vin - sounds fancy but is pretty easy to make, again in the slow cooker (or on the hob!)
Chicken Supreme - chicken in a white wine cream sauce - can probably find recipes online but I make it the way my mum did - with a can of Baxter's condensed soup blush You just use half the amount of liquid it suggests and all milk, no water. Add chicken, onions, sliced mushrooms and peas.

That probably works out as more than 10 anyway grin

BertieBotts Sun 20-Jan-13 21:24:54

PS if you don't want to order loads of chinese, you can buy the containers at supermarkets - tesco even have them on their online section so you can have them delivered with the weekly shop.

Greensleeves Sun 20-Jan-13 22:11:37

cauliflower recipe looks lovely Bertie smile tis my favourite vegetable and works so well with spices

blackeyedsusan Sun 20-Jan-13 22:21:39

pork and apple cook onions, sliced carots, and pork... add water and a couple of apples cook til apples go soft. also add bit of sherrry in there too if I hve any.

PrettyPineapples Sun 20-Jan-13 22:26:22

I always cook and freeze -chiilli con carne
spag bol
shepherds pie
curry
vegetable soup
leek and potato soup
chicken and ham pie

BertieBotts Sun 20-Jan-13 22:55:26

What would you serve that with, susan? I've seen it recommended a few times now but have never eaten it before.

The cauliflower recipe is gorgeous - the sauce is a bit thin, but it's so quick to make! I imagine you could also add lentils to thicken it up a bit? I tend to add the chickpeas because naan bread is a pain to store and I always have rice in the house.

ethelb Mon 21-Jan-13 19:52:49

oooh, I'm going to do a lovely lamb curry in the slow cooker for Friday night/to freeze using Jamie O's base sauce.

mrsbadger2 Thu 24-Jan-13 20:57:54

Delia's beef ghoulash recipe, with smoked paprika and red peppers, is quick to prepare and freezes beautifully. I always serve with rice, spuds, green beans and soured cream for a dinner party. Fairly economical for every day too.

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