KOSHER Freezer cooking / frozen assets : cooking in bulk!!
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Post  Sun, Jun 29 2008, 8:02 am
Freezer cooking means cooking multiple servings of something (like 6 pans of lasagna) and freezing it, often in groups (like one day, make 4 meals each of 4 different beef entrees). That's a giant cooking day, and requires lots of prep. I also try to double my dinners sometimes and freeze the extras for variety. Then, you can pull it out of the freezer and serve it whenever. It requires organization, but is so helpful on those rushed nights.

There are several websites and groups on this, but they always have the meat and dairy together. I don't like using fake dairy, so it's a pain to adapt their giant recipes and sort which are dairy/meat--I may as well plan the whole thing myself!

Does anyone else do this? Do you have a good bunch of recipes/tips/ideas for the kosher version? Is there a site already doing this?
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Post  Sun, Jun 29 2008, 8:13 am
I have this cookbook called The Heimishe Kitchen - A Yiddish simcha. Every recipe calls for a ridiculous amount of food because its for a simcha. One recipe starts with 40 chicken bottoms! You can get something like, just multiply regular recipes or ask some of the shluchim on this site for help. Many of them cook for a lot of people every shabbos.
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Post  Sun, Jun 29 2008, 8:32 am
I'm looking for more like groups of recipes, so I can do more big cooking days, and including ingredients lists. For example, say ground beef is on a great sale--I'm looking for access to what to do with 25 pounds of beef.

Right now, I do occasionally buy big quantities of meat and deal with it all in one day. For example, when chicken is on sale, I'll buy 10 whole chickens and cut them up. I'll have bags of marinades prepared and labeled, and sauces prepped, and onions or other veggies chopped. Then I'll come home with the chicken, put two in the roasting pans I've prepped already and start them roasting, and cut up the other 8. Wings go into my hotwing marinade, half the legs into a sweet and sour marinade, half the legs into my two bags of pieces for freezing, thighs in for chicken vindaloo. Half the breasts gets diced and put into kung pao marinade, and the other half get sliced for snitzel/chicken nuggets.

Then the roasted chickens are done. I shred one and put some into a chicken pot pie mix, finish that up and bake. The other half shredded into sauce for barbecued chicken. Chicken carcasses, bones, pieces make stock, which is then frozen in the right serving sizes, too, etc...

I had a couple of routines like this, but they went away for Pesach cleaning, and they haven't been found since Embarassed I haven' bothered with dairy recipes, but I want to do that, too.

I guess the recipes should go under recipes, but just looking for other ideas and places to search like that!
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Post  Sun, Jun 29 2008, 10:11 am
me too, I wish I could get into this habit, with a growing family and tons of guests...I have only done husg batches of challah.
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Post  Sun, Jun 29 2008, 10:26 am
Savingdinner.com has what you're looking for. They're called freezer menus, and theyhave a veggie version which, of course, is also kosher. It may even be that the regular freezer menu has a kosher option.
Very recommended!
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Post  Sun, Jun 29 2008, 11:41 am
Nechoma Greisman Anthology

This has a lot of freezer tips. although I can't figure out how to bake raw challah dough from the freezer.
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Post  Sun, Jun 29 2008, 11:45 am
re: baking frozen challah dough

I would treat it like kinneret frozen dough. It's already risen once and braided. So, let thaw until it rises again (about 4-6 hours at room temp for a whole challah) , egg, and bake.
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Post  Sun, Jun 29 2008, 11:45 am
amitalmaia wrote:
IFor example, say ground beef is on a great sale--I'm looking for access to what to do with 25 pounds of beef.

meatballs (both small and large patties)
meat loaf
sloppy joes

and just freeze it in 1 or 2 pound packages.
How much is the sale for, just curious Queen
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Post  Sun, Jun 29 2008, 12:04 pm
Actually, I live overseas right now and have the option to buy kosher meat once every 3-6 months (once it was a year!) We buy in SERIOUS bulk then...so no good sale, sorry. Smile I hesitate to ask what meat costs in the US these days...I'll be in for some serious shock when we come back this winter!
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Post  Sun, Jun 29 2008, 12:23 pm
I have some ideas, but I want someone else to do the lists of ingredients and think through what to do when and for how much... Very Happy

My latest ground beef came frozen, and thawed on the way, so I had 15 kg of thawing beef. I ground 12 kg of it. I made 30 hamburgers and grilled them, made 2 kg of moroccan cigar meat, 5 kh of meatballs which I baked without sauce and froze, 3 trays of curried meat loaf with potato crust, 1 kg cholent meat for that Shabbat, 2 kg sesame beef, I can't remembr what else...

I think it would be nice if there were lists of what to have on hand, how much total to prep--like how many onions for the whole bunch of recipes?

They do that for freezer cooking, and I get those e-mails, but since I end up substituting so many things in and out...I'll check out the saving dinner site from Zus. Thanks! Smile
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Post  Sun, Jun 29 2008, 1:10 pm
[color=violet]HI! I'm new to ImaMother but I have to tell you, freezer cooking is the WAY to go. I do it with everything. I think it's more a matter of working out your system than following recipes. Here's how I handle it. For ex. Monday - get 5 cases chicken. Immediately put up four HUGE pots of chicken soup (now that I have 2 ovens, I put up 8 pots)
I also have the luxury of helpers - my oldest is 9, so she can peel the soup veggies for me, and I have a daily cleaning lady. I also work full time, which crimps my style somewhat.
Clean chickens. Spice them and freeze in the cooking pans. (You might want to put THICK slices of veggies or sweet potato under some. Thick bec. freezing then defrosting softens them and if they are thin, they will be MUSH) Use heavy, dense fibrous veggies like sweet potato, carrots (NOT bagged mini carrots) Parsnip, etc.
So I have my preferences already - this many pans of crumb chicken, this many pans of apricot chicken, this many pans of spices and paprika rub with honey drizzled on top, this many pans of sesame flavored, etc.
You can also clean and freeze chicken bottoms in bags, for quick suppers. My preference - freeze them on disposable broiler pans - then, for supper, B4 work, you pull out a pan, leave it to defrost on the counter, and after work, all you do is pop the pan in the oven and press broil, cut up a salad, and VOILA - instant supper. Just remember to double or triple wrap the tray, to avoid freezer burn.
Now, what to do with all the boiled chicken from the 8 huge pots of chicken soup, you may ask!!!
1) dice and freeze some for use in chicken patties (MUCH cheaper than ground chicken), chinese style chow-mein, chicken salad sandwiches
2) make a chicken pot pie with some (recipes in various cookbooks - these also freeze really well)
3) homemade baby food.
4) on pesach, I had an inspiration to try a chicken filling for knishes. Haven't tried it yet. family is too fond of meat knish, but maybe I will one day.
I have TONS more tips about this, if anyone is interested
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Post  Sun, Jun 29 2008, 1:26 pm
what size pots do you use for soup? where do you have room to store all those huge pots?

I would love to hear more tips.
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Post  Sun, Jun 29 2008, 6:35 pm
Hi! Sure - here's what I do. First of all, my pots are huge. Not sure the size, but could comfortably serve as a baby's bathtub. Let's put it this way - they are not officially industrial size, just the biggest ones my local Targethas to offer. In them, I put some marrow bones, sometimes a small piece (tiny!) of lamb neck for flavor, and four pieces of chicken, plus veggies cut large (like I'll cut a large carrot into two big chunks) We like it veggie flavored, so I put in lots of veggies - celery root, parsnip, carrots, parsley root, maybe a turnip or kohlrabi, squash, an onion or two. I spice it up, bring to a boil ,and let it simmer all day.
Once they are done, I usually leave them to cool on the counter for a while, or to cool overnight in the fridge (there's not usually enough room, which is why I do countertop cooling. Because the pots are so large, they don't even significantly cool off overnight.
The next morning, I strain the soup. I use a wire mesh strainer. I seperate out the veggies, and rinse them. Then I use disposable pound containers (the type pickles come in - in fact, I often recycle the picke containers - if you wash a few times in the dishwasher, or pack with newspaper, the smell dissapears) I put 4 carrot chunks, 4 parsnip chunks, 2 whole parsley roots, and some shredded cooked chicken BACK into each container. Then I ladle the soup into the containers, and freeze.
In terms of freezers, I have a LOT. I did have three large freezers, but one broke and we didn't really need to replace it. I have 2 large freezers and one bottom freezer on my very large fridge. These are usually all packed to capacity.
Keep in mind, I am cooking for a family of eight. Also, we often have guests on shabbos, and also, it's worth it to me to do EVERYTHING in bulk - less kitchen cleanup, and I work full time, which further reduces the time I have available to spend in the kitchen. Therefore, EVERYTHING is freezer cooking.
I have tons more tips, if you want them.
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Post  Sun, Jun 29 2008, 6:41 pm
OOPS - you asked where I store such huge pots. I have a pretty big house, and my secret weapon is the study off my kitchen - which is my dh's study but I have a shelf where I put my hugest pots - it's high up (and I"m really short) so DH is usually enlisted to take them down, but as I only use them once every six weeks or so, it's fine. I do keep one huge pot handy in my undersink cabinet. That is for when I want to make a less frequently used soup - like mushroom barley or minestrone. Then I use that plus my largest "normal" sixe pot (maybe a 10 quart?) This also gives me enough variety in soups so that my kids don't feel that I repeat soups on them too often. In our family, we eat - chicken soup a lot, mushroom barley, something called 'meat soup' which is just a concotion of mine - no recipe - but always seems to taste more or less the same, Italian Chickpea soup (the reciped is from a cookbook by Arthur Schwartz) vegetable soup, and occasionally yellow split pea soup from the Kosher By Design cookbook. There are others I've tried, but none go over well enough to break out the BIG pots.
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Post  Sun, Jun 29 2008, 7:53 pm

so how many liters of water do you use for 4 (? is that right) pieces of chicken? When I make chicken soup, I usually put water to cover the chicken by a couple of inches... It seems too little chicken per too much water in your recipe, how do you get it to taste like chicken soup? Is that the cooking time?
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Post  Sun, Jun 29 2008, 8:37 pm
I DK - I fill it to the very top with water. Come to think of it, I might put in 6 or 8 legs to the larger pots. I also tend to use chicken thighs, which are a little cheaper. Also, I do TONS of veggies, which give it a rich flavor. As you can see, I'm not a very exact cook in terms of my recipes, but somehow, I tend to get good reviews of my cooking. I'm a by eye, by feel kind of cook. I also do a lot of marrow bones and lamb neck (but I put the lamb neck into a cheesecloth bag so that it shouldn't crumble up into the soup.
Also, I cook it for a VERY long time. If I start at 10AM, the soups are basically up by 11, boiling by 11:45, and then they just cook all day on a very low flame - low simmer. 11, 12 at night, I take them off the fire, onto towels spread out on the counter (first I let them cool for like half an hour on the stove top. They sit on the counter all night. So, since they are still VERY hot the next morning, that means they are basically still "cooking" overnight. They are very, very rich (if you like intensely flavored chicken soup).
In terms of spices, I had to learn by trial and error. A lot of fresh garlic cloves, some parsley, some dill (in a cheesecloth bag)- both fresh. Some fresh sage (in a bag - you can get the alei katif kind where I live) Then bottle spices - garlic powder, 2 kinds of pepper (black and white) onion powder, a bit of paprika for the color, a BIG handful of Kosher salt, I also tend to put some rosemary in the cheesecloth with my parsley. I have also found a spice mix called "French Fry Salt" which I tend to add. I always feel that I'm overspicing, taste it after it's been cooking for an hour or so, and end up adding more spices.
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Post  Sun, Jun 29 2008, 11:48 pm
How about ideas for dairy things? I've got a few pasta and tomato sauced based ideas, and I make a basic quiche mix and then make 10 crusts and bake half spinach, half mushroom...

rdk211, what other kids of things do you do? Do you have lists, or do you just eyeball it?
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Post  Tue, Jul 01 2008, 12:52 pm
I love this thread! I also love cooking for the freezer, but then I become a bit of a scrooge when it comes to taking out a frozen dinner when we have none planned on a particular noght, because I hate to see my stash being depleted Smile

Also, my freezer is pretty small - over the fridge type in an apartment! So I can't prepare that much in advance.

Some of the things I prepare:

Meat Lasagne (Lubavitch puple cookbook)
Chili (Kosher Pallette)
Hamburger Patties

Challah (takes up a lot of space though)

Muffins - Carrot, Pumpkin, Zuchini
Butternut Squash Pie

Chicken and other soups

Baked Ziti
Mac 'n CHeese
Spinache Cheese Casserole
Feta/Spinache Quiche (Kosher by something.. palette? design? entertains?)

Cleaned chicken bottoms (preseasoned, or with veggies under- peas,carrots,corn and a bit of duck sauce on top)
Chicken chow mein (also from leftover chicken soup
Ground chicken wontons for soup

Deli Roll

Cakes that can later be dressed up - easier to just have the cake ready and prepare if surprise company coming,etc.
Yellow cake later to become a Strawberry shortcake (add whip and frozen/fresh strawberries)
Chocolate cake to be used in trifle recipes.
Chocolate chip cookies - sometimes taste even better straight from the freezer Smile
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Post  Tue, Jul 01 2008, 1:12 pm
I love cookies from the freezer!

I actually make cookies for eating from the freezer...my husband doesn't really like them! Twisted Evil

And I also make huge batches, scoop the dough into balls and freeze them individually before bagging them up. Then I can make any amount of fresh, warm cookies within 15 minutes! Just put directly into the preheated oven and cook a few minutes longer than originally specified.

I'm doing a big dairy cooking day:

-pie crusts, some plain for future use and some with...
-6 spinach / 4 mushroom quiche
-10 cheese pizzas (I top before baking)
-4 taco pizzas (with refried beans instead of tomato sauce, bake top with tomato, onion, nacho chips, and salsa)
-4 trays enchiladas (with same refried beans from above)
-5 dinners worth of falafel

And falafel for dinner!
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Post  Tue, Jul 01 2008, 1:26 pm
how do you figure out how much of each ingredient to buy?
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