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Archive for October, 2014

I’ve made use of freezer meals for a long time. Busy work weeks or deadline season, working and going to school and most recently, having a baby, have all been reasons for me to stock the freezer with instant chow. Thaw, heat and enjoy!

By far the most freezer meal prep I’ve done was in May of this year, knowing that our Wee William was just weeks from making his grand entrance. It turned out he decided to do so 15 days early, so I was glad I’d decided to get my freezing done well in advance! By the time I was done I had a buffet of items in both the deep freeze and fridge freezer to choose from. I thought I’d share the recipes that worked the best for me. Here they are, along with any suggested tweaks!

Spring Rolls. You can even freeze and reheat the dipping sauce.

Tortilla Soup. Leave out the toppings and freeze. When you reheat, break out the toasted tortilla strips (you can make a bunch and store in an airtight container for a few weeks) avocado, cheese and lime.

Stuffed Shells. Use the recipe right off the box. Or do like I did and cook up a pound of sausage and stir that into the stuffing.

Beef & Broccoli. Undercook the broccoli a bit. Serve over rice. Not a stellar freeze texture wise on the sauce, but all the flavors hold up.

Lasagne.  Recipe is great as is. Freezes like a champ! For the record, I did NOT use Kraft “parmesan” cheese. I don’t know what that crap is. I bought a huge chunk for a discount at Whole Foods (how often does that happen?) and grated a boatload of it one afternoon. You can freeze it that way for months. I just bagged it up in about one cup portions and pull out a bag as needed.

Kalua Pork.  Stir the gravy into the meat before freezing. Serve over rice. (And as I mentioned before ….you really do not need to cook it for 16-20 hours. Depending on the size of your roast, 8 to 10 is fine.)

KKF Jambalaya. A KKF version of old fashioned Jambalaya. See below!

KKF Taquitos. Check back next Monday for the recipe. (Yeah, I’m cheeky like that!)

Meatloaf Minis. These were surprisingly delicious. Top with steak sauce, barbecue sauce, etc. Throw in a few veggies and you’ve got yourself a winner. (Modification: I did not use Crispex (gak). I substituted panko breadcrumbs and they were awesome.)

There are lots of great freezer meal recipes out there – feel free to share your favorites in the comments!

KKF Jambalaya

2 T coconut oil

1 large onion, diced

1 green pepper, diced

6-7 garlic cloves

½ red pepper, diced

4 ribs celery

16 oz tomato sauce

20 oz chopped tomatoes

2 7oz jars tomato paste

2 ½ – 3 cups chicken stock

2 T creole seasoning (I used this one.)

1 c cooked ground sausage

2 links chorizo or Andouille sausage (about 1/3 pound), cut into chunks

2 c cooked shredded chicken

1 ½ c small shrimp (cooked)

Sauté onion, garlic, peppers and celery in oil til soft. Add 1 jar tomato paste, tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes and seasonings. Cook the heck out of it. Add meats and shrimp. Add second jar of paste and chicken stock until you get the desired consistency. Heat through. Serve over rice.

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Welcome Back Salmon

I’ve been on a long hiatus, but like the salmon, I always come back. The past year has been an amazing. I went from one person to two and back to one. I had all of my priorities reorganized and got a crash course in babies. My son is now 4 1/2 months old. I keep staring at him, still a bit in unbelief that he’s actually here. He grins back at me, and I feel like maybe I am getting the hang of this mom thing, at least for this moment.

As he’s gotten older and slightly more independent, I’m able to turn for a few moments a day back to my old pursuits. Kitchen Kung Fu is going to be getting a make over and a new direction soon, but rest assured I will still be bringing you my usual KKF recipes, recipe hacks, recipe spin offs and an extra 20% snark at no additional charge.

It’s salmon season! The time of year when the fishermen (and women) are back from the waters and ready to sell their salmon to their excited customers. I purchased some sockeye salmon and smoked pink salmon this year from Lummi Island Wild Salmon. This is the second time I’ve purchased from them and will be getting some halibut from them some time soon which I’m totally jazzed about.

The first dish I prepared was a salmon with saffron sauce. How I love saffron, and appreciate all the hard work that goes into harvesting it. It’s aromatic goodness is like nothing else, and pairs so wonderfully with salmon…

saffronsalmon

KKF Saffron Salmon with Penne

8 oz sockeye salmon filet

8 oz penne pasta

3 T butter (for frying)

1/4 c of butter

4 T flour

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 c whole milk

1 c frozen peas

1 medium bell pepper, sliced

1/2 t ground coriander

pinch of saffron

salt and pepper to taste

Put saffron threads into a coffee mug and cover with about a quarter cup of very hot water. Set aside to steep.

Boil your water for the pasta and add a tablespoon or so of oil. This will keep the pasta from sticking together. Cook according to package directions, about 11 minutes for al dente.

Melt the three tablespoons of butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. When hot, put salmon filet skin side up and fry for about three minutes, then flip and fry for another three minutes or so. We want it to still be nice and bright pink in the center. Set aside and cover with foil for five minutes, then shred up the salmon into small chunks. Use your hands. Sample a bit of salmon while you’re at it.

While the salmon is frying, slice up your pepper. As soon as the salmon comes out of the pan, toss the red peppers in and give them a good sear in the leftover butter.

Cook your peas according to package directions and strain well.

Melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a small sauce pan. Add the flour tablespoon by tablespoon and whisk vigorously. Let it get nice and bubbly to cook the flour but keep it moving so it doesn’t burn. Pour in the saffron and water, continuing to whisk, then slowly add the milk, whisking each bit in completely before adding more. (More milk for a thinner sauce, less milk for a thicker sauce according to your preference.) Whisk in the coriander and salt and pepper to taste.

When the sauce is thickened to your liking, combine the sauce, penne, salmon chunks and strained peas. Top with the red bell peppers.

I recommend a buttery chardonnay to go with this. Here’s a wine that lives up to it’s name…Butter Chardonnay from Jam Cellars. Enjoy!

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