Monday, February 23, 2009

Bagel Pizzas

We flash froze these and then vacuum sealed 4-5 in a bag. We baked for a full 30 minutes. Found on Recipezaar.

24 bagels, split and buttered (plain)
2 lbs ground beef
1 large onion, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
3 cups mozzarella cheese
1 jar pizza sauce (14 ounce)
1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1. In a large skillet, brown the beef and onion; drain the fat.

2. Add salt, pepper, and garlic salt.

3. Spread 2 teaspoons of pizza sauce on each bagel. Spoon meat onto sauce. Sprinkle with parsley, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

4. Place on a cookie sheet and flash freeze. Then, place bagels in freezer bag. Store in freezer until ready to serve.

5. To serve: bake frozen at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes, or until bubbly.

24 servings (48 bagel halves)

Make-Ahead Chimichangas

We stored the wrapped chimichangas in a couple gallon plastic bags with the instructions written on them as a reminder. We've only had them from frozen in the oven, but they are very good. Doug bakes for 55 min wrapped and only 5 min unwrapped so they're not quite so crunchy.

3 cups cooked chicken
16 ounces salsa
16 ounces refried beans
4 ounces green chili peppers, diced in can
1 envelope burrito seasoning mix or taco seasoning mix
16 flour tortillas (7- or 8-inch)
16 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into sixteen 5 x 1/2 inch sticks

1. Using two forks, shred cooked meat or chicken (should have about 3 cups).

2. In a large pot combine meat or chicken, salsa, beans, undrained chili peppers, and seasoning mix.

3. For each chimichanga, place 1/3 cup meat mixture atop a tortilla, near one edge.

4. Top with a cheese stick.

5. Fold in sides; roll up, starting with cheese side.

6. To prepare, wrap frozen chimichangas individually in foil.

7. Bake in a 350 degree F. oven about 50 minutes or until heated through. Or, thaw chimichangas in refrigerator overnight. Bake about 30 minutes. Unwrap. Bake 10 minutes more or until tortilla is crisp and brown.

Serves: 8

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Old-Fashioned Chicken and Noodles

I found this recipe in Country Home and decided to make it for some friends who are under the weather. I used chicken thighs and the slow cooker method, and it couldn't have been easier! After 8 hours, I simply grabbed the thigh bones with tongs and the meat literally fell off when I gently shook it.

3 medium onions, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
3 stalks celery, sliced (1 1/2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil or butter
3 lb. meaty chicken pieces (drumsticks, thighs, and breast halves), skinned
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
4 carrots, sliced (2 cups)
1 Tbsp. snipped fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 16-oz. pkg. frozen egg noodles
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Fresh Thyme sprigs (optional)

1. In a Dutch oven cook onions, celery, and garlic in olive oil just until tender. Add chicken pieces, broth, water, carrots, 1 tablespoon thyme, bay leaf, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from heat. Remove chicken; set aside to cool slightly. Return pan to heat; bring broth mixture to boiling. Add frozen noodles and bring to boiling again. Reduce heat and cook, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until noodles are desired doneness. Meanwhile, remove meat from bones; discard bones. Chop the chicken. Remove bay leaf from noodle mixture and discard. Add cooked chicken to noodle mixture.

2. In a small bowl dissolve cornstarch in 2 tablespoons water. Add cornstarch mixture to pan along with peas and lemon juice. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly; cook and stir 2 minutes more. Garnish with thyme sprigs.

Makes 8 servings.

SLOW-COOKER DIRECTIONS: In 5- to 6-quart slow cooker place onion, celery, garlic, carrots, thyme, bay leaf, poultry seasoning, salt, and black pepper (omit olive oil and cooking of vegetables in oil). Place chicken pieces on top of vegetables. Pour chicken broth over chicken, omitting the 1 cup water. Cover; cook on low-heat setting 8 to 9 hours or on high-heat setting 4 to 4 1/2 hours. Remove chicken from cooker; cool slightly. Remove bay leaf; discard. Meanwhile, in a separate pan cook noodles according to package directions; drain. Remove chicken from bones; discard bones. Chop chicken; return to cooker with cooked noodles, peas, and lemon juice. (Omit cornstarch and water thickening step.) Stir to combine. Garnish as directed, if desired.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Penne with Rosemary Chicken

After making this recipe the first time, I think that the pasta should be cooked al dente before freezing. Will try next time and let you know how it turned out.

Nonstick cooking spray
1 pound diced cooked chicken
1 pound penne pasta
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheese blend
½ cup yellow onion, diced
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tbsp pimentos, drained (optional)
2 cups milk
1 ½ 15-ounce can(s) cream of mushroom soup

Place all the ingredients into a large bowl and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to a resealable freezer bag.

For dinner tonight:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the contents of a bag into 9x13 sprayed baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for 1 to 1 ¼ hours. Or, place in a crock pot, set on low heat, and cook for 5 to 6 hours.

To freeze:
Label, date, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before cooking as directed above.

Serves: 6

Six Can Chicken Tortilla Soup

I LOVE this quick, easy, delicious soup! I try to always buy the ingredients when they are on sale so I can whip this together whenever I like. It also freezes well.

1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can chicken broth
1 can chunk chicken
1 can black beans
1 can diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, drained
1 can cream of chicken soup
shredded cheddar cheese
tortilla chips

Drain and rinse black beans. Pour everything into a large saucepan or stock pot. Simmer over medium heat until chicken is heated through.

Pour everything into a gallon ziplock bag and freeze. Thaw and heat in microwave or over stove. Serve topped with shredded cheddar cheese and crumbed tortilla chips.

Serves: 6

OAMC is cheaper!

This morning my friends and I cooked a bunch of OAMC recipes for Julie, whose newborn baby is in the NICU. I added up the cost for the ingredients so we could all split it up, and was again amazed by how affordable this type of cooking is. When you catch a good sale on meat, stock up and freeze. It pays!

Here's what we made:
1 Caribbean Pork over Rice
1 Penne with Rosemary Chicken
2 Charleston’s Baked Potato Soup
20 Make-Ahead Twice Baked Potatoes (5 lbs potatoes)
1 Chicken Tortilla Soup
18 Bagel Pizzas

Total cost: $48.77

That's a good week's worth of meals (lunch and dinner) and then some, for under $50.