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Old 09-08-2014, 05:55 PM   #1
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Monday's Menu? 9/8/2014

Hm, can't believe there is no Monday meal thread yet!

Sadly, I have no exciting meal to report on. Today it was just pizza and salad. (Nothing to write home about.)

So, what did everyone else have?

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Old 09-08-2014, 06:05 PM   #2
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I was looking for you the other day to find out if you were still around--glad to see you are! I had my usual big breakfast, watermelon and yogurt for lunch, so I'm not really hungry but probably will have some steamed broccoli later--nothing special here, either.

I am counting the days until the first frost...I am so tired--after a full day in the office (thankfully, I work from home--just don't have to dress, put makeup on, commute, chit-chat with co-workers), I have to tackle freezing/canning/dehydrating. Tonight it is eggplant balls, rendering the pork fat from the bones I did yesterday, dealing with the cabbage prepped for kimchee and 'kraut, juicing beets for the freezer (I'm not very good at that--I tend to consume the juice before I can get it in the freezer). Roasting tomatoes, tomatillos, and garlic for the next batch of salsa, dehydrating 7 trays of tomatoes. And finishing a draft of a policy document. Probably should get off my butt and leave DC!
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:14 PM   #3
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Monday Night Football night, so Sunday I took my frozen beef stew out of the freezer and set it in the fridge to thaw. I'll add a little beef broth to it as it's a bit thick from freezing. I'll re-heat it in the oven and hopefully the veggies won't be mushy.
Some warmed unbuttered french bread on the side should do it.

Next time I make beef stew, I might cook the carrots and potatoes and peas a bit underdone so that when I reheat the frozen stew, the vegetables will be crisp and not mushy.
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:18 PM   #4
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Just finished assembling three individual lasagnas (Luca Lazzari's recipe) for dinner tonight and the freezer. The oven is pre-heating now.

Question - freeze now and cook later or cook first then freeze?

Seems it would dry out less if it's cooked after defrosting rather than cooking/freezing/thawing/reheating.
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:25 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Just finished assembling three individual lasagnas (Luca Lazzari's recipe) for dinner tonight and the freezer. The oven is pre-heating now.

Question - freeze now and cook later or cook first then freeze?

Seems it would dry out less if it's cooked after defrosting rather than cooking/freezing/thawing/reheating.
I freeze the assembled lasagne and cook it from frozen...
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caslon View Post
Monday Night Football night, so Sunday I took my frozen beef stew out of the freezer and set it in the fridge to thaw. I'll add a little beef broth to it as it's a bit thick from freezing. I'll re-heat it in the oven and hopefully the veggies won't be mushy.
Some warmed unbuttered french bread on the side should do it.

Next time I make beef stew, I might cook the carrots and potatoes and peas a bit underdone so that when I reheat the frozen stew, the vegetables will be crisp and not mushy.
A friend who is a chef recommended making the stock, putting in the meat, seasonings, and leaving the veggies out. Thawing the base in the fridge overnight, and then adding the potatoes, carrots, letting that cook for 20 minutes, add the tender veggies (chard, spinach) and fresh herbs 5-6 minutes before calling it done. Same with soup that you want to add noodles--don't put the noodles in, put them in when you are heating up the thawed soup at the same time as the raw veggies, or cook the veggies and noodles separate and add to the soup 5-6 minutes before serving to avoid mushy veggies. I've also set the meat aside and frozen that separately, thawed it at the same time as the stock, and added back to the stock base 5-6 minutes before serving just to heat through. My friend did a lot of "freezer" soups for cancer patients' families and others going through medical difficulties where cooking was not a priority. He was associated with several local restaurants that did this sort of thing and volunteers delivered the frozen stock + prepped veggies.
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:35 PM   #7
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I'm with CWS - freeze and cook. (Though I suppose it depends on the béchamel - if there is a lot of cream/milk it might not freeze well?)
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:36 PM   #8
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Made a fairly simple chicken risotto that was very tasty. (From fast roast chicken that I made Saturday, i.e. with all the lemon and garlic in it).
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:44 PM   #9
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Made a fairly simple chicken risotto that was very tasty. (From fast roast chicken that I made Saturday, i.e. with all the lemon and garlic in it).
A fellow Brit? Hi Creative!

Can't beat a nice risotto (or indeed a lemony/garlic chicken).
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:45 PM   #10
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I'm with CWS - freeze and cook. (Though I suppose it depends on the béchamel - if there is a lot of cream/milk it might not freeze well?)
Right--I forgot to mention that I put the béchamel on after about 20 minutes when cooked from frozen. If you don't do béchamel, no worries. I cover mine for the first hour or so, uncovered for the last 15 minutes.
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