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Old 02-20-2003, 11:41 AM   #1
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Cooking Shortcuts - looking for tips

I've been cooking for 25+ years, learning to cook on the tug boats made it necessary to learn the most efficient cooking techniques and shortcuts. Now I cook because (well I just like cooking) I get home from work before my wife. Time is so much "of the essence" thesedays - I am always looking for tips to fix dinner a little faster, while maintaining quality. Oh yeah, my wife has food allergies so we cook "everything" from scratch. We'd appreciate any quick cooking tips, particularlyy pasta dishes for her and Cajun dishes for me (us). Thanks.

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Old 02-20-2003, 01:28 PM   #2
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Well, all I can think of at this moment is to keep certain things already chopped and in the refrigerator or freezer. I have never been able to grasp the concept of making or planning meals ahead and freezing. My mind just won't work that way. I want everything to be made when I eat it but usually the most time-consuming thing is the chopping, dicing, and slicing so to me to keep diced onions and peppers in the freezer would save some time.

For the pasta dishes you could keep some different sauces already made in the freezer - just microwave -

On second thought - maybe I'm not the one that needs to be answering this question :roll: Hopefully someone will come along that will actually have a decent answer for you - good luck in the meantime.
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Old 02-20-2003, 04:11 PM   #3
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Thanks kitchenelf,

The idea of freezing "sauces" has some great potential for us. I'm shifting from fresh onions (and such) to diced, dehydrated with goooood results - you're right, peeling, rinsing and chopping is rather time consuming.

I'm going to try this new idea of freezing "sauces" this weekend; even if it just frees a day or two each week it'll be worth the time invested during the weekend.

James
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Old 02-20-2003, 07:42 PM   #4
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Well, I'm glad I could help. You can also cook your shrimp with the proper Cajun seasonings, Italian seasonings, etc. and then freeze them in individual portions. Now if pasta would freeze with good results without using it in some sort of lasagna/casserole you would have it made!! LOL Just remember that when you make a dish from scratch and it can be frozen just make enough for another meal and freeze that portion.

If I can think of anything else I'll be sure and pass it along. Please come back and visit and drop us your favorite recipe!
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Old 02-25-2003, 07:12 AM   #5
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kitchenelf,

Thanks so much for the input. It's funny how the simplest concept can have such an impact on our day to day activities.

Here's a recipe thae I use for a quick meal, hope you appreciate it.

Cajun Fried Rice - Jambalaya

This recipe does not have an ingredient list, read on and see why.Start sautéing your favorite seasoning vegetables - onion, bell pepper celery.... Add your favorite "cooked meat" chopped to your favorite bite sized shapes; Add your favorite dry seasoning - the list is endless; add your favorite wet seasoning, Worchester sauce, soy sauce, bbq sauce.... Add your favorite finishing oils, sesame oil, wok oil...

Let this sauté marry there flavors for a while, remove from heat, fold in hot cooked rice, fold constantly about 5 minutes. Let the fried rice rest for 10 minutes and stir. Makes a meal in itself, or add your favorite side dish.*

Extra - add some brown gravy before the rice goes in and you've got a brown jambalaya, add marinara sauce and you've got red jambalaya :!:
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Old 03-03-2003, 10:42 PM   #6
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I get a newsletter every week from Fitness and Freebies and in it every week there is a quick recipe - something you can put together in little time - plus there's three food facts, which are usually tips and things and then there are three chef's secrets in each issue. They should post all the past ones so I could give you a link!! I've got a huge file full - been getting it for over two years now (feel like it's a close buddy!) but I don't know if I should post them all - wouldn't feel right doing that. You can view an issue online - just go to the site (it's in my sig - the oodles of recipes) and look for the newsletter sign up form because there is a link there to view the newsletter before deciding if you want to sign up. The tips are worth it!
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Old 03-05-2003, 01:52 AM   #7
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I make up an enormous pot of bolognese...

about once a month, and I'm talking huge here (we are 5 at home), with about 3 lbs of ground beef and 3 lbs of ground turkey at a time.

I add all the flavourings/seasonings liked by my family and boil it down till nice and thick.

On the first day, we have pasta bolognese...and the fun starts here.

I freeze it in tupperware in 5 serving amounts and take the meat sauce out of the freezer as I need it and time permits. With this basic thick meat sauce recipe, I have made:

Shepherd's Pie
Chili with beans
Moussaka
Pastitsio
Hamburger Stroganoff
Soup

You won't believe the number of different dishes you can make working from a good quality (meat-enriched) bolognese recipe.

Just my way to beat the clock.
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Old 03-05-2003, 05:40 AM   #8
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starrleicht and evelyn

Thank you both for the input. :D :D

starrleicht, I've signed up for the newsletter you mentioned. Looking forward to reading that. Btw...I like how you save your files over time; it sounds more like a hobby (saving only the best of the "cooking" info - think I'll better oganize my file system.

Evelyn,
I've cooked each of those meals, but never thought to take the time to prepare a special meat sauce that I could use the way you do. That should save a world of time and the different recipes will be all the better for it. Thanks again.

I publish a small web sit that is built around Cajun recipes, a recipe discussion forum, and geneology. The site is pretty new and Get very little traffic, but it's fun and it's growing.
The site, allmybaths.com will likely change name to mycajunrecipes.? I'f like your opinion if you might have timt to take a look at it. :!:
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Old 03-10-2003, 11:13 PM   #9
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Hi jabadeaux...can't seems to find the website that you were "talking" about. Interested to try some cajun receipes.
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Old 03-11-2003, 06:18 AM   #10
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Hi Lynda,

Sorry about the web site mystery. Shortly after I posted that message I decided to change hosting services. It's all for the best but will take a little time. :oops:

Meanwhile, if you like a sample of a few trecipes please try http://our cajun cooking.blogspot.com/ Personally I find blogging difficult to master but you sholud find a few things there.

James :oops:
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