Wednesday, July 16, 2008

july 16, 2008: frugal feasts freezer favorites

Frozen Chicken Breasts
- one half per person plus a couple extras-left , overs make awesome chicken salad.
2 tablespoons olive oil or a spritz of cooking spray like Pam
Salt and Pepper to taste
½ cup mayonnaise-more or less
½ cup breadcrumbs (made from 3 pieces of fresh bread or from a can-Italian style are nice here)
½ cup grated parmesan (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Smear or spray the pan with the oil and put in the chicken breasts. Don't worry about unclumping them if you have used the minimalist approach.
Season with salt and pepper.
Frost them with mayonnaise, using about a tablespoon per breast.
Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and parmesan if using.
Cover the pan with foil and roast until the breasts are cooked through.
This will take about 30 minutes for the mashed and separated ones and more like 45 minutes for the clumped ones.
Take the foil off for the last 5 minutes to crisp up the crumbs, and serve hot.

Freezer Steak
There is a cut of meat that is known as the Butcher's Secret. We don't know what part of the cow it comes from, all we know is that it is tender, delicious and about $3.99 per pound. The actual name is First Cut Chuck Steak, Boneless. 3 pounds of steak should feed 8 people, but we need to warn you that it is so delicious and tender that it is hard to stop at one serving.
A half pound per person is a better serving size.
These too can go directly from the freezer to the fire.
Pull out the steaks and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
Throw them onto a medium hot grill.
Close the cover and leave them alone for 10 minutes.
Flip the steaks, reclose the cover and leave them for another ten minutes.
They will be perfectly medium rare.

Freezer Corn Salad
The hardest part of this recipe is finding the can opener. We specify shoe peg corn because it is crunchier and tastes more like fresh corn, but use what you can get.
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
½ tsp garlic salt or ½ tsp regular salt
one clove garlic minced
Several grindings of fresh ground pepper
1 can black beans rinsed and drained
1 pound bag of frozen "shoepeg" corn, rinsed under warm water to separate
1 red bell pepper, diced
4-5 leaves fresh basil or other fresh herb, chopped, optional
In a medium sized serving bowl stir together the vinegar, oil, salt and pepper.
Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.

Stay Fresh Salad
The great thing about this salad is its longevity, it will last 2-3 days before going south. The secret is no wet stuff if you know what I mean.
We love to have a salad most nights and once again time is a big factor here. make it ahead a couple times a week, cukes tomatoes on the side and it is on the menu most nights.
1 bag of romain hearts, usally three to a pkg. chop all three
1/2 bag of soy sprouts (look for the dryest pkg of these) in the produce section the red package ,not the green which is bean sprouts ( the big market basket has these most of the time )
1 medium red onion sliced very thin
3/4 shredded cheddar cheese
toss well and serve, with your favorite dressing, tonite and tommorrow as well

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