thesoupfairy: (Default)
Well, folks, something's got to give for me! Between being in school full-time and taking care of my family full-time and trying to maintain my physical and emotional health, I need to find ways to cut myself some slack.

So I'm doing an "investment cooking" thing. I'm going to start off with cooking three meals tomorrow, and then four meals the day after that. You might choose to cook it all in one day, or you might choose to just cook any of these recipes for dinner one night, freezing half for another day. However you do it, the idea here is to minimize your efforts and maximize your output. It doesn't take twice as much effort to make a double-batch of something, which you can then freeze all or half of for another meal.

When serving these pre-cooked frozen meals, try adding a crisp salad, crusty bread, and a simple dessert like ice cream or fresh fruit... depending on what the meal is, of course. It just takes moments to add such a simple touch, but it will make a world of difference.

Investment Cooking: Plan Day 1


(Sensational Cheese Steak Sandwiches, Turkey Chili, and Chicken Milano)
  • Chop & Prepare:
    • Slice 2 pounds of sirloin steak into thin strips (if you didn't have it sliced at the store).
    • Slice 1 pound of fresh mushrooms thinly.
    • Seed 2 bell peppers and cut into strips.
    • Seed and dice 2 bell peppers.
    • Slice 2 medium onions.
    • Dice 2 medium onions.
    • Coarsely chop 14 cloves garlic.
    • Dice 4 medium carrots.
    • Dice 4 Anaheim chile peppers.
    • Dice 4 jalapeño peppers.
    • Chop one cup of sun-dried tomatoes.
    • Chop 4 tablespoons fresh basil.
  • Start the Sensational Cheese Steak Sandwiches
    • Heat 4 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the sirloin strips and cook until browned. Add the mushrooms, the bell pepper strips, the sliced onions, and 4 cloves of the garlic. Cook and stir until vegetables start to become tender, about 5 minutes.
    • In a slow-cooker, combine 4 cups of beef broth with 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and 1/2 cup dry red wine.
    • Transfer the beef and vegetables to the slow cooker and stir to blend. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours, until beef is extremely tender.
    • Clean and dry skillet for later.
  • Start the Turkey Chili
    • While beef and vegetables are cooking in the slow-cooker, get out your big heavy-bottomed soup pot.
    • Heat 4 tablespoons oil in soup pot over medium heat. Begin to brown 2 pounds of ground turkey in the oil. Add the diced onions, carrots, bell peppers, 6 cloves of garlic, and the chile peppers. Continue to cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened (about 7 minutes).
    • Add 1/4 cup chili powder, 2 tablespoons cumin powder, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 4 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder. Stir for 30 seconds, but be sure not to let the spices scorch.
    • Stir in 4 cans pinto beans, a 29-ounce can tomato sauce, a 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, 2 cups beef broth, and 3 cups frozen corn.
    • Bring to a high simmer. Lower heat and simmer, partially covered, until thickened, about 30 minutes.
  • Start the Chicken Milano
    • While chili is cooking, in a large saucepan over low heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter; add 4 cloves garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add 1 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes and 1-1/2 cups of chicken broth; increase to medium heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until the tomatoes are tender. Add 2 cups heavy cream and bring to a boil; stirring. Simmer over medium heat until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
    • While sauce is simmering, sprinkle 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large skillet over medium heat, warm 4 tablespoons oil and sauté chicken. Press on chicken occasionally with a slotted spatula. Cook for about 4 minutes per side or until the meat feels springy and is no longer pink inside. Transfer to a cutting board; cover and keep warm. Discard the fat from the skillet.
    • In the same skillet, over medium heat, bring 1/4 cup chicken broth to a boil; stirring the pan juices. Reduce slightly and add to the cream sauce; stir in basil and adjust seasonings to taste.
    • Clean saucepan for later.
  • Returning to the Turkey Chili
    • Remove bay leaves, divide into separate freezer containers, and let cool. When cool enough, freeze. (If you are serving Turkey Chili for tonight's dinner, keep one of the containers refrigerated for dinnertime.)
    • Clean soup pot for later.
  • Returning to the Chicken Milano
    • Divide chicken and sauce between two freezer containers, and let cool. When cool enough, freeze. (If you are serving Chicken Milano for tonight's dinner, keep one of the containers refrigerated for dinnertime.)
  • Returning to the Sensational Cheese Steak Sandwich
    • Remove the beef and vegetables from the slow cooker with a slotted spoon. Divide the beef and vegetables between two separate freezer containers; divide broth between the two containers. Let cool, then freeze. (If you are serving Sensational Cheese Steak Sandwiches for tonight's dinner, keep one of the containers refrigerated for dinnertime.)
  • What are you serving for tonight's dinner?
    • If you're serving Sensational Cheese Steak Sandwiches for dinner:
      • If you're starting from frozen, remove from freezer to defrost about 24 hours beforehand. Follow food safety rules for safe defrosting!
      • An hour and a half before you want to serve dinner:
        • Preheat oven to 400°F.
        • Wash and scrub 4 medium baking potatoes with cold water; prick deeply with a fork several times and bake until tender, about 45 minutes.
        • Increase oven temperature to 450°F.
        • Return beef, vegetables, and broth to a saucepan. Warm over medium until heated through.
        • While heating, slice a loaf of French bread lengthwise like a sub sandwich. Combine the 1/2 cup prepared horseradish and 1/2 cup brown mustard; spread onto the inside of the loaf. Overlap five slices of provolone on either side of the loaf.
        • Remove beef and vegetables from broth with a slotted spoon. Fill the loaf with the beef and vegetables.
        • Cool for 15 minutes before cutting in half lengthwise and then into wedges.
        • Brush potato wedges with olive oil and place skin-side down on a baking sheet. Set aside.
        • In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. Sprinkle over potatoes. Season with salt and pepper.
        • Bake for 15 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Keep hot.
        • Close the loaf. For a sandwich with soft bread, wrap with aluminum foil; for a crustier bread, don't wrap. Bake for 10-15 minutes alongside the potatoes. Slice into servings and serve with the broth for dipping with your Saloon Fries on the side.
    • If you're serving Turkey Chili for dinner:
      • If you're starting from frozen, remove from freezer to defrost about 24 hours beforehand. Follow food safety rules for safe defrosting!
      • Heat in slow cooker or soup pot until hot enough to serve.
      • Serve with cornbread; or over noodles for "Cincinnati Style" chili; or with tortilla or corn chips, sour cream, grated cheese, etc. for "Frito Pie" chili.
    • If you're serving Chicken Milano for dinner:
      • If you're starting from frozen, remove from freezer to defrost about 24 hours beforehand. Follow food safety rules for safe defrosting!
      • Reheat chicken and sauce in covered skillet over medium-low heat, stirring often to avoid scorching. Add milk if sauce is too thick.
      • While chicken is reheating, prepare an 8-ounce package of dried fettuccine according to package directions.
      • Serve chicken and sauce over noodles, topped with freshly grated Parmesan.
thesoupfairy: (Default)
The Soup Fairy

October 2012

S M T W T F S
 123456
78 910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   

Take Me With You

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 23rd, 2017 06:17 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios