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Red Curry Paste (Freezer-Friendly)

Red Curry Paste

I have yet to find a pre-made curry paste that I like as much as this recipe.   It makes a large batch and can be frozen, so putting in the 10 extra minutes to put this together is worth it in the end.  I use this in panang curry, spicy peanut noodles, Thai coconut curry soup, and basically anything that I want to have a kick of spice with a nice complexity of flavors.

Yield: 2 cups                                       Prep Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 30 dried chiles
  • 1/4 cup coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 4 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 15 garlic cloves
  • 2/3 cup white onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks lemongrass (bottom 2 inches only)
  • 1 Tbsp. coarse kosher salt
  • 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup peanut oil, divided
  • 2 bunches cilantro, stems only finely chopped

Directions:

  1. Toast dried chiles, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and peppercorns for 2 minutes over medium heat until fragrant.  Grind in batches in a spice grinder to make a fine powder.  Stir in paprika.
  2. Place the ginger, garlic, onion, lemongrass, and 1/4 cup of peanut oil in food processor to make a paste.
  3. Add the spice powder, salt, fish sauce, and lemon juice and blend until combined.
  4. Stir in remaining peanut oil and cilantro stems.

To Freeze: Place tablespoon amounts on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper and place in freezer until solid.  Transfer to a freezer bag.  Use as needed.  Paste can be frozen for 6 months.

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Beef Noodle Soup (Freezer-Friendly)

Beef Noodle Soup #1

It’s 1 degree today in MN, but with the windchill it feels like -18F.  Brr!!!!!  When the weather is this frigid, I can’t help but think of my mom.  I remember getting off the bus in grade school on a day like this.  I would run as fast as I could into the house to get out of the cold while being careful enough not to biff it on the icy driveway.  As soon as I got inside I could smell the soup.  It was so warm and inviting just like my mom!  She would snuggle me up in a big blanket and feed me this soup with buttered saltine crackers.  It’s not fancy, but it’s comfort and it reminds me of home.  Stay warm people, eat your soup, and call your mother!

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds boneless beef roast or stew meat, cut in bite-size cubes
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 5 1/4 cups homemade chicken stock or store-bought reduced-sodium broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 (16oz) package baby carrots
  • 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups egg noodles
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Directions:

  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Season cubed beef with salt and pepper.  Add beef to pot and brown on all sides.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add onions cooking for about 5 minutes until they are softened but not burned.
  3. Add flour to beef/onion mixture and stir to coat for about a minute.
  4. Slowly add chicken stock and water.  Scrape up any browned bits from the pan and stir until slightly thickened and raw flour taste is gone.
  5. Add carrots and potatoes.  Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  6. Remove from heat and allow to cool in an uncovered shallow container.  Once cooled, transfer to freezer-proof container.
  7. Remove from freezer the night before cooking.  Place mixture in slow cooker and heat on low for 6-8 hours.  One hour before serving add egg noodles and parsley.

Note: Soup will keep frozen for 2 months.

Beef Noodle Soup Label

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2013 in Crockpot, Entrees, Soup

 

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Chicken and Dumplings (Freezer-Friendly)

1

Serves: 6

Ingredients:
Chicken Base:

  • 3 Tbsp. butter, unsalted
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups homemade chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups chicken, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Dumplings:

  • 2 Tbsp. butter, unsalted
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, plus more for topping
  • 1/2 cup whole milk


Directions:

Chicken Base:

  1. In a heavy pot, melt 3 Tbsp. butter over medium heat.
  2. Add onion, celery, carrots, and leek.  Cook 3-5 minutes until onions sweat.
  3. Add 1/4 cup flour and stir for 1 minute.
  4. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in chicken until cooked thoroughly, ~5 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
* Chicken base can be frozen for 3 months.


Dumplings:

  1. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and parsley.
  2. Cut in butter.
  3. Stir in milk.
  4. Make 6 equal dumplings.

* Dumplings will keep frozen (uncooked) for 3 months.

DSCN2170 1. Wrap dumplings in wax paper.

DSCN21742.  Next wrap in tin foil.

DSCN21763.  Last place wrapped dumplings in a freezer bag.


To Serve:

  1. Heat the chicken broth mixture slowly on low heat until unfrozen, stir frequently.
  2. Increase heat to medium.  Add dumplings, cover, and cook for 12-15 minutes until dumplings are puffed and cooked thoroughly.

Chicken and Dumplings Label

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in Entrees, Soup, Uncategorized

 

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Swedish Meatballs (Freezer-Friendly)

Swedish Meatballs

I’m on week 2 of freezer-friendly meals and so far I am loving it!  I grocery shop on Saturday, cook on Sunday, and do next to nothing the rest of the week.  During the week, it’s just a matter of heating and assembling.  How did I not think of this before?

Since I married into a Swedish family, I thought I should polish up on my Swedish meatball-making skills.  Since it’s just the two of us, I made the entire recipe below, but portioned the meatballs and gravy in half so we actually were able to make two meals out of one recipe.  Yet another bonus to making this meal ahead of time!

Makes 30-35 small meatballs (6 Servings)

Ingredients:
Meatballs:

  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp. evaporated milk
  • 2 lbs. ground beef or ground turkey
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. dried parsley

Gravy:

  • 2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • ¼ tsp. onion powder
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. dried parsley
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or half-n-half

Directions:
Meatballs:

  1. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil over medium heat.  Add onions and cook until soft, ~3-5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine breadcrumbs and evaporated milk, stir.  Add ground beef, onion, egg, salt black pepper and parsley.  Mix just to combine making sure to not overwork the meat.
  3. Roll meatballs and brown on all sides in skillet over medium-high heat.

* Meatballs will keep frozen for 6 months.

Gravy:

  1. Melt butter over medium heat.  Add flour and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes.  Slowly whisk in beef broth until combined.  Add onion powder, garlic powder, dried parsley, salt, black pepper, and fresh parsley.
  2. Heat until boiling.  Reduce heat and simmer until thickened.

* Gravy will keep frozen for 2 months.


To Serve:

  1. Simmer meatballs and gravy in a skillet over medium heat until both are heated thoroughly, about 10 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to low, add 1/2 cup cream and mix to combine.


 Ground Beef & Heavy Cream                                                Ground Turkey & Half-n-Half

Swedish Meatballs Label                                               Swedish Meatballs Label-Turkey Sub

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2013 in Entrees, Uncategorized

 

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