Casserole/One dish meals
With potatoes going for 99c/10 lbs, I decided to make a huge pan of scalloped potatoes. They keep well for a week in the fridge and go with just about anything...cold meats, ham, leftover meatloaf, grilled fish & chicken etc. They are especially good re-heated, I like to just put a serving under the broiler for a few minutes and get them all crispy. Plop some cheddar or parmesan on top of them when re-heating for a slight change of pace. My Scalloped Potatoes: 8 to 10 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch..enough to fill a large oblong corning ware or a 13x9 inch glass baking pan. (Dish should be buttered/greased all around). Place potato slices into a bag and shake up with a mixture of 1/3 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1 teas salt, a little paprika and a little granulated garlic.(Sometimes I had a teaspoon of parmesan). Layer coated potatoes in pan with lots of chopped onion (dried chopped onion from the spice rack is okay too). In microwave heat 2 cups milk (lowfat okay) with two tablespoons butter until butter is melted but not quite to boiling, maybe 2 minutes. Pour milk slowly over all the potatoes , bake 400 for 35 minutes or so uncovered until potatoes brown on top & sides. I like them slightly undercooked so that the potatoes are al-dente so I cut the potatoes a little thick.The leftovers are AWESOME heated under the broiler, a quick and easy accompaniment. I've even caught my husband reheating some a midnight for a snack. You can adjust this recipe to add celery salt or dill, fresh parsley maybe. Use cream or evaporated milk instead of milk if you want something rich and creamy. Try it with different kinds of onions.
O=I don't know if this counts but I always make Vietnamese style salmon to get two meals out of it. Marinate a good two to three pounds of salmon in 1/4 cup of fish sauce, 2 tablespoons of sugar, 1 tablespoon lime juice, a tablespoon of ginger and a tablespoon of garlic along with 2 tablespoons of regular cooking oil (peanut is divine if you have it) for at least an hour. Sear in frying pan and put in the oven at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes to cook it off. Use the leftover salmon in a salad with a sesame dressing.
I make it in a 5-quart Dutch oven. Mine is made with chicken thighs and kielbasa (andouille is not readily available in the Philly area). The trinity is made up of green bell peppers, onions and celery. The liquid is chicken stock, or homemade turkey stock right after Thanksgiving. I use lots of paprika and a little cayenne, but no tomato. Thyme and bay leaves are the only herbs. Converted rice goes in last.
Yes, this can be made in one pot.
I'm personally a fan of (or at least I make a lot of) stewed large beef and pork cuts. The great thing about this is you can add any combination of herbs, sauces, and vegetables and it'll probably be great. Serve with some butter and crewy rolls and you got yourself a week's worth of meals.
Basic procedure for making stewed roasts (at least the kinds I make):
a) Sear your meat well in the stew pot, until it gets brown and crusty on the outside. Take off the heat.
b) sweat, cook your aromatics a bit (if you're using onion, celery, carrot, garlic, etc.)
c) add your liquid, broth, water, wine, a combination, add seasonings, spices, herbs, etc. and the cut of meat
d) Simmer for the times stated above
e) If you want to boil hearty veggies along with it (carrots, potato, cabbage, shanghai cabbage, etc.), I'd throw it in in the last half hour of cooking, so they're tender but not disintegrated when you take the roast out.
If you want, you can also thicken the lovely "soup" in the pot with any number of thickening agents (cornstarch, roux, arrowroot, and so on).
Two key things to remember is to sear your meat (in the same pot, of course) generously for more flavour and to simmer the cut long enough... roughtly 3 hours for beef roasts and 2 for pork shoulder.
As for other kinds of casserole, one dish meals, as said before, lasagna is a great idea (use premade sauce if you don't want to use a pot to make sauce... though it's not too bad to make a week's worth of sauce then ration it throughout the next several days.
A chinese/shanghai one pot deal I especially like is Lion's head stew (giant pork meatballs and water chestnuts braised in a soy formula). I also love my grandmother's chicken and chestnut casserole, though if you're making it with raw, unpeeled chestnuts, it can be a bit of a chore. I'll try to get a recipe for the below two items if you want.
I usually cook on Saturday and eat "leftovers" until they run out or Thursday.
My criteria is that the food reheats easily and I use/need only a bowl/plate or two each evening.
Some recent menus.
Boiled New England Dinner: corned beef with boiled vegetables.
Roast Beef, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Sauted Carrots. I may not reheat the roast beef, just cover with hot gravy. Sometimes, I will eat a roast beef sandwich for dinner.
Roast Pork Loin, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Steamed Broccoli.
Lentil Soup: Chicken stock, aromatic veggies (celery, carrots, onion), lentils, chicken (and or turkey), italian sausage. With warmed bread (bagettes cut into ~4" pieces and frozen)
Meat Loaf, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Green beans with ham.
Spaghetti with Sunday Sauce, warmed bread, salad. Sunday sauce is tomato based sauce with various meats. Pork chops, veal chops, lamb shanks, italitan sausage, beef chuck. Some spaghetti, some sauce and a piece of meat.
Beef stew with root vegetables.
I have a large assortment of rubbermaid plastic containers. The food is kept in those containers.
I feel part of my being able to do this, is I am careful in the kitchen; no cross contamination, foods are chilled promptly and kept cold until reheating.