Weekly menu planning/freezing
So, one of my New Year's resolutions is to be more efficient in my cooking, particularly when it comes to week night cooking. My plan is to come up with menus for the week, and then shop accordingly on Saturdays. My question is, what should I freeze? Say I plan on having a chicken dish, a pork dish, a shrimp dish and a beef dish. My first inclination is to cook the shrimp on Sunday night, the chicken on Monday, and freeze the pork & beef on Saturday for cooking later in the week. Does this make sense in terms of what freezes best? My experience has been that frozen chicken (organic) does not taste nearly as good as the fresh chicken.
Any advice? Do you think that "red" meats freeze better than white?
what a coincidence. like you, i also make a menu for the week and do the grocery shopping on the weekend; makes weekday cooking easier for me. as for what freezes better, i don't notice much of a difference between red vs white meat. one thing i wanted to mention is that, since i cook with leftovers in mind (i prefer to brown bag my lunch), i tend to cook shrimp on friday because i don't like seafood leftovers. the rest of the week i defrost the meat a couple of days beforehand in the fridge. goodluck with your new year's resolution(s).
I don't find there is a difference in which meat freezes better... there is a quality difference of course because more water gets introduced into the cells and all meat, white, red, seafood get a little mushier when home frozen.
If you are SERIOUS about freezing all that much I highly suggest you purchase one of these... It seriously saves the quality of anything you freeze because it keeps moist air out (Which turns into ice crystals which causes for mushier meats)
Personally, I do my meal planning on the weekend and see how my schedule is going to be like. I then plan a trip tot he grocery store and plan on making at least ONE major dish so I buy the meat and any special ingredients for that. I find if I try to plan ahead TOO much, stuff happens (Like I was supposed to cook tonight, but had a rough day and BF volunteered to take care of things tonight! :)) and I end up having to freeze things or things (like fresh herbs) go bad because next week I'm craving something different...
If I'm going to freeze something for any length of time, I always try to make it as airtight as possible - I don't have one of those Food-Saver doodads that Dommy suggests, though I'm saving up for one! So I either save it in a Zip-lock bag from which most of the air has been squoze out, if it's something solid, or else I make sure it's some kind of soup or stew, and then I try to use that within a week. I had some really good chicken paprika that I froze in a high-quality container over a month ago, and when I thawed it the sauce was all dried out, so I had to pitch it. Gumbo OTOH will freeze just about forever, but mine is really soupy.