Favourite Stew-Type Recipes? Or casseroles?
I've got a newish baby, we've run out of the precooked things I made before he was born, and I'm looking for good, low-prep stew or casserole recipes that I can make in quantity and freeze. Baby doesn't seem to have any food intolerances, but I don't like fish. Anything crockpot-able would be wonderful. I'm going to do some chili and my basic stew, but I'm getting bored.
Apricot Chicken is a favourite, easy to make ahead and doesn't require any attention. Not sure how it freezes bc i've never tried it but you can make it in the mircorwave, the crockpot or the oven or the stove top.
This is for 4 people:
Chicken - i use legs and thighs or cut up breast meat into pieces
One onion diced
Garlic - chopped/crushed
Fresh ginger - to taste, i like ginger so used a good size knob and cut it into matchsticks
Two cans of apricot nectar
one pouch of french onion soup mix
Put chicken in the dish and cover w/ ginger, garlic and onions. Over all of this sprinkle the soup mix and pour over this the apricot nectar. Cook until chicken is done - oven, crockpot etc...
When I serve it i sometimes add a couple of dried apricots diced or slivered almonds. i also mix in a handful of chopped fresh parsley.
Serve w/ a starch - curly or bowtie shaped pasta and greens (usually broccoli).
What about brisket? The version I make calls for combining some ingredients, pouring over a 5 lb. brisket and cooking in a dutch oven for a few hours. The most time consuming part is slicing the onions, which isn't so bad. Not a lot of work, and freezes really well.
If you'd like details, let me know and I'll post.
Newish baby is six weeks old- five months until he starts eating solids. I do normally do things like roasting chickens and taking them apart and making stock etc. but I have no time right now, and really need things that can be heated up and eaten out of bowls with a fork or spoon, or held with one hand! Even when my husband is home it's all I'll-eat-while-you-hold-the-kid.
Maybe in another few months I'll start serious cooking again- and baking. Here's hoping.
My DD will be two next months and I can still vividly remember going through the same thing. I too used to make my own stock. One lifesaver was when my mom came to visit she made a huge batch of split pea soup with extra big ham pieces. It was a meal in itself and because it was on the thicker side I could eat it while holding (breastfeeding) baby. GOod Luck--it goes by too fast.
One of my favorites is called "Swedish Sailor's Stew." It's an old recipe made with beer. While I've never frozen it, I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work. I assume the "newish baby" isn't eating solids yet? '-)
Anyway, I will leave the quantities up to you as they will determine how much you have left for the freezer. You will need a dutch oven or a covered casserole, preferably one that can be used stove top, but the stew can be done in an oven as well.
Cooking oil or clarified butter
Stewing beef in bite size chunks
Yellow onions, halved then sliced
Parsley, chopped, a generous amount
Russet potatoes, peeled then cut into rounds a quarter of an inch thick
Beer of your choice. I normally use Dos Equis from Mexico.
Saute the onions until soft and lightly caramelized. Remove to bowl. Sprinkle beef lightly with flour, salt and pepper. Brown in saute pan with more oil/butter. Remove to a bowl.
Butter or oil the Dutch oven or casserole, then layer things beginning with potatoes, onions, beef, parsley, salt and pepper, then repeat until pan is nearly full ending with a layer of potatoes. Deglaze saute pan with beer and pour over casserole contents. There should be enough beer to almost reach the top of the contents, but not all the way. Bring almost to a boil, cover tightly and reduce heat to a slow simmer for an hour and a half to two hours.
The end result should be a nice rich stew thickened by the potatoes that will be like mashed potatoes in texture. If you prefer firmer potatoes, reduce the cooking time, but not so much the meat remains tough. Some beers are better than others for cooking, but it always comes down to a matter of personal taste. I don't much care for beers that leave a bitter aftertaste, but I know some who won't have it any other way. The recipe is also good when made with stout, bock or steam beer.
Then there are basic stews that can be made using either beef or lamb, and cooked in a cast iron skillet. Dredge the meat in a sack of seasoned flour, brown it in the skillet with fat of your choice. Add a generous amount of coarsley chopped onion, carrots and potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Add beef or chicken stock or broth to cover. Bring to boil, cover tightly with a lid or vented aluminum foil, and simmer until everything is tender. You can also replace a cup or two of stock with red wine, a tablespoon of tomato paste, and some thyme for a rich traditional (continental) gravy.
I think I need a pot of stew...
This also is not for a crockpot, but very very simple. Good comfort food.
one pound deli corned beef, pastrami or even turkey pastrami (for those of us trying to get into a wedding dress!).
one package of sliced swiss cheese.
one loaf of rye bread.
one package of sauerkraut (in the grocery near the hotdogs).
one bottle of thousand island dressing (use desired amount)
cut the deli meat into thin slices and put in the bottom of any oven proof dish.
squirt a generous helping of thousand island on top.
cover with sauerkraut
cover with a few slices of cheese.
repeat as many times as you can...as the dish or ingredients allow.
butter one side of a few pieces of the rye bread and cut into cubes and place on top of last layer.
put in ove at 350 until it gets hot all the way through.
for the last few minutes turn the over to broil to toast the bread.
the recipe never fails...good time comfort food.
These are not crockpot recipes, but meals where you can invest some time up front and reap a couple of meals out of it. Suggest you purchase large (7-8 lb.) roasting chicken, I use local Amish or Perdue. Prep time is minimal: preheat oven to 375, grease large cookie sheet with sides. Stuff chopped onion, 2 ribs celery, some herbs (parsley, rosemary, thyme, basil are good choices), 1/2 juiced lemon (sprinkle juice inside chicken) into chicken cavity. Season chicken with s&p, garlic, tarragon, paprika. Roast chicken for total of 15-20 min/lb. or until temp is 170. Begin roasting back side up, turn breast side up halfway through cooking. So, roast chicken is meal #1. You can make mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, whatever to go with this.
With leftover chicken, pick off bone and tear into bite size pieces. Tons of stuff you can do with roast chicken. A couple suggestions - chicken tettrazini made with cooked penne pasta. To serve 4 people, cook up 12 oz penne, make veloute sauce from butter, flour, chicken stock, enrich with a little sherry, nutmeg and cream. add 2-3 cups cooked chicken. Saute sliced mushrooms & shallots. Mix together in greased 8X8 or 11X7 casserole dish, top with grated Parmesan or Romano cheese. This freezes really well. Bake at 375 for 30-45 min.
Meal #3- If you invest a little time and make some crepes, you can use the same chicken/shallot/mushroom mixture to stuff crepes, pour veloute sauce over and freeze. This is kind of like chicken cannelloni.
Meal #4 - My teenage daughter likes chicken hash with cranberries:
2 1/2 cups frozen southern-style (cubed) hash brown potatoes (about 10 ounces)
1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup half and half
1 teaspoon crumbled dried sage leaves
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Combine potatoes, diced chicken, green onions, cranberries, half and half and sage in large bowl and toss to blend well. Season with salt and pepper.
Heat oil in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add hash mixture and spread to even thickness. Cover skillet and cook 15 minutes, stirring up bottom of hash every 5 minutes. Uncover skillet, increase heat to high and cook until hash is golden brown and crusty, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
Meal #5 - Chicken Enchiladas
5 cups of shredded skinless cooked chicken
4 14 1/2-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
8 tablespoons (about) olive oil
2 cups finely chopped onions
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons hot Mexican-style chili powder
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 ounce semisweet chocolate
16 5- to 6-inch corn tortillas
1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated (about 4 1/2 cups)
1 cup drained pimiento-stuffed green olives, sliced
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add 1 cup onion, garlic, oregano, cumin and cinnamon. Cover. Cook until onion is almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Mix in chili powder and flour; stir 3 minutes. Gradually whisk in 4 1/2 cups broth. Increase heat to medium-high. Boil until reduced to 3 cups, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in chocolate; season with salt and pepper. Cool.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tortilla and cook until just pliable, about 20 seconds per side. Transfer to paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas, adding oil as needed.
Spread 1/3 cup sauce in each of two 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dishes. Mix 1 cup sauce into chicken. Arrange 8 tortillas on work surface. Spoon 3 tablespoons cheese, 1 tablespoon olives, 1 tablespoon onion and 1/4 cup chicken over center of each. Roll up tortillas. Arrange seam side down in 1 prepared dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas, 1 1/2 cups cheese, olives, onion and chicken. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover sauce and enchiladas separately; chill.)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Top enchiladas with remaining sauce, then sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover with foil; bake 20 minutes (30 minutes if chilled). Remove foil and bake until sauce bubbles, about 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.