Creative Freezer Cooking and Fun Play for Little Ones

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Santa Fe Chili

14 ½ oz can black beans
14 ½ oz. can pinto beans
14 ½ oz. can kidney beans
1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
14 ½ oz. can diced tomatoes
14 ½ oz. can corn
2 teaspoons cumin
2 T. chili powder
2 garlic cloves
½ teaspoon ground pepper
6 oz. can tomato paste
2 cups water

Cook turkey and onion in stockpot. Drain and rinse in hot water. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes or more.Makes 8 servingsFreezing: Allow chili to cool no longer than 2 hours. You may refrigerate and bag the next day. Divide entire recipe into 2-3 bags.

Mozzarella Chicken Roll-ups

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
12 large, fresh basil leaves, rinsed and patted dry or 2 tsp. dried basil
4 pieces roasted red pepper
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
16 oz. can marinara sauce (we used Hunts tomato and garlic sauce)
1 teaspoon of dried oregano

Place 2 chicken breasts in a 1 gallon freezer bag and seal. Working with the thinnest to the thickest part of the chicken breast, pound each piece with a rolling pin or a meat mallet being careful not to tear the meat. Pound until is ¼” thick and approximately the size of a 4 by 8-inch rectangle. If the chicken breasts are very large like the ones we use from Sams Club, butterfly the breasts and slice all the way through and proceed with pounding. You will have 8 pieces rather than four.

Lay the breast with the smooth side down and layer each piece with 2 basil leaves, 1-2 pieces of roasted red pepper and 2 Tablespoons of shredded mozzarella (reserving the rest for later). Roll one long edge toward the other long edge to enclose feelings. Secure with toothpicks if desired.
Pour 1 cup of the sauce into an 8x8 dish and place the rolled breasts with the seam side down. Top with desired sauce and cheese. You may choose to distribute the 8 breasts (if you sliced 4 large in half) in two 8x8 pans and divide sauce and cheese.

Baking Day: Thaw chicken for 24 hours and keep tightly covered. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes until hot and bubbly. Remove foil and bake cheese an additional 5 minutes if desired.

Oriental Chicken Salad

1 cup chicken strips (from boiled chicken recipe, thawed)
1 bag salad, any variety
Sliced cucumbers or tomatoes, optional
Shredded carrots, optional
½ cup chow mein noodles
1 cup mandrian oranges
½ cup sliced almonds
½ cup Asian Salad Dressing (We use Olde Cape Cod toasted sesame soy and ginger vinaigrette and marinade from Ingles)

Serves 2-3
Toss salad ingredients and lay chicken on top. Pour dressing and garnish with chow mein noodles, oranges and sliced almonds.

Chicken Caesar Wraps

Yield: 4 servings
4 large flour tortillas, any flavor
1 cup cooked cubed or sliced chicken, boiled chicken recipe
8 ounces (2 cups) shredded pepperjack cheese
1 bag salad or romaine lettuce leaves
Ceasar salad dressing

1. Lay tortillas on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle the chicken evenly over tortillas, topping with portions of the cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for about 6 minutes, or until cheese is completely melted. Alternately, you may use plates and microwave until cheese melts.
2. Remove from oven; top each tortilla with a portion of the lettuce, and add salad dressing as desired. Wrap burrito-style and serve.

Vermont Cheddar Bread

Makes four 1 lb. loaves

3 cups lukewarm water
1 ½ tablespoons granulated yeast
1 ½ tablespoons salt
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
6 ½ cups unbleached-all purpose flour (we use 2 cups King Arthur white whole wheat and 4 ½ cups all-purpose in demo)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Mix the yeast, salt and sugar with the water in a 5 quart bowl or a lidded (not airtight) food container. We use a 5 quart Dollar Tree shoe box in demo. Mix in the dry ingredients and the cheese without kneading, using a spoon or stand mixer with dough hook. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses or flattens on top, approximately 2 hours.

Baking day: Dust the surface of the dough with flour and cut of a grapefruit size piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom of all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Allow to rest on a cornmeal-covered pizza peel for 1 hour (or 40 minutes if you’re using fresh, unrefrigerated dough). Twenty minutes before baking, time pre-heat the oven to 450 with a baking stone on the lowest rack. (It’s been reported that an air bake cookie sheet works great too). Place an empty broiler pan on another shelf. Sprinkle dough liberally with flour and slash a tic-toe pattern on top. Slide dough onto hot stone and pour 1 cup of hot tap water into broiler pan. Bake for about 25 minutes until deeply brown and firm. Allow to cool before slicing or eating.

Mexican Black Bean Casserole

1 can whole kernel corn, rinsed
1/3 cup sliced green onions
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano (14.5 oz.)
1 can chopped green chiles
4-6 taco size flour tortillas
2 cups four cheese Mexican blend cheese
Preheat oven to 400 °F . Combine the first seven ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Coat two 8x8 pans with cooking spray. Place a layer of tortillas in the bottom each dish. Spoon 1/4 of the corn and tomato mixture over the tortillas. Top with 1/4 cup of cheese. Repeat the layers in each pan. Bake for 15 minutes.