Friday, May 28, 2010
The great freezer cook down
I've gotten into the habit over the last year or so of really taking advantage of the freezer. Stocking up when things were on sale, chopping up my own fruits and veggies and having a great stash of chicken stock in there. Oh, and probably some kind of ice cream at all times. But that's unrelated to this :) We officially reached maximum capicity last weekend and began clearing the freezer out. You know, to make room for my next round of hoarding. We cooked and cooked all weekend (inspired by our recent trip to a cooking class!).
Scott had been stashing lobster and shrimp shells in there and have accumulated enough to make (a TON of) seafood stock. No picture of this since, well, its a big bowl of brown liquid. But it did stink the apartment up something fierce, I'll tell you that much.
Next step? Cooking the chicken I had stashed in there. See picture above. It was deeeeelicious. We made a quick herb butter to put under the skin and baked it in the oven (finished it off on our indoor grill - which had been used earlier for grilled corn, mmmm). The best part though? The potatoes! (see below) Want to make some seriously amazing potatoes? I know you do. I saw this trick on America's Test Kitchen and all I can say is YUM. See how're they're all brown and glistening? Yeah, that's because we cooked them on a tray with the chicken baking on a rack above it. So they cooked in the fat and juices coming off the chicken. Please do yourself a favor and try this! The flavor was seriously outrageous. Note I didn't say healthy. I said outrageous ;)
I was then able to make a big batch of chicken stock from the leftovers. I hate buying the boxed/canned stuff. There is no comparison. Plus making your own stock is beyond cheap and easy.
Next! The bag of previously fresh, now frozen blueberries I had. We made a blueberry buckle. I used this recipe:
It's really just a blueberry coffee cake. Oh, it's so good...for breakfast, dessert, a midnight snack perhaps. Anytime!
I also grabbed a bag of homemade white beans, that combined with the chicken stock will become pasta e fagioli. One of my all time favorite soups (a favorite because Scott makes it, not me!). Also, a pound of ground beef and a bag homemade black beans that turned into beef tacos. MMMMMM. After was all was said and done, I had one tiny trip to the grocery store and an entire week of delicious food from one weekend of cooking. You really can't beat that. Sadly, this only put a tiny dent in the freezer and now that there is a ridiculous amount of stock in there now, we're pretty much back to maximum capacity again. Oh well!
Just for fun...I thought I'd end this with a super cute picture of the big brother to be (aka, marley dog!)