Friday, February 26, 2010

freeze, dirtbag!

Ask anyone, I am the snobbiest of the food snobs. A child of farm stands and farmers' markets, I love dropping names like Barbara Lynch and Michael Schlow. If I can't make my own pasta I try and buy fresh, not dried. If it's not fresh caught fish, then forget it. I only cook with basil in the summer and apples in the fall. Frozen pie crusts in my freezer? Puh-lease.

Sadly, the days of chicken pot pies from scratch during the week are over. Reheating frozen lasagnas, boiling canned soup, and searching for quick and easy recipes are the MO now. It's actually a good thing. I have introduced many new recipes into our rotation while trying to make them as hassle free as possible. One of the ways to do this was going frozen.

I went the frozen route when I started making Rolo's food. January in Boston doesn't really lend itself to fresh and accessible fruit. I bought, steamed, and pureed frozen peaches, mangos, and blueberries. When I saw the vegetable selection in the freezer section, I picked up a few bags for our dinners, as well.

I was hesitant at first; it just seemed too easy. What do you mean I don't have to spend 40 minutes taking the butternut squash apart? I don't have to cut the ends off all these beans? These brussel sprouts are all clean? Are you sure? I don't get it.

Cue the singing angels! A whole world of shortcuts and recipes have opened up to me. Below are two we made last week. I can't wait to see what else those freezer doors hold this weekend. Peppers? Squash? Dare I say it... potatoes?

Josh and I caught this on Guy Fierei's show one weekend and tried it the following week with fresh cauliflower. It was a disaster for several reasons. We cut the vegetable pieces too small and boiled them too long, so instead of remaining meaty in the sauce, they just kind of mushed up and made this thick, chewy tomato sauce. Not too appetizing. I liked the flavors though, so I wanted to try it again with frozen cauliflower pieces. Worked like a charm. Since they were already par cooked, I didn't bother boiling them before they went into the sauce. They were firm, yet tender, and really worked well with the capers. This is a great week night meal - quick, easy, and very hearty.

Cubed butternut squash! Not only will this be great for our dishes, but in a few weeks or so, this will be a gosdend when it comes to feeding The Chingu. All I will need to do is pull out a few cubes, steam them, and voila! Dinner for The Babba-du! Love it.
This made a great strew and made even better leftovers. Also perfect for a weeknight, cut up an onion, open a few cans and a bag of frozen squash... and..... done!


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