Born in "THE" Bronx, raised on Long Island...stints in Rochester, NY; Manhattan, NY; Andover, MA; Montclair & West Windsor, NJ and now Memphis, TN., our cuisine of birth is Italian, but we enjoy cooking Chinese, Mexican, American and hodge-podge.

Our recipes will be as accurate as possible, but you see, I rarely measure things. I prefer to combine based upon taste.

Also, I will use brand names on occasion, but am not sponsored by any company and these mentions do not put cash into my pocket.

Music is my other love & we will share music related to food (in even the smallest sense) with y'all with every new post.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Part 1 - Weekend Cooking

Taking a whole day and preparing meals for a month's worth of eating is something I have always enjoyed. It has not been possible since I moved South, as I have not had the necessary freezer space for this event to make sense.

Recently, my bride and I had a garage sale after combining our households and after it was over we purchased a 7.2 cubic foot chest freezer.

As a wedding gift, we also received the newest Food Saver which has settings for moist foods and is more automatic than the older models. I love my Food Saver and have had one for many years.

They allow you to freeze food and then, when you are ready, to eat a meal that tastes as fresh as the day it was made.

On this particular weekend, with the assistance of my bride, we were able to prepare the following:

Chicken in Sherry Cream Sauce - (4 portions) - prepared Friday evening
White Bean & Sausage Soup - (5 portions)
Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce - (9 portions)
Spinach Beef Patties - (4 portions)
Stuffed Flank Steak - (6 portions)
Macaroni & Beef Casserole - (6 portions)
Layered Casserole - (6 portions)
Sesame Soy Pot Roast - (6 portions) prepared overnight Saturday

That is 47 individual main courses (and in the case of the two casseroles, a full meal), and the entire food bill was under $80.00 for all of the meats. We did go to Costco for the meats, to take advantage of their discounts on larger portions.

We had much of the vegetables and spices needed to complete all of the meals, so that saved on costs. Additionally, I boned my chicken breasts thus saving the additional costs associated with buying the chicken boneless.

First step in this whole process is to make sure you have at least two cutting boards. One for your meats and one for your vegetables.

Then cut up all the veggies for all the recipes. Every recipe I made called for onions in some form. I had a big bowl and I chopped the onions one at a time and put them in the bowl separated by a piece of wax paper. This way I grabbed one layer for every onion required.

I did the same for the celery, peppers, mushrooms, potatoes and all the other veggies and herbs needed.

Then I began to work with the meats. Having reviewed all of the recipes, I put them in a very loose order for prep based upon cooking methods, times, and temperatures.

The Chicken was prepared Friday evening, so we will address that first and then in our next edition we will deal with half of Saturday. In the final part, we will address the remainder of Saturday and the storage of all the meals.

"Chicken In Sherry Cream Sauce"

2 whole chicken breasts- split, boned & skinned
2 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1/2 lb. fresh white mushrooms - sliced
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sherry (chicken broth can be substituted)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

Brown the chicken in butter over medium high heat about 5 minutes
While the chicken cooks, marinate the mushrooms in the lemon juice
Add the sherry to the pan - turn the chicken over and cook another 5 minutes

Do not over cook the breasts - it will ruin this or any other dinner

Remove chicken to a warm platter
Turn heat to high and let liquid mixture reduce down to 1/4 cup
Add the mushrooms and saute until their liquid evaporates
Add the whipping cream and boil over high heat until it reduces
Lower the heat

Return the chicken to the pan and simmer until the chicken is rewarmed completely

You can reduce this time by letting the chicken rest in a
170 degree oven in a cake pan until you need it again

Sprinkle with cheese

We served it this night with rosemary roasted potato wedges, steamed green beans and - OF COURSE! - crusty bread!

"Mangiare Bene e Piacere"

5 spices added:

Phfrankie Bondo said...

...*burp*...looks tasty...*burp*...I believe I would quarter the 'shrooms rather than slice...*burp* 'bout some crispy bacon bits in them beans?...*buuuuurrrrrppp*!...

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

bellllllllllllch...I like y 'shrooms larger, but quartered would rock...

you know, normally there would have been bacon in them there beans, but there was none available

Thanks for coming by..

Desert Songbird said...

Well, aside from the fact that I'm not a cook who loves it (as we've discussed before), I just don't have the freezer space to do this kind of storage, but I think it makes total sense for you two with two working adults and kids in and out. In theory, I should be able to cook during the day, but it rarely works out that way.

I love the idea of a Food Saver. I'd need to see how this would benefit me with the way we live and cook.

katherine. said...

hmmmm. Food Saver. When the kids were younger that wouldn't have helped...but now....

Unknown said...

When I was married and had my own place, I used to do that too!

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