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'm running low on everything, so I'm due for a frenzied weekend of cooking any day now.

Yeah... that is something I'd like to hear from KKF.... How many people out there do a huge cook off to last a month or longer??? Hehe... our freezer isnt that big!

Me and my more attractive half, alternate weeks cooking. So our meal planning is done at week-length cycles. I am trying to do the "convenience calculus" on deeper prep... is losing a whole day (sunday?) to meal prep better than losing 30-90mins each night? I dunno!!!?

Nice list by the way... and interestingly... the second peanut soup recommendation! I haven't had this before. Looks pretty simple and hearty. We'll have to give it a go.
 

cooktocut

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I bought a large freezer during COVID, mostly to store all my dry aged meats 😁 thank god I did, because I eventually went down the rabbit hole of how bad most of the stuff we eat on a daily basis is, and started cooking everything myself. It worked though... i lost pretty much all residual fat and I'm in much better shape, physically and mentally. It all started with the knives though... so I guess I owe it in part to them also.

Whole day Sunday is the way to go. You're neglecting to factor in the trip to the supermarket, unless you plan on doing one on monday for all the meals the whole week. If you can manage that, you're a much better man than I. I can barely get through one whole recipe without having to run back out to the store 😬
 

boomchakabowwow

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red enchilada sauce. ( I rarely use it for actually enchiladas) - I make a huge pot twice annually, and freeze it in quart bags.

pot-stickers. just because. I dont do it as often, because I usually dont have the space to freeze sheet pans full and bag the frozen individual dumplings. I have thought about using my neighbors big garage freezer.
 

Michi

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red enchilada sauce. ( I rarely use it for actually enchiladas) - I make a huge pot twice annually, and freeze it in quart bags.

pot-stickers. just because. I dont do it as often, because I usually dont have the space to freeze sheet pans full and bag the frozen individual dumplings. I have thought about using my neighbors big garage freezer.
Good point! I currently have a bunch of gyoza in the freezer, plus Pozole Rojo, chili con carne, and Texas chili.
 
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I eventually went down the rabbit hole of how bad most of the stuff we eat on a daily basis is, and started cooking everything myself.

Nice one!! Congrats! We use as few preprocessed ingredients as possible. It is wholesome - you know what is going into your meals. But it is more labour intensive (time consuming)!

There are a few basic pre-packaged foods we use routinely. Life would be unhappy without canned tomatoes... or various beans.... frozen peas... frozen or canned corn. Pre-made stocks can really speed things along and add flavour.

You're neglecting to factor in the trip to the supermarket, unless you plan on doing one on monday for all the meals the whole week. If you can manage that, you're a much better man than I. I can barely get through one whole recipe without having to run back out to the store 😬

We're not that bad! 🤣

We probably shop two to three times per week? So our fridge is barely ever packed like it is the end of days. For the past decade walkability to shops has been a pretty big factor in were we decide to rent. Our nearest supermarket is 5-10 minutes by foot. It is great because it is convenient!! But it also encourages laziness and less meal planning.


Apparently chest freezers are pretty common in South Africa? Maybe it used to be a hunting thing? But the idea spread to non-hunters?? Or I just got the wrong idea from my South African friend!!! I can imagine how much food you could prepare and store for yourself in one of those. If you could prepare 6-months of pasta sauce (for example) in one go and have space to store it... that would be pretty amazing! That would require a huge change in thinking and preparation on my part though.
 

Geigs

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I make curry pastes in bulk - green curry paste in particular is so much better when you make it yourself. Freeze in ziplocks in single pot sized portions and you can make a quick meal with a handful of meat and veggies.

I have a great Ragu Bolognese sauce that is very similar to this recipe - it makes a fabulous rich meat sauce that freezes well. The base of the sauce is meat, milk and white wine which is not at all what you think of in a traditional Italian sauce, but trust me when I say your mouth will thank you
 

MarcelNL

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Indonesian (meat) Rendangs also keep well frozen, not so the veggie dishes.
Pizza dough keeps well too, slam on some quick tomato sauce and veg/cheese/ whetever, great way to clean up leftovers.
Osso bucco keeps well too, just finish off with fresh gremolata.
 
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I feel as though I should comment, just having turned 16 lbs of oxtail into stew, in one go. But you already mentioned stew.

For the long weekend, I plan to make a lot of dumplings. Chinese dumplings, with Tianjin Preserved vegetable and pork and other things. Those freeze really nicely, and you steam them right from the freezer.

Also have to recommend chamber vacuum sealers. I was really skeptical for a long time, but being able to put stew or meat in a 4ml bag, and seal it up, knowing that the bag will stubbornly resist loss of vacuum, that the vacuum is superior, and that I can seal liquids without fear, well, it was all worth it.
 
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For the long weekend, I plan to make a lot of dumplings.
🤤

Do you turn the family into a production line? I always thought that could be fun... How many dumplings an hour do you think you can produce? Once youre in the swing of it?

A chamber vacuum sealer definitely seems like it would pair well with a chest freezer!
 
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boomchakabowwow

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🤤

Do you turn the family into a production line? I always thought that could be fun... How many dumplings an hour do you think you can produce? Once youre in the swing of it?

A chamber vacuum sealer definitely seems like it would pair well with a chest freezer!
just me and my wife. we get going on a great conversation and before we know it we have two sheet pans full. I am gonna do this again. I talked to my neighbor and she will let me use her freezer to freeze them individually. then bag them up in a gallon zipper bag...GOOD TO GO!
 
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🤤

Do you turn the family into a production line? I always thought that could be fun... How many dumplings an hour do you think you can produce? Once youre in the swing of it?
I guess it would be about 2 per minute. I am not fast at it. But I also do not yet have great skills at making the pleats come out beautiful, so realistically I will work slowly and try to build my skills. I treat it as more of a contemplative and meditative activity than a production line.

Also, freezer capacity is an issue. Not for the bags of frozen dumplings, those are compact, but for the initial freezing on half-sheet pans.
 
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talked to my neighbor and she will let me use her freezer to freeze them individually
Also, freezer capacity is an issue. Not for the bags of frozen dumplings, those are compact, but for the initial freezing on half-sheet pans.

I know exactly what you mean!! Same deal with the pasties. Shuffling everything in the fridge so that you can freeze a bunch without crushing them is tricky.

Might be interesting to think about making single serve pies in stackable plastic containers... that might make freezing and storage easier... 🤔
 
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Turns out I'm an idiot, on two counts, both related to the fact that I have not made Chinese dumplings for a number of years..

My problem with Chinese dumpling pleats was that I was trying to pleat out from the middle. I didn't even quite know I was doing it until I watched some videos, and then saw what my hands wanted to do. Starting from the end, as one should, everything came out fine.

Second, I had forgotten that following the recipe instructions and steaming dumplings made with factory wrappers turns the outer wrapper into a thin leathery mess. I boiled the second batch. Much much better.

I guess there is a third problem: freshly-made Chinese dumplings are really easy to overdo on, maybe especially if you have 10 year old Shanghai vinegar (mixed with soy sauce and a bit of sugar) to dip them in. I feel bloated now.
 
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Turns out I'm an idiot, on two counts, both related to the fact that I have not made Chinese dumplings for a number of years..

My problem with Chinese dumpling pleats was that I was trying to pleat out from the middle. I didn't even quite know I was doing it until I watched some videos, and then saw what my hands wanted to do. Starting from the end, as one should, everything came out fine.

Second, I had forgotten that following the recipe instructions and steaming dumplings made with factory wrappers turns the outer wrapper into a thin leathery mess. I boiled the second batch. Much much better.

🤩

Any photos??

I was inspired by @cooktocut and your comments. Last weekend I spent a considerable amount of time making 'gweilo dumplings'.... I spent saturday evening cooking a big pot of the filling... and sunday evening making 24 of the 'dumplings'. I was thinking about my comment on the pasties being difficult to freeze. So instead of dumpling sheets (or wonton) I am using puff-pastry... but they are closer to a large dumpling or baozi. I thought it might be interesting to make them a size that could easily be placed in stackable containers. That definitely made it easier to freeze them!!

I have about 1/3 of the filling left... and many more sheets of puff pastry. I may make another 8 or 12 'dumplings' tonight...


I guess there is a third problem: freshly-made Chinese dumplings are really easy to overdo on, maybe especially if you have 10 year old Shanghai vinegar (mixed with soy sauce and a bit of sugar) to dip them in. I feel bloated now.

😂

I know what you mean. That is a time honoured tradition though! Perhaps the only way it can be done?? We moved recently. One of my minor regrets is that we aren't near any good dumpling houses - it has been a while since I ordered one-too-many baskets of xiaolongbao!
 

boomchakabowwow

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Today was crazy. I made wontons AND red enchilada sauce. My neighbor is letting me freeze in her garage freezer so I decided to take advantage and do both. No pics of wontons.

1.75 gallons of sauce. 7 qts. Yum. My yield was less than expected. . I was hoping for an even two gallons.

279EE85F-D0D6-4E69-9D56-AB0F6EDC273F.jpeg
 
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I am far better at taking photos then I am at uploading them. That said:

Last weekend I spent a considerable amount of time making 'gweilo dumplings'.... I spent saturday evening cooking a big pot of the filling... and sunday evening making 24 of the 'dumplings'. I was thinking about my comment on the pasties being difficult to freeze. So instead of dumpling sheets (or wonton) I am using puff-pastry... but they are closer to a large dumpling or baozi. I thought it might be interesting to make them a size that could easily be placed in stackable containers. That definitely made it easier to freeze them!!

...so here is a mini-photo essay (sorry... the lighting is terrible). I used square sheets of puff-pastry:

DSC01892.jpg


Each sheet was cut into four 'dumpling' wrappers:

DSC01894.jpg


A set volume of filling was portioned into the wrapper:

DSC01897.jpg


The filling was a 'vegetarian' mix.... I couldn't help myself and decided to add bone broth for extra flavour. I wrapped them up in various ways. This was the most fancy and time consuming:

DSC01900.jpg


From 10 sheets I managed to make 40 pastie-dumplings. I could fit two into a take-away container. That made it easy to neatly stack them in the freezer:

DSC01907.jpg


We are currently about 75% through the batch. They make for nice and easy/quick meals:


DSC01903.jpg
 
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😂

I totally undershot!! I made a tomato risotto with the intention of rolling it up into arancini... looking at the volume I produced, I figured it would be better to just have risotto over the next three nights. Since I had panko for the arancini... I served the risotto with a sprinkling of panko and crispy onion for added texture...

Second night spiced up with prawns:

DSC01875.jpg


Third night with chorizo:

DSC01879.jpg


(hehe... looks pretty much the same!)
 

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Smoked beef cheek ragout - 90mins smoke in barbecue then overnight in the slow cooker with puréed tomato, onion, carrot, celery and a dash of beef stock.
 

sudsy9977

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Ok am I the only one that freezes bacon? Didn’t see it mentioned. It’s so much better than cooking just a few slices for me and the mrs. I’ll cook like 2-3 pounds and then seal them in bags with like 4-6 pieces. I take them out and put them in the sink and they defrost in water in like five or ten minutes. It’s super quick. And no mess with all the grease for just a few slices

Also do :
Breakfast sausage
Lasagna in mini loaf pans
Lots of the same stuff mentioned, soups, braised beef, bbq pulled chicken
Peeled super ripe bananas portioned out for banana bread recipe
 
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Ok am I the only one that freezes bacon? Didn’t see it mentioned. It’s so much better than cooking just a few slices for me and the mrs. I’ll cook like 2-3 pounds and then seal them in bags with like 4-6 pieces. I take them out and put them in the sink and they defrost in water in like five or ten minutes. It’s super quick. And no mess with all the grease for just a few slices

Also do :
Breakfast sausage
Lasagna in mini loaf pans
Lots of the same stuff mentioned, soups, braised beef, bbq pulled chicken
Peeled super ripe bananas portioned out for banana bread recipe


You pre-cook bacon, freeze it and then defrost it in a bag in warm water?

I...I mean...I...

😟
 

sudsy9977

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Well I cook it like 80 percent of the way. Either I’ll microwave it a little if I’m lazy or heat it right in the pan if I’m making something else

And it takes literally minutes to defrost in hot water. I would never defrost like chicken breasts in anything but cold water.

I think if you cooked it fully it wouldn’t be that good to reheat
 
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