To inaugurate Emily's work toaster oven, we started making mini-lunches in tiny loaf pans and freezing them. Our first time out was lasagna and chicken pot pie. Then we did beef stew and basque chicken (red peppers and chorizo), Indian chickpeas and turkey chili with cornbread topping. So far, a huge success! Julie Sahni's "Classic Indian Cooking" has been the best resource as she tells you on each recipe whether it freezes well or not.
Our latest effort was lamb stew and chicken cacciatore. Emily did the grocery shopping and accidentally bought pork instead of lamb, so it became pork stew. The chicken recipe came from Tom Valenti's "Soup, Stews and One Pot Meals." We doubled the recipe and cut the chicken up into smaller pieces (for lunchtime ease). It was the most boozy dish I've ever made with the doubled proportions coming to two cups of white wine and two cups of dry vermouth. The sauce didn't taste extremely boozy though. It mostly shows up in the chicken. The lamb/pork stew recipe comes from that tiny Martha magazine.
Here are recipes we used. The lasagna, chili and beef stew were more free form creations, so I didn't include those.
Basque Chicken (from the Jimtown Store Cookbook)
1/4 cups olive oil
1 lb. of cooked spicy sausage (we used chorizo)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 1/2 lb. large sweet (red, yellow, orange) peppers, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
1 cup dry white wine
1 28 oz. can of tomatoes with juices
2 teaspoons hot Spanish pimenton or paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
6 cups shredded chicken
2 tbs. chopped parsley
Heat olive oil, add sausage and cook until lightly browned (8-10 minutes.) Remove sausage with a slotted spoon. In the same pan, add the onion and garlic and cook over low heat until soft and beginning to brown (10 min.) Add peppers, raise the heat to high, cook until peppers begin to brown (15 min.) Stir in wine, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom. Lower heat, add tomatoes with juice, stir in 2 tsp. salt, paprika, black pepper, sugar, chicken and chorizo and cook for ten minutes. We then made buttered egg noodles, got many many mini loaf pans and put the noodles in the bottom and the basque chicken on top, covered with aluminum foil and put in freezer for lunchtime consumption.
Chick-peas in Ginger Sauce (from Classic Indian Cooking)
2 twenty oz. cans of chick peas with liquid
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onions
2 tsp. chopped garlic
2 tbs. shredded ginger root
2 tsp. ground coriander
1/3 tsp. ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. each red and black pepper
1 tomato, chopped
1 tsp. salt
Measure spices out ahead of time. Drain chick peas, reserve liquid. Heat oil, fry onions until light brown (stirring constantly). Add garlic and ginger, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 2 minutes. Add coriander, cardamom, and red and black pepper. Stir, then add chopped tomato and cook for about 5-6 minutes. Add chick-pea liquid, lemon juice, salt and 1/2 cup of water. Cover and simmer over low heat for ten minutes. Add the drained chick peas and cook for ten minutes. We cooked more egg noodles and stirred these into the mix and put in the mini loaf pans and froze.
Irish Lamb (pork) Stew (from that Martha rag)
1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper
3 lb. lamb stew meat in two inch cubes
3 tbs. canola oil
1 onion, chopped
3/4 tsp. dry thyme
1 1/2 cups of dark beer
1 1/2 pounds medium new potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 lb. carrots, cut into 1/2 inch thick diagonals
3 tbs. chopped parsley
In a large bowl, season flour with salt and pepper. Dredge lamb. Heat oil in large, heavy pot and saute lamb in batches until brown (5 minutes per batch.) Transfer to a plate. Pour 1/4 cup of water into the pot, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon. Add the onion, cook until water is evaporated and onion is soft (5 min.) Return lamb to pot, add thyme, beer and 1 1/2 cups of water. Cover and simmer until lamb is tender (an hour to an hour and a half). Add potatoes, carrots and half a cup of water. Cook until vegetables are tender and stew has thickened (20 min.) Season with salt and pepper, stir in parsley. We were tired of egg noodles by this time and cooked mini penne. Mini loaf pans, etc.
Boozy chicken (from Soups, Stews and other One Pot Meals)
(recipe is doubled and adjusted for lunch club consumption)
2 cans of diced tomatoes
5 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 2 inch chunks
1/2 cup olive oil
2 onions, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 cups white wine
2 cups dry vermouth
a bunch of oregano
First I cut up the chicken. Then I browned the chicken in a pot with the oil. Then I put the chicken in a bowl and added the onions to the pot and cooked until soft. Then I added the garlic and sauted for a few minutes. Added tomatoes with juice, wine and vermouth and all of the oregano leaves and cooked for a minute more. I added the chicken back and put it in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. We put this on orzo, mini loaf pans, etc.