Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cooking for a Crowd or the Freezer

Yesterday I shared a great recipe for BBQ pork loin made in the crock pot.  That recipe feeds a crowd and/or the freezer.  In fact, I didn't freeze any of that BBQ and we have been eating it for lunch all week.    I love to cook in large batches and have several meals prepared ahead of time!  It makes my life a lot easier.   Today I'll share a couple of other tricks and recipes that will feed either a crowd or a freezer.

 Monday, just after lunch, I browned two roasts in a little olive oil then placed them in my large stoneware cooker. Many times I use my slowcooker, but I was late getting started this day.   I added one sliced onion, two minced cloves of garlic, several potatoes cut into large chunks and carrots.  I added about 1/2 a cup of beef broth that I just happened to have left over in my fridge. Salt and black pepper were used liberally.  I baked this in the oven, covered at 300 degrees for about 4 1/2 hours.  I have cooked much larger roasts at 250 degrees for about 8 hours and they turn out wonderfully tender.  My family ate one of the roasts and all of the veggies for dinner Monday night and I bagged the other roast with the pan drippings and put it in the freezer for another day.  When I serve this frozen roast, I will simply thaw it out, put it in a baking dish and add about 2 cups of water.  This will blend with the drippings to make a delicious sauce to serve over rice.

Yesterday I baked two whole chickens side by side in a 9 x 13 casserole dish.  After washing the chickens I put a little olive oil over them then sprinkled with a mixture of black pepper, salt, crushed red pepper, tumeric, parsley and oregano.  Really I was just pulling things out of the spice cabinet that looked as if they would work together.  I then baked at 350 degrees for just under 2 hours.  We ate most of one chicken and I bagged the other along with some pan drippings to freeze for another day.  We served this with a rice dish that we have concocted and the huge can of green beans that I purchase from Sam's.  We eat one can of these green beans each week!  I cook them up for a couple of hours with a little chopped ham fat, salt and pepper.  One son eats them by the bowlful!!  They feed a crowd or my family for 2-3 meals.

Another crowd pleasing/ freezer filling recipe that is a staple at my house is spaghetti sauce.  I used this recipe for years when I was in a freezer food co-op and we tripled it for that group.  When I make it at home for my family I double it.  A single recipe makes a lot, but I like to make even more!  This recipe is from Once-A-Month Cooking by Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg.

Spaghetti Sauce

1 pound bulk Italian sausage  
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1 12-can tomato paste
3 28-ounce cans Italian-style or plain crushed tomatoes in puree (I buy the big cans at Sam's)
2 cups water
4 teaspoons minced garlic
4 bay leaves
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoon dried oregano
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley ( I use dried)
2 teaspoons salt

In a large pot, cook and stir the bulk Italian sausage with onions until the meat is brown;  drain fat.  Add remaining ingredients.  Bring sauce to a boil;  reduce heat.  Partly cover, and simmer for 2  hours, stirring occasionally.  Makes 12 cups of sauce.  I then freeze 4 cups of sauce in gallon bags and lie flat on a cookie sheet placed in the freezer.  When frozen I can stack them on top of each other and use my cookie sheet for cookies!!

For many more crowd-pleasing recipes check out the 4 Moms 35 Kids post at Raising Olives.


Celee said...

I'll have to try that spaghetti sauce recipe. Thanks. Maybe I need that cookbook you mentioned.

Headmistress, zookeeper said...

Thanks for joining our cooking for a crowd link up. Great ideas- and i love the BBQ recipe! We do need you to include a link back to one of our four posts, though. Thanks!

Smockity Frocks said...

We do whole chickens quite often. There is SO MUCH you can do with them!

Thanks for participating in our link up!

Kimberly @ RaisingOlives said...

I also love the BBQ recipe. We did that when we had about 70 over for a meal and I just asked everyone to bring sides.

Thanks for participating!

Sarah D said...

Hi I've just come over to visit your blog - sum great ideas for cooking in bulk, I really do need to do this more I enjoyed reading about planning schooldays, this is an area I'm seriously working on xx

Milehimama @ Mama Says said...

We love green beans here, too. In the summer I'll put out a bowl of frozen ones for "beansicles", and the kids can nip in for a cold nibble then back out again.

Let'sMakeADifference said...

Thanks for the great recipes! I make 3 meals daily for at least 9 people so I am always looking for new ideas!

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