Cooking Stuff

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Simple, Easy and Freezer Ready Pizza Sauce

From the Vault: Since I’m doing this today I thought I’d post about it.

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1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2-3 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 tbl balsamic
1/2 tsp dried basil
pinch of oregano
salt and pepper

Saute the onions over medium heat until transparent, add the garlic and dried herbs and saute until fragrant, ~30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and vinegar and let simmer over low heat for a half hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Freeze in ice cube trays and store in a zipper bag in the freezer.

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Normally when I make a pizza with tomato sauce (which is pretty rare these days, heh), I make a whole batch of sauce and then have a bunch of leftovers. But I had the idea to make some and freeze it in an ice cube tray for easy portioning, so I decided to act on it. See, this way if I want to make a pizza all I have to do is pull out a cube or two, defrost it and there it is. No need for making a whole pot of sauce just for one pizza and then having to figure out what to do with the rest. Plus this gives me the ability to add a little tomato flavor to all kinds of things, like stews or rice, all I have to do is toss in a cube.

Some of you might look at that sauce and think it’s pretty spartan. And it is really, although it’s lovely without any changes. But I wanted it to be more a base than anything else. Want more flavor for whatever you’re doing? Add a pinch or two of fresh herbs to the cubes while they defrost and you can customize it to whatever you’re making.

Add some more basil and oregano for an Italian taste, some cumin and coriander for a Middle Eastern kind of thing, chili powder and cumin would Mexicanize it, you get the picture. The idea is freezing the sauce like this gives you a lot a of options to experiment without forcing you to use an entire can of tomatoes. I’ve shared the method, now go forth and saucify!

Filed under: Freezer Food, sauce

Getting the Phrase “Master Stock” in My Categories

Really, that’s pretty much all I’m doing. I had posted about master stock at my old blog and had gotten some response to it so I figured I’d post the update to it here. I wish I could remember how many times I used it since the end of November, at least five possibly a couple more. I kept it frozen in between uses, always boiled it before using it again and ran it through a cheesecloth every few times.

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Even in this small a time span/limited uses the stock has really changed. It started off as pretty much plain water and you can just see how dark it is now. That is only like an inch or so deep down there. I’m only using this stock for chicken/pork, but I’m going to make another one for beef and lamb. 279 This is just a big chunk of pork loin, I bought a 1 1/2 lb one, cut it into portions and froze it. There’s a good single person cooking tip for you, freeze small portions of large inexpensive cuts. See, this post is about more than just filler and admin stuff. Heh.

Anyway, yeah, gonna braise it, shred it and… something it. Not sure about what, it’s going to be braising for a while though so I have some time yet.

Filed under: asian, broth/stock, Freezer Food, leftovers, master stock, pork

Freezer Stuff: Ham and Red Potato Hash

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equal parts ham steak and potatoes, cut into 4-5″ chunks

onion, 1/4 part of ham AND potatoes

black pepper to taste.

Put everything in a food processor and pulse until it’s the consistency you want, this may take a few batches. Mix everything┬átogether in a large bowl, cover the bowl and refrigerate it for several hours. Pour off any water that comes out, preheat oil/fat in a frying pan on medium heat. Spread thin layer of hash, let it brown then mix or flip it. Brown the other side. Keep mixing and flipping until the potatoes are cooked and everything is nicely browned. Serve with eggs and sriracha ketchup.

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Alright, this is the first post in my Freezer Stuff category, so let me sum up. The deal with it is that recipes in this category freeze well enough to suit me. It may not always thaw out perfect, but if it’s not good I’ll let you know. Fortunately this ham hash worked out great. This wasn’t actually planned as a freezer dish, but I kind of didn’t know that I was making so much. Here’s the ingredients, except for black pepper.202Yep, potato, onion, ham and black pepper. Four ingredients and you don’t even need more salt, the ham has plenty. Although some bell pepper in there wouldn’t hurt.206I did everything in shifts in my food processor and then just mixed it all together in a bowl. 208There was more than I had anticipated.

211So I browned up some for dinner that night, with some scrambled eggs.

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Then I put serving sized portions of the uncooked hash on aluminum foil, flattened them out, wrapped them up and froze them. Didn’t get a pic of the packaging pre-freeze, but here is one that I pulled out to make something awesome with this morning. 089Like I said, what I made was awesome and it involved sriracha ketchup, but I’ll post about it next week. Because I’m cruel. Heh.

Filed under: breakfast, eggs, Freezer Food, ham, pork, potato

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