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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Freezer Cooking Update....what's cooking today!

My good friend Cyndy sent me this link about cooking beans in the crockpot

I had forgotten how easy this is.....I threw two pounds of black beans in to soak yesterday morning, and put them in the crockpot and filled it up with water before I went to bed. After 8 hours on low, they were perfect. I ended up with enough to make one casserole that usually takes two cans, and two stuffed quart bags to freeze. I figured it made about the same amount as 10-12 cans, so I probably saved at least 10 dollars by doing this. My two pounds of dried beans were 2$ at Walmart.

So tonight, we are having Cinco Layer Bake, which I am putting together from three things from my freezer stash. Here are the recipes for you freezer friends!

First, make this Sweet Chicken Tostada Filling:
(makes about 14 1/2 cups)

2 Whole Chickens (8-10 pounds total weight)
3 packages cream cheese, softened
3 cups prepared mango salsa
5 one-quart freezer bags, labeled

1. Clean and cook both chickens however you want....either boil or roast them in the oven.
Cool and pull meat from bones. Discard skin and bones. Cut chicken into bite size pieces. (A whole chicken will yield about 1 cup of meat per pound.) Or if you don't want to go through all this brain damage, boil up about 6 lbs of chicken breasts, chop it up and go from there.

2. Beat together cream cheese and salsa in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Stir in chicken. Divide mixture evenly among freezer bags, about 3 scant cups of filling in each.

3. Seal and freeze.

Chipotle Roasted Tomato Sauce
7-9 pounds fresh roma tomatoes (from Costco)
6 chipotle peppers canned in adobo sauce, halved and seeded
1 1/2 pounds onions, sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoons salt
7 quart freezer bags, labeled

1. Preheat oven to 475F.
2. Rinse and slice tomatoes in half lengthwish. Arrange in a single layer on several baking dishes. Sprinkle salt over the tomatoes. Add chipotle peppers and onions to the baking dishes. Mix to combine. Drizzle oil over the vegetables. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until tomatoes are beginning to brown.
3. Cool tomatoes enough to handle. Slide skins off. Remove chipotle peppers and discard.
4. Using a food processor or blender, and working in batches, spoon tomatoes and onions into processors bowl with a slotted spoon so that the juices can drain back into the dish. Puree the tomatoes and onions until smooth. Add juices from the baking dish if sauce is too thick. Discard remaining juice.
5. Divide sauce among freezer bags.
6. Seal and freeze.

Note: This sauce is excellent on Cheese Ravioli and other pasta dishes. It is a good way to use up those end of the season tomatoes in the garden. Don't feel like you HAVE to have this to make the Cinco Layer Bake...you can use canned enchilada or tomato sauce if you like.

You can use your Sweet Chicken Tostada Filling in these two recipes, or in other creative ways.

Cinco Layer Bake
6 ten inch flour tortillas, cut in half
2 3/4 cups Sweet Chicken Tostada Filling, thawed
1 1/2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup Roasted Chipotle Tomato Sauce or other enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded Mexican Blend Cheese
2 medium tomatoes, chopped (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375F
2. Lightly coat the bottom of a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Cover the bottom entirely with 4 of the tortilla halves, overlapping as necessary. Spread 1 1/2 cups of the tostada filling over tortillas. Next, layer with 3/4 cup of the beans, 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce, and 1 cup of the cheese. Repeat with a layer of tortillas and the remaining filling, beans, and tomato sauce. Add the remaining 4 tortilla halves and top with one cup cheese.
3. Cover with foil and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer reads 165f.
4. Garnish with fresh tomatoes, guacamole, or salsa, if desired.

Happy cooking!


Brendan said...

The Cinco Layer Bank was awesome!!

My wife is the mostly with the Chipotle!!

Jana said...

This sounds delicious, and fairly easy. Thanks!