Welcome to Freezer Food Friday! I hope you are finding this a helpful meme. I know people stop by to look, but it would be nice to see some more participants. Don’t be afraid to join us! We can all help each other out.
Share a tried and true recipe or a new to you recipe that can be prepared ahead and frozen for later use. Link your post at Mr.Linky below.
Top Tips For Freezing Your Casseroles
By Jim Coleman And Candace Hagan | Philadelphia Daily News
If you have elderly relatives or even friends with family concerns who do not do a good job of eating balanced, complete meals, you may want to supply them with casseroles to keep in the freezer. But knowing which foods take well to freezing can be tricky. The good news is that you can successfully freeze almost all casseroles, as long as you remember these tips:
Freeze in small portions
(Which you would be doing anyway for two people.) Not only does the food cool down faster before freezing, it also thaws faster and doesn’t need to cook as long.
If you are going to use it for either thawing or cooking, make sure to use “microwave-safe” plastic wrap for storing the casserole.
Airtight wrap: To make sure you have an edible casserole when you pull it out of the freezer, you must wrap it extremely well. Freezer burn and dehydration only happen because food items haven’t been wrapped airtight.
Keep it fresh:
Make sure you label and date the casserole before freezing it so there’s no question what it is or how long you’ve kept it. I suggest eating frozen prepared foods within six months.
Go light on the seasoning:
Pepper, garlic, celery, green peppers and some herbs become stronger when frozen and can even become bitter. It’s wiser to add additional seasonings before serving.
There is no rule of thumb about how long frozen casseroles take to cook. (The cooking directions for the recipe here is for a fresh-prepared or thawed casserole.)
If a casserole is going directly from the freezer into the oven, double the cooking time, give or take 25 percent. For instance, if a recipe says cook 30 minutes, plan to bake it from the frozen state for an hour, checking it after 45 minutes and being prepared for it to take up to an hour and 15 minutes.
My last suggestion is, when making any casserole for a relative or friend, double the recipe. Freeze half for them, and then serve half to your own family.
TURKEY & BROCCOLI CASSEROLE
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
5 tablespoons butter, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup fine-chopped scallions
Kosher salt and fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 1/2 cups milk
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped broccoli, cooked and drained (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 cups cubed cooked turkey
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook macaroni in boiling water to cover according to package directions; drain and set aside. In a medium saucepan, melt 4 tablespoons butter over low heat. Add flour, scallions, salt, pepper, mustard, sage and thyme; stir until well blended.
Gradually stir in milk until blended. Bring to a boil; cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in broccoli, macaroni, turkey and cheese. Transfer mixture to a 2-quart casserole. Combine bread crumbs with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Sprinkle on top of casserole and bake 30 minutes until golden brown.
Makes 6 servings.
Per serving: 591 calories, 45 percent calories from fat, 30 grams total fat, 16 grams saturated fat, 112 milligrams cholesterol, 44 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams total fiber, 6 grams total sugars, 40 grams net carbs, grams protein, 35 milligrams sodium.