Cooking Tips September

1st.Cook – Refrigerate – Use.     Do Not Freeze.
I prefer to chop and cook, once or twice a week, and then use the cooked meat and vegetables during the week as I need them; changing sauces, or cooking techniques.

The point is to avoid defrosting, boiling, roasting, or browning meat and vegetables every time I need to cook breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner. It saves energy, time, and effort.

Did you know that you can make meatballs with cooked meat? Just follow a regular recipe and substitute raw for cooked meat. After all, 99% of cooking calls for adding meat and wait until it cooks before adding the rest of the ingredients.

Even when I’m not using a whole package of meat, or Pasta, or vegetables,  I will cook the whole package, drain it, and refrigerate it in a container. Using what I need each time and adding different sauces to make it Italian, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Greek, anything you want each time.

Sample of Sauces you can use from your grocery store or online:

2nd. Twice the Joy, Once the effort.

I prefer chicken thighs to chicken breast, and rather than freezing them raw, and defrost them and cook them every single time  I need them.

I cook the whole package add 6 cups of water, 1/2 onion, garlic, 1 Celery Stick, 1 peeled carrot, salt, pepper, for 30 minutes, and you will have nutritious chicken broth for your soups too. [Note: Discard all vegetables from the broth before refrigerating it in a container, and refrigerate chicken in a separate container.]

The cooked chicken could be cut into pieces, sauteed on a frying pan, or shredded. Add some sauce and turn it into a Japanese, Turkish, or Mexican celebration dish, that’s it.

3rd. Essentials
Try this experiment: 1- Cook 1/2 Cup of frozen peas in 1 cup water, blend, taste.
2- Cook 1/2 cup of frozen peas, in 1 cup water, add 1 Tablespoon of Sofrito, blend, taste.Which one taste better?

Chop “Sofrito”  once a week, but you can buy it at the grocery store already chopped. Sofrito is essential for dishes that involved a little or a lot of liquid. i.e. sauces made from scratch, or soups.
Steam vegetables to the “al dente” point and refrigerate them in a container, use in different ways during the week. Do not boil vegetables.

 

Pasta, Cook the whole package of pasta in a skillet “al dente”  with less water, discard the water, and save it in a container, use as much as you need at one time, and refrigerate the rest in a container. if it sticks to itself, just add cold water, and add it to a warm sauce.

4th.   Incorporate pre-packaged products you can find in the international aisle of your grocery store or online; such as the empanadas, black beans, gandules, achiote, aji amarillo paste, moles, salsas, Mojo, Adobos, Huancaina Cream Sauce,  Tomatillo salsa, Pita, flour tortillas, flour tortillas, etc.   Any leftover from a can, save it in a food container NEVER in the can.

  • When a recipe includes a step to make the sauce, well at that point add the “pre-packaged sauce”.
  • Feel free to eliminate or reduce the amount of chili to suit your family. And

5th Cook/Bake some of these hands-on dishes with your family and friends, anything that can be mixed, rolled, cut, and shape, such as Corn Tortillas, Flour tortillas, Matzo, Empanadas, Picaditas with cheese, Tamales, Pita Bread, Chocolate Rugelach. Challah Bread will make everyone feel successful, fulfilled, and proud.

But, the most important thing is that when they add a little bit of this and a little bit of that; they will be creating a memory that will last a lifetime!

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