I am trying my hand at cooking at home more in order to save a little hard earned cash that is normally used to eat out. My eventual goal is to buy a small chest freezer so I can start doing "freezer cooking" or "once a month cooking". That is where you spend an afternoon once a month or every two weeks making enough entrees for 15 or 30 meals that will be frozen for future meals. When I heard about it initially, I thought it sounded like a lot of work and perhaps a bit odd.
But one evening as I was pulling a prepackaged commercially prepared Lasagna out of the freezer, I thought "DUH! What am I doing paying $10 for a meal I could have made and frozen myself for a lot less. "
Not to mention I would be avoiding preservatives and other stuff common in frozen foods. I had attended a workshop session many years ago in Tulsa by the authors of "30 Day Gourmet" and even went as far as to purchase their book. To give you an idea, I have a copy of the first and second edition, they are currently on the 10th or 11th edition. I have to admit that I haven't tried any recipes out of it, however the worksheets and the instructions are worth their weight in gold if you haven't done this kind of mass food prep before. I started collecting a couple other books like this with the intention of cooking from them.
Recently I dusted them all off and decided to try recipes from these books.
I decided I will take 2 books and work through them for a period of 3-4 months. This month I will be working through the Once A Month Cooking Manual by Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg and More Don't Panic Dinner's in the Freezer by Sue Martinez, Vanda Howell and Bonnie Garcia. Both of these books are easily available through Amazon.com.
Tonight I made the 12 Boy Curry From the Once a Month Cooking Manual.
The prep work was pretty darn easy. Sauteing the chicken in butter, removing then sauteing the chopped onion celery and garlic in additional butter. Combining the dry ingredients, adding to the cooking veggies, adding the liquids and then the cooked chicken. Since our family is not big on celery, I was tempted to leave it out, but decided to go ahead and do the recipe as printed this time. I'm glad I did. The celery is not noticeable by itself, but is definitely a key player in the fabulous flavor of this dish. My only departure from the recipe is that I used the beef soup base I have in the cabinet instead of the canned beef broth, but that is splitting hairs since it is all the same stuff. I just used what I had on hand. I did add a little hot curry powder (1/2 tsp) since our family likes things pretty spicy, but I would advise caution on that. I ALMOST overdid that. Nobody in my family will get cold tonight! LOL!
The prep work on this dish was pretty minimal, it went together fast and tastes unbelievable! If I didn't know I had prepared it, I would say it competes head to head with my favorite Indian eatery.
This one is a definite keeper! When spooned over Jasmine (That was all I had on hand) or Basmati rice, which would have been the most appropriate rice, it is unbelievable.
Since it is night and the light from the overhead light would give the picture a weird orange/yellow glow, I will wait to post pictures of the dish until next time I make it. AND I WILL BE MAKING IT AGAIN SOON! It is fabulous.
I am looking forward to trying other dishes from this book.