Saving Time by Cooking Ahead (Stock, Rolls, Sauce)

I made potato rolls for the first time about a month ago.  There is not usually more than two of us for dinner, so the recipe makes way too many rolls (24).  I let them rise the first time, shape them and put the ones I’m not going to bake that day on a cooking sheet covered with a silicone mat.  I then place it in the freezer until they are frozen enough to not stick together.  Then I place then in a large zip top freezer bag.  About 3 hours before I want them done, I take how many ever I want to bake, out and put them on a small buttered pan, cover and allow to rise.  Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and bake for 10 min.  Quick easy and fresh home baked rolls.   I am about to mix up some “Crusty Italian bread” and bake one and freeze two.

I have since tried this with another recipe for plain old yeast dinner rolls.  I used twice the yeast, skipped the first rise and froze the ones I wanted to right away after kneading.  Works great.

I save my bones from all types of meat and poultry and make stock.  I reduce it until it is well concentrated and freeze in zip top bags.  If you lay it flat when freezing, you can just break off a hunk when you need it.

The coming post on chicken with leeks and mustard wine sauce came out GREAT with the condensed chicken stock.

I made the green enchilada sauce a couple of days ago.  I keep seeing Aaron Sanchez on the queso fresco commercials and want to try some cheese enchiladas.  I have 8 little chicken empanadas in the freezer too.  I may fix them both.  No other side dishes, just lettuce, tomato, sour cream, scallions and black olives.

They were so quick and easy it wasn’t funny.

I do this type of thing with everything I can.  I have my freezer full of things that normally take a long time but can now be thawed and on the table in short order.  I have kale, collards, strawberries both whole but cleaned (for smoothies and sliced and macerated (covered with sugar and let sit til syrup formed and fruit got soft) for ice cream, strawberry shortcake or whatever.  I have empanadas, ravioli, egg rolls, pot stickers and other time consuming dishes that I can pull out and bake or fry or boil without even thawing.  I make a big pot of marinara sauce and divide into quart zip top bags.  I took one out and can either add some browned ground meat or take out a bag of meatballs that I made last month.  That gives me the time and energy to make the homemade pasta and bread.  Both are way easier than you would think.  I have the pasta drying on the counter and will later post about how easy it was and how I just found out today how to make it nice and uniform.


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