What condiments, sauces and other "building block" or components for easier weeknight meals do you make in large batches and freeze?
I've been inspired by the comments of another user who has been encouraging a slightly different approach to make-ahead weeknight cooking - which is big batch cooking and then freezing in smaller portions to use with other components to create more variety in one's menu. Would you be so kind as to share your go-to freezer friendly dinner-making component recipes? Savory condiments--ones that keep well in the fridge for a few weeks or that freeze successfully--and ways to use them would also be most appreciated. Many thanks.
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The hot sauce included in the recipe freezes well also.
I also like keeping Mexican sauces (different sorts of mole, pipián, adobo) in the freezer, especially this simple and delicious pipián: http://www.laweekly.com/restaurants/cookbook-review-truly-mexican-a-pipin-verde-green-pumpkin-seed-sauce-recipe-2382463
The sauce breaks slightly -- you can blend it back to complete smoothness if you mind the little bit of texture (I don't). I like making quick enchiladas with it, or serving it with roasted cauliflower, boiled potatoes, broiled tempeh, etc. The original recipe suggests it as a sauce for shrimp.
I also freeze my own BBQ sauce to eat on tempeh, a slightly less sweet and more spicy version of this: https://food52.com/recipes/29199-tempeh-kebabs-with-homemade-barbecue-sauce
I second others' recommendations for a freezer stockpile of pesto, and a large batch of salad dressing in the fridge. I tend to keep a simple vinaigrette around, but this punchy lemon/caper/mustard/shallot dressing is also great, and keeps fine for weeks: https://food52.com/recipes/16940-april-bloomfield-s-lemon-caper-dressing
I also keep commercial Thai curry paste (I like Maesri brand) in the fridge at all times, to make a quick dinner with whatever vegetables, mushrooms, and tofu I have in the fridge, plus some coconut milk and cilantro and/or basil.
I batch-cook quite a variety of component items to freeze for dinners and lunches. My current freezer inventory, which is somewhat depleted after heavy use in November and December, can be found on the second page of this Google Doc: http://tinyurl.com/HLC0117Plan Send me a private note if you want more details (recipes, etc.)
I’m looking for more ideas, too, on more ways to simplify my dinner prep by cooking and freezing weeknight helpers.
We’re not big fans of the “make this and serve it all week” (or even “twice this week”) in my house, but “make a huge batch of a building block recipe and freeze 3/4 of it for future meals?” Yes, please! ;o)
I do the same thing just with garlic (inspired by a similar recipe in the Gjelina book). I never measure the olive oil, but just pour enough to cover. I have a tiny crockpot - about 1.5 quart capacity -- that works perfectly for this.
I first made the garlic confit to toss with roast cauliflower and broccoli, along with lots of chopped parsley and red wine vinegar after the veggies are roasted - also from the Gjelina cookbook. I'm working my way through a variety of tasty condiments and related recipes in that book. I'll report back! ;o)
I also make vinaigrette every week with meyer lemons or whatever citrus I can find in the market. And when I find great lemons, I preserve them and they keep for awhile too.
As Chops does, harissa.
Also (not all at the same time) preserved lemons, chutney, herbed or seasoned olives, kimchi or sauerkraut, eggplant sauces, roasted garlic, pesto, herbed or flavored butter.