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I’m delighted if anybody finds this useful - I’ve not stopped doing this at all, just been busy and when we have cooked last couple of weeks have gone with a tried and trusted rather than something new - the big cook ups are a bit of a cooking and planning effort but the pay off is great as we have a couple of weeks of meals always ready to go with a lot of variety.

 

The goulash I’ve taken from link below (you’ll even see I’ve got a comment on the page), but I’ve tweaked it over time to my own taste (like chucking in kidney beans) - I also prefer getting it all browned up and going on the hob and then cooking in the oven, but thats personal pref again (its very oven & pot dependent as can dry out if you let it go too long).

 

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1094662/pork-goulash-with-herby-dumplings

 

Its by no means a classic beef goulash, but is a lovely pork variant with lot of flavour.

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I've been meaning to do something like this myself.  I used to while I lived by myself, and found a great and pretty easy curry recipe that keeps for ages and is quite thick sauce wise, which I prefer (though you can add things to thin the sauce out if you like).  I even used to have a tub of the spices mixed in the proportions I used as I made it fairly often.  I'd basically cook the sauce seperate, and add meat to it once it was cooked  I case anyone is interested;

 

Ingredients:

For the sauce -

2 large onions

4 cloves of garlic

1 large knob of ginger

2 tbs tomato puree

2 tbs chilli powder

2 tbs garam masala

1 tbs cumin

1 tbs tumeric powder

3 chillis

2 tins tomatoes. (dont bother with chopped ones, though if thats what you have, thats fine).

 

Slice the onions and cook them over a medium-high heat.  You're looking to get some colour on the onions themselves, so wait until they start going a nice brown, turn the heat to medium and whack in the garlic, ginger and chillis.  Cook that for a couple of mins, then whack in the spices and the tomato puree and cook that for 2-3 minutes as well.  Then add your tinned tomatoes.  I use whole tomatoes as I know people who swear they're a better quality than the chopped, and its getting blended anyway.  Mix it in well, let the tomatoes get up to temp, then whack in a hand blender and give it a good whizz up till its nice and smooth.  Have a taste and see if you think it needs any seasoning, or if you want it hotter you can add more chilli powder.

 

Depending on when I'm eating, I'll usually leave that bubbling while I cook whatever I'm putting in it, for a good 20 mins.  If I have time to prepare ahead and marinate overnight, I'll cook off some chicken in a griddle pan thats been left overnight in a mix of yoghurt, garlic, ginger, chilli, the same spices as the sauce, lime juice and ground corriander.  You can do this in the oven too, but I like the char makes you get from the griddle pan.  I've also done it with roasted sweet potato, cauliflower and carrot, and even just had the sauce over chips before.

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This is a pretty niche offer but the Cardiff Ikea have their glass containers on offer this month, £2.25 each.  I used to use the plastic ones but I switched over to these because I kept ruining plastic ones in the microwave where things get over heated at the edges.

 

http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/products/cookware/food-storage-organising/förtrolig-food-container-clear-glass-art-90233788/

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I love the glass bits of those ikea pots but found the lids can bend a bit and stain in microwave.

 

The pots mentioned back at the start of the thread are lasting me really well, not thrown any and they dont warp, melt or stain at all, they’re better than any plastic non disposable versions I’ve had in past 

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Need to get busy today as 3 hectic weeks has seen stocks almost totally depleted, though have to say having these to hand when I've been busy at work has been brilliant, you can just flop home and got a nice meal ready to go with nothing more than a microwave button press - they've been a big hit and stop me ordering shit takeaways. 

 

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Starting with some one pot stew/soup hybrids - posted the right recipe before, its a lovely scotch lamb broth which is healthy and really hits the spot, doesn't feel like eating something good for you, very satisfying.

 

As that is such a hit looked for something similar and the left is a new try out recipe - its a ham, leek cabbage and pearl barley casserole

 

I started with recipe below but modified quite a bit - added double the gammon, bit more cabbage (seemed a shame to chuck) and a lot more stock (had to top up the chicken with some veg bouillon I had in). Also added more mustard and some peas. Looks promising but experience tells me you need to leave these sit in the pot for a day in fridge and see how they mature and end up. It also will take much longer to cook than they say, pearl barley needs over an hour according to my packet, not 20m.

 

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/pearl-barley-bacon-leek-casserole

 

May be doing another one pot recipe with a Jambalaya but that will be dependent on storage room as got hairy bikers chicken stew and cobbler to crack on with next.

 

 

 

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busy day, just added half a dozen chicken stew and cobbler with a little chef's taster leftover pot to my stock

 

have cooked this several times before, its a bit of a favourite, only diff is tried a new veg side - its cabbage with onion and garlic cooked in an iron skillet in a bit of butter and oil - the little extra side veg makes a big difference to the pots feeling special so is worth the effort when batch cooking I've found.

 

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as teased last week, Jambalaya - another 1 pot recipe I wanted to try to add some quicker dishes to my repertoire.

 

the quicker bit didn't quite work out, this has quite a few stages in the prep, but they all serve a purpose and the end result is superb tasting (if not a looker)

 

in essence Jambalaya is something where you use up your leftovers so no recipe is definitive it would seem, so I started with the recipe below and got tweaking. I liked how it explains clearly what you are doing at each step.

 

https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2017/03/creole-style-red-jambalaya-chicken-sausage-shrimp-recipe.html

 

for starters andouille isn't easily found here, but Polish kielbasa is and seems a perfectly good substitute. I don't like shellfish so made up that weight in the recipe with some chorizo cubed up small, and a couple of skinned pork sausages I had in freezer that i cooked off in little lumps. I also like carrots and had some left so chucked them in too. For hot sauce I used tabasco.

 

the recipe is well thought thru so followed the steps to build up the flavours as he suggests, and it tastes amazing - can only imagine in the pot it will get even better as matures a bit. 

 

final thing - I've learnt with rice to get the lids on quickly so that the moisture doesn't all escape, then it freezes and reheats beautifully.

 

already know this is going to be on the permanent rotation.

 

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God Polish sausage is the absolute best. Just so fatty and gorgeous. Don't eat meat anymore but good God I used to love those things right off the barbecue and all split open.

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yeah, that Polish sausage flavours the whole dish, but then again the way its made with not a drop of flavour wasted means the whole thing is layered far more than you'd think a simple rice and meat dish would be.

 

I'd made jambalaya years ago with just chicken and found it a bit meh, this is not meh.

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if anybody needs a shove to try that jambalaya recipe I just ate one and its 10/10 perfection - one of the tastiest things I've cooked (my subtle tweaks all worked a treat)

 

the method where you cook the rice in stock and tomato juice from the tin is very clever, and all the stages of browning fully the meat and cooking the veg in the pan scrapings (fond if you watch a lot of american recipes on youtube) give something that is more than the sum of its parts - leaving in the fridge for couple of days always help too.

 

can see that being one I never want to be out of in the freezer.

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just made up another batch of that jambalaya as its my favourite thing I've made in this whole thread, decided to try and up it to an 11/10 by making a simple cornbread side, which I've squared up and will freeze individually so I've got a nice side to go with it. Out the oven this is very nice.

 

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http://allrecipes.co.uk/recipe/30827/moist-cornbread.aspx

 

recipe above, used polenta and full fat milk, as you want a bit of taste/fat in something like this, also buttered the tray to get a nice tasting crust.

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after the instant success of the Jambalaya, which has knocked at least 1 or 2 marks off every other respective dish I've made in this thread, I've been doing a bit of research into other types of meat and rice dishes.

 

first attempt at a Biryani - its not a looker, I had a bit of a moment layering it into too small a casserole dish and had to transfer it to a bigger one, losing the layers, but the taste is really good. 

 

recipe here

http://www.panningtheglobe.com/2014/10/03/indian-lamb-biryani/

 

side is quite simple, just some roasted veggies given a covering of oil with cumin and curry powder in it.

 

Screenshot_24_03_2018__11_51.thumb.jpg.0e2e5464b97b154bf1e36f13b47e2278.jpg

 

old faves are still in circulation too - my partner is a bit of a mash fiend so sausage, mash, mushy peas and onion mustard gravy is kept in rotation, as in anything with dauphinoise spuds and a dumpling (though suspect that may be going into hibernation with summer coming)

 

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I think you could do a lot of this with Quorn or Seitan.

 

I really want to eat through all of the stuff in my freezer so I can start doing some of this stuff. I'd like to prep some tofu/spring onions/lettuce/cauliflower rice etc on a Sunday for some fresh meals and be able to pull spag bol, curry etc out of the freezer. 

 

I'm not doing too badly at prepping 15-20 minute meals when I get home but I really want to resist the temptation to order in when I can't be arsed.

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My attempt at the Jambalaya recipe shared by @Gotters Didn't add the shrimps and added a lemon slice. Then some roast potatoes, carrots and some sweetcorn. Don't think I've got the quantities quite right, would prefer to see more veg I think. Tried to make it look more visually appealing, the sweetcorn helps a lot but need to find a way to make the actual jambalaya more colorful. 

 

YFNkQ4Y.jpg

 

 

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couple of dishes cooked up today

 

first is a new one for me, enchiladas with a side of mexican rice and refried beans

 

its taken from the serious eats recipe - first attempt at and a few notes - recipe is way short of chicken, could almost double it I think, the technique though and the sauce is amazing, the pressure cooked does a brilliant job of producing stella chicken and sauce (after a quick blitz). UK size tortilla seem a bit bigger than the US ones they used (at least the corn ones I could find were), and i think the meat in the wrap needs some fried up onion/pepper adding to the chicken and sauce. 

 

taste of the sauce is incredible though, really potent and flavour packed - this will be back and refined - pics don't quite do it justice either, the cheese is nicely browned and they are much moister than they look (they cooled a bit in pic) - its also a theme that my first attempt at something often isn't bang on, but I have to refine them over a couple of goes.

 

https://www.seriouseats.com/2015/04/pressure-cooker-fast-and-easy-chicken-enchiladas-food-lab.html

 

I made up some mexican rice, bit of basmati with some cumin, chilli and veg added, cooked in a mix of stock and passata - have to confess the refried beans are from a tin for time saving reasons today.

 

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second dish is my own favourite of Jambalaya, but back with a side corn dish called Maque Choux inspired by Capwn above

 

http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/corn-maque-choux-fried-corn-49125

 

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40 minutes ago, littlelegs said:

Do you heat these up in the microwave? 

Yep, thats the whole point - delicious home cooked meals in minutes with no fuss.

 

By design its why there is no pastry, fried or crunchy stuff - have to stick to things that play nice within the limitations of a microwave

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Sorry, late to the thread. What are you doing, batch cooking and sticking them in the fridge or the freezer? Where do you buy those plastic containers from? Any pointers?

 

Edit: Doh! Started the thread from the beginning and found some of the answers. This is something I’m seriously interested in trying out though, as soon as I manage to empty the freezer a bit!

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I seriously recommend it, took a while but I’m into a rhythm with it now and love the whole process - I’ve got so many notes full of ideas to research or actual recipes to try out, then I love going to the shop and buying actual ingredients to make a big batch of something up - its quite fun before I even get to the best part which is having something home made and tasty every day for dinner.

 

After a few weeks you end up with a good variety of stock in the freezer too, this is important as never get sick of something, and once something been retired for a few weeks you really want it back in rotation - the current request from my other half is to get some of that butter chicken made back up again (its one of the best ones).

 

The reviews are in for the enchiladas - very positive, I need to add more sauce as it really balances out after a day in the fridge (was worried it was a bit hot initially) and just wanted more sauce and more chicken when scoffing (I will double to 2kg of thighs next time with everything else in recipe kept the same). Will probably do some onions/peppers just to add into wraps too. 

 

Its another keeper though and well worth a try.

 

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Had my best run at the butter chicken - took me 2h from start to finish for all the elements but everything is cooked from scratch and got 7 of these bad boys lined up. I do like to get a shop naan to go with them though as that daal and sauce needs mopping up.

 

Its quite an involved cook but honestly would rather eat this than anything I could get from a takeaway. 

 

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I need this in my life. This kind of routine is perfect for me (got exams coming up) and also gives me something productive to do on my day off rather than drinking or sitting in my pants feeling guilty that I'm not studying.

 

The only thing I tend to make in serious quantity though is chilli. This is a good excuse for trying out/improving recipes though. Do a trial small batch first.

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I had a really nice microwave meal tonight and instantly thought it would be a great one for this thread, Sainsbury taste the difference Steak Au Poivre - easily the best shop bought microwave meal I’ve had and I imagine fairly straight forward to make yourself, I’m researching recipes but hoping @Gotters may already have one...

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@Shimmyhill its not one I've researched, I've never really thought about steak dishes as always thought it would suffer in the freezing and reheating process - could go a bit tough. Beef stews work as been cooked for hours. 

 

I've also avoided heavily cream based sauces (there is a splash in the butter chicken curry but not much) as think I'd read they may split if you freeze and reheat - a quick look at serious eats has the cream as 50% of their recipe 

 

https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2018/01/steak-au-poivre.html#comments-418988

 

That looks damn tasty, just not sure how well it would keep for batch purposes without sticking all the stabilisers in big producers do. Its gone on the  list though

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1 hour ago, Gotters said:

@Shimmyhill its not one I've researched, I've never really thought about steak dishes as always thought it would suffer in the freezing and reheating process - could go a bit tough. Beef stews work as been cooked for hours. 

 

I've also avoided heavily cream based sauces (there is a splash in the butter chicken curry but not much) as think I'd read they may split if you freeze and reheat - a quick look at serious eats has the cream as 50% of their recipe 

 

https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2018/01/steak-au-poivre.html#comments-418988

 

That looks damn tasty, just not sure how well it would keep for batch purposes without sticking all the stabilisers in big producers do. Its gone on the  list though

 

Having looked at some recipes it turns out the cream based sauce is a modern twist on a traditional French recipe - Sainsbury’s meal is loosely based on the original, I would say it’s beef slowly cooked in a peppercorn/onion gravy with Cognac featuring!

 

I think it’s an easy one to do and perfect microwave fodder, I will defi have a go at it.

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