Frozen Assets


Turkey-Stuffed Manicotti

This is one of my family’s favorite ways to use up turkey leftovers. Freezes ahead great, too! It’s from my original Frozen Assets book under the 10-Day Holiday Meal Plan.

From: Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for Month

TURKEY-STUFFED MANICOTTI
(Makes two casseroles)

I’ve found that cooling the manicotti shells completely before stuffing them makes the stuffing process much easier than attempting when the noodles are hot. I’ve also discovered that using a long-handled infant feeding spoon with a tiny bowl works perfectly for stuffing the shells.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 cups cooked chopped or shredded turkey
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups tomato sauce or 2 jars (15 ounces each) spaghetti sauce
  • 16 manicotti shells, cooked until just barely soft

Directions:

  1. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and brown the turkey for 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in the ricotta, black pepper, Parmesan cheese, green onions, parsley, rosemary, and eggs. Mix well.
  2. Cover the bottom of two(2) 9″x12″ baking pans with 1 cup tomato sauce. Stuff the manicotti shells with the turkey mixture, and place them in the baking pans. Pour in the remaining sauce. Cover the baking pans with foil. Label them, and freeze (if you wish to bake at a later time).

To Serve:

  1. Thaw the frozen meal in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before serving.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. To serve, sprinkle 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese over the manicotti. Bake, uncovered, for 35 minutes, or until bubbly and hot in the center.

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Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Streusel

This is so tasty, I always try to hide a little for breakfast the next day.  It’s so delicious, it would almost work as dessert.  🙂

Debi’s Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Streusel

Ingredients for Casserole:

  • 5 medium-to-large sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 eggs, beaten well
  • 1 stick butter, melted (you can use margarine but it won’t be as yummy)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Ingredients for Streusel Topping: Continue reading



Debi’s Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Streusel

This is so tasty, I always try to hide a little for breakfast the next day. It’s so delicious, it would almost work as dessert. 🙂

Debi’s Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Streusel

Ingredients for Casserole:

  • 5 medium-to-large sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 eggs, beaten well
  • 1 stick butter, melted (you can use margarine but it won’t be as yummy)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Ingredients for Streusel Topping:

  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)

Preparation

  1. Cook the sweet potatoes until soft. You can either bake the sweet potatoes in the oven like baked potatoes, or you can peel them and steam them or boil them. I usually steam them … it just seems to go faster that way.
  2. In a large bowl, mash well. Set aside.
  3. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Make streusel topping: Blend brown sugar, butter, flour, and chopped pecans together with a pastry blender or fork. Set aside.
  5. Mix mashed sweet potatoes with sugar, eggs, butter, and vanilla. Pour into a 9×9-inch lightly greased casserole dish. Sprinkle sweet potato mixture with the streusel topping. Be generous. I even sometimes poke deep holes with the end of a mixing spoon into the sweet potato mixture so the topping creeps into the sweet potatoes while they’re baking. 🙂
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes.
  7. Serve hot.

Note: This casserole can be prepared in advance and frozen. After cooling completely, scoop the prepared sweet potatoes into a large freezer bag, but do not add the topping. Freeze the topping in a separate freezer bag. When ready to bake, thaw completely, pour into the casserole dish, and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Top with streusel and bake as directed.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Deborah Taylor-Hough is the mother of three grown and nearly grown kids still at home, a full-time college student, a displaced homemaker trying to make ends meet on a limited budget, and the author of several older (but still in print) books including the popular Frozen Assets cookbook series. You can visit Debi online at: http://www.SimpleMom.com



Make-Ahead Pumpkin Puree

Whenever canned pumpkin is called for in a recipe, just substitute this homemade puree that you’ve frozen ahead. It’s almost like having fresh pumpkin anytime of year! And who says you can’t have pumpkin pie in February? 🙂

Make-Ahead Pumpkin Puree

  • Two(2) 3-pound pie pumpkins

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut pumpkin in to 5-inch square pieces. Remove seeds and stringy pulp. Arrange pieces of pumkin in a single layer (skin side up) on a foil-lined baking pan or cookie sheet.

2) Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour or until tender. Allow to cool.

3) Scrape pumpkin “meat” from rind and place in a large bowl or the food processor. Using a hand mixer or the food processor, beat to a smooth pulp.

4) Transfer to freezer bags. Label and freeze. Thaw in refrigerator to use.

Makes 5 cups pumpkin puree



A Secret to a Relaxed Holiday Dinner

thanksgiving-plate-entert1106-de1Can you imagine a relaxed Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner without needing to actually cook a turkey on the big day? You’d be able to enjoy the festivities as much as your friends and family!

Believe it or not, it’s possible to roast your turkey ahead of time and store the cooked meat in the freezer to reheat and serve on the big day. If this sounds a bit too much like eating leftovers, let me assure you that by following these simple freezing and reheating instructions, you’ll have moist, delicious turkey — and not one of your guests will suspect you didn’t spend the entire holiday slaving away in the kitchen keeping watch over a hot oven.

Feel free to use your own favorite turkey recipe if you prefer, and then follow the freezing/reheating instructions at the end of this article (but I personally don’t think you’ll find a tastier turkey recipe!).

TO PREPARE TURKEY:

  • 3 onions, quartered
  • 6 celery stalks, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups white wine (or water)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sage
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 3 cups chicken broth, canned (reserve for freezing process)

In bottom of a deep roasting pan, place two quartered onions, four celery stalks, the carrots, bay leaves and white wine (or water). Remove turkey giblets, rinse bird inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels. Stuff turkey loosely with remaining quartered onion and celery stalks. Brush turkey with olive oil mixed with salt, pepper, sage, and thyme. Cover turkey loosely with a large sheet of foil coated lightly with olive oil, crimping foil on to edges of roasting pan. Cook according to chart below. During last 45 minutes, cut band of skin or string between legs and tail. Uncover and continue roasting until done. Baste, if desired.

Turkey Roasting Chart (loosely wrapped with foil):
12-16 pounds / 325 degrees F / 4 – 5 hours
16-20 pounds / 325 degrees F / 5 – 6 hours
20-24 pounds / 325 degrees F / 6 – 7 hours

Testing for doneness:

About 20 minutes before roasting time is completed, test bird. Flesh on thickest part of drumstick should feel soft when squeezed between fingers, drumstick should move up an down easily, and meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of leg should read 185 degrees F. (Or follow manufacturer’s instructions.)

– FREEZING INSTRUCTIONS –

DRIPPINGS: Pour liquid and drippings from roasting pan into a bowl. Remove vegetables. Allow bowl of liquid to cool in refrigerator until fat congeals on top. Scoop off fat with a spoon and pour drippings into a labeled freezer bag. Thaw to use for making gravy on serving day.

TURKEY: Allow turkey to cool in pan for 1/2 hour; then place turkey and its roasting pan into refrigerator. Allow to cool completely (several hours). When fully chilled, slice turkey as usual. Remove all meat from bones. Place breast and dark meat slices into labeled freezer bags. Pour canned chicken broth into bags over meat. Freeze.

TO SERVE: Thaw bag of meat and broth, and place into a covered baking dish for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Or place turkey and broth into a microwave-safe dish, cover with plastic wrap, and heat until hot (the time will vary with different microwaves, so check manufacturer’s instructions). Drain off broth (reserve to make more gravy, if needed). Arrange the heated turkey slices attractively on a serving platter. Serve hot.

**Excerpted and adapted from the 10-Day Holiday Meal Plan in the bestselling book, Frozen Assets: How to Cook for a Day and Eat for a Month (SourceBooks).

~Debi


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