Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dual Food

Yesterday, gave suggestions for more 'basic makes' - 'starter' recipes that can go on to making several other things, and today decided another useful path to take at this time of year was to make 'dual food' - portions of food that can frozen to serve at a buffet party, but that can also be taken out portion by portion when only one or two persons need serving. Useful when wishing to pack something different for a packed lunch. Some of the following recipes will freeze for up to 2 months for optimum flavour, so if able to make and freeze early November, and this should see us through the festive season and beyond.

The first recipe is a useful make when chicken thighs and drumsticks are on offer. Often sold (mixed) in packs of 12, a couple of packs will make enough for an average buffet party. Cook more if you wish, can eat them in the time, and have room in the freezer.
Oriental Chicken Bites: makes 24 (F)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
4 fl oz (100ml) dark soy sauce
4 fl oz (100ml) sherry
1 oz (25g) cornflour
4 tblsp sesame or sunflower oil
12 chicken drumsticks, skinned
12 chicken thighs, skinned
2 eggs, beaten
2 oz (50g) plain flour
4 oz (100g) sesame seeds
2 tblsp sunflower oil
Put the garlic, soy sauce, sherry, cornflour and oil into a large bowl. Stir to blend, then add chicken joints, making sure each is coated with the marinade. Cover and chill in fridge for at least 3 hours (overnight if you wish). Drain off the marinade, and mix half with the beaten egg. Set the remaining marinade to one side.
Toss the chicken first in the flour, then in the egg/marinade mixture, and finally coat in sesame seeds. Place in baking tin and cook with the 2 tblsp oil for 40 - 50 minutes until golden. Keep basting with the reserved marinade to give a crunchy coating. When cooked, leave to cool on a wire tray.
To Freeze: Store in rigid containers, seal, label and use within 2 months.
To Use from Frozen: thaw in fridge for 12 hours, or at room temperature for 6 hours.

This next makes a good lunch-box addition when packed with a small tub (or even ice-cube) of the sauce. However, both have only 1 month recommended freezing time, so allow for this. The original recipe uses boned pork leg, but then goes on to say 'remove all fat and rind', so feel that when using lean meat - such as fillet, the amount could be decreased - and this I have done. If wishing to serve one skewer of pork inside a 'wrap' as part of a packed lunch, freeze some of the Satay Sauce in ice-cube trays, so that one can be thawed to spoon over the Skewered meat.
Pork Satays: makes 25 (F)
2 lb (1 kg) lean pork, cut into 1/2" (1cm) dice
1 onion, grated
2 tsp grated fresh root ginger
1 tsp finely chopped deseeded chilli
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
4 fl oz (100ml) thick coconut milk
2 tblsp dark soy sauce
1 rounded tsp ground turmeric
Mix the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl, and stir in the pork, making sure each pieces is coated. Cover and leave in the fridge for 12 hours.l
Thread 6 or 7 pork cubes on a wooden satay stick and place on baking trays. Bake at 180C, 350F, gas 4 for 20 - 30 minutes. Then cool. Serve with a bowl of Satay sauce.
peanut sauce:
8 oz (225g) salted peanuts
1 tsp minced fresh root ginger
1 tsp minced chilli
8 fl oz (300ml) thick coconut milk
Put all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blitz together until creamy.
To Freeze: pack satays and sauce in separate boxes. Seal, label and use within a month.
Thaw both at room temperature for 8 - 10 hours (for packed lunches, overnight in the fridge).

This next recipe is a way to make individual quiches, and although my preference would be to make one large one in a Swiss roll tin, then when baked, could be this into squares before freezing, we could make good use of short-pastry trimmings by rolling out and using to line tart tins (as used when making jam tarts), then open freeze. With care, these can be stacked in a lidded container, and when enough have been collected, returned to the tins to be filled and baked, either to be served freshly made, or returned to the freezer to eat when required.
Mini-Quiches: makes about 3 dozen small quiches
shortcrust pastry to line 36 small tart tins
6 eggs
3/4 pint (425ml) single cream
salt and pepper
4 oz (100g) Cheddar cheese, finely grated
4 oz (100g) Gruyere cheese, finely grated
1 tblsp chopped fresh parsley
6 oz (175g) smoked salmon pieces, chopped
Line tartlet tins with pastry.
Whisk together the eggs and the cream, adding seasoning to taste. Mix together the cheeses and divide between half the pastry cases. Do the same with the salmon and parsley. Then carefully pour the egg/cream over to fill the cases.

Bake at 190c, 375F, gas 5 for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden and set. Cool on a wire rack.
To Freeze: For parties, pack into large polyboxes, seal and label. Freeze in smaller amounts if wishing to eat only one or two. Use within 2 months.
To Use from Frozen: Thaw, unwrapped, at room temperature for 2 - 3 hours.

This next is a lovely buffet dish and although normally served in a block to slice at table, there is no reason why the terrine should not be sliced when part frozen, each slice interleaved with baking parchment, clingfilm etc, so once solidly frozen, one or more slices can be removed if wishing to serve one (or taken as part of a packed lunch). The bonus with this dish is that the egg whites can make meringues or soft-scoop ice-cream.
The flour and butter can be worked together and formed into 8 'butter balls', and when these are dropped a few at a time and heated with the milk, this prevents the dreaded lumps forming. Quite a large amount of these 'butter balls' can be made (you could make some today) and kept in the fridge/freezer ready to use, and just add to a sauce or gravy until it is as thick as you wish.
Red and White Terrine: serves up to 15
1.5lb (550g) cod fillet ) or other white fish
1 onion, quartered
2 bay leaves
4 oz (100g) butter
4 oz (100g) plain flour
1 pint (600ml) milk
salt and pepper
good pinch ground nutmeg
zest of 1 large lemon
8 egg yolks
4 oz (100g) breadcrumbs
4oog can red salmon, bones and skin removed, mashed
Tabasco sauce
4 oz (100g) thinly sliced smoked salmon pieces
Place the white fish, onion and bay leaves in a pan and cover with water. Bring to the simmer, then cover, remove from heat, and leave to stand until cool.
Melt the butter in a pan, stir in the flour and milk, then bring to the simmer, and cook until very thick. Season to taste and add the nutmeg, lemon zest, egg yolks and breadcrumbs.
Drain the fish, remove skin and any bones, and mash well and add to two-thirds of the white sauce. Mix the mashed canned salmon and a few drops of Tabasco into the remaining sauce.
Grease and line a 2lb (900g) loaf tin and layer the fish, starting with half the white mixture, then top this with half the smoked salmon. Cover with the salmon mixture, the remaining smoked salmon and the final layer of white fish. Cover with a piece of buttered paper.
Place loaf tin in a roasting tin, pouring round cold water to come an inch up the sides of the loaf tin. Cook in the centre of the oven for 2 - 2 1/2 hours or until a skewer put into the centre of the fish mousse comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin, then turn out. Chill before serving.
To Freeze: freeze in tin, then turn out, overwrap, seal and label. Use within 2 months.
to use from Frozen: Thaw, unwrapped, at room temperature for 2 - 3 hours. See above re slicing into portions before freezing solid.