One of the newest members of the Daring Bakers is hosting what sounded to me like a really fun event - creating a complete meal from the contents of your freezer! And while it sounds like my freezer is not nearly as packed as Chris' freezer is, it too could use a clean up!
Actually, all three could use a clean up. You see, I have two fridges, so two over the fridge freezers, as well as having a deep freeze. I tend to keep things that are used frequently (like frozen waffles and ice) in the kitchen freezer. I keep much less used items, like popsicles, pies and frozen fruit, in the other fridge freezer. My big freezer is for my meats and frozen veggies. And while it isn't nearly as full as it has been in the past, I still find myself having to haul items out of it to figure out what I have in the bottom of it. When it is much fuller than it is now, I keep a list.
Lately, though, I need to remind myself that no matter how bad I think my freezer is, at least it isn't like my grandmother's, which needs a brick to keep it closed, has a probe thermometer sticking out of it to monitor the temperature, and is so full of freezer burned items that will never be used!
With those conditions in mind, it was time to go rooting in my own freezer for stuff to make for the challenge!
I actually started with dessert, making use of the left over puff pastry dough I had made for my last Daring Baker's challenge, the Gateaux St. Honore. And with it I made two desserts: a few little palmiers using brown sugar and cinnamon, and "shortcake" bases. For the shortcake bases I simply rolled out a chunk of dough and cut it into four pieces, sprinkled them with some sugar, and baked them off until they were golden and puffy.
While they baked, I pulled out bags of frozen fruit: the small amount left over of a bag of mixed berries (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries,) mixed in more frozen strawberries from another bag, and more blueberries from yet another. A sprinkling of sugar was all the berries needed, just enough to let the juices become a bit syrupy while the berries defrosted.
A large spoonful of whipped cream (an allowable addition to the challenge), covering the juicy berries between the layers of sweetened puff pastry, topped with a palmier, and dessert was ready! Total time, maybe 10 minutes. A few items less in that freezer.
While dessert was in it's various stages, I went on to dinner. A chicken found at the deep bottom of my chest freezer was chosen for the main component. Butterflied, seasoned with a touch of olive oil, pepper and a garlic-chili sea salt, then roasted to a golden crispiness. Yum!
Frozen corn was added in, sauted up with more olive oil, a bit of butter, and salt and pepper. I've more and more been serving frozen veggies this way, finding the saute adds a big punch of flavor to what can otherwise be a bland vegetable.
The last item for dinner was not that amazing though - frozen stuffed, baked potatoes from M&M meat shop. I used to serve these more often as they were tasty and convenient. These were convenient, but sure not tasty. I had chosen the stuffed cheese and broccoli flavor but didn't actually taste either flavor in the potato, which needed a fair amount of sour cream to be edible. Small flecks of green were all you could see of the broccoli. Maybe this is why I stopped buying them?
In the end, however, I had a complete meal from my freezer, and the contents of the three freezers were a bit smaller than before I started!
Thanks Chris! I should try this more often until I've cleaned out all my freezers, then go back to making lists of what is inside!