Beka To Basics

Real Food Cooking

Archive for the month “April, 2012”

Potatoes

I like to use everything. I don’t like to throw food away.  In fact, I hate throwing food away.  Yes, I am one of those people who saves the little bits of food in the tiniest tupperware you will ever see.  I HATE throwing food away.

I also like to save money. And to save money when buying food, it helps to buy in bulk. Like potatoes. Let me tell you about potatoes.  I ALWAYS buy the big bag thinking I will make enough potatoes fast enough to use them all before they go bad. I am ALWAYS wrong.

Not this time potatoes, not this time…

Once again, I am spending Friday night in my kitchen.  (Worth it? I think so)

To save potatoes:

Marathon cutting of potatoes in the food processor (shreds and slices)

Cook 1/3 in tallow – put on baking sheet and freeze 4 hrs, then put in an airtight bag

Soak, Drain, and squeeze all the water out of the shredded potatoes – put on a baking sheet, freeze, transfer to an airtight bag

Bake the remaining whole potatoes to eat and make mashed potatoes for later this week.

Are those baked potatoes?  Where’s the tin foil? You ask.

(I don’t bake my potatoes in tin foil. Why? Well, that would require throwing the tin foil away… which is kind of like throwing money away)

I just use a roasting pan, which acts just like tin foil. You stick the potatoes with a fork, cover them in olive oil, salt and pepper and bake in the roasting pan just like you would if you were using tin foil, except you’re not, so you won’t have to throw anything away 🙂

AND if you don’t like the skins on your potatoes – they’ll just peel off after you bake them this way!

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I ran out of chicken broth, so of course I had to make more.  It works out though since I wanted chicken this week anyways for my chicken and artichoke alfredo lasagna.  Besides roasting a chicken, cleaning all the meat off and putting the bones, water, and veggies (have I told you about saving veggie butts?) in the crock pot, I also made quiche, bread, and cooked artichokes for the first time.

Veggies and Chicken stock

Ok, for a long time I didn’t make my own chicken stock, even though I knew how.  There were a few reasons for that, but mostly because I didn’t realize just how easy it is to put bones, water, and veggies in a crock pot and let it cook. It’s basically free to make if you get chicken on the bones, and you don’t even need ALL the chicken bones – just breast bones or leg bones work just fine.

My other problem was that I knew veggies should be added and cooked with the bones, but then you have to throw them away. I know technically it’s not wasting the veggies since they are flavoring the stock, but it really felt like I was just throwing them away since I didn’t get to EAT them.  I stumbled on an AMAZING IDEA on the internet (THANKS INTERNET!) that completely solves that problem.  Are you ready?

Put a jar in the freezer for all your veggie butts. I eat carrots, but I don’t eat the top part where it has the stem and sometimes (rarely) I do have a recipe where I need to peel the carrots. No more throwing those away! Into the freezer jar! Along with celery cuttings, onion tops (and that outer layer that doesn’t taste very good), the mushy pieces of garlic that’s left after I press it and any other veggie trimmings I happen to have that month. Problem solved.

And if you made it through this whole post, here’s a reward 🙂 A picture of the dinner I made tonight. And yes, I did make the lasagna noodles.

Just because my blog has been neglected doesn’t mean my stomach has.

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