Episode 57: Make Ahead Meals
Korean-style Beef Bulgogi Burgers, Savory Bread Pudding with Sausage and Escarole , and Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Beans and Guacamole
A meal in the fridge or freezer during a long week can make all the difference. It’s that “I’ve got this!” feeling all in a foil-wrapped breakfast burrito or a container of beans ready to spoon over toast. We’ve a few more recipes for just that feeling. Keep a few burgers in the freezer, like the Korean-style Beef Bulgogi Burgers, and avoid the drive through. Or have breakfast ready for guests without getting up at the crack of dawn with a Sausage and Escarole Savory Bread Pudding. We also have a not-sad work lunch with Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Black Beans and Guacamole. Any of these three recipes put you one step ahead of the game. Pretty nice.
Burgers are a surprisingly versatile make ahead meal. A patty can go right from the freezer to a skillet or grill, eliminating any of that pesky thawing time. (We’re looking at you, pork chops.) Korean flavors of garlic, ginger, red pepper, and sesame work deliciously in burger form with the grill adding that extra smoky goodness.
Freeze the patties individually on a sheet tray until hard, then transfer into a large freezer bag.
Change things up a bit and make them into meatballs. Betsy’s kids loved them with rice on the side.
Serve with chip or fries (of course) or make a smashed cucumber salad as a cool accompaniment.
Growing up, the Dinner Sisters had their fair share of strata, a bread, egg, and cheese casserole most commonly found in Midwestern breakfast potlucks. The same old ham and cheese bake gets an upgrade with greens and sausage for a make-ahead brunch that’s savory, feeds a good sized group, and is easy to pop in the oven.
Kate successfully halved this recipe with no problem. Make sure to watch the cooking time. Half the recipe in a glass dish took 5-10 minutes less but make sure to watch it.
We think this would be delicious with a good vegetarian crumble or chicken sausage for those who don’t eat pork.
If you’re short on fridge space, make the recipe up to wilting the greens. Put the greens, onion, and sausage mixture into a sealed container and pop in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning mix up the eggs, slice the bread and combine.
Grated swiss cheese was nice but chunks or even torn up slices of deli cheese work well. (In case grating is just too much work…)
Sometimes we come across a recipe where the sum of a few simple steps add up to make a standby dish great. Each step of this recipe adds a bit more flavor: like rubbing the sweet potatoes with cayenne and cumin before roasting or sauteing garlic and onions with the black beans. Sure, you can pop the top of a can of beans and microwave a sweet potato but we found even these little steps made a world of difference.
The potatoes and beans reheated like a dream, making this a great make ahead work lunch.
Kate bought her guacamole and Betsy just diced hers up. But the queso fresco made this so good!
Betsy used extra black beans from the Beans episode and was not disappointed.
From the Smorgasbord:
We talked all about sun tea, a drink that means sunny days for us. To make it:
Get gallon container with a top. Ideally a pitcher, carafe, or with a spout.
Fill with water.
Add any of the combinations below:
6-8 plain black tea bags
Several sprigs of lemon balm and mint
A handful of nettle or dried nettle
6-8 bags of your favorite herbal tea
Put in a sunny spot, either outside or in a window. Steep for at least 2 hours or flavored to your liking. Timing will depend on the heat of the day, amount of sunlight, etc.
Chill and serve in a big glass with plenty of ice. Make again and again this spring and summer.
Replace your baking soda and baking powder this week.
Before you toss the baking soda, put it to good use:
Deodorize your garbage disposal by pouring the remainder of the box down the drain. Let sit overnight and rinse with hot water in the morning.
Make a paste with a little water and use to scrub your dutch oven or half sheet pans.
Pour into your window wells (if vinyl or plastic). Pour vinegar over the baking soda and let sit. Wipe clean and you’re ready for spring.