Hi, I am Chef Zara. In this post, I will guide you through the Modern Freezer Meals Cookbook.
I love exploring new foods and recipes and cooking with friends and family. One of the most common questions that I often get is for cookbook recommendations. I have created this guide for friends, family, and new friends alike. I hope that you enjoy our site.
Modern Freezer Meals Cookbook
- Zucchini Marinara with Rigatoni – p.104
- Beef Stew with a Twist – p.41
- Eggplant parmesan – p.87-88
- Ricotta Gnocchi – p.114
- Beef Enchiladas with Salsa Verde – p.135
- The Crabbiest Crab Cakes – p.147
- Mashed Potato-Stuffed Bell Peppers – p.183
- Ham, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich – p.218
- Everything Biscuits – p.227
- Ginger Honey Pork Tenderloin – p.181
- Five Ingredient, Three-hour Brisket – p.124
- Gorgonzola Radicchio Pasta – p.113
- White Bean and Artichoke Jumble p.70
To make your life easier!
I’ve never considered the freezer more than a place for ice cream, frozen vegetables, and the occasional leftover slice of pizza. Still, with some essential tips, Ali Rosen has shown me that the freezer is much more. All of the recipes in Ali’s book are basic enough for the novice cook and were created as meals that can be prepared specifically for freezing at a later date.
You need to check everything about the Modern Freezer Meals Cookbook!
Zucchini Marinara with Rigatoni – p.104
How can you not love the combination of tomatoes, garlic, basil, zucchini, and onion? And what’s even better is that the zucchini and onion are charred under a broiler. Once you’ve simmered the wonderful sauce and boiled the rigatoni, combine for a delicious dinner. In the end, this easy-to-prepare dish makes for a beautiful magazine cover! For freezer storage, the recommendation is to combine the pasta and sauce into individual portions for reheating later. Maybe the best aspect of freezing a pasta dish is that it never seems to lose its flavor and freshness once brought back to life.
Tip: When I make too much food and want to keep the extras for a later date, I cram everything together in a plastic bag and toss it in the freezer without a second thought. But, according to Ali, I am committing a cardinal sin; I am not removing as much air from the bag as possible, and the result will be the dreaded freezer burn.
Beef Stew with a Twist – p.41
It is still determining if there is a more appropriate dish for leftovers than a nice beef stew. It is a meal that covers all the bases; a succulent chuck roast, soft onions, carrots, and tasty potatoes. However, this is not your standard beef stew, and it’s a beef stew with a twist, blueberries. Ali talks about how, when she was younger, she made the generic “canned” beef stew, but she always added blueberries, resulting in a “sweet tartness” that contrasted those onions and carrots, and beef. This “twist” might not be for everyone, but it is worth a try.
Eggplant parmesan – p.87-88
This recipe is simple to make with only a few ingredients, but it is also a healthy option because there is no frying involved. Ali recommends buying only the best in quality ingredients. Don’t skimp on the mozzarella, and if you are making your marinara sauce, use the San Marzano Italian peeled tomatoes, not the San Marzano “style,” the actual San Marzano Italian tomatoes. She also cautions to stay away from the enormous eggplants due to the added acidity the seeds bring. Covering with plastic wrap or tin foil, get as much air out of the dish as possible to avoid freezer burn.
Tip: Get your portions as small as possible. According to Ali, the larger the portion, the longer it takes to freeze and defrost. Additionally, having a large portion means that you have to defrost the entire thing, and once you do so, you cannot re-freeze it; you have to eat it all at once. In other words, rather than freezing a whole pound of ground beef, portion it out into four, ¼ pound patties in separate bags so that, if the need hits you, you can pull out enough for that nice, single hamburger.
Ricotta Gnocchi – p.114
Forget that gnocchi made with ricotta cheese and bathed in a lovely cream sauce may be one of the tastiest in Ali Rosen’s cookbook; it is also enjoyable to make! Just think of this as a return to your childhood where you spent hours molding Play-Doh into little shapes and sizes, but unlike Pay-Doh, you get to eat it in the end! And, of course, their compact size makes them incredibly easy to store in your freezer without taking up too much of that valuable real estate. Another plus is that you can take these little bites of heaven directly from the freezer and cook them up in boiling water within just a few minutes.
Note: Ali says that when they cook from frozen, they have a cheesier interior that takes the whole dish to the next level.
Beef Enchiladas with Salsa Verde – p.135
I’ve always been a sucker for Mexican food as it is what I grew up on, and it just might be one of the easiest to prepare with a fantastic return on taste. And within Mexican cuisine, there are few things in life better than adequately done beef enchiladas. Enchiladas are also very convenient to both freeze and bake. Wrap them, two at a time, in aluminum foil, place them in a sealable freezer bag and forget about them. When you’ve got that enchilada craving, take them out of the freezer and place them, still wrapped in foil, in a 350-degree oven for 40 minutes. Open up the top of the foil for the last 15 and get ready to enjoy this staple of Mexican cuisine.
Note: Ali recommends not tilting the enchiladas as you freeze them to prevent the ingredients from slipping to one side.
The Crabbiest Crab Cakes – p.147
While we use the freezer to maintain food for the long term, it has an additional benefit regarding crab cakes. You see, this delicacy requires different binding agents so that the crab does not fall apart during the cooking process, but with crab cakes right out of the freezer, the frozen center works as a type of binding agent which means that you can cram as much crab in there as possible without having to worry about leaving room for an additional binding agent. You’ll enjoy that excellent crab meat covered in garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper, all encased in those crispy Panko bread crumbs.
Note: Ali recommends making these ahead of time and then freezing them so you can pop them out of the freezer and fry them up instantly!
Tip: Don’t forget to label! Not only do you want to have a label with the date to help you decipher exactly what that thing is sitting in your freezer, but you also want to ensure that it’s not been years since you stuck it in there!
Mashed Potato-Stuffed Bell Peppers – p.183
Oddly enough, Ali once had a dish on a plane ride that was so good that she had to replicate it for her cookbook, and that’s where these mashed potatoes stuffed bell peppers come into play. The recipe is very much on the primary side, with only bell peppers, potatoes, milk, butter, onion powder, scallions, and salt. This recipe is easy to make but inexpensive and quite convenient. Additionally, the individual peppers make for a compact serving that will take up little of your freezer space.
Note: Ali recommends taking them directly from the freezer and onto a greased baking sheet at a temperature of 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes, where they will be ready to go.
Ham, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich – p.218
If you’re like me, you have little to no time in the morning, so putting together a complex breakfast is out of the question, and this is where this ham, egg, and cheese breakfast sandwich becomes a lifesaver. You must pull it out of the freezer, pop it into the oven, and let it do its thing. After you shower and get dressed, you’ll have a delicious breakfast sandwich ready to fuel your morning!
Note: If you’re running late, stick this little gem in the microwave for 90 seconds.
Everything Biscuits – p.227
You’ve come to the right place if you’re a fan of the everything bagel. But unlike the complex process of homemade bagels, these biscuits are a breeze! The combination of sesame and poppy seeds, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt adds all the savory notes, and the heavy cream introduces delicate moisture.
Note: When freezing for later, Ali recommends wrapping the biscuit dough into individual portions with plastic wrap. When ready to enjoy this fluffy treat, pop it in the oven at 450 degrees for 13-16 minutes.
Tip: Ali also cautions about the impulse to toss “still-warm” food in the freezer. This is a big no-no because the warm meal will generate larger ice crystals which, in the end, will damage your creation.
Ginger Honey Pork Tenderloin – p.181
In all honesty, I’ve never been the biggest fan of pork tenderloin, probably because I’ve gotten it pre-seasoned from the market, and they always over-season to the point of no return. This recipe’s combination of ginger, honey, and sour creme may turn me around on the pork loin thing. And the beauty of it is that, because the internal temp only needs to be 145degrees, it will cook up in no time.
Note: Ali says that the use of honey here makes for a beautiful barrier during freezing because, by nature, honey never wholly freezes, so it doubles as an extra layer of protection for the pork.
Five Ingredient, Three-hour Brisket – p.124
For those looking for a bare-bones Brisket that doesn’t take up the entire afternoon to make, Ali has included a convenient and tasty three-hour version that will save you time and satisfy your brisket craving. All you need is 3-pounds of brisket, salt, pomegranate juice, beef stock, chili flakes, and shallots. Another plus for this dish is that you can cook it straight from frozen.
Note: Ali recommends reheating in a 400-degree oven, but the time depends on the pieces’ size and thickness. It’s always best to use an internal oven thermometer to not over or undercook the brisket.
Gorgonzola Radicchio Pasta – p.113
To begin, this recipe only contains five ingredients, making it doable for even the novice cook, but it is also a fascinating combination with the slightly bitter vibe of the radicchio balanced by the subtle texture of the gorgonzola. Take it out of the freezer for best results, and let it defrost slowly overnight. If you don’t have that time, stick it in the microwave, and you’ll enjoy your dinner in less than two minutes!
Note: Ali recommends that, when you initially make the pasta, make it al dente so that it will not overcook during the reheating process.
Tip: The good news is that you can take advantage of the many types of tempered glass and other containers, resealable plastic bags, plastic wrap, and aluminum foil, all designed to help keep your food in the best possible shape for later consumption.
White Bean and Artichoke Jumble p.70
Like many of the dishes in Ali’s cookbook, this recipe has limited ingredients and is not a challenge to prepare. It takes only a few minutes to cook, works wonderfully for freezing, and only requires a two-minute reheat in the microwave. Combine your cannellini beans, artichoke hearts, diced tomatoes, chopped tarragon, and a pinch of salt. Bring the whole thing to a simmer for five minutes, and you’re good to go. If serving immediately, crumble on Roquefort cheese and enjoy.
Note: Ali praises this as a one-pot meal you can make year-round.
We all know what it’s like to open up our freezers and find a variety of unlabeled, freezer-burnt leftovers that we end up tossing right in the garbage in frustration. (I’ve probably wasted enough food to feed a small country over the years). The premise of Ali Rosen’s cookbook, Modern Freezer Meals; Simple Recipes to Cook Now and Freeze for Later, emphasize some fundamental principles that will help you get the best out of your freezer. In doing so, Rosen will help you avoid waste while making your culinary life as convenient as possible.