6 recipes that you can freeze now and enjoy later

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(PHOTO: Supplied)
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Batch cook, freeze and heat up these super-nourishing meals in a jiffy

FAMOUS CHICKEN PIE

Crisp and flaky pastry on top of nourishing and hearty creamy chicken with bacon and sweet leeks, it’s a real crowd-pleaser and ideal if you have people around for dinner at short notice.

famous chicken
(PHOTO: Supplied)

TO FREEZE

Divide the chicken mixture between freezer-safe and ovenproof containers or dishes. Top with the pastry and glaze as above. Cover with lids or wrap tightly in clingfilm or tinfoil, label and date before freezing. Alternatively, use the recipe to make and freeze as one large pie, using a rectangular baking tin 39,5 x 26 x 6,5cm deep. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight before baking for 45 minutes.

TO REHEAT FROM FROZEN IN THE OVEN

Preheat the oven to 160°C fan, gas mark 4. Uncover the ovenproof container or dish, place on a baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the filling piping hot.

CORNFLAKE CHICKEN DIPPERS

Who doesn’t love chicken dippers? I use chicken thigh fillets, as the meat stays juicer cooked and frozen. I love to add a bit of extra flavour even when cooking for the children – a bit of garlic here, a touch of mustard there – as it makes things more interesting for everyone. These chicken dippers are suitable for children 10 months and older, and can be chopped up into tiny pieces if necessary.

best chicken dipper
(PHOTO: Supplied)

TO FREEZE

Leave the chicken dippers to cool, then place in freezer bags, laid flat and side by side so they don’t stick together when frozen. Seal, label and date before freezing.

TO REHEAT FROM FROZEN IN THE OVEN

Preheat the oven to 160°C fan, gas mark 4. Place the frozen chicken dippers on a baking sheet lined with nonstick baking paper and bake for about 20 minutes or until heated through.

THREE GREENS SEASONAL PHYLLO PIE

This is my very loose take on the Greek pie spanakopita. Packed with fresh herbs and feta, it’s a vegetarian feast and a great way to use up green vegetables – swop those specified here for what’s in season or what you have in stock.

tree green
(PHOTO: Supplied)

TO FREEZE

Divide the feta mixture between freezer-safe and ovenproof containers or dishes and leave to cool, then top with the scrunched-up buttered phyllo pastry as above. Cover with lids or wrap tightly in clingfilm or tinfoil, label and date before freezing.

TO REHEAT FROM FROZEN IN THE OVEN

Preheat the oven to 160°C fan, gas mark 4. Uncover the ovenproof container or dish, place on a baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the filling piping hot.

BEST-EVER MACARONI CHEESE

This is hands down the best macaroni cheese recipe out there. It works well heated directly from frozen and is a sure-fire crowd-pleaser. The topping adds extra uber-cheesy comfort. You could add cooked bacon or mushrooms to the recipe, but I love it as is. And don’t worry about adding Dijon mustard for children – mine love it!

best mac
(PHOTO: Supplied)

TO FREEZE

Divide the macaroni mixture between freezer-safe and ovenproof containers or dishes, covering each portion with 100g of the topping mixture. Leave to cool, cover with lids or wrap tightly in clingfilm or tinfoil, label and date before freezing.

TO REHEAT FROM FROZEN IN THE OVEN

Preheat the oven to 160°C fan, gas mark 4. Uncover the ovenproof container or dish, place on a baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden on top with the filling piping hot.

FISHCAKES

This recipe was inspired by the wonderful Chiappa sisters and their book Baby at the Table – think healthy alternative to fish fingers. Fishcakes go down well with all children and are brilliant for feeding the whole family in a jiffy. Although a complete meal in themselves, I often poach an egg to go on top or make a quick green salad for the perfect midweek dinner.

fish cakes
(PHOTO: Supplied)

TO FREEZE

Leave the fishcakes to cool, then portion out into freezer bags. Seal, label and date before freezing.

REHEATING FROM FROZEN IN THE OVEN

Preheat the oven to 160°C fan, gas mark 4. Place the frozen fishcakes on a lined baking sheet in the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes until hot.

BRILLIANT BROWNIES

These are the best brownies ever. I have made these countless times for friends, as birthday gifts or for a new mom. You can turn them into mega brownies by simply adding a topping of your choice halfway through baking. Keep a stash in your freezer to delight unexpected guests, or on standby for a special occasion or just a midweek pick-me-up.

best brownies
(PHOTO: Supplied)

TO FREEZE

Put the individual cooled brownies into a freezer-safe containers, and microwave-safe if wanting to defrost in the microwave. Seal, label and date before freezing.

REHEATING FROM FROZEN IN MICROWAVE

Transfer the brownies to a microwave-safe plate and microwave on high, covered, for 1-2 minutes or until just soft.

TO DEFROST

Defrost for 1-2 hours or until soft before serving.

THIS IS AN EDITED EXTRACT FROM FREEZE BY RUBY (RUBY BELL AND MILLY BAGOT). DISTRIBUTED BY JONATHAN BALL PUBLISHERS. PICTURES: OCTOPUS PUBLISHING GROUP LTD. PRICE: R350.00 (PRICE CORRECT AT THE TIME OF GOING T
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