OH that question! I used to be so GOOD about planning and making dinners! I used to do quite a bit of make-ahead things for the freezer. Last night was the final straw. I decided to make Enchilada Pie for dinner, a family favorite. Then after browning 6 pounds of meat (enough to make 4 dinners for our family) I discovered I didn’t have any tomato sauce. :/ We ended up having cheese omelets. My hubby’s stuck working out of town, so the kids didn’t mind omelets.
After dinner I ran to the store and bought a couple large cans of tomato sauce, and finished the Enchilada Pies. I lined the pans with foil and wrapped them tightly, and put them in the freezer. Four dinners–rather delayed in the completion, but they are finished now. This recipe came from a friend, who copied it from a book whose title I don’t know. Here’s the recipe. If you know the book title, please let me know so I can give proper credit!
3# ground beef
3 onions, chopped
3 tsp. salt (optional)
1 tsp. pepper
3 Tbl. chili powder
3 cups tomato sauce
18 corn tortillas, spread with butter (I don’t do the butter)
2 (6oz) cans black olives, drained and sliced or chopped
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese (recipe calls for sharp, but I use medium)
1 1/2 cups water
Brown ground beef with onions; add the seasonings and tomato sauce. Line three 8×8 or 9×9 cake pans with foil, leaving plenty on either side for covering. (I use two pans rather than three, to feed my family of seven.) Layer tortillas (might want to cut them in half to make them fit better), meat sauce, olives, and cheese. Add 1/2 cup of water to each casserole. Wrap tightly, label and freeze.
To cook: Thaw completely and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Serve topped with shredded lettuce and tomatoes, and maybe a little sour cream or salsa if you’d like. YUM!
QUICKFIX: Brown meat and onions. Cut tortillas into bite size pieces. Mix in seasonings, olives, most of the cheese, and tortilla pieces. Pour into foil lined baking pans. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Add 1/2 cup water to each casserole. Wrap tightly, label and freeze. (This is how I do it! A little less work, not quite as pretty, but it still tastes the delicious!)
FREEZER TRICK: If you can’t part with your baking pans for long periods of time, allow casseroles to freeze for a day or two, then just remove from the pans. Wrap with one more layer of foil and move the label to the outside. 🙂 On the day you want to cook them, remove the outer foil, put them right back into the same pan and thaw in the fridge.
I successfully made four dinners for my family and put them in the freezer. I think we’ll have one tonight. As far as tomorrow, I wonder what’s for dinner?