*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
                  Freezing Combination Main Dishes (USDA)
 Recipe By     : USDA Bulletin #40, 1973,  (0100-02712)
 Serving Size  : 1    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : 
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
                         *****  NONE  *****
 by Meredith Robinson and Lois Fulton, Consumer and Food Economics 
 Institute, Agricultural Research Service
      Vacant space in your freezer?  Put some of it to use by freezing main 
 dishes -- prepared, ready to heat, or cooked and ready to serve.  Frozen 
 combination main dishes can add variety to your menu, offer quick meals 
 for unexpected company, and provide
      It is more economical to make your own frozen prepared foods than to 
 purchase commercially prepared foods.  You can cook enough for several 
 meals when you have the time and then serve the family favorites even on 
 busy days.
      When you are preparing a main dish, it takes little more effort and 
 time to make enough for several meals.  you can freeze all of the prepared 
 food in meal-size packages or serve part of the food immediately and 
 freeze the rest.
      This bulletin contains recipes for combination main dishes suitable 
 for freezing as well as tips for preparing your own recipes for freezing.
      The recipes in this bulletin are for 24 servings.  Directions are 
 given for dividing the prepared food into four parts of six servings each. 
  One part may be completely cooked and served at the time of preparation.  
 The remaining parts may be frozen.
      Directions for freezing are given below.  Directions for thawing or 
 reheating the frozen food for serving are given with each recipe.
 The following recipes are included [in separate Master Cook files]:
 American Lasagna
 Baked Beans
 Baked Frankfurters and Rice
 Barbecued Lima Beans
 Beans and Sausage
 Beef Loaf
 Beef Pie
 Cheese Rarebit
 Chicken a la King
 Chicken-Corn Casserole
 Curried Ham and Turkey
 Ham-Bean Scallop
 Ham Turnovers
 Jellied Cottage Cheese-Fruit Salad
 Jellied Turkey-Vegetable Salad
 Lamb Patties
 Liver Loaf
 Meat Sauce
 Mushroom Sauce
 Pork Savory
 Turkey-Macaroni Casserole
 Veal Loaf
 Vegetable Sauce
      Use only fresh, high-quality food ingredients because freezing does 
 not improve the quality of food.  Select fruits and vegetables at their 
 peak of eating quality.  Underripe fruits and vegetables lack flavor and 
 overripe ones are flat and tough or s
      Observe strict cleanliness in preparing food for the home freezer.  
 Keep all food to be frozen -- and everything that touches it -- clean.
      Freezer temperatures of 0* F. or below do not kill the bacteria in 
 food; they simply stop bacteria multiplication.  After the frozen food is 
 thawed, bacteria will grow and multiply.  Therefore, the number of 
 bacteria in foods must be held at a minimu
      You may use your own favorite recipes for freezing.  Prepare the food 
 in the usual way and cook it until alomost done.  Frozen meats and 
 vegetables easily become overcooked when reheated if they were completely 
 cooked before freezing.  Season lightly
      Crumb and cheese toppings should be added to the frozen food just 
 before reheating.
      Here is some information to help you select combination main dish 
 recipes for freezing:
      *  Cooked chicken or turkey in casseroles freezes well.
      *  Almost any type of cooked meat, stew, ragout, or goulash -- beef, 
 lamb, pork, or veal -- can be frozen.  Most vegetables used in these 
 combination foods, such as peas, carrots, celery, or onions, also freeze 
      *  Add a rich, flaky pastry topping to a good meat and vegetable 
 stew, and you have a delicious meat pie.  The unbaked pastry topping may 
 be added before freezing, or it may be made fresh and placed on the pie 
 when it is heated for serving.
      *  You can freeze meat loaf.  Make enough for several meals and 
 freeze the extra loaves.  Meat loaf has better quality if frozen baked 
 rather than unbaked.
      *Cooked dry beans freeze especially well.  Because freezing softens 
 beans somewhat, cook them until barely tender for the best quality frozen 
      Certain foods should not be frozen because their flavor or texture 
 changes during the freezing process.  For example:
      *  Cooked egg white toughens.
      *  Salad greens lose their crispness and become soggy.
      *  Raw tomatoes change in flavor and color and become limp and 
      *  Raw apples and grapes become soft and mushy.  {But raw grapes 
 eaten while still frozen are delightful!  So are blueberries.  Rosie]
      *  Fried foods tend to have a warmed-over taste when reheated.
      Other foods may be successfully frozen if you follow some guidelines:
      *  New potatoes are better than mature potatoes in most frozen 
 dishes.  Mature potatoes tend to disintegrate or become watery when boiled 
 and then frozen.  [But mashed potatoes freezes fine.  Rosie]
      *  Gelatin mixtures should be made stiffer than usual to lessen the 
 chance of separating.
      *  Thoroughly combine the flour and fat in sauces and gravies.  These 
 foods may appear curdled while thawing but will usually recombine when 
      You probably have most of the equipment you will need -- such as 
 measuring cups, measuring spoons, and spatulas.  Preparing and freezing 
 combination main dishes listed in this publication will be easier if you 
 also have four 8x8-inch baking pans abou
      Be sure to wrap food carefully before freezing to prevent exposure to 
 air and loss of moisture during freezing and storage.  Exposure to air 
 will cause changes in color and flavor and will permit delicate foods to 
 absorb strong flavors and odors give
      Coated or laminated freezer paper, polyethylene films, and 
 heavy-weight aluminum foil are good materials for freezing.  Rigid plastic 
 containers may be used for food that is cool when poured into the 
 containers.  Ceramic, metal, or glass containers m
      When freezing combination main dishes in baking pans, line the pans 
 with a freezer wrap.  Allow enough extra wrap to fold over the top.  Use a 
 nonmetallic wrap for acid foods such as tomatoes.
      When hot food is ready to be frozen, it must be cooled quickly to 
 stop the cooking, to retard growth of bacteria, and to help retain the 
 natural flavor, color, and texture of the food.
      To cool food quickly, put it into 8x8-inch pans lined with 
 heat-resistant freezer wrap.  (If 8x8-inch pans are not available, use any 
 ovenproof pan.)  Use one pan for each six servings.  Pack food tightly to 
 avoid air pockets.  Then let stand at room
      Boiling food should not be poured into pans with polyethylene films 
 because the films might melt.
      Complete wrap as follows:
      *Pull paper up over top of food.  Put edges of wrap together and fold 
 several times so paper lies directly on top of food.
      *Fold ends of freezer wrap over the top and seal with freezer tape.
      *Label with name of food, date of freezing, and last date the food 
 should be used for best eating quality.  (See Storage)
      The freezer temperature should be 0* F. or below.  Unfavorable 
 changes in eating quality take place more rapidly in foods stored at 
 temperatures above 0* F.  Slow growth of microorganisms may occur at 
 temperatures above 10* F., causing foods to lose 
      Spread the pans or packages of food in freezer so food will freeze 
 rapidly.  Allow a 1-inch space around packages for air circulation.  
 Follow freezer manufacturer’s directions for placing food in the coldest 
 section.  You can freeze 2 or 3 pounds or
      Store the frozen food at 0* F. or below.  All combination main dishes 
 in this bulletin may be stored in the freezer for as long as 6 months with 
 little loss of quality, unless the recipe states otherwise.
      Preheat oven as directed in the recipe before heating frozen main 
 dishes.  Remove wrappings from the package and place the food in an 
 8x8-inch baking pan (or the same-size ovenproof pan used for freezing the 
 food).  Put the pan in the oven and heat t
      Thaw salads in the refrigerator before serving.  Thawing at room 
 temperature is not recommended.
      Leftovers may be kept in the refrigerator for a day or two but should 
 not be refrozen after thawing.
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 NOTES : The 25 recipes listed in this file, are in separate MasterCook 
        files.  All are catagorized only as “Freezes Well” and “USDA”.
        MasterCook electronic format by Rosie Winters.