STYLE

Salmon, chicken and beef recipes to try for your big cook experience

10/22/2012 02:02 EDT | Updated 12/22/2012 05:12 EST
Saving your sanity by preparing meals in bulk is the idea behind "The Big Cook Cookbook" and "The Big Cook 2: More Celebrated Recipes."

A week before doing the big cook, assemble two to four friends, then choose the recipes and location. Make up a detailed shopping list using the example given in the cookbook or download it from www.thebigcook.com. Phone in your meat order.

The day before, do your grocery shopping and any pre-meal preparation. On the day of the big cook, take items to where you're cooking. Spend the day cooking, then stock your freezer with your meals.

The authors have set up recipes with the ingredients in columns according to the number of meals being prepared (one, four, six or eight). In the recipes provided below, the ingredients are given for four meals.

Candace's Soy Ginger Salmon

This recipe is great with individual salmon steaks or whole fillets. The salmon will marinate in the zip-close bags, allowing the flavours to develop and mingle.

This can be cooked in the oven or on the barbecue.

2.75 kg (6 lbs) salmon fillets or steaks

750 ml (3 cups) orange juice

50 ml (1/4 cup) cornstarch

500 ml (2 cups) reduced-sodium soy sauce

125 ml (1/2 cup) olive oil

500 ml (2 cups) brown sugar

50 ml (1/4 cup) lemon-pepper seasoning

50 ml (1/4 cup) garlic powder

15 ml (1 tbsp) ground ginger

4 large zip-close bags

Label bags. Divide salmon evenly between zip-close plastic bags.

In a large bowl, combine orange juice and cornstarch and stir well. Add remaining ingredients to orange juice mixture and stir. Pour an even amount into each bag of salmon. Remove excess air, seal bags securely and freeze.

Oven: Place a layer of foil over baking sheet. Cooking time will vary depending on thickness of fish. Generally it will take 4 to 6 minutes at 180 C (350 F) per 1 cm (1/2 inch) of thickness if thawed.

Barbecue: Lay salmon fillet on a piece of foil large enough to fold over and seal. Depending on the size of the fillet, grill it for 10 to 15 minutes until it is slightly flaky. You can also use "non-stick" foil with holes punctured in it and flip the fillets halfway through the cooking time, if desired.

Tips:

Use salmon steaks or whole fillets. When you buy the whole fillets you will have to eyeball how many pieces you will need for each meal.

Salmon will keep cooking even after you remove it from the heat source, so take care to remove it at the right time to avoid overcooking your fish. You want it to be medium-rare and firm but still tender inside. It should easily flake with a fork.

Serving Suggestions:

Serve with jasmine rice and a mandarin orange salad.

Makes 4 meals.

Nutrition information per serving: 303 calories; 12 g fat (2.0 g saturated fat); 26 g carbohydrate; 0 g fibre; 22 g sugar; 21 g protein; 854 mg sodium.

Source: Submitted by Candace Dunsire and published in "The Big Cook 2: More Celebrated Recipes" by Lorelei Boschman and Deanna Siemens (YouCan2 Publishing, 2012).

———

Lemon-Herb Roasted Chicken

This simple, delicious and moist roast chicken recipe is a favourite from "The Big Cook Cookbook." Leftovers are delicious on sandwiches the next day.

It is suitable for the slow cooker, oven and barbecue.

4 whole roasting chickens

250 ml (1 cup) chopped onion

50 ml (1/4 cup) cooking oil

125 ml (1/2 cup) lemon juice

10 ml (2 tsp) salt

30 ml (2 tbsp) dried parsley

10 ml (2 tsp) dried thyme

10 ml (2 tsp) paprika

4 large zip-close bags

Label bags. Place a whole chicken into each bag.

In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Pour an even amount over each chicken. Remove excess air, seal bags and freeze.

Slow Cooker: Cook for 4 to 6 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low.

Oven: Bake, covered, in a 180 C (350 F) oven for 2 hours.

Barbecue: Place on rotisserie over medium heat for 1 1/2 hours.

Serving Suggestions:

Herb-roasted oven potatoes and corn on the cob taste great with this meal. A fresh fruit salad is another great addition.

Tips:

You can put the oil/seasoning mixture in a small zip-close bag and put it inside the large bag with the chicken.

When you cook the chicken you can melt the seasoning mixture separately and pour over the chicken.

Basting a chicken while it roasts helps to keep it moist and enhances the flavour.

Makes 4 meals.

Nutrition information per serving: 151 calories; 7 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat); 1 g carbohydrate; 0 g fibre; 0 g sugar; 19 g protein; 256 mg sodium.

Source: "The Big Cook Cookbook" by Deanna Siemens, Lorelei Thomas and Joanne Smith (YouCan2 Publishing, 2006).

———

Mexican Pot Roast

Beef pot roasts can be very versatile. You can serve a traditional American beef pot roast or add spices to change it up. This recipe uses Mexican spices for a twist on the old standby. Serve any leftovers the next day in tacos or fajitas.

This recipe is suitable for the oven or slow cooker.

4 beef pot roasts (each 1.5 to 1.8 kg/3 to 4 lbs)

500 ml (2 cups) slivered almonds

2 l (8 cups) salsa (chunky)

125 ml (1/2 cup) vinegar

15 ml (1 tbsp) garlic powder

5 ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon

5 ml (1 tsp) dried thyme

5 ml (1 tsp) dried oregano

2 ml (1/2 tsp) ground cloves

2 ml (1/2 tsp) pepper

500 ml (2 cups) water

4 large zip-close bags

Label bags Mexican Pot Roast. Place 1 roast into each bag.

Pour 125 ml (1/2 cup) slivered almonds into each bag.

In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients and pour an even amount into each bag. Remove excess air, seal bags and freeze.

Oven: Cook, covered, for 2 hours in a 180 C (350 F) oven.

Slow Cooker: Cook for 4 to 5 hours on high or 6 to 8 hours on low.

Serving Suggestions:

Remove roast from pan and place on serving platter. Surround meat with rice mixed with pinto, red or black beans. Garnish with avocado. Heat remaining liquid from roast in pan or stove to boiling, using 15 ml (1 tbsp) cornstarch mixed with 50 ml (1/4 cup) cold water to thicken. Pass gravy with roast.

Makes 4 meals.

Nutrition information per serving: 472 calories; 27 g fat (9.7 g saturated fat); 8 g carbohydrate; 3 g fibre; 3 g sugar; 48 g protein; 710 mg sodium

Source: "The Big Cook 2: More Celebrated Recipes" by Lorelei Boschman and Deanna Siemens (YouCan2 Publishing, 2012).

MORE:cpStyle