Cook & FreezeCook & Freeze

Stock your freezer with hearty dishes that will make quick, wholesome dinners on busy nights

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Stock your freezer with hearty dishes that will make quick, wholesome dinners on busy nights


Prep 20 mins | Cook 3¼ hours | Serves 4

1½ cups water

¾ cup light soy sauce

½ cup rice-wine vinegar

⅓ cup brown sugar

6 green onions, halved

10 cm ginger, peeled, thinly sliced

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 star anise

1½ kg boneless pork shoulder

Steamed rice, steamed Asian greens, to serve.

1. Preheat oven to moderately slow, 160 C.

2. In a large jug, combine all the ingredients except pork. Place pork in a large flameproof casserole and pour sauce over.

3. Bake, covered, 3 hours, turning every 30 mins until very tender. Remove from cooking liquid, cover, keep warm.

4. Bring cooking liquid to medium boil on high. Reduce to medium. Simmer, uncovered, 10 to 12 mins until slightly reduced.

5. Serve pork with rice, steamed Asian greens and sauce.

My Reading Room

Freeze in an airtight container up to 1 month. Thaw in fridge overnight and bring to the boil before serving.


Prep 15 mins | Cook 50 mins | Serves 4-6

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped

100 g pancetta, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp rosemary, finely chopped

2 potatoes, peeled, chopped

2 celery stalks, sliced

1 carrot, chopped

8 cups vegetable stock

400 g can diced tomatoes

1 cup risoni

400 g borlotti beans, rinsed, drained

100 g green beans, trimmed, sliced

Shaved parmesan, parsley leaves, crusty bread, to serve

1. In a large heavy-based saucepan, heat oil on medium. Saute onion, pancetta, garlic and rosemary 8 to 10 mins until softened, being careful not to brown.

2. Add potatoes, celery and carrot to pan. Saute 2 to 3 mins until it begins to soften. Stir stock and tomatoes through. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 to 20 mins until vegetables are almost tender.

3. Mix in risoni and beans and simmer 10 to 15 mins. Season to taste. Serve with shaved parmesan and chopped parsley. Accompany with crusty bread.

My Reading Room

Make double, freeze half without veg, coriander and sauces. Add after reheating.


Prep 10 mins | Cook 20 mins | Serves 4

2 tbsps peanut oil

750 g rump steak, sliced

¼ cup green curry paste

2 x 400 ml cans coconut milk

2 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced

250 g punnet cherry tomatoes, halved

150 g green beans, trimmed, halved

1 zucchini, halved lengthways, sliced

¼ cup coriander leaves 

2 tbsps lime juice, plus extra to serve

1 tbsp fish sauce, plus extra to serve

1 tbsp palm sugar, grated

1 cup Thai basil leaves, plus extra to garnish

Steamed jasmine rice

1. In a wok or large frying pan heat oil on high. Stir-fry steak in two batches, 3 to 4 mins each, until well-browned. Set aside.

2. Using same wok, stir-fry paste, 1 min. Add coconut milk and lime leaves. Bring to simmer and cook 4 to 5 mins until thickened and beginning to separate.

3. Return beef to the wok with vegetables, coriander, juice and fish sauce. Simmer 3 to 4 mins until vegetables are tender.

4. Season with sugar, extra juice and extra fish sauce. Stir basil through. Sprinkle extra basil leaves over and serve with rice.

My Reading Room

Freeze; thaw and bake 180 C for 30 mins covered, then 15 to 20 mins uncovered.


Prep 20 mins | Cook 1 hour 20 mins | Serves 4-6

8 chicken thigh fillets, chunks

¼ cup seasoned flour, plus

2 tbsps extra

100 g butter, chopped

4 rashers rindless bacon, sliced

300 g button mushrooms, trimmed

12 shallots, peeled, trimmed

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1 cup dry white wine

2 cups chicken stock

2 tbsps tomato paste

2 tbsps thyme leaves, plus extra to serve

750 g potatoes, finely sliced

¾ cup grated gruyere cheese

Salad leaves, to serve

1. Preheat oven to hot, 200 C.

2. Toss chicken in seasoned flour, shaking off excess. In a large saucepan, melt 25 g butter on high. Cook chicken in two batches, 3 to 4 mins each, until well browned. Transfer to a plate.

3. In the same pan, saute bacon 3 to 4 mins until crisp. Drain and transfer to a plate.

4. Melt another 25 g butter in same pan. Saute mushrooms, shallots and garlic 3 to 4 mins until beginning to brown.

5. Stir in extra flour and cook 1 min. Add wine and cook, stirring, until mixture boils and starts to thicken.

6. Return chicken to pan with stock, bacon, tomato paste and thyme. Simmer, uncovered, 10 mins until sauce thickens. Transfer to a 3-litre casserole dish.

7. Place potato into a bowl. Melt remaining butter and add to potato with cheese, tossing well. Season and arrange over chicken mixture.

8. Bake 45 to 50 mins until topping is golden, tender and crisp. Sprinkle extra thyme and serve with salad.

My Reading Room

Double the salmon and freeze half after crumbing. Defrost and coo k (step 4).


Prep 30 mins + Chilling | Cook 15 mins | Serves 4

500 g skinless, boneless salmon fillets, halved lengthways, sliced

½ cup plain flour

2 eggs, whisked 2 cups panko crumbs ¼ cup chopped dill

2 tsps finely grated lemon zest

Oil for shallow-frying

Lemon cheeks, aioli, mixed leaves, to serve


475 g mashed potato

¼ cup plain flour

2 eggs, whisked

1 cup panko crumbs

1. Dust salmon in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg, then coat in combined crumbs, dill and lemon zest, pressing firmly. Place on a lined oven tray. Chill 15 mins.

2. EASY POTATO GEMS Line a tray with baking paper. Roll tbsps mashed potato into balls. Dust balls in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg, then coat in crumbs. Place on a lined oven tray. Chill 10 mins.

3. In a large heavy-based saucepan, heat oil on medium until a cube of bread sizzles when added. Fry gems, in three batches, 2 to 3 mins each batch, until golden. Drain on paper towel.

4. In same pan, fry salmon fingers 1½ mins, turning. Drain on paper towel. Serve salmon with potato gems, mixed salad leaves, lemon cheeks and aioli.

My Reading Room

Defrost frozen Well ington in fridge overnight and bake as directed.


Prep 25 mins | Cook 50 mins | Serves 4

200 g Swiss brown mushrooms, trimmed

50 g butter, chopped

2 shallots, finely chopped

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

500 g sausage mince

250 g pork and veal mince

½ cup fresh breadcrumbs

1 egg, whisked, plus

1 extra, whisked

1 tbsp chopped rosemary leaves

1½ sheets frozen puff pastry

6 slices prosciutto

Broccolini, beans, barbecue sauce, to serve

1. Preheat oven to 200 C. Line oven tray with baking paper.

2. In a food processor, pulse mushrooms until finely chopped. In a frying pan, melt butter on medium. Saute mushrooms and shallots 4 to 5 mins. Stir Dijon through. Cool.

3. In a large bowl, combine sausage mince, pork and veal mince, breadcrumbs, egg and rosemary.

4. Place 1 pastry sheet on a clean work surface. Brush one edge with egg. Place remaining ½ sheet pastry alongside, slightly overlapping edges. Press edges together to seal.

5. Arrange prosciutto slices along centre of pastry on a slight angle. Spread with mushroom mixture. Press sausage mixture on top, forming into a log. Place on tray.

6. Fold pastry over mixture to enclose, pressing to seal and trimming any excess. Roll so Wellington is seam-side down.

7. Brush pastry with remaining egg and make 3 cuts at top to allow steam to escape. Bake 40 to 45 mins until puffed and golden. Serve with steamed veggies and barbecue sauce.