Kitchen & Pantry

Meals in a flash

Considering the amount of content I am able to publish in my food blogs, some people think I spent quite a lot of time in the kitchen. “A lot” is relative, I grant you that. As a rule, I don’t spend more time in the kitchen than I have to. I do like preparing good meals but that doesn’t mean I am okay with three hours of preparation. In fact, one reason I so love cooking stews is because I just need to put everything in the pot and let everything cook slowly. But since we can’t have stews everyday, I have developed some neat tricks to cut my cooking time and save myself the trouble of constant peeking, stirring and checking if the liquid has dried up.

One of those tricks is to cook meat in bulk, divide and store in individual containers. That way, when I want to make a sautéed or stir fried meat and vegetable dish, all I need to do is to throw the already cooked meat in hot oil. No more waiting for it to cook until tender because it is already tender. I just add the veggies, season everything and presto! The meal is cooked in less than 30 minutes.

Note though that I only do this trick with large uncut pieces of pork and beef, never with chicken. The more important thing — I cook the boiled meat within a few days. I don’t let them sit in the fridge for more than a couple of days. Why? Uncovered, they become dry. Covered, they get moldy after some time. Put them in the freezer to avoid molds and the texture of the meat just turns terrible.

Yesterday morning, I simmered a 1.5 kilogram slab of pork belly until tender. I transferred the meat to a plate to cool, then I divided it into three portions. I reserved one portion for lunch and the remaining two went into separate covered containers in the fridge. The broth was stored separately.

casaveneracion.com pancit canton casaveneracion.com pork and baguio beans with oyster sauce

The photo on the right shows the pork and baguio beans with oyster sauce that we had for lunch yesterday. The photo on the left shows the pancit canton that we had for lunch today. I haven’t decided yet what I’ll do with the last portion of pork belly in the fridge. But I will have to cook it tomorrow at the latest.

The recipes for the two dishes above will be posted in a bit. :)

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