26 October 2016Last updated

Food | Recipes

Fit to freeze

Busy workdays, taking care of the family and staying healthy can take a toll on the kitchen front. So, whip up bigger portions and dish frozen leftovers with new flair

9 May 2016 | 10:53 am
  • Fishcakes.



Prep time 10 mins
Cooking time 30 mins
Makes 8

500g frozen hake fillets
3 white bread slices, crust removed
1 egg
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 spring onion, chopped
½ lemon, grated rind and juice of
A handful of chopped coriander
Flour, for dusting
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Place the fillets on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, crumble the bread and mix with egg, sauce, mayonnaise, mustard, onion, lemon juice and coriander. Flake the fish and season, then cover your hands with flour and roll eight fishcakes.

Heat the olive oil in a pan on medium to high and fry the fishcakes for three minutes each side until golden brown.

Drain the oil on paper towels and serve hot with tartare sauce (or any dip of your choice), baby spinach and lime wedges.

Fishcakes make for the best freezer back-up for a quick snack or lunch. The recipe does not contain potatoes, which means that the fishcakes freeze well. Double the ingredients and freeze the other half for another time.


Spicy chicken curry

Prep time 10 mins
Cooking time 20 mins
Makes 6 portions

½ cup flour
4 tbsp spicy curry powder
1 kg chicken breasts, cut into strips
4 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
410g tinned, peeled whole tomatoes
125ml stock
125ml cream
A handful of coriander and lightly toasted almond flakes and coconut shavings, to garnish
Cooked basmati rice, to serve

In a bowl, mix the flour and curry powder and season to taste. Roll the chicken in it and shake off the excess.

Heat 2 tbsp oil over high in a pan and fry the chicken until golden on all sides. Set aside.

Heat the remaining oil in the same pan over medium. Sauté onions and garlic until soft, then add tomatoes and mash with a fork. Season to taste.

Add the chicken, simmer for five minutes, then reduce the heat and add stock and cream. Stir until the sauce is heated through.

Garnish with coriander, coconut and almonds and serve hot with rice.

Double the quantity of ingredients and freeze half the preparation to freeze and use later in tasty pies.


Quick pies

Prep time 5 mins
Cooking time 20 mins

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Roll out the salted dough on a floured work surface up to 5mm thick and cut into squares of 15cmx15cm.

Spoon 3 tbsp of spicy chicken curry or mushroom filling on one half of each square and fold over to make a triangle.

Brush the edges with egg glaze (1 egg beaten with a little water) and press with a fork to seal tightly. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

Serve with chutney, fresh coriander and shaved coconut.


Baked fish pancakes

Prep time 5 mins
Cooking time 15 mins
Serves 4

Crumb six fish cakes and divide between six pancakes. Roll the pancakes and put in an oven dish.

Cover with 250ml of cheese sauce and sprinkle with grated cheese of your choice on top.

Bake for 15 minutes at 180°C or until the cheese melts and it’s heated through. Garnish with chopped parsley, et voilà! Dinner 
in a flash.

For variation, use the mushroom filling.


Moroccan lamb shanks

Prep time 10 mins
Cooking time about 3 hours
Makes 4 portions

2 tbsp olive oil
4 lamb shanks
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
800g tinned whole tomatoes, mashed
500ml beef stock
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp cumin powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 lemon, zest of, finely grated
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup dried apricots
Couscous and chickpeas, to serve

Heat oil in a pan over high. Brown the shanks and season to taste.

Add onion and garlic and sauté until golden. Combine the tomatoes with stock and add to the shanks. Lower the heat and add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for 2½ hours or until the lamb is tender. Serve with couscous and chickpeas.

Make extra and freeze it to make Baked Tomato and Lamb.


Tomato soup

Prep time 10 mins
Cooking time 40 mins
Makes 4 portions

3 red peppers
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
800g tinned chopped tomatoes
500ml chicken stock
1 tsp smoked paprika
Parmesan shavings, ground black pepper and coriander, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Roast the peppers for 10 minutes, then cut open, remove the membranes and seeds.

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium and sauté garlic until translucent. Add tomatoes and heat through, then add peppers, stock and paprika. Blitz with a stick blender and season.

Garnish with Parmesan, pepper and coriander and serve hot.

Frozen soup can be a lifesaver on busy days. The smoked paprika lends a distinctive flavour that remains even when frozen.


Baked tomato and lamb

Prep time 5 mins
Baking time 20 mins
Serves 4

180ml tomato soup
1 tbsp honey (optional; use if the soup is too sour)
400g canned kidney beans, drained
2 cups leftover lamb shanks, shredded
Chopped Italian parsley, to garnish
½ cup crumbled feta
250ml Greek yogurt
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Mix the soup and honey together in a bowl, and add kidney beans and lamb shanks. Mix well and divide between four ovenproof bowls.

Spoon the topping on top of each and bake for 20 minutes or until heated through and golden on top. Garnish with chopped Italian parsley and serve hot.

Freezer staples

Spicy cheese sauce

Prep time 5 mins
Cooking time 10 mins
Makes 1.6l

110g butter
5 tbsp flour
1 litre milk
A pinch of grated nutmeg
2 cups grated Cheddar
6 tbsp Dijon mustard
A handful of chopped Italian parsley

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir for a minute. Do not let it change colour.

Gradually pour milk and stir continuously until smooth and thick. Add nutmeg and season to taste. Simmer gently for three minutes.

Remove from the heat and mix in cheese, mustard and parsley.

Freeze 250ml portions in bags or trays and use it to make quick dinners like lasagne.


Prep time 40 mins
Cooking time 50 mins
Makes 24

8 eggs
1½ litre water
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
Oil, to fry

Beat eggs and water together in a bowl until foamy, then place a sieve over the bowl and sift in the flour, baking powder and salt. Beat into a smooth batter. Rest for 30 minutes.

Heat oil in a pan over medium-high. Ladle 4 tbsp batter into the pan and tilt it around to cover its base. Cook until lightly browned and the pancake begins to pull off the sides. Flip and cook for another a minute. Repeat until all the batter is exhausted.

Freeze the pancakes in stacks with parchment paper between each one to help separate them when defrosting.

Salted dough

Prep time 40 mins
250g cold butter, diced
250ml cold cream cheese
1 cup plain flour

Mix butter, cream cheese and flour lightly until smooth. Don’t overwork. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

From making biscuits to pie crusts, this is a versatile dough. Double the ingredients and freeze a portion to use in chicken pies later. Leave in the fridge to defrost before using. 

Mushroom filling

Prep time 10 mins
Cooking time 20 mins

250g beef bacon, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, fine chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
250g portobellini mushrooms, finely chopped
100g shiitake/porcini mushrooms, finely chopped
A few sage leaves
A pinch of nutmeg

Bake the beef bacon until crisp. Fry onion and garlic in oil for a minute, then add mushrooms and sage. Fry for three minutes. Add nutmeg and seasoning, toss with the beef bacon and serve as topping or pie filling.


Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Roll out the salted dough on a floured surface 5mm thick. Cut into 8cmx10cm pieces..

Put the biscuit pieces on a baking sheet and brush with egg glaze (1 egg beaten with a little water). Bake for 
15 minutes until golden.

Top with your favourite topping like mushrooms to serve as a starter.