When you cook too much food - preserve it!

Tonya Johnson, Extension faculty and Suzanne Wall, Master Food Preserver.
Tonya Johnson, Extension faculty and Suzanne Wall, Master Food Preserver.
Breakfast burritos may be made in volume and preserved to eat later.
Breakfast burritos may be made in volume and preserved to eat later.
Serrano and Jalapeño peppers are pan roasted.
Serrano and Jalapeño peppers are pan roasted.
Delicious and nutritious breakfast burritos are filled with a blend of eggs, peppers, sausage, onion and refried beans.
Delicious and nutritious breakfast burritos are filled with a blend of eggs, peppers, sausage, onion and refried beans.
By Susanne Wall, OSU Extension Master Food Preserver

I love to cook! I make all kinds of food in my kitchen but I wanted to improve my skills and learn more about food preservation because I always make too much. It’s just the two of us at home but when I learned how to cook I was part of a family of seven. We always made enough for leftovers or a surprise guest. And yes, you can reduce volume in recipes but somehow the flavors are never the same. It probably has something to do with the increased cook time involved in larger volumes or it’s just my imagination.  But when you cook in volumes but serve only two, food preservation is incredibly important. 

Here’s an example of volume cooking and some suggestions for food preservation to make the first servings be as good as the last:

Breakfast Burritos

Ingredients:

Refried beans

Caramelized onions and pan roasted Jalapeño and Serrano peppers (or your preferred peppers)

Sausage patties (optional)

Scrambled eggs (optional)

Flour tortillas

All the above ingredients can be made or purchased. 

I make 2 quarts of refried beans in a pressure cooker, divide them into single or double size servings, and freeze them in freezer bags.

The peppers are pan roasted and set aside. I generally use 4 Serrano peppers and 2 Jalapeños. I use the same pan to caramelize the chopped onions and use a monounsaturated oil, usually avocado oil. While they are caramelizing on low heat, I chop the peppers. The end product has the sweetness and spicy hot flavors mixed together. In my household, this mix lasts only a few days, so I make it fresh. Only 1-1 ½ tablespoons are needed per burrito so you can freeze any left-over peppers in small portions so you can take out only what is needed.

Sausage patties can be made in advance and canned in a pressure canner or frozen. Use the “ground or chopped meat” processing time found in OSU’s “Canning Meat and Poultry” publication. Only one patty per burrito is needed. Store leftover sausages in the refrigerator and use within two to three days. If you buy your sausage, its best to get only what is needed for your breakfast burrito.

Scramble one egg per burrito. Warm a tortilla, they are more pliable when they are just lightly warmed and not cold. Then fill them: smear a strip of refried beans (1-2 tbsp); 1 tbsp of onion and pepper mix, one chopped sausage, one scrambled egg, and then roll into a burrito. Reheat on stove top until the tortilla is golden brown on each side or in the microwave for one minute.

Enjoy! These are quite tasty.

Master Food Preservers (MFPs) are master volunteers who have received intensive food safety and preservation training from Extension faculty. MFPs pay back their training hours by informing the public about food safety and preservation at events, demonstrations and trainings. You will find the 2018 training schedule and application here.

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