Monday, September 5, 2011

Southwest Sweet Potato and corn Fritatta and Southwestern Corn Chowder {Meals in a Jar}

This makes exactly 14 recipes so far for these convenience meals in a jar that started as a little post on an emergency preparedness meal plan that I call my "52 Method." After countless emails expressing a huge desire for me to come up with more recipes {write a book!} and more...I have kept adding more new recipes. The beauty of these meals is that they are all in ONE jar per recipe. No adding on or finding something else in your pantry. No bags or ways to organize in your closet. They're their own entity. Self contained is good right?  If you missed the other recipes they are here! The original post is here. As for today...
This is perhaps the most amazing meal in a jar recipe I have far! What can I say? An egg dish that tasted outstanding and is shelf stable for several years?! Yes! It's true! No refrigeration needed on the eggs, sausage, cheese or vegetables. They are totally safe to eat? Yes. This meal is made using the amazing technology of Freeze Drying! To learn more about this technology go Here.

 Today I'm using...
bell pepper
Freeze Dried Sweet Potatoes{different from dehydrated varieties}
 Freeze Dried Cheese Yes. It tastes like cheese, cooks like cheese and works like cheese. It IS cheese.
 Scrambled Whole egg powder are probably the best dang shelf stable eggs I've ever tasted. Daggumit. I'm picky about eggs and I love how they cook and taste. Awesome eggs. 
 Freeze-dried Sausage freaked me out a little because I think I'm just used to having to cook meat. I was excited though that it was available!
 It looks a lot like sausage. Um...duh. It is sausage. Just Freeze Dried! Totally shelf stable. Only safety tip is to open the can and repack it into the bottles within 24 hours (or put it in the fridge with the lid on the can and use within a month of opening).  Because we will be returning it back to it's vacuum sealed state with the shelf stable jars, it's okay to open now.

 The sweet potatoes look like this in the can.
 Unopened they are shelf stable for 10-15 years! Woah! Now that's not bad considering it's JUST the preservatives! I'm a big fan of sweet potatoes...but seriously! Wow!
Meal 13:
Chef Tess' Sweet Potato and Corn Skillet Fritatta
You will need per Quart wide mouth jar:
1/2 cup (.9 oz) freeze dried corn
1/2 cup (.25 oz) freeze dried mushrooms
1/4 cup (.7 oz) dehydrated onion
12 scoops (equal to 9 eggs) Scrambled egg crystals (1.3 oz)
1 tsp chef tess Southwest Seasoning
1/2 tsp dry Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper or ancho chile powder
2T all purpose flour
1T dehydrated sour cream powder

Put the sausage and veggies in the bottom of the jar and top with the eggs. Shake the eggs down into the cracks.
 Add the cheese and the remaining dry ingredients. the Oxygen Absorber. What do they do?
 Wikipedia  says: "An oxygen absorber is a small packet of material used to prolong the shelf life of food. They are used in food packaging to prevent food color change, to stop oils in foods from becoming rancid, and also retard the growth of oxygen-using aerobic microorganisms such as fungi...

Oxygen supports the growth of microorganisms and causes changes in color and rancid odors in packaged foods. Plastic packaging is less able to exclude oxygen from packaged foods than are the older glass and metal containers. Oxygen absorbers absorb oxygen and effectively reduce the aerobic environment to 0% oxygen. Therefore, aerobic bacteria and fungi are unable to grow in this environment. This will extend the shelf life of a food product from 1 week to several months. The advantages of oxygen satchels versus vacuum packaging are that the food products are not crushed or squeezed, as some products are of high value and are fragile, and its simplicity of use."
Yes I use them. There is an alternate method using a jar attachment and a Food Saver machine...but today, this is what you get to see.

 Totally fill the jar. I actually plan the recipes to do this so there is very little oxygen anyway...but also, it's fun to get everything in one place right?
 To make the Fritatta:
Combine 3 cups cool water and the contents of the jar in a 2 quart bowl and allow to hydrate about 10 minutes. Whisk a couple times after 5 minutes to be sure everything gets moist.
 Lightly oil a 10 inch skillet with a tightly fitting lid (or your solar oven casserole pan).  Heat pan on low for two or three minutes. Pour egg mixture into pan.
 Make sure heat is low.
 Cover with tight fitting lid and allow to cook 15-17 minutes on very LOW. Do not uncover.  If you are using your solar oven it will take 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.
 Turn off heat. Do not uncover. Allow to carry-over-cook another 5-7 minutes Covered. Remove lid and slice as you would a pizza.
 Serve warm with salsa of your choice.

Meal 14: Southwest Corn Chowder
 Southwestern Corn Chowder with Sweet Potato and sausage is a classic combination around my house.

Yes...this does use a lot of the same ingredients as the Fritatta in Meal 13. I figured, "hey since I have all this stuff out, why not make two recipes using a lot of the same products." Shoot me. Two meals in one post.

Southwest Corn Chowder in a Jar

In a quart wide mouth bottle:
1/2 cup freeze dried sausage
1/2 cup freeze-dried corn
1/2 cup dehydrated onion
1/2 cup freeze dried bell pepper
Shakedown into the above ingredients:
1/4 cup flour and 1/2 cup instant milk combined to make the sauce

Top with 2 cups freeze dried sweet potatoes,
1 1/2 tsp Chef Tess Southwest Fajita Seasoning
2T Tomato Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda (to neutralize the acid in the tomato powder when cooking)
1 oxygen packet per jar

Directions: Combine contents with 5 cups warm water in a gallon pot. Whisk well. Allow to sit 10 minutes. Put on a stove and simmer low heat 15 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to continue to thicken 5 minutes more. Makes 7 cups of chowder.

There you go! Now here's a kicker...I'll be on Fox 10 tomorrow morning at 9:45 with several jars and recipe ideas for this amazing stuff! I'm so thankful and excited to be part of the Fox family! Big hugs!

Your Friend,
Chef Tess

I am no longer the corporate chef for Honeyville but we still love them dearly. My family is greatly blessed and relies heavily on the extra money brought in by sales tracked back to this site. This is also the company that packages and sells my spice line as well as my food storage cookbooks. Thank you so very much for your support. Xoxo!


Stephanie said...

Would sausage tvp be okay in place of the freeze dried sausage?

mlebagley said...

Wow, that looks really yummy!!! Hard to believe you can fit all that food into one jar!

Life of Nae said...

looks amazing!

Chef Tess said...

You can use sausage TVP in place of the freeze dried sausage. It depends on how spicy you want it. Great question! Xo.

Julene said...

Those are amazing!!! I can't wait to try the sweet potato!! You have done it again and I think you out did yourself! Thanks for sharing!!

Anonymous said...

How long would Meals in a Jar with oxygen absorber be safe to eat?

Chef Tess said...

3-5 years for the fritatta. 5-7 years for the chowder.

Brenda said...

Chef Tess, We're working on deciding which recipes to make this month for our 52 jar method project. The Sweet Potato and Corn Skillet Fritatta looks amazing, and we're going to try that recipe. I have a question on the ingredients, though. You don't list the sausage in your ingredients list, but mention layering it in the jar. Do you recall how much sausage is used in this recipe?
Also, can Dehydrated whole eggs (powdered eggs) be a viable substitute for the Ova Easy eggs in this recipe?
Thanks so much for inspiring us to work on these for our storage! Great recipes!

Chef Tess said...

Thanks for catching that on the sausage! Yes it's 1/2 cup. As for the eggs. I tried it with the other powdered eggs (both THRIVE and Honeyville) and I prefer how the ova eggs tasted in this application. I use the other whole powdered eggs for baking but the flavor isn't the same. Ova eggs taste like an egg when cooked. Just my opinion. Do with it what you will. Hugs! Thank you again for catching the sausage.

Brenda said...

Thanks for your quick response!!! Yay! We're making a shopping list now, so you're helping keep us on track!
Glad to be able to help! Especially after all the wonderful recipes and ideas you've shared with us!
Thanks, again!

popsicle said...

Can you tell me if the ingredients retain vitamins and minerals when freeze dried and stored for so long?