URS: Freezer-Friendly Recipes (Recipe: Boules de Picolat)

There’s no question that not having to cook dinner is a good thing – any night of the week. And while take-out or eating out are certainly fun prospects, they’re not always doable. And that’s where pulling an entree out of the freezer – a homemade dinner – is just the ticket.

There are plenty of books out there chock full of recipes that may or may not go down well with your family. It’s better to spend your time, money and energy on something that’s a sure thing. So, that’s why this week’s Ultimate Recipe Swap is all about freezer-friendly recipes. Here you’ll get a chance to see what other families cook up one day and enjoy later.

One of our favorites is a dish I first had when I lived in France. My “French mom,” Michele, was Catalan. She made this traditional dish for me on my 21st birthday. She never gave me her recipe, so I had to approximate my own from a Catalan cookbook I have.

Michele, preparing des boules for my birthday feast, 1993.

There is great debate amongst Catalan families whether to serve this with potatoes or rice. The Family Durieux has it with taters, so so do I.

Items with an asterisk* are not needed until the day of serving.

Boules de Picolat
Catalan meatballs

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms OR ½ cup sliced button mushrooms
1 pound ground beef
½ pound ground pork
2 white or yellow onions, chopped, divided usage
1 Tablespoon dried parsley
3 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
½ cup flour
¼ cup vegetable oil plus 1 Tablespoon
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, with added puree
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup green Spanish olives with pimiento*
cooked potatoes*

If using dried mushrooms, soak in warm water for about 30 minutes or according to package directions. Remove from liquid and strain liquid well. Set aside. Drain and rinse mushrooms. In medium sized bowl combine ground beef, pork, half of onions, parsley, garlic and salt and pepper. Form into 1-inch balls and roll in flour. Heat oil in large heavy skillet and brown meatballs in batches. Remove from pan and keep warm in oven. When all meatballs are cooked, prepare sauce by sauteing remaining onion in remaining tablespoon oil. Add both cans of tomatoes and reserved mushroom liquid. Stir together over medium heat. Add meatballs and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes. Divide into suitable dinner amounts for your family. Package, label, cool and freeze.

To serve: Defrost and heat completely. Stir in olives and heat through. Serve with boiled potatoes.

Got a great make-ahead recipe that freezes well? Share it with us!

Here’s how to participate in Ultimate Recipe Swap:

1. Post your recipe on your blog. Please mention in your post so that your readers know where all the other good recipes are hanging out. Then, come back here to add the link to your post to Mr. Linky below. (Find instructions for Mr. Linky here.)


2. If you don’t have a blog, simply tell us about your recipe in the comments section.

Above all, please stick to topic. For example, a delicate butter lettuce salad doesn’t belong on “Freezer-Friendly” day. (No way. No how.) If you have a topic suggestion, go here. Recipe links that do not stick to the theme will be chopped.

Looking forward to seeing what you have to share!

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  1. The Sensible Momma says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! These meatballs sound so good! Once I get more room in my freezer, I’ll have to try them (and I bet there will be more I’ll want to try, too!).

    Thanks for hosting this! I love to try new recipes.

  2. Brianna @ Heart(h) Management says:

    Hmmm, that looks yummy! I’m getting ready for a new baby in a couple months (number three!), and this might make my list of make aheads. Thanks, FishMama!

  3. Katie @ goodLife {eats} says:

    Those meatballs sound yummy! I added a recipe for chicken pot pie with a buttermilk biscuit crust.

  4. money-savingmommy says:

    this is an awesome idea. I love your blog. Check out mine. I left you a surprise.


  5. Oh that sounds really good. I love the picture of Michele. A good memory to go along with a good recipe…that’s a good combination. :)

  6. Christian Frugal Mama says:

    What a timely Recipe topic! I am working on getting recipes for stocking my freezer for after my new baby comes in June.

  7. Hoosier Homemade says:

    That sounds great! I didn’t link up today because I don’t really have any great recipes for the freezer. I need to get some though, thanks for sharing!

  8. annkroeker says:

    Oh! I LOVE boules! I’ve had them when visiting Belgian relatives, and they are soooo delicious. Now I can try your recipe–thanks for taking time to post. Love the photo, too.

  9. These look great! I too am always looking for great recipes that freeze well. Thanks for the topic for this week. Can’t wait to try all the yummy looking recipes shared.

  10. Ooh. Can't wait to try this. My husband was raised in Catalunya, so this will be a great surprise.

  11. Kirsten Smith says:

    I'm salivating as I sit here typing. Unfortunately, no one else in my family will eat green olives OR mushrooms. Looks like I'll have to invite some girl friends over for an adventure in cooking! I can't wait…really…yum!

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