“Batch cooking” or the art of cooking ahead of the week’s meals

Imported from Anglo-Saxon countries, the concept of “batch cooking” (literally “cooking in batches”) is being emulated. It consists of preparing and cooking the ingredients in advance, in large quantities. The goal? Organize yourself from the weekend so that you no longer spend your evening in the kitchen. Explanations.

The concept has always existed but has come back to the fore for a few years. She cooked a large number of lentils for lunch and later in the week, she kept them for us in salads, for example ”. Two ways of doing things stand out: the most eager will prefer to cook each of their dishes to have only to reheat them when evenings comes when some adopt the cooking of ingredients in large quantities so that they only have to assemble them at the last moment. In all cases, we go to the stove for two or three hours on weekends to free up our weeknights. In addition to the obvious time savings, batch cooking also means eating better.

Plan, buy, cook, assemble

"The batch cooking revolution"
The batch cooking revolution, written by Anne Loiseau, Éditions Larousse, 164 pages, € 12.90. Available on www.cuisine.larousse.fr.Larousse / Photo press

It can even turn into a family activity. Everyone is involved in developing the meals for the week, “the planning has changed my family life, the children can no longer balk at the dish they are served since we all agree in advance Explains Anne Loiseau. After planning the menus for the week, make way for the races. We know which department store we go to and which product we go to. The batch cooking saves considerable time and especially to avoid detours evening at the corner store.

Once the apron is put on, the culinary marathon kicks off. The oven is on, the pans are on the fire and the cutting board on the worktop. “The act may seem unpleasant, but once you’re there, you might as well do it all at once,” advises Céline Copier, author of Femmes débordées, the book that will simplify your daily life (2). Instead of peeling one zucchini, we peel three. ” For complete dishes, she advises to include three elements: cereals, vegetables and meat (or another source of protein). The trick is to simmer pieces of meat whole, often less expensive. While the starchy foods (rice, pasta, quinoa, etc.) are cooking and the chicken is golden in the oven, we wash, peel and cut all the vegetables to make them blanch.” Suggests the author. It will only remain to reheat the meal or to assemble the different elements.

What about conservation?

Anne Loiseau’s recipes

  • Blanquette of minute veal .
  • Indian style filet mignon and coral lentil dahl .
  • Vegetarian pizza with zucchini, goat cheese, and nuts.

Recipes from the book The batch cooking revolution.

“Preservation was what worried me the most when I started,” recalls Anne Loiseau, “but cooked food keeps well. I prefer to eat my filet mignon, even if it was cooked three days ago, rather than buying a ready-made one in a hypermarket. ” And everyone has their preferences. Some store the complete meal in a plastic box, in a glass jar, “or simply in a bowl covered with an inverted plate,” suggests the author. Others prefer to store cereals in one container, vegetables in another “so that each ingredient retains its true flavor and texture”. The thing is to let the food cool before putting it in the refrigerator. “There are fresh products that are bought day by day. I would not recommend cooking fish three days before eating it. The freezer can also become our conservation ally, ”advises Céline Copier. However, be careful not to freeze the same food twice, unless it has been cooked in the meantime.

We put on labeling

To find your way around easily in the fridge or freezer, take care to label all the containers: name of the dish and date on which it was cooked.

If some do not imagine spending several hours in the kitchen on Sunday morning, the solution is simple: double the quantities cooked. “Let’s say that Sunday lunchtime, we are preparing chicken and ratatouille. In this case, we cook a little more accompaniment to make a pie during the week. And the extra zucchini will become a custard or vegetable pasta dish for dinner. The rest, we mix it into soup, ”suggests Céline Copier. And batch cooking can be broken down into a thousand and one recipes. “It remains very greedy, we decide what we put on our plates. We can also make great classics: veal stew, couscous, filet mignon… ”. With a little organization and anticipation, it is possible to feast all week without putting a foot (or almost) in the kitchen. We are trying this weekend.


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