Sydney freezer cooking enthusiast Susan Austin has just released her third inspiring cook book of make ahead recipes for the freezer. Her latest book, available as an ebook, is aptly named “Frostbite, Make-Ahead Recipes to Eliminate Mayhem at Mealtime.” With my busy adgenda I am always looking for ways to streamline lifes activities to get more relaxation time. For several years I have used Susan’s Frostbite cookbooks as my go to guide when filling my freezer with ready made meals. From the very moment I purchased the first cookbook in the Frostbite series, I’ve been hooked on freezing.

 SA frostbitebooks frostbite

The Frostbite cookbooks are much more than just spaghetti Bolognese and casserole. These books are filled with an amazing array of recipes to help you eat well at any meal of the day.  My families favourite freezer meals include peppery pork fillets, lamb chermoula on apricot cous cous or a nice chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto with a pesto sauce. Sounds like something you would order at a restaurant, pleasingly simple to prepare, freeze and cook. Once the preperation is done, mealtimes are less chaotic and more flavoursome.

oSA LambchermoulaSA porkfillets 

SA chicken  SA chickfreeze

What I love most about Frostbite cookbooks is the easy to follow style in which they are written. Recipes are achievable for the beginner cook while being gourmet enough to keep the more experienced cook happy. Each Frostbite cookbook contains sensible information on general freezing as well as easy detailed instructions to prep, freeze and cook each recipe. The ingredients used are the type that every home cook has access to.

sa creamypork  

  sa sausage sa peasoup   

Unfortunately the first two frostbite books are hard to find in mainstream bookstores. The good news is Susan has released her third book to instantly download as an ebook. This has improved accessibility and reduced the price. A free preview featuring five recipes is available if you wish to take a peek. The full cookbook with a variety of 40 freezablerecipes is only $3.99 (US), a bargain really considering how organised you are going to be with all your meals in the freezer. 

frostbite  SA malasiancurrying

  SA Malaysian curry  sa potatobake

Last weekend I road tested five of the new frostbite recipes. Pumpkin and ricotta stuffed shells, malaysian fish curry, the most amazing chicken schnitzel served with a freezer friendly potato bake, all easy and delicious. 

  sa stuffedpastaing  sa stuffedshells   

sa stuffedshells1  SA stuffed shells

Sunday night dinner was the Chicken and Chorizo Gumbo. I made a double batch, one for dinner and one the freezer of course!

I diverted slightly from the recipe using fresh chorizo.  At the start of the recipe I cooked it just enough to slice into rounds with it holding together.  Fresh Chorizo tends to loose shape if you try and slice it raw, as any sausage would. 

sa gumbocho

 This dinner got the thumbs up from the whole family.

Chicken and Chorizo Gumbo

Recipe by Susan Austin, Frostbite


sa gumboing

Olive oil

400g (1 lb) chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat then cut in 2cm (1 in) dice

1 chorizo sausage, cut in ½ cm (¼ in) slices

1 onion, chopped

1 green capsicum (bell pepper), cut in 1-2cm (½-1 in) dice

2 stalks celery, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1½ tablesp Cajun spice mix

2 tablesp plain (all-purpose) flour

4 cups (1 litre) chicken stock

400g (14 oz) tin diced Roma tomatoes

Sea salt and black pepper

Later: ¾ cup uncooked white rice Handful fresh parsley, chopped Tabasco or hot sauce (optional)

Heat some oil in a large saucepan.  Add chicken and chorizo and cook till browned all over (in batches, if necessary).  Remove to a plate lined with paper towels (the chorizos are often oily).

sa gumbochick  sa gumbochoriz


Reduce heat and add onion, capsicum and celery.  Cook for a few minutes then add garlic and continue cooking till the onion is translucent.

sa gumboaps

Add Cajun spices and flour and cook for a minute or two then add stock and tomatoes.  Bring to a simmer then return chicken and chorizo to the saucepan.  Taste for salt and pepper then remove from heat and allow to cool. Don’t worry if it seems too liquidy, the rice will absorb the liquid later. ( I misjudged my pan size so a swap was required)

sa gumbo

Freeze:  Pour the gumbo mixture into a plastic container or ziplock bag and freeze Defrost: In fridge (or partially defrost on the kitchen bench before finishing in the fridge) or in the microwave

Cook: Place the gumbo in a large saucepan, bring to a simmer, then add rice.  Stir frequently as the rice will stick to the bottom of the saucepan.  Cook for about 20-25 mins or until the rice is tender (you may need to add more water if the rice is a little undercooked).

Serve: Spoon into bowls and scatter parsley over the top.  Place a bottle of Tabasco on the table for those who want extra spice

SA gumbo froz  sa gumboserved

The Frostbite preveiw and full cookbook can be downloaded here. You can also find out more information on freezer cooking by checking into the Frostbite blog, you will find loads of tips and recipes to get you hooked on freezing!