Packaging is important!
Are you shocked that was the first thing I uttered? And that I mentioned cleavage? This is a family-friendly site! Rated-G!
I’m talking about when you store things – FOOD. Especially when frozen.
Have you ever frozen a bulk package of ground meat you bought on sale, thinking you’d never be able to use it in one shot, so you’ll save it for later. When you are ready to defrost, you realized, “Oh, shoot… I never be able to use it in one shot, and once it’s defrosted, I’m not supposed to refreeze… Oops…”
So it requires a bit of pre-planning and strategy.
Kitchen Wizardry is all about how to make things easier to use later without heavy planning. (I’m not a good planner.) It’s about smart cooking and storing.
When something is in the fridge, you can just scoop it out and use it right away. When frozen, all you have is a solid block, if you don’t plan carefully. It’s really important to make it easier to thaw and use when you store food for freezing.
There are different ways to freeze different things. Today, I’m going to talk about freezing something moist and spreadable (sautéed vegetables, sauces, etc.)
Here are the tricks.
- Use the same size Ziploc bag whenever possible. For most freezers, quart size is ideal. For smaller amount, I use snack size.
- Spread the contents thin – ideally 1/4 to 1/3 inches maximum.
- Then lay the bag down flat and create deep creases across the bag, both vertically and horizontally before freezing. This is to make it easier to break it off small pieces in the amounts you need. (Use the flat side of a rubber spatula or pointed tip of a chopstick to create these lines.)
- Lay them flat inside the freezer until frozen – a cookie sheet works well. (Otherwise, all the contents will be balled at the bottom, ruining all of your efforts!)
- Once frozen, store them vertically (like books) for easier retrieval.
- You may want to label on the side, so that you can see the contents without taking out (again, just like books!)
Not everything can be shaped like this… or needs to be.
Stay tuned for other cool freezing tricks in future posts… (Click “Subscribe to Secrets of the Kitchen Wizard” via Email above the calendar, so you won’t miss them. : ))