I am a bit of a recycling/conservation nut in the kitchen. And I never have enough freezer space. So I developed these techniques. Hope they might be helpful to you! —LE BEC FIN
In This Recipe
Beef and Chicken (etc)Stocks: No way do I ever have room in my freezers to store stock. When I make any stock, after chilling and removing the fat layer, I significantly reduce/cook down the stock to a rather rubbery dark colored 'demi glace' (half ice). I pour the demi into a rectangular tub,to a depth of no more than 2 inches. Freeze it, flip it out onto a cutting board and cut it into cubes and then toss the cubes into a tub or ziploc bag. (Waste of saran to wrap each cube separately.)
Soup and sauce storage: Black plastic rectangular take-out containers (the kind with the clear domed lids) are ideal for freezing soups and sauces, but I use them to hold/give shape to the food, not to store the food. I line my rectangles with saran that hangs over the sides. I fill the saran with a pre-measured amount of soup or sauce or stew (like 1 or 2 people's worth of soup.) Then I place the containers on a rimmed sheet pan and freeze them flat. Once frozen, i flip out the containers and tightly wrap the overhanging saran - around the product. I label the product and stack them in a ziploc bag.(This takes up much less space than stacked up containers with their raised lids.) Rectangles and squares fit much better than rounds into a packed freezer.
I practice these techniques with liquids because I am a batch cook i.e. I always make and freeze multiple servings of each thing. For soups and stews, it's usually at least 10 servings. It hardly takes any more time to cook 10 servings of something than it does to cook 4 servings of something.
I am always on the lookout for innovative recipes, which is why I am just ga-ga over my recently- discovered Food52 with its amazingly innovative and talented contributors. My particular eating passions are Japanese, Indian, Mexican; with Italian and French following close behind. Turkish/Arabic/Mediterranean cuisines are my latest culinary fascination. My desert island ABCs are actually 4 Cs: citrus, cumin, cilantro, and cardamom.
I am also finally indulging in learning about food history; it gives me no end of delight to learn how and when globe artichokes came to the U.S., and how and when Jerusalem artichokes went from North America to Europe. And that the Americas enabled other cuisines to become glorious. I mean where would those countries be without: Corn, Tomatoes, Chiles,Peanuts, Dried Beans, Pecans, Jerusalem Artichokes??!
While I am an omnivore, I am, perhaps more than anything, fascinated by the the world of carbohydrates, particularly the innovative diversity of uses for beans, lentils and grains in South Indian and other cuisines.
Baking gives me much pleasure, and of all the things I wish would change in American food, it is that we would develop an appreciation for sweet foods that are not cloyingly sweet, and that contain more multigrains. (Wouldn't it be fantastic to have a country of great bakeries instead of the drek that we have in the U.S.?!)
I am so excited by the level of sophistication that I see on Food52 and hope to contribute recipes that will inspire you like yours do me.
I would like to ask a favor of all who do try a recipe of mine > Would you plse write me and tell me truthfully how it worked for you and/or how you think it would be better? I know many times we feel that we don't want to hurt someone's feelings, but. i really do want your honest feedback because it can only help me improve the recipe.Thanks so much.