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Author Notes: 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
Makes: different quantities
- 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.