9 fab freezer tips
I consider myself lucky, in that I have three freezers. It helps living away from the bustle of a big city, plus hand-me-downs have led me to gather freezers like a busker collects coins. With a hungry family, a tendency to cook more than I mean to, and enjoying reviving leftovers for mideweek meals, I love my freezer(s). And so should you!
Here’s my top 9 tips for working that freezer.
1. Bagged herbs
If you know when you buy herbs you’re not going to use the rest in the next day or two, chop ’em up and freeze in small bags. Dump straight from the bag into your dish. No more slimy mint in the salad drawer.
2. Roast potatoes
What, you expect me not to talk about this subject? If you want to make your next roast a little less frenetic, boil up your potatoes, coat with fat and flavourings and freeze at that point. They’ll be ready to go straight into a screaming hot oven. More details and recipe here.
A little grim but if you ever trim meat yourself save the bones for a stock or stew. Pop straight from frozen into your sauce and let all that marrow work its magic. This also works with cooked bones although the flavour will be quite different.
An oldie but goodie this one: when you get to the end of your parmesan don’t bin the rind. Bag it and save for your nest soup or risotto. Not an ingredient as such but more of a seasoning – pop in for the last 5 minutes of cooking then discard to impart an umami-rich flavour.
5. Whiteboard Fablon
A great idea from Kavey this; add sticky-back plastic to your freezer and write the contents on it. Never rummage through the icy shelves again, a quick glance will tell you what’s inside. I like Fablon, a hard-wearing product my decorator-Dad had miles of.
6. Flat store liquids
Got spare tomato sauce, soup or stock? Then yeah, you’re gonna freeze it. But freeze it flat. Like a piece of paper. I lay it down in the freezer tray and smooth it flat before it freezes. It freezes faster and defrosts faster, which preserves the taste better.
7. Don’t knock frozen veg
Not a leftovers tip but a nod to the good selection of frozen veg in your local supermarket. Many vegetables such as peas, sweetcorn and broccoli can often be fresher than the greengrocery section. I always keep some on standby.
8. Freeze pizza bases
When you’re in a baking mood and you knock out some pizza dough, make more and keep spare in the freezer. Mould it into shape and freeze at this point. To keep it in this shape use a circular plate or baking dish lined with clingfilm and oiled, then when the dough is frozen solid remove the plate or dish. Pizza is ready in no time!
9. Stir fry to go
I usually keep most of what I need for stir fry on hand. Sure, the noodles and sauces are in the cupboard but the freezer plays host to the beansprouts and chopped veg, all of which can be fried straight from the chilly box.
This post was commissioned by Sainsbury’s. Find more freezer ideas here.