Make friends with your freezer

December 17, 2009

As a keen foodie living on her own, there are always going to be times when it’s impossible to make a one-portion sized dish. Roast chicken being a case in point. Well, any roast really, but as roast chicken is one of my all-time favourite meals, that’s what comes to mind. (When I was a kid, I used to say that if I was a princess, I would have roast chicken for breakfast every day. Clearly, I learned young…) And that’s why the freezer is the single foodie’s best friend.

Here are a few of my favourite uses for my friendly freezer:

  • Bread. I’m not a huge consumer of bread, but when I do buy a loaf, like a nice crusty sourdough from The Flour Station in Borough Market, I’ll cut it into quarters and freeze what I’m not going to eat that day. Once thawed out, pop it in the oven to crisp it up a bit.
  • Cakes. I haven’t really experimented too much with this, but so far I have successfully frozen my homemade biscuits and cupcakes (without fillings and icings), and my date loaf cut into slices and wrapped individually in clingfilm. I’ve also frozen some leftover chocolate ganache, which was fine to use when I thawed it out.
  • Herbs. Pretty much all herbs freeze well. I don’t usually bother freezing parsley as I use it up so quickly, but rosemary, basil, thyme, sage and mint are permanent residents in my ice-box. Do not attempt to thaw herbs before using – they’ll just turn into slimy mush. But straight from the freezer they’re nice and brittle, and crumble easily into your cooking.
  • Tinned tomatoes. Not in the tin, obviously. But often I’ll use half a tin of tomatoes, and if I don’t think I’ll want to use the rest of it within a day or two, into a tupperware pot it goes and into the freezer. And the best thing is you can use it straight from frozen.
  • Frozen veg. I think all frozen veg is pretty horrible except peas – so that’s the only vegetable that graces my freezer.
  • Fresh meat and fish. If I buy two or three items at the market on a Saturday, I’ll usually eat one of them at the weekend, and put the rest in the freezer to cook during the week. I also use a fair bit of pork and lamb mince, so I’ll buy, say, 300g, divide it into 100g portions and freeze them. And, again, you can cook mince from frozen, if you don’t remember to take it out in time to thaw.
  • Leftovers. The above-mentioned roast chicken is not as extravagant a meal as you might think for one person. Once the leftovers are cold, I remove all the meat from the bones, divide it into portions and freeze. Perfect for risottos, soups, salads, stir fries, and, most delicious of all, fried in olive oil to crisp it up with a side of oven chips. Mmmmouthwatering.

So, am I missing any tricks here? What’s in your freezer?


5 Responses to “Make friends with your freezer”

  1. Ailsa Says:

    What’s in my freezer? Mostly Archie’s liver treats, of course…

  2. I know I nearly ate one of them one night when I came back to your flat after a few drinks – but can I just say, bleurgh…

  3. Gabby Ingham Says:

    Egg whites in ziplock bag (use yolks in dough, etc. then freeze whites for a future meringue topping), pastry (make a lot, then freeze half of it), stock (sometimes slow-boil pork for curry, freeze the stock), cauliflower (bought a huge one when cheap, par-boiled then froze. Haven’t tried reusing it yet though!) And loads of ICE-CREAM!

  4. jasnieres Says:

    Like you – roast chicken – use up all the bits – the gristly ends,etc go to the dog – stock from the bones.
    Veg-wise I do keep frozen chopped spinach which I add to all sorts of things as a thickener and if I don’t have any parsley, it is better than nothing. I also keep frozen soft fruits and have them with muesli and fresh fruit – thawed of course. Can’t get fresh here, except VERY expensive tiddly amounts of blueberries.
    Also frozen horrors – like tripe, yuck – for Lottie.

  5. Ravenous Ro Says:

    Yep lots of dog food, however Nigel Slater says if you have a party and have that half opened bottle of wine. Don’t chuck it down the sink, freeze in ice cube sizes and then use when a recipe requires red wine. Saves you buying bottles just for cooking.

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