Freezer-burnt vegetable emergency fix
Yesterday, I had one of those unpleasant discoveries: Several bags of frozen vegetables that had fallen behind something else in the freezer compartment and completely slipped my mind. As I recall, I bought them going on five months ago.
It's simply not in my constitution to throw out food that might be remotely edible. I've never had any luck with steaming freezer-burnt vegetables before (and yes, I let them get that way all too often, because I buy them as backup, and nearly always end up buying fresh).
This time, I decided to try my luck with a pureed soup. One freezer-burnt bag each:
Sweet peas (these weren't too far gone)
Added two chopped onions, about half a head of garlic and some dried sage. Dumped in six cups of store-bought chicken stock. (You sometimes use it too -- admit it!) Simmered till things were nicely cooked and starting to soften up, then pureed very well.
My gamble paid off with a huge pot of extremely good soup, especially served with a few drops of white balsamic vinegar to brighten the flavors a bit.
If not for the dull green color, I'd have no problem whatsoever passing this through a sieve to refine the texture and serving it to company.
Anyone else have success with any other techniques of pulling freezer burn out of the fire? I was blown away that this worked. I chalk it up to the onions and garlic, mostly, but I suspect the simmering did something too.
Great idea, ghg -- or spinach! That's always how I've upped the "greenness" of not-quite-fresh-looking soups in the past. And re: umami, cheddar is sort of a natural for a soup of this kind. Umami galore!
I think any soup application is superior to just about anything else for saving freezer burned veg. A veg curry works beautifully too -- same principles at work, obviously. You're fixing the "dry" part of freezer burn by simmering and disguising the "funny-tasting" part of freezer burn with stronger flavors.
The soup sounds delish. I have also found myself in this situation and if the veggies are not too far gone, I will do a quick saute using garlic infused olive oil, chopped shallots or onions and any other spices I have lying around that I think will complement. It usually turns out well as the quick stir fry disguises any less than stellar parts of the veggies.