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Freezer-burnt vegetable emergency fix

dmd_kc Apr 29, 2009 05:50 PM

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:

Broccoli/cauliflower/carrot mix
Brussels sprouts
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.

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    baseballfan RE: dmd_kc Apr 29, 2009 06:05 PM

    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.

    1. goodhealthgourmet RE: dmd_kc Apr 29, 2009 06:18 PM

      i've found that certain savory, umami ingredients such as tamari and nutritional yeast can really help.

      and re: the "dull green color" of your soup, you could always deepen it by blending in some blanched fresh herbs before straining.

      3 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
        LauraGrace RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 29, 2009 06:35 PM

        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.

        1. re: LauraGrace
          goodhealthgourmet RE: LauraGrace Apr 29, 2009 06:37 PM

          "And re: umami, cheddar is sort of a natural for a soup of this kind. Umami galore!"
          or Parm!

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
            dmd_kc RE: goodhealthgourmet Apr 29, 2009 06:43 PM

            What great ideas. Tomorrow, it gets cheese!

      2. ipsedixit RE: dmd_kc Apr 29, 2009 10:44 PM

        Fold it into a frittata.

        1. c
          chelsea1955 RE: dmd_kc Jan 25, 2010 03:31 PM

          I used your advice to season things up. Worschesire (sp) sauce seems to help out, too.

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