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Your Favorite Frozen Food Products

I was never big on using frozen food until recently, but I've found a few products that I'm going to keep stocked:

1. William Sonoma Chocolate Croissants--about as close to Paris without flying there.

2. TJ's Frozen Mango Chunks--Eaten frozen they taste like a mango popsicle and they are low in calories.

3. TJ's Dorot frozen cubes of garlic and basil--love them

4. TJ's frozen brussel sprouts--for some reason they haven't been in stock for over a month, but they are sweet and delicious.

5. TJ's sliced frozen peppers--these are great to add to omelets, stir frys, etc.

Any products you can share?

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  1. Peas, peas, peas. Great to add to Thai dishes, risottos (risotti?), or have as a salad mixed with peanuts and mayonnaise. I *always* have frozen peas in the freezer. The other thing I always have is a selection of berries so I can run up a summer pudding if I suddenly find loads of people coming for supper. The juice runs fast from frozen fruits, so they are ideal. Oh. And ice cream....... I always seem to have bags of frozen breadcrumbs, which I couldn't live without. I live in a town that has no decent baker, so when I see good breads I buy them and cut them up and freeze them. The rest of the freezer seems to be home made stock! But that's different. Peas, peas, peas for me!

    I also (though I shouldn't admit to this) keep a pack of my husband's cigars (well, cigarillos I suppose). He occasionally wants one late at night and without warning, so it's nice to go there and fish them out. It keeps them fresh as it might be six months before he wants one and can't find one. So there's usually a packet of Hamlet lurking among the blackberries and redcurrants. Not what you want to hear I suspect!

    7 Replies
    1. re: Foodlexi

      Can you tell me more about the breadcrumbs? Are you taking the leftover bread that became stale and freezing it in cubes and then turning into breadcrumbs. Ashamed to say that I've never made breadcrumbs.

      1. re: DaisyM

        I've just done this recently for the first time. Leftover bread, sliced and dried out on low heat in the oven, and then broken into smaller pieces and crushed in a ziplock bag (and transferred to another, as I feared breakage on that one). I stuck that in the freezer. Really easy to do. I'm going to do it again with some leftover ciabatta today or tomorrow.

        1. re: haiku.

          I don't even dry mine out in the oven. Once the bread has got past the really fresh stage I just whizz it in a processor and put it in a bag and thence into the freezer. I suppose that is because I generally use fresh rather than dried breadcrumbs anyway. That's because I am English (?) and so I don't do Southern Fried Chicken type dishes - more things like escalopes dipped in egg and breadcrumbs or I might grate courgettes (zucchini) when there are masses of them, mix it with egg and Parmesan cheese and then roll balls of the mix in 'fresh' breadcrumbs and fry them - or left over risotto, again, boudn with egg and then rolled in 'fresh' breadcrumbs and fried - oh heaven. The remains of asparagus risotto after a night in the fridge. Mmmm.

      2. re: Foodlexi

        I'm with you on peas, and also love to have a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer. I can defrost a handful in just a few minutes for a quick dinner.

        1. re: Foodlexi

          I agree about frozen green peas. And I like to have a bag of Wyman's frozen wild blueberries in the freezer. And I usually have a bag of frozen corn. I add corn to chillis and bean dishes. Sometimes I even cook some of it.

          1. re: sueatmo

            Frozen peas
            Frozen corn
            Pictsweet Family size frozen spinach...easy to just grab a handful or 2 and nuke or add to whatever
            WF 365 house brand of frozen organic wild blueberries
            Not really into frozen meals but I keep one or two at work for lunch on those 'just in case' days...Organic Bistro Salmon Patty with rice and pea blend on the side, really delish, very low in sodium and all the other nastiness involved in frozen foods

          2. re: Foodlexi

            Another vote for frozen peas. Great addition to so many things, a salad, a soup, a stew, or tossed in the pasta water for the last few minutes... Sometimes when I'm coming home tired I'll get plain rice from the Chinese place across the street for a dollar, and just have peas & rice with butter. Very comforting.

          3. Peas and shrimp and some frozen fruit.

            Have you tried the Trader Joe's version of the chocolate croissants? Very similar to the WS version, many speculate it is the same bakery. Long thread on 'chowhound.

            1 Reply
            1. re: JudiAU

              I LOVE the frozen chocolate croissants from TJ. They also have a small frozen apple blossom that is to die for!! I hate to admit to using these frozen products but the other good thing about them is that I can actually limit myself to just ONE!!

            2. Ditto on the TJ mango chunks. Hubby is from India, and even he prefers the frozen mango chunks to fresh. On a really hot summer day, a semi-thawed bowl of chunks is heavenly.

              1. Baby peas--always keep a couple bags in the freezer;
                Peach chunks--strawberries for smoothies and oatmeal;
                Stouffer's lasagna (great when I don't feel like cooking);
                Stouffer's spinach souffle (I use it to stuff boneless chicken breast);
                Shrimp for a quick meal;
                Friendly's ice cream.

                1. I agree with the peas. A recipe in the new food and wine (pea and bacon risotto) calls for frozen peas, which I found interesting....since you can find fresh ones now at the farmers markets.
                  But it does call for fresh pea shoots. Can't wait to make it.
                  Thanks for the frozen mango idea. That sounds heavenly!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: perk

                    I also agree with the peas. And pearl onions, which I don't like to peel fresh. Also, Walmart carries huge bags of various types of stir fry vegetables and packets of sauce, which are quite good, and will be supper in 10 minutes in a pinch, so I always have at least one of those in the freezer. Lots of price chopper large cans of orange juice. At least 6 bags a week of mixed berries for breakfast smoothies. At least 4 packages of frozen chopped spinach, which I use to make spinach meatballs from Gina's skinny kitchen. A couple of weight watcher friendly frozen meals to take to work for lunches in a pinch. A couple of kinds of sausages...right now, a chicken andoiulle and a locally made sweet italian sausage. Several bags of shredded Mexican blend and Italian blend 2% cheeses. A huge zip loc about 1/2 filled with several smaller zip locs full of different kinds of nuts. A bottle of Limoncello. Ice. Princess and "Cars" ice packs. A boo-boo bunny.

                  2. stouffers mac and cheese
                    ben and jerrys phish food
                    swanson xxl southern fried chicken
                    zatarains cajun chicken and pasta

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: srsone

                      Swanson fried chicken??? Is this the same that was in the frozen dinners?

                      1. re: DaisyM

                        yes..the hungry man xxl tv dinner...

                    2. TJ has a frozen flounder filet stuffed with crabmeat (for $2.99!) that tastes like you went out to dinner. Also their frozen Lava Cake is good, and the frozen croissants that you set up the night before on a cookie sheet on the counter overnight so they can thaw and rise then in AM you bake them for 15 minutes. And the frozen pineapple.And the gnocchi with gorgonzola. And the risotto. And of course the little bitty green beans and the broccoli flowerets. Mango mochi for dessert.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Querencia

                        How do you use the frozen pineapple?

                        1. I love frozen corn. I put it in everything that my husband can tolerate. Usually it ends up in the leftovers that I will only eat. But I will put it in fried rice, soups, chili, spaghetti sauce, with other veggies...really, I believe corn can go with anything;o)

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: BombayUpWithaTwist

                            I've never found a non-mushy frozen corn so I stick with canned or fresh Indiana cobs. Can you recommend a good brand? My favorite freezer products are ones that remind me of college:

                            Totino's party pizza
                            Mr. Dee's hash brown patties
                            Tina's beef and green chile burritos
                            Swanson pot pies
                            Nestle drumsticks
                            Kamchatka vodka

                            1. re: RealMenJulienne

                              Here in Los Angeles, I just get Birds Eye - C&W frozen corn. I like the petite sweet white corn or the mixed white & yellow corn. I've never had a problem with mushiness.

                          2. Trader Joe's frozen Chocolate Croissants, excellent.
                            Trader Joe's frozen Roasted Corn, for Black Bean Salsa all summer, again excellent.
                            Market Basket frozen pizza dough, thaw out all day in a bowl, again excellent.
                            Agree with everyone on frozen peas.
                            Gold Star brand frozen jumbo Shrimp (uncooked).
                            Costco's frozen Tilapia.
                            Costco's frozen Sea Scallops.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: mcel215

                              I've been buying the 5 pound bags of Costco frozen tilapia and love them. They thaw in cold water in no time at all and there are lots of ways to cook them. At $3.00 a pound they can't be beat. Been going through 3-4 pounds a week.

                              1. re: mcel215

                                Trader Joe's has a frozen fire roasted onions and peppers combo that can speed up a weeknight ratatouille or any dish calling for sauteed peppers..

                                1. re: Berheenia

                                  TJ's was sampling a quick gumbo dish last month that used the fire roasted onions and peppers you mentioned, along with chicken andouille sausage and arrabbiata sauce. I made rice and had a very easy, tasty supper. Will buy those peppers again and add them to Italian sausage and peppers. Not only is it convenient, but fresh red bell peppers can get awfully pricey! This product is nice to have around.

                                  1. re: Berheenia

                                    Sorry it took me so long to see this, thanks. I'll grab a bag next time I am in there!

                                2. I agree with all the TJ's recommendations, but would just add their frozen naan. 2 mins in the oven straight from frozen and it's a wonderful & quick addition to any meal!
                                  I also like the Alexia brand products (natural/organic foods section at Kroger). I keep their wheat rolls and spicy sweet potato fries on hand all the time. Anything I can pop in a 400-deg oven for 15-20mins while I work at the stove/grill is a great, easy addition.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: jboeke

                                    Yes, the nan is great. If we get take out Indian, I always pop them in the oven. I also keep TJ's mini baguettes in the freezer. They are very good.

                                    1. re: jboeke

                                      Yep, we love that frozen naan too. Also, I'm never without TJ's frozen roasted corn, artichokes, and various types of frozen berries.

                                      1. re: jboeke

                                        Yup about the frozen naan at TJs. Plus, that package has 4 pieces and is less expensive than the Tandoor Oven brand, which only has 3 pieces.

                                      2. I'm with you on the frozen fruit -- it's often better and cheaper than fresh. I also buy a lot of frozen vegetable mixes to use in stir-fries and soups. The ones from the Korean store nearby have really interesting combinations with lotus root and shiitake mushrooms, etc.

                                        I don't buy frozen meals, but once in a while, I buy frozen veggie burgers for last-minute meals.

                                        1. Frozen organic peas are almost always better than substandard fresh ones, IMO.
                                          Hey Daisy? The mango chunks thing? I just wanted to let you know that you can mash really ripe mangoes at home and pack into custard cups and freeze; papaya too. Makes for an awesome, almost-instant sorbet, if you feel like taking the time.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: mamachef

                                            When we have juicy mangoes I can't imagine having the control not to eat them all! But it is a great idea.

                                          2. For junk food, I love Tater Tots :o)

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. Peas, corn, TJ's super sweet or roasted, sometimes skinny green beans, shrimp, shell on, skinny french fries.

                                              1. Frozxen veggies and various prepared potatoes(tots, fries etc) and meat that I buy every fall.

                                                Will I be shunned if I admit that I love frozen pot pies for a fast winter dinner?

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Kelli2006

                                                  What's wrong with frozen pot pies?

                                                2. Frozen Asian dumplings - shu mai, potstickers, whatever. I like the big bag of Ling Ling chicken/veg potsitckers from Costco.

                                                  Frozen strawberries, IQF or sweetened. They turn vanilla anything into something special.

                                                  Cuisine Solutions braised lamb shanks from Costco. Not cheap, but fine-restaurant good.

                                                  1. - TJ's: artichoke hearts, organic wild blueberries, strawberries & raspberries, sea scallops, wild uncooked shrimp
                                                    - Sambazon acai packs (for smoothies)
                                                    - Woodstock Farms: organic lima beans, broccoli florets, green peas & frozen mixed berries

                                                    1. I love frozen veggies.

                                                      1. Frozen green onion pancakes from Taiwan are almost always quite good. Some brands are a bit better than others, but usually they are good and easy to prepare.

                                                        1. Coupla things I keep on hand in the freezer for evenings when I''m feeling exhausted, ill, or just lazier than usual: cheap mini ravioli, Stouffer's mac & cheese, and PIEROGIES.

                                                          A block of frozen chopped spinach. Frozen waffles (Nutri-Grain). The abovementioned peas, or course, probably my most often-used frozen product. One or two other veggies and some fruit. And usually a carton of ice cream or sherbet.

                                                          1. Hatch green chiles- I think they are just called New Mexico brand if I recall. I do get fresh roasted and peel and freeze them in the fall after the harvest for over-winter use but my freezer just isn't big enough for my yearly consumption. So when the winter stuff runs out- It's the New Mexico brand and they work just fine and are cheap and I have no problem finding the hot ones. Canned green chiles, on the other hand, are an abomination and should be outlawed!

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: LorenM

                                                              Jumbo Butterflied Shrimp. I wait for them to go on sale and then stock up.

                                                              Popsicles. Enjoyed on a hot day.

                                                            2. My late night snack has taken a healthy turn and I boil up some Edamame. Either in or out of shell. And you can't buy them fresh so...frozen.

                                                              1. I don't buy much frozen foods, but I do always have a bag of frozen sea scallops, wild bluberries, frozen strawberries, Ben & Jerry's Pistachio Pistachio ice cream, and Green Giant vegetables. Green Giant has a healthy vision mix, a healthy digestion, they are really good. One is white beans, spinach, and carrots. There is a barley, carrot and snap peas. A carrot and zucchini mix...
                                                                They really came in handy last winter when I was missing our vegetable garden.