Mise en Place in your freezer - what are you stocking your freezers with, Chowhounds?
We've all heard of Once a Month Cooking. The horrors of badly reheated meals, the luxury of the occasional no-cook night... it all depends on who you're talking to, and how they're doing it! As chowhounds, we probably love cooking too much to really buy in to only doing it in crazy one-day marathons, but what about those freezer staples that you swear by? For me, I'm talking about the stash of Twice Baked Potatoes (courtesy of A Turtles Life For Me), the blocks of frozen pie dough, and the caramalized onions that are chilling in my freezer, ready to make cooking a little faster and a lot more delicious at a moments notice!
What are your favorite stand-bys to make extra of and freeze?
I make meal kits.
For instance, I bought 5# of frozen crawfish. So I split it up into 4 bags with a quarter of a diced onion, an andouille linked cut up, and small pouch of flat beer. I always have corn on the cob in my freezer so when I feel lazy, I can do crawfish boils very quickly.
Another kit would be my oxtail kit. When I get low I start searching the meat departments and when I see them reduced for quick sell I pick them up and toss them in my freezer which I pair up with round steak also on sale. So when I make my soup, they are bagged together for ease of use.
But mostly it's pre-bagged veggie mixes I blended as I like them.
I like to make marinated or rubbed meats in ziplocs that I can just defrost and cook when ready. They work beautifully as ice blocks in a cooler on camping trips.
I recently have made pork vindaloo package. Fajitas, hamburgers, steaks and ribs have all been frozen with a rub or marinade.
We didn't do it this winter, but my fiance usually adds spices to a few of the venison steaks before they go in the freezer. Usually its just something simple like garlic powder and lemon pepper, but its nice for when he's cooking for himself. Just thaw and throw in the skillet.
Whenever I make manicotti or stuffed shells, I always have extra to put in the freezer. I portion out the stuffed shells into individual portions and freeze them that way, but with the manicotti I do an entire 8x8 foil dish. I've also done mini meatloafs (meatloaves?)
I also freeze leftover wine (I know, a travesty, but I can't drink enough before it goes bad) and pesto into ice cube trays. Once frozen I dump them into ziploc bags. Each cube is about 2 tbsp.