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Feb 19, 2013 06:59 AM

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?

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  1. I often have some sort of home made tomato sauce in the freezer.

    Your post made me automatically think of mire poix. I use so much of that. I wonder if you could freeze it in portions? That would be handy.

    3 Replies
      1. re: cleopatra999

        Just be aware that the frozen onions will look 'wrong' when you first begin to heat them--they'll lose a lot of water, but eventually they will return to a perfectly fine onion.

        1. re: cleopatra999

          What an amazing idea. I'm going to be making mire poix for a soup tonight. Perhaps I'll multiply it and freeze!

        2. 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.

          1. 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.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

              re: ground beef--I sometimes will brown a large package, take out what we need for the night, then freeze (unseasoned) the remainder in portion-size baggies. Saves some time when we next want some tacos or somesuch.

              1. re: pine time

                That's one of my husband's favorites! I like to -pardon the pun- beef up our ground hamburger with whatever vegetables are around and leave them for him when I'm out of town... It gives him a great shortcut and some options for his notoriously "creative" cooking.

              2. re: Dirtywextraolives

                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.

              3. Chicken stock, cooked chickpeas or black beans, and lasagna (which rarely stays there long).

                1. 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.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: juliejulez

                    Oh I forgot I also freeze chipotles in adobo. I can rarely use up the whole can before they would go bad, so I freeze them in little baggies of 2 along with some sauce in each one.

                    1. re: juliejulez

                      I do this with chipotles and tomato paste, too. If you flatten out the baggies, you can easily break off a chunk when you need it, since neither of them seems to get really rock-hard in the freezer.

                      1. re: biondanonima

                        Me three with chipotles in adobo, I puree a can or two at a time and put it in a container in the freezer. Its easy to scrape out what I need with a spoon.