Saturday, August 20, 2011

Freezer Cooking

I found this great tip on a comment from this blog:

Take your favorite slow-cooker recipe (no potatoes, though, they don't freeze well). Prepare the ingredients up to the point when you would throw them in the slow cooker. Then throw them (minus water) in a gallon freezer bag instead and freeze.

To use the frozen-slow-cooker-contents method requires a little bit more planning on the day you're going to serve -- you have to defrost the bag, overnight in the fridge or in the microwave, and then put it in the slow cooker in the morning before you want to eat it, adding any water right then. But a big advantage is that the food is only "cooked" once, rather than cooked/thawed/reheated, and so it retains its texture a bit better. Just write on the bag how many hours, whether it needs to be on HI or LO, and how much water to add.

If the meat doesn't need to be browned, so much the better -- you can then toss frozen raw meat right into the bag with vegetables and such.

Another trick I like to use is to brown a whole lot of ground beef with onion and freeze the browned mixture in bags -- ready to be defrosted, seasoned, and made into no-fuss chili, tacos, sloppy joes, etc.

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