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newchef

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  1. OK, the consensus seems to be that I can freeze the sauce, although I should heat it up and stir it first to un-break the sauce before throwing it in the oven. FWIW, some freezer-friendly recipes I’ve seen have heavy cream as an ingredient, so that helps our case as well. Thanks everyone!
  2. I'm trying to make a Roasted Poblano and Black Bean Enchilada recipe and I don't know if the tomatillo cream sauce will be freezer-friendly. Basically I process the following ingredients in a food processor to make the cream sauce. I plan on freezing the sauce in ice-cube trays for individual servings. The sauce will then be thawed and spread on a baking dish and also used to top the enchiladas and cook in a 400 degree oven. Thanks! INGREDIENTS: -26 ounces canned tomatillos, drained -1 onion -1/2 cup cilantro leaves -1/3 cup vegetable broth -1/4 cup heavy cream -1 tbsp vegetable oil -3 garlic cloves -1 tbsp lime juice -1 tsp sugar -1 tsp salt
  3. Hi! I just made this recipe from Marcella Hazan's "Essentials of Italian Cooking" (pg. 153) and it was amazing. However, I realized something odd: when the sauce was done, there were still largely chopped bits of celery and carrot in the sauce. I didn't really know if those should stay IN the sauce (although they were tender, it would be odd to have them in there, wouldn't it?) or if I should strain them out. I tried straining them out and it didn't turn out so well What I ended up with was a decent amount of sauce and a bunch of saucy pieces of veggies left over (see pic), no doubt with wasted sauce still clinging to the veggies. Do people eat this kind of sauce with finely diced/minced veggies still in it? Do they just put a few large pieces of carrots and celery in the sauce and then remove after cooking? And if they do the latter, how would I know how much a piece of carrot or celery equals "2/3 cup chopped" of each? Should I just chop the celery/carrots into the same size as I did this time, put them in the 2/3 measuring cup, weigh the 2/3 cup, and then use a piece of carrot and celery that weighs the same as the chopped 2/3 cup and then dump the pieces in the sauce and then remove them at the end? See recipe ingredients below. Thanks! -2 pounds fresh tomatoes -2/3 cup chopped carrot -2/3 cup chopped celery -2/3 cup chopped onion -salt -1/3 cup EVOO
  4. Hello,I'm eyeing a rice recipe for a make-ahead side that I'll cook, vacuum seal (Foodsaver) and then freeze. Do people do such things? Does the freezing ruin the texture of the cooked rice? I'm thinking of refrigerating the finished product for an hour or two and then breaking up the rice as much as possible before freezing so the rice doesn't clump together into one block when freezing.This may not be necessary, though, if the reheating process loosens up the rice again.Ideally I'd like to create my own version of those "microwave in bag" rice/veggie medleys that Birds' Eye and Green Giant offer; I'd just take the bag out of the freezer and drop the bag in some boiling water to re-heat it, or throw the bag in the microwave. Below I've included the ingredients and the gist of the recipe.Thanks!--------------------------------1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil-1 small onion-1 1/2 cups Basmati rice-2 garlic cloves, minced-1/2 tsp ground turmeric-1/4 tsp ground cinnamon-2 1/4 cups water-1/4 cup currants-1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted1) Saute onion with salt and oil until softened, then add rice, garlic, turmeric and cinnamon and cook until grain edges begin to turn translucent.2) Stir in water and bring to simmer. Simmer gently until rice is tender and water is absorbed.3) Off heat, sprinkle currants over pilaf. Cover, laying clean dish towel underneath lid, and let pilaf sit for 10 minutes. Add almonds to pilaf and fluff gently with fork to combine.
  5. Thanks lindag! By "small opening" do you mean a small hole (like from an icepick or something) or just leaving the zipper open a little?
  6. Thanks to you guys, I took the plunge and bought the Foodsaver FM-2435 ECR and played around with it over the weekend. Can definitely see the potential. So far it's been (mostly) great. It excels at medium/large solid foods (frozen cubes of sauce, big hunks of frozen ziti, chicken breast, and hazelnuts). However, it has not worked well at all for fine/powdery foods, like ground paprika, cayenne and chili flakes. The bags don't really "seal" these items well -- if I upturn the bags, I can see the powder fall to the top of the bag -- doesn't seem vacuum sealed to me. This is a problem, as these pantry items are a majority of what I want to seal -- dried herbs in particular (oregano, parsley) seem to go flat before my eyes. Would a sealed mason jar work better for this kind of stuff? My gut says yes, but I found this page that suggests sealing powders in a jar may pose problems. However, the site also mentions some tips/tricks to ensure the jars seal such as aerating the powder with a few jabs of the back of a spoon and putting a coffee filter over the spices and then sealing. PS: I will be using this jar sealer kit for sealing the spices in mason jars. Thanks!
  7. Wow, thanks to everyone for their advice. So helpful! I think I'll take the plunge and order the Foodsaver.
  8. Hello! I'm a single home cook who's giving the weight loss thing a go (yeah, yeah). Losing weight while cooking appealing meals for one is a formidable challenge. Then it hit me: wouldn't it be fantastic if I could stock my freezer with vacuum-packed meals that I make on Sundays to eat on weeknights? Good question. I'm completely new to vacuum sealing and only have a general idea of what you can and can't vacuum and then freeze (dairy and fresh herbs seem to be the main ones that don't work very well). Certainly, I'll be sealing/freezing a lot of stock, casseroles and pasta sauces but I'd like to see if other dishes could work as well. I'll most likely be using the Foodsaver FM2435-ECR I recently bought The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook by America's Test Kitchen and there are some recipes in there that I think would make good freezer fodder. Below I've given a summary of the ingredients and prep notes of some of the recipes and would love to get some feedback if they would vacuum and freeze well for long-term (3-6 months) storage. Thanks in advance for any tips! 1) Herbed Basmati Rice and Pasta Pilaf: -basmati rice -Extra Virgin Olive Oil -vermicelli pasta (this will be simmered with rice in chicken broth along with the onion and garlic) -chopped onion -minced garlic -chicken broth PREP NOTE: Essentially you just add all ingredients into a saucepan and let simmer until tender. I'd then vacuum seal the finished dish into portioned bags and freeze. 2) Spiced Baked Rice with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Fennel: -sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed -Extra Virgin Olive Oil -Fennel, chopped fine -onion, chopped fine -white rice -minced garlic -ras el hanout (a ground spice mix of stuff like coriander seeds, cumin, anise, allspice berries, ground ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon) -chicken broth -brined green olives PREP NOTE: Basically you roast the potatoes and add them to a pot with sauteed fennel and onion along with the rice, garlic and ras el hanout. Then you stir in the broth and olives, bring to a boil, and put the pot in the oven to reduce the stock. Finally, you add the roasted potatoes to the pot with everything else. I'd then put this finished dish in vacuum sealed bags in the freezer. 3) Sauteed Chicken Cutlets with Romesco Sauce -white sandwich bread torn into pieces -toasted and skinned hazelnuts -extra virgin olive oil -sliced garlic -jarred roasted red peppers -sherry vinegar -honey -smoked paprika -cayenne pepper PREP NOTE: Here I'll toast the bread and hazelnuts in a skillet with the oil and then add the garlic to the pan. Then I'll put it in a food processor and pulse and then add then add the rest of the ingredients to the processor to make the sauce. I'll then transfer the sauce to the vacuum bags and freeze. 4) Chicken in Turkish Walnut Sauce -extra virgin olive oil -onion, chopped fine -paprika -minced garlic -cayenne pepper -white sandwich bread, torn into pieces -toasted walnuts -chicken broth PREP NOTE: Onion will be sauteed, and paprika, garlic and cayenne will be added to onion in the pan until fragrant. Then I'll transfer the onion mixture to the food processor and add the chicken broth, bread, and walnuts and pulse until smooth. I'll then vacuum and freeze the sauce into individual serving bags. 5) Sauteed Cauliflower with Turmeric -cauliflower -chicken broth -turmeric -extra virgin olive oil -lemon juice -minced garlic PREP NOTE: I'll add cauliflower to heated broth in a skillet and then cover for a few minutes. I'll then toss the cauliflower with the oil, garlic and lemon juice. Then I'll vacuum and freeze in portioned bags.
  9. Thanks for the help everyone! I may just get the 3" pans if they allow me to do more down the line.
  10. OK, so this is my very first time baking a cake (!) and I have a recipe that calls for two 6" cake pans. I'm going to purchase two Magic Line cake pans, but this company offers a 6 x 2" model and a 6 x 3" model. Is one better than the other, or does the depth not matter too much? Thanks for answering my rookie question!
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