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Good foods: frozen, thawed and reheated


Darienne
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TheCulinaryLibrary said on 23 September 2011

"No matter how lovingly cooked and wonderful smelling something is when I freeze it, it always has that unloved, abandoned, frozen-hearted feel when thawed."

This in response to my question about unexpected guests and what to feed them. I often feel exactly the same way. Family eats reheated thawed dishes...company doesn't. Well, not until I am satisfied with what I am able to freeze, thaw and reheat.

So, this time the question is: what are your best finished dishes, casseroles, curries, chiles, meats, etc which not only FREEZE the best, but also THAW and REHEAT the best?

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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I have a white chicken chile casserole that freezes and reheats really well. I serve it with yellow rice and it's a perfect winter meal, although really rich!

If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown

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Rendang, I have three portions of it in my freezer right at this moment. I never cook and it eat it right away as everyone knows it's better the day after. Well it's pretty good after a couple of months in the freezer too. I usually vac pack it so I can warm it through in a water bath straight from frozen.

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Son got me a Food Saver that allows food to freeze almost air free. I have been surprised at how fresh food tastes after a month or so in the freezer. Food like country ham, chili, and smoked BBQ brisket and pork shoulder.

Edited by Norm Matthews (log)
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I have a white chicken chile casserole that freezes and reheats really well. I serve it with yellow rice and it's a perfect winter meal, although really rich!

I'd like that recipe!!! Please. I really need some chicken recipes. I am not fond of chicken, but it's always safe to serve. So many people it seems no longer want to eat beef...and never did eat pork anyway.

Thanks. :wub:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Rendang, I have three portions of it in my freezer right at this moment. I never cook and it eat it right away as everyone knows it's better the day after. Well it's pretty good after a couple of months in the freezer too. I usually vac pack it so I can warm it through in a water bath straight from frozen.

I googled Rendang and it sounds very delicious. Can you share your recipe, please?

Thanks. :wub:

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Sous vided meats.

You can sous vide heat them up again at the same temperature.

Good as new texture-wise and flavor-wise.

dcarch

There is some degradation once the meat is frozen and stored. Ice crystals form and break cell walls, releasing juices. The longer an item is frozen the more damage will occur as the ice crystals increase in size. This happens in most home freezers, especially those with self-defrost cycles. From my experience, it affects both raw and cooked meats.

I tend to rely on stews, soups for quick from frozen meals. Also, I often make an excess of sauce to make a quick meal from frozen. This works especially well with things like mac and cheese where the sauce can be frozen. Sure, the whole meal isn't frozen, but there is little to no quality loss this way.

Andrew Vaserfirer aka avaserfi

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I keep a selection of ready-to-go meals in the freezer, usually individually packed in storage containers, and then bagged. Successes have included: Teriyaki-sauce chicken or beef, sometimes with blanched vegetables beside; apple pie - unbaked; tomato sauce and ragu; meatballs - beef, turkey, chicken, cooked, "IQF", and in baggies; meatloaf baked in muffin pans; stuffed baked potatoes; stuffed chicken breasts - not cooked, but with the coating on, ready to bake; a variety of soups; portions of fish, seasoned or stuffed, uncooked; mac and cheese, in a foil pan, ready to bake; cassoulet.

Maybe a lot of people on egullet only cook from fresh items, purchased each day... but I don't always have time for that.

Karen Dar Woon

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I make and freeze perogies - they cook from frozen in minutes and I can't tell the difference from fresh. I have tried to make filled pastas, but they always burst in the freezer on me.

Chicken or pork wontons that then cook directly in broth have been successful. Green onion pancakes a bit less so - I freeze them uncooked. They work well when I defrost them before panfrying them but they don't keep terribly long.

I have been thinking about making pelmeni (siberian meat-stuffed dumplings) and freezing those - I've read elsewhere that pelmeni and perogies were traditionally made in large quantities and stored in the 'outdoor freezer' during winter. Commercial ones I've purchased locally have been delicious. I saw an excerpt on SBS' Food Lovers' Guide to Australia where White Russian immigrants who had come to Australia via China discussed eating them with soy sauce and coriander/cilantro sauces. Traditional accompaniments are sour cream or butter.

I realise you asked for 'cook and defrost' dishes, but to me these are in the same vein as there's no actual preparation involved when you're ready to eat, just boiling or simple pan frying.

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I make and freeze perogies - they cook from frozen in minutes and I can't tell the difference from fresh. I have tried to make filled pastas, but they always burst in the freezer on me.

Chicken or pork wontons that then cook directly in broth have been successful. Green onion pancakes a bit less so - I freeze them uncooked. They work well when I defrost them before panfrying them but they don't keep terribly long.

I have been thinking about making pelmeni (siberian meat-stuffed dumplings) and freezing those - I've read elsewhere that pelmeni and perogies were traditionally made in large quantities and stored in the 'outdoor freezer' during winter. Commercial ones I've purchased locally have been delicious. I saw an excerpt on SBS' Food Lovers' Guide to Australia where White Russian immigrants who had come to Australia via China discussed eating them with soy sauce and coriander/cilantro sauces. Traditional accompaniments are sour cream or butter.

I realise you asked for 'cook and defrost' dishes, but to me these are in the same vein as there's no actual preparation involved when you're ready to eat, just boiling or simple pan frying.

I tend to do the same thing with any dumpling, including gnocchi. Shape and freeze on a tray, then move to a bag. Just toss directly in the steamer or boiling water and cook until done. I have noticed little to no quality degradation. That said, I have also prepared precooked gnocchi and froze them for a quick meal. It works well, but I don't think it is as good as cooking from frozen.

I've been eating pelmeni and vareniki (the region's version of a pierogi) since I was a little kid - my parents are from the region. We always made a huge batch and froze the excess, cooking from frozen. It works very well with both store bought wrappers and homemade doughs. I still do it today, but now I always make the dough myself.

We always ate pelmeni with sour cream and fresh cracked pepper. Vareniki with melted butter on lightly browned onions.

Andrew Vaserfirer aka avaserfi

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