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Meal building blocks for the freezer

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  • Bexstars
    Bexstars Posts: 365 Forumite
    Great idea's there thriftylady! I will deffinatly be making the tomato sauce for the freezer and I never thought of freezing white sauce. I have a 20 month old and often do cheese sauces for her from a basic white sauce.

    I only wish I had a bigger freezer or room for a second one. I just have a small 3 draw intergrated one that gets very full very quickly
  • Excellent thread there thriftlady :) I am more of the freezing leftovers school rather than making up huge batches for the freezer ( only me to cater for ! and a moderate sized freezer) so a lot of that is very useful.

    Now, I've never frozen down cheese per se, but I bought a lovely big block of cheddar today reduced to 1.24 - so has anyone got any tips for the best way to freeze/store grated cheese ? Ta ever so :)
    " Baggy, and a bit loose at the seams.. "
    ~ November 8th 2008. Now totally DEBT FREE !~
  • vonph1
    vonph1 Posts: 181 Forumite
    First Post Photogenic First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Hi Kitty

    I usually grate a couple of large blocks of mature cheddar (it is on bogof often) to freeze. It is stored in a freezer bag and I just take out what I need for a recipe or sandwiches. It defrosts quite quickly.

    Von
  • thriftlady wrote: »
    Veg base- Now this one is as yet untried in the freezer, but I intend to make a batch later this week. I got the idea for the veg from Nigella. Some of her recipes aimed at children start with onions, garlic, celery, carrots, peppers all blitzed together in the food processor so they are very finely chopped. She then fries them as a base for stewy/soupy type dishes. This is a brilliant wheeze for disguising lots of veg. I add courgette (peeled so there is no giveaway green), mushrooms and leeks too.

    It occured to me that there was no reason why I couldn't whizz up a huge batch and freeze it raw in small containers. I'm sure it would defrost quickly straight in the pan.

    :)
    Update - this has been a tremendous success. I now have lots of little bags and tubs full of finely chopped veg mixtures in my freezer. I'm using them almost every day. Here's a pic of the batch I've just done- onions, garlic, celery, pepper and mushroom. The mushrooms and pepper were getting a bit soft so that has saved me chucking them out. The pic's a bit blurred I'm afraid.

    00050.jpg

    I will wash out the plastic bags and keep them solely for this purpose as they smell pretty oniony even after washing. I just put the veg still frozen into a frying pan with a some already-hot oil, it breaks up quite easily if you set about it with a fork. I freeze it in 2-3 heaping tbsp amounts. It is also possible to break chunks off and return the rest to the freezer, or let it defrost in the fridge for the next day.I'm finding this a fantastic timesaver ;)

    Edit: This is only suitable for veg you want to use for something fairly wet like sauce, soup or stews. The veg give off a lot of water when you cook them so they're no good for browned, crispy onions for example.
  • gingababe
    gingababe Posts: 1,040 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I have been following this thread & am getting sorted to do some batch cooking, but what do you put them in to store in the freezer???


    Thanks
    Ginga
  • thriftlady_2
    thriftlady_2 Posts: 9,128 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post I've been Money Tipped!
    I have a lot of these tubs from Lakeland http://www.lakeland.co.uk/product.aspx/kitchenideas/containers!3033_3031_3029_3030 I use sizes A and B for freezing stuff. I don't freeze whole meals for my family so I don't need big containers. I use size D for storing dry good in though and they'd be good for a big family-sized meal.

    I also freeze a lot of stuff in plastic bags- berries, the veg base mentioned above, sliced cooked meat, grated cheese, crumble mix and loaves of bread all go in bags of varying sizes. Lakeland do a good range of sizes.

    HTH:)
  • gingababe
    gingababe Posts: 1,040 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    thriftlady wrote: »
    I have a lot of these tubs from Lakeland http://www.lakeland.co.uk/product.aspx/kitchenideas/containers!3033_3031_3029_3030 I use sizes A and B for freezing stuff. I don't freeze whole meals for my family so I don't need big containers. I use size D for storing dry good in though and they'd be good for a big family-sized meal.

    I also freeze a lot of stuff in plastic bags- berries, the veg base mentioned above, sliced cooked meat, grated cheese, crumble mix and loaves of bread all go in bags of varying sizes. Lakeland do a good range of sizes.

    HTH:)



    Thanks, will have a look :j
  • Olliebeak
    Olliebeak Posts: 3,167 Forumite
    These are the ones that I use for storing things for the fridge/freezer - cheap as chips!

    http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/10098256


    I hadn't thought about freezing pre-cooked ingredients that would be flexible for lots of different dishes - absolutely brilliant idea :T !

    'Building blocks' - love the name :rotfl: :rotfl:
  • joannasmum
    joannasmum Posts: 1,145 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    One of my building blocks is very made up batter. I make it in and freeze in half pint batches use it for Toad in the hole, Yorkshire puds (often make big ones and put roast left overs in it) and pancakes. Its great for using up eggs.
    Sorting my life out one day at a time
  • thriftlady_2
    thriftlady_2 Posts: 9,128 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post I've been Money Tipped!
    Just wanted to add that the veg base above has worked brilliantly in a puff pastry cheese tart we had for lunch.

    Roll out a block of ready-made butter puff pastry (or homemade of course). Spread with veg base (in this case I hadn't frozen it, but defrosted would work well), cover with thinly sliced cheese and bake at 200c for 25 mins. Delicious and the kids all ate it without suspicion ;)
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