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Meal building blocks for the freezer



  • thriftlady_2
    thriftlady_2 Posts: 9,128 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post I've been Money Tipped!
    Seakay wrote: »
    How long do you allow for defrosting your building blocks? I have a microwave, but find it hard to defrost blocks without starting to cook the outsides - obviously I am doing something wrong so any tips would be appreciated! It's just that at the moment, unless I am really well organised in the morning (!) I think that it would be quicker for me to make pastry, batter etc than to wait for it to defrost!

    I take solid blocks of stuff like tomato sauce, stewed fruit and white sauce out of the freezer in the morning for the evening meal. Stock I tend to defrost in the microwave or heat in a pan whilst I'm getting on with the rest of the meal. Other stuff like crumble, grated cheese,veg base, cooked pulses, breadcrumbs/cubes I use straight from the freezer. I use berries straight from the freezer too (for muffins, crumbles etc -just allow a little extra baking time).

    I see we've got chat tip of the week :j
  • heather38
    heather38 Posts: 1,741 Forumite
    to defrost frozen food, i normally put it in a tupperwear tub with a tight lid and then put it in the washing up bowl with (clean!!) warm water and let it do it's stuff, i find that mince sticks (making meat balls!) and other meats start to cook, if i use the microwave.
    i just change the water when it gets cold.
  • purpleivy
    purpleivy Posts: 3,573 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
    pmd wrote: »
    Not exactly cook-ahead, but prepare-ahead: Rather than see a sad half-lemon withering in the fridge after I've used a couple of slices, I buy unwaxed lemons (which tend only to come in packs of 4 anyway), slice and freeze them - then use them individually (a) with any grilled/ panfried/ microwaved fish, and (b) as ice-and-lemon in a G&T. Definitely worth the freezer space.

    When I spot cheap limes or the big juicy type, I freeze the juice in cubes, mix with tequila and triple sec and you don't need to dilute your margarita with ice, as the lime juice does it for you. 45ml(3 tbs) tequila, 2 ice cubes lime juice (ours are bang on 15ml each, so 30ml lime juice) and 1 tbs triple sec.
    [SIZE=-1]"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad"[/SIZE]
    Trying not to waste food!:j
    ETA Philosophy is wondering whether a Bloody Mary counts as a Smoothie
  • Hime
    Hime Posts: 75 Forumite
    This is a great idea, (finely chopped veg as shown in photo) and you can add it to so much. I put a cooked mix of veg, cooled, into fresh mince to make healthy burgers. The smaller it is, the less likelihood a child, or veg hating youth will recognise it. I also love eggplant, and skin it and add it to all my bolognaise one is any the wiser.
    If you like Chinese style food, this type of veg mix with a little minced pork and garlic makes great filling for dumplings. The wrappers can be bought in most supermarkets. Add a dollop of the meat/veg mix to the centre of the wrapper and pinch the edges to seal it. A few slivers of ginger really give it a kick. Cook in a pan with a little oil. When browned on one side, do not turn over, add a cm or 2 of water, the lid and steam the rest. Delish with a splash of soy or chilli sauce.
  • pavlovs_dog
    pavlovs_dog Posts: 10,198 Forumite
    Name Dropper Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary
    congrats thriftlady for making the email :T fab thread. cant wait til the day i have a great big freezer so i can try all of these ideas!
    know thyself
    Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus...
  • Thriftlady, you have inspired my first post on this site!
    Just wanted to add to the other ideas, to say that I don't freeze everything, some things keep well in the fridge or cupboard.
    I make up:
    PASTRY (1 part block margarine/other fat to 2 parts flour - plain; or self-raising if it's all you've got) prepared to 'crumb' stage. This keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks. When it's needed, add water; or egg and sugar for a richer pastry; or just sugar/oats/etc for crumble toppings.
    WHITE SAUCE (for cheese sauce, parsley sauce, sweet sauces, etc) likewise is made to 'granule' stage from 3 parts flour, 6 parts dried milk, and 4 parts block margarine. Store for a couple of weeks in a jar in the fridge. When it's needed, add water and bring to boil then simmer as normal.
    FAIRLY-INSTANT CUSTARD. Mix custard powder from a tin with dried milk and sugar, and store in the cupboard. When needed, use about 100 grams to half a litre of water; bring to boil and then simmer as normal. The quantities for this are: a tablespoon of custard powder, one of sugar, and the required amount of dried milk for a pint of fluid....and multiply by the amount you want to prepare....
  • Someone mentioned chopping peppers and freezing them - just wanted to say I have recently discovered you can buy big bags of frozen chopped peppers cheaper than fresh peppers. I got them from Sainsburies and now use them loads! sorry if you all knew that already!!
  • thriftlady_2
    thriftlady_2 Posts: 9,128 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post I've been Money Tipped!
    Ooh Mrs Frugal those are brilliant ideas. For more homemade mixes you can keep in the cupboard or fridge look here.

    Welcome to the board:)

    Hime -great tip about the Chinese dumplings, I've been meaning to try them ;)
  • Gingham_Ribbon
    Gingham_Ribbon Posts: 31,520 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    Thriftlady, I've nominated you for post of the month. This is a great thread.

    Edit: I forgot you won for the wartime rations thread. Still, glad I nominated anyway.
    May all your dots fall silently to the ground.
  • pavlovs_dog
    pavlovs_dog Posts: 10,198 Forumite
    Name Dropper Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary
    seconded GR (seeing as you stole my thunder and beat me to it :p:D)
    know thyself
    Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus...
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