Medliorate

Improving medical students

Cooking Once a Month

Posted by medliorator on August 26, 2008

1.   Make a menu

  • Choose recipes… that you’ve cooked successfully before.
  • Soups, stews and casseroles are the easiest to cook ahead of time…  Make a pot of tomato sauce with meat in it (or pesto), cook some pasta, and freeze both (stored separately).

2.    Avoid foods that don’t freeze well

  • Sour Cream (becomes thin/watery)
  • Mayonnaise (separates, but is fine if mixed into a recipe)
  • Cream Cheese (becomes watery and texture changes)
  • Cheese (crumbles, but is fine for shredding or in recipes)
  • Fried Foods (lose crispness or become soggy)
  • Egg Whites- cooked (become tough & rubbery)
  • Cream Pies (become watery or lumpy)
  • Cream Fillings (texture changes)
  • Frostings (texture changes)
  • Icings made with egg whites (become foamy)
  • Potatoes don’t taste good after being frozen, whether in soup, stew, or casserole.

3.    Keep in mind how some foods respond to freezing.

  • Raw Vegetables (lose crispness, but if prepared correctly can be used for cooking or stews & soups.
  • Pastas & Grains (softer after freezing/reheating- undercook before freezing to counter-balance)
  • Seasonings, onions, green peppers, herbs & flavorings (flavor may increase or diminish with freezing. Add afterwards when possible)
  • Soups. Freeze the components of soup separately (broth, chicken, blanched onions, celery, and carrots) rather than freezing the assembled soup.

9. Freeze the meals. Always seal, label and date the prepared meals. It’s no fun playing the guessing game when finding the mysterious freezer dinner.

  • Freezer bags – Remove as much air as possible. A vacuum sealer is highly recommended. Soups and stews can be poured into freezer bags, sealed, and stacked flat; once they freeze, you can store them vertically like books on a shelf.
  • Use aluminum pans or line cake pans or casserole dishes with heavy aluminum foil so they can be removed from them once they’re frozen; later, you can put it back inside that pan or dish for thawing and serving.

How to Do Once a Month Cooking [wikiHow]

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