Fallen In Love With Your Freezer Yet?

Looking back into my archives, I realised that I started building up my freezer inventory in earnest in July 2007. Since then, there was no turning back. What I cook and how we eat has very much changed. For the better of course!

My freezer is now so very important, that I dread the day it will whole fridge die on me. *touch wood!* So much so, that I am contemplating buying a standalone freezer. I found out that some breastfeeding mommies buy such freezers solely for storing excess breastmilk, maybe I should get second-hand from them when they are done with their freezers?

Anyway, I quote from Nigella Lawson's How To Eat: "The freezer can easily become a culinary graveyard, a place where good food goes to die." This was very true even for me long before I realised the usefulness of the freezer.

I have been asked by friends how I freeze this and that, so I thought that maybe I should share in more details what are the things that I stash in my freezer and hopefully you would find a better use for yours too.

Just an idea of how long things can be kept in the freezer, please check out our AVA website for more details.

From my point of view, things that can be frozen are generally grouped into cooked and uncooked meat and vegetables. As I don't really like the texture of frozen uncooked vegetables, I have only frozen meat items so far.

~~ UNCOOKED ITEMS ~~

Uncooked items are usually raw food items which come straight from the market. Items that I usually stock up:
* skinned and deboned whole chicken breasts
* skinned and deboned diced chicken breasts
* deboned chicken thigh with skin
* chicken wings
* sliced pork fillets
* shelled prawns
* fish fillets
* squid, cut into strips

~~ COOKED ITEMS ~~

As much as I would like to say leftovers are good candidates for freezer, I would like to caution that nobody likes leftovers of not-so-nice dishes. So don't hesistate to dump them cos they are simply not worth the freezer space. Trust me, I paid tuition fees for this.

I like to keep cooked items in the freezer for a simple reason: they keep much longer than raw. A good example is salmon. From what I gathered online, fatty fish doesn't keep well for too long unless you have sushi restuarant freezers. So when a big fillet of salmon comes in from the market, I would immediate cut it up for pan fry and set one portion for baking for the following day. Those pan fried salmon would be portioned and into the freezer they go. These are super handy for lunchbox and also on days when I am too lazy to cook from scratch.

Another cooked item which I regularly have is the cooked ground meat mix. I don't really know how best to describe this. I would usually head down to the supermarket and check out the ground meat section to see which is on offer. Then I would typically pick up about half a kilo. I usually brown the ground meat and then add vegetables such as carrots, lotus roots or mushrooms to it. As a standalone dish, it is well balanced. But more importantly, this serves as a good base for more dishes such as noodles, fried rice, omelettes, etc.

~~ PORTIONING ~~

All the items are packed in individual serving portions. So it depends on how many people you are cooking for and what is their preference. For example, I would freeze 3 drumlets and 3 wings as a portion. Fish fillets are cut to a single serving for steaming or frying.

In the future posts, I will disucss more about how to package food for freezing and also some of the recipes that I use often. I'm still stumbling along on this, so please bear with me.

If you have any good freezer ideas to share, please drop me a line.

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