jespah
 
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 07:53 am
For the sake of economy and to save time, I've taken to cooking a large batch of vegetables and freezing the leftovers for later use. However, my results are mixed. Peppers and onions turn out beautifully. Mushrooms are mushy so I've taken to freezing them raw. That seems to help. But potatoes - ack, potatoes! - turn partly or wholly black and, in the unlikely event that they don't, become kind of, I don't know how to describe it, they're somewhat stringy and thready and definitely not appetizing.

I know that it's possible to freeze potatoes, otherwise Ore-Ida would be out of business. So, what am I doing wrong? Or is it just a case of having to flash-freeze the taters? If that's the case, then I'll just forget it, but if there's a way to salvage this, I'm listening.

Oh, and what are some other good vegetables to freeze? I imagine other hard vegetables such as carrots or zucchini would work. What else? Thanks!
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 11:54 am
Potatoes seem to freeze better when a certain amount of fat is added. I can freeze scalloped potatoes and potatoes in a cheeze sauce and even potatoes cooked in pot liker from corned beef or pot roast.

Mashed potatoes would probably freeze well with enough butter.

Not only does Ms. Ore Ida add lots of fat to her frozen potatoes she has all manner of flash freezing machinery.

For life beyond potatoes:

This time of year there are all manner of bargains in fresh vegetables from farmers stands--usually picked that morning: green beans, wax beans, cauliflower, broccoli....

Blanch (boil) the veggies for 3-5 minutes, cool off with cold water and spread out on a tray to freeze. When they are solid, package them in meal sized portions.

Supermarket specials tend to be older and not as tasty either fresh or frozen.

Rule of thumb: If a vegetable makes a delicious salad (because of its high water content) the vegetable probably will not freeze well. If the vegetable is full of fiber it will freeze well.

Incidently, combination of boiling water and then freezing, makes the veggies ready to heat and serve when defrosted.

Good luck. I hope your kitchen is air conditioned.
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cavfancier
 
  2  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 12:09 pm
Zucchini have a high water content, and don't freeze well by conventional methods. Noddy is right about potatoes. They freeze very nicely when cooked with fat, or in a dish with lots of fat. Flash-freezing is industry standard. In a conventional freezer, your results will most likely be spotty at best. The best approach is still to cook dishes with the vegetables, such as stews or gratins, and freeze the dishes in portions.
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mamajuana
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 12:19 pm
I've had pretty good luck by parboiling potatoes, and then dicing or slicing them and storing them in portion sized bags. So far my experience has been mostlywith the yellow potatoes, because I like them.

We tend to eat our vegetables fresh, so most of my freezing of them comes in with dinner type dishes.

I do, however, always keep small sized portions of chopped ginger and garlic in the freezer. I freeze them by the tablespoon (also tomotato paste), and when frozen, put the balls into a bag. And, though I've had all kinds of advice, I freeze ginger root. The only time I don't is when I'm able to get very fresh new ginger, which doesn't have to be peeled, and which is so good I use it right away. Also, left-over chciken soup and coffee get frozen in the ice cube trays, and then get put into bags.

We are not people who eat out very often, and a lot of family is usually here at one time or another, so over the years I've learned all kinds of shortcuts.
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 12:24 pm
Mmm...love that young ginger....I make sushi ginger with it (gari).
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mamajuana
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 12:43 pm
I make sushi ginger with the other stuff. As I read this, I remembered. When I was first married, I didn't know how to cook. My husband taught me, and I've never looked back. I find cooking very relaxing. The cooking and freezing bits came later. With three kids, three dogs, one husband, and a very full-time job, it was learn fast or starve. Quite often I had a pot of spaghetti sauce going for months. Like pot-a-feu, I just kept adding.

Have also, cav, developed an extraordinary fondness for salt cod. Always have that on hand, too.
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 01:19 pm
Salt cod is great. I have a good supplier who provides meaty, flexible salt cod, not too salty, not too dry. I do a nice fish consomme with salt cod ravioli and chives. The filling is sort of a thicker version of brandade de morue, and it is a delicious soup. My wife also makes baljal, a traditional Trinidadian dish using salt cod, lots of veggies, pepper sauce.....<sigh>, wish there was some around today.

For pickled ginger, it works well with both varieties, of course. The young ginger has a more delicate taste, and is a treat pickled, as it is not availible all-year round.
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Sugar
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 01:32 pm
How about corn from the cob? My mother cooked it, scrapped it, froze it, cooked it, and it was a mushy mess.
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 01:35 pm
Gotta scrape first, blanch the corn, and preferably freeze it on a tray so the kernels don't stick together too much. Then, just reheat, but only to warm through. It should only be mushy if it was overcooked.
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cjhsa
 
  2  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 02:20 pm
I freeze tomatoes, whole. Works great. Pull them out, run them under a little water, and the skins slide right off.

Of course, tomatoes are a fruit, not a veggie, but that's being picky.
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 02:32 pm
Not picky at all cjhsa, tomatoes are a fruit, and people should accept that. Our local heirloom tomatoes are on the market now, and they are soooooo tasty....destined to be eaten fresh, not frozen. Our field tomatoes on the other hand, sauce city.
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cjhsa
 
  2  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 03:00 pm
Cav, I grow my own to excess, I have multiple ways of dealing with them. Smile
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cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 03:12 pm
Cool...I live in an apartment....wish I had the land Sad
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 03:41 pm
Awesome! This is extraordinarily helpful!!!! YAY!!!! We're gonna cook the taters in something fatty (hey, any excuse, I figure)! :-D
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 05:39 pm
Great tip, cjhsa. Is this just for cooking tomatoes, or can you slice them and use for sandwiches and salads.
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mamajuana
 
  1  
Reply Wed 6 Aug, 2003 10:59 pm
That's how I freeze corn, too. As a matter of fact, I suppose blanching is the main answer to how to do it. And I grew up on mush vegetables. My mother didn't much believe in vegetables, so almost any she made got cooked til they died. But then, this was a woman who believed sweet potato pie with walnuts was a vegetable.

Young fresh ginger is something I can only seem to find in oriental markets, like lychees.

And salt cod - I learned to really love it in Portugal. They have a dish, made with cod, very thin french fried potatoes, onions, and an egg mixed in that is heaven. Not exactly calorie free, but..... It's called bacalau a bras, if you ever see a recipe for it, and I make it occasionally.

Hmmm - I guess I cook a lot.
0 Replies
 
cavfancier
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2003 04:36 am
Mmm....yes, I have made bacalau, very nice indeed...
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cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2003 09:20 am
Roger,

They would be primarily for cooking, as freezing them changes their texture, however, their flavor is preserved, so you could still eat them uncooked, perhaps on a sandwich. They wouldn't do well in a salad though.
0 Replies
 
 

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