Reconciliing foodie-ism with a low budget. Assets: a freezer.
May 30, 2005 6:38 PM Subscribe
We are looking for foods and ingredients that are unaffected (or positively affected) by being frozen.
posted by librarina to Food & Drink (24 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
We've recently become cooks and love having fresh ingredients around rather than prepackaged/prepared dishes or mixes. However, we are only two people, and a whole eggplant is too much for us, and a whole quart of cream goes bad before we can cook enough dishes that include it. And then there's the part where we are both grad students, with the accompanying salaries, so we can't really justify spending a lot of money on foods that we can't eat fast enough. So to support our poor but gourmand lifestyle, we are looking for advice on ingredients that can be frozen and reconstituted.
Things that can be frozen and thawed unchanged:
- storebought (cooked) pizza dough
- other breads
- tomato paste
- some cooked dishes (eggplant parmesan, soups)
Things that can be frozen and change but are still yummy:
- tofu (which gets kind of spongy)
- cheddar cheese (which gets a little more crumbly than is ideal, but is a good option for when the big blocks of Tillamook go on sale)
Things that we want to know if we can freeze:
- fresh homemade pizza dough (or bread dough)
- cheeses other than cheddar -- good parmesan sometimes goes on sale, for example
- eggplant, cooked or uncooked
- other fresh veggies, cooked or uncooked (Pre-portioned ziploc bags of stir fry ingredients? Presliced eggplant for grilling? Portabellas on sale?)
- fresh fruits?
- cooked pasta (carbonara or macaroni & cheese, for example)
- cooked beans & lentils
- fresh herbs
I expect different vegetables (and fruits?) will react differently to freezing, so personal experiences are welcome. For example, I wouldn't be surprised if tomatoes explode when frozen, but what if we sliced and cleaned and blanched them to use in pasta sauce later?
We welcome advice or information about other items that can be bought in large amounts (more than 2 people's worth) and frozen. We are more secure in our understanding of freezing cooked dishes, and are therefore more concerned about freezing (fresh) ingredients, but good freezable large-amount recipes are encouraged as well.