Friday, January 20, 2006

Flash Freezing

My mother taught me a neat trick, that we have called "flash freezing". Essentially, it is freezing an item for a short length of time, just until it is solid. This allows you to manipulate the item with greater ease.

For example, I flash freeze bacon in single layers (not overlapping) on a cookie-sheet, so that I can lift off the slices into my Tupperware bacon keeper. Once frozen, I quickly return the bacon slices to the freezer, and now if I need just 3 or 4 slices, I can easily remove just what I need without defrosting the entire package of bacon. This makes it really easy to add a little bacon to whatever you're cooking.

I also have done this with blueberries, strawberries, peaches, etc. The great benefit is being able to take out the items without them being frozen in a mass. It is great for making muffins, and helps a lot if you just want to sprinkle a few berries into something (like pancakes).

Lemon slices also work really well. I pick up bags of lemons when they're on sale, slice them, flash-freeze them, and then I have lemon slices for tea or ice-water all the time.

This trick has many applications, and I have found it to be a simple way to freeze items that otherwise I wouldn't even think of freezing.
Hope it's a helpful trick for you!


Kim from Hiraeth said...

I do that too! My favorite thing to flash freeze is mushrooms. I don't wash them before I freeze them. I follow the same procedure as you do, so when I need just a couple mushrooms for an omlette, I can pull them out of the freezer. I have found that if you wash them when they are still frozen, they bruise less and the dirt comes off easier. I wash them under cool, running water and gently rub them with a piece of lace--the lace removes the dirt without harming the mushroom--it's like magic!

Dan S. said...

It's like magic.
So would that make them magic mushrooms? Shows you how much I know about food preparation.

However, I do know without a doubt that the Home Maker makes great blueberry , strawberry, peach pancakes.

Homemanager said...

You are all making me hungry! :o) I have been practicing the same thing. I have tried blueberries, strawberries and rhubarb but I have also done peppers. When colored peppers are on sale, I slice them, freeze them on cookie sheets,then bag them up. I use them in stir-fry's, or chili.
I have a great recipe for oatmeal pancakes...maybe you would like it with the blueberries. :o)

Marlene S. said...

Thanks for the idea of mushrooms. I hadn't thought of that one. And the lace is a great idea! Homemanager, I've done the peppers too, I forgot, but the oatmeal pancakes sound yummy. I'd love the recipe. As for dan s.....later babe.

Homemanager said...

I posted the Oatmeal pancake recipe on my blog! Enjoy! :o)

sharon said...

Oh gosh - I have so much to learn - most of the time I have trouble freezing and defrosting my chicken. Hmmmmm - one of these days I'm hoping it'll just click with me - doubt it