Friday, December 5, 2008

Tips for freezing?

With a new baby on the way in a few weeks, I'm thinking about putting up some food now in order to make mealtime a little easier during the first couple of weeks with the new baby.

I thought that I might be able to make a few of the soups and casseroles from The Book and freeze them. Since The Book doesn't offer any guidance about freezing, I was hoping that some of you (especially my fellow Gourmet cook-through-ers) might have some suggestions about recipes from The Book that are good candidates for freezing, and how to go about it. For instance, should I cook a casserole completely before freezing it, or should I just assemble it, freeze it and then cook it before eating? Tips on reheating would be appreciated, too.

Put any suggestions in the Comments, and thanks!


Melissa Bach Palladino said...

Adam, for ease of execution I would cook the casseroles, cool them, and then freeze. You can freeze some things uncooked (the raviolis in the pasta section freeze beautifully) but you're going to be all about what's super fast and easy. And to that end I would suggest not freezing the casseroles right in the big pan but cutting them into individual portions. Soups/stews and stews--same thing. Freeze them in smaller microwavable containers.

As for reheating, unless you're vehemently opposed to the microwave (I have friends who are) that's what I'd use. You can reheat in an oven but it's slow and expensive--toaster ovens are better but again--slow. I'd use them only if you need something browned and crispy on top.

If you're thinking of freezing chowders, just make the base, and add the cream/milk after you've thawed it out and are reheating on the stove. Tomato-based soups/stews reheat beautifully, and I recently froze (and thawed) that Seafood Gumbo from the book.

Hey, good luck with the baby! I'm thrilled for you and your wife. :-)

Adam said...

Thanks for the tips, Melissa. I appreciate it. I'm not opposed to microwaving, so I like your suggestion about freezing casseroles in single-serving containers.

I'll also be sure to give the Seafood Gumbo a try.


Sandy Smith said...

Hi Adam,

Here is a my go-to source for these kinds of questions:

Best wishes on the new addition to your family!!