Thursday, 2 April 2009

Frozen assets

I thought I would do a series of posts on what I keep in my freezer, fridge and store cupboards. As I have mentioned before my philosophy on food is that 90% of the time I like to eat healthy food, I have prepared from scratch. Some times I have plenty of time free to cook and bake from scratch and at other times my time is seriously limited. There are a lot of key ingredients I have on hand so I can either cook/bake from scratch when I have time and freeze the results for when time is short. This means when time is short I do not have to resort to supermarket convenience foods. As well as pre-cooked meals I also keep ingredients on hand that I can make quick meals from. Today I am going to start with the contents of my freezer.

Essentials - always in there

Frozen veg - peas, sweetcorn,
Frozen fish - white fish e.g. coley or pollack, salmon and prawns (all bought fresh or frozen).
Home made bread packed down into 4 slice's per bag for making lunches for the two of us.
Ice cubes of wine - red and white. once frozen they can be removed from their trays and stored in sandwich bags for adding to dishes as required.
Home made bread crumbs - used for coating fish cakes, adding to pasta bakes etc.
Tomato sauce - made in batches and frozen in small portions for using as pizza sauce.
Pasta sauces - again made in large batches e.g. Ratouille
Bolognese sauce - I make a batch to feed around 12 every couple of months and split it into portions for 2 people. This is real convenience food and in busy periods we may eat a batch once a week usually with pasta.
Root ginger - cut into approximately 2cm pieces when bought, frozen and then each piece can be removed when needed.
Home made soup (except in summer) - in containers with enough for 1 person. Great for removing from the freezer the night before to take to work for a delicious, warming lunch.

Not essential - but often in there

Frozen veg - green beans (good for stir fries or an extra veg side dish), squash I have roasted myself when in season (for adding to risottos, pasta or couscous).
Stewed apples - from autumn onwards when I get given a lot of cooking apples from family. Small quantities for adding to porridge and larger portions for a delicious warming dessert (with or without custard).
Meats - good quality (at least 70% meat) sausages, mince, pork chops and bacon portioned out first (sometimes even I will cut up the bacon into small pieces for pasta dishes before freezing).
Caramelised onions - red or white - great on pizza or breads.
Biscuits or muffins - most freeze well and then you can just remove a few at a time when you want a sweet treat.
Other pre-made dishes - stews, casseroles, lasagna all freeze well.
Home made mini calzones - great for lunch at work (just reheat for 2-3mins in microwave). My boyfriend loves them - a healthier version of a pastie.
Fresh pasta dough - I have found it is easier to make enough for 6 people and then divide the dough in to 3 pieces - freeze 2 and roll one out and shape.
Home made stock - when I have time to make any!
Fish fingers - I know these are practically convenience food but even Jamie Oliver has a recipe for posh fish finger butties in one of his books! As well as fish finger butties they are good with home made potato wedges when you just don't know what else to cook.

I plan for this post to be updated as my cooking changes so will have a link to it in the side bar. I would also love it to be interactive so please post if you have any other things in your freezers that you think are essential or helpful!

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Sophie said...

This is a great list - it sounds very similar to my freezer, especially the caramelized onions and odds and ends of wine.

We also always have tortellini, to go with the pasta sauce, and frozen spinach which is very easy to stir into sauce based dishes

Claire said...

I've heard of this but never actually seen frozen spinach in the supermarket. Will have to keep an eye out for that.