Continuing what we have started in the last post “Preparing and Cooking Ahead”; Dishes like stews, curries and casseroles often benefit form being made a day before they are to be served. This allows time for the flavors of the different ingredients to meld.So you can cook dishes like this even further ahead and freeze them.
Freezing is a large topic which I think it should be divided into more than one post. That will give me the chance to write about all the information that I know, found, or heard about it. Please note that this is continuously updated whenever I find something new to share.
Some points should be considered before freezing any dish. First, the food must be cold before being placed in the freezer. So if you have a hot dish or a hot pot let it cool down first, then place it in a sink full of a very cold or even iced water. That will accelerate the chilling process. Although some dishes can be used in ovens and in freezers but it is not recommended to switch between the two without allowing the hot food to cool or the frozen food to thaw.The best way to let frozen food thaw is to place it in the refrigerator overnight.
When you want to freeze a meal, cool food rapidly then wrap securely and label with a description, date, and number of servings. That will make it easier for you to remember what you have in your freezer and for how long.
Soups and stews in most cases freeze well, but if they contain chopped potatoes, rice, barley or pasta you will notice that they will become mushy while freezing and will lose texture. To prevent that add them after thawing, then simmer the soup or stew until these ingredients are fully cooked. Also don’t forget to leave a little head room in the container to allow the liquid to expand during freezing.
Before freezing dishes that contains fat, try to remove any surplus fat before freezing; especially for long time freezing. It is well known that fat will become rancid in long time freezing.
For any meat or poultry dishes that includes sauce or gravy, make sure that the meat or poultry pieces are fully dipped into the liquid. That will reduce of drying out in the freezer.
For fish in sauce, the taste after freezing and reheating will not be the same as the original taste, Although it can be frozen. So the best thing to do with dishes like this, is to prepare them in the same day of serving.
If you want to freeze rice it is recommended to to be cooled quickly and thoroughly after cooking and before storing. And do not keep cooked rice warm for long periods. When you want to preheat it make sure that it is very hot and serve immediately. These precautions will help to avoid food poisoning.
This is for today .. to be continued ..
Coming back to the recipe which was a little bit difficult to cook and picture. That because I was so busy for the last three days celebrating the holidays. Visiting family and friends. Going out .. I went to Maki (Japanese Restaurant in Kuwait) for lunch with my sisters and brother and watched New Moon, the movie. I really liked the movie (the first one “twilight” was okay … but this is awesome) and i’m planning to buy the book. And also the weather was cloudy and it was raining the whole time. That made taking pictures without flash challenging. So I searched between my “to do” recipes, for the easiest recipe and something I really want to taste long time ago. At the end I decided to make this Parsley Coriander Burgers. Different taste, but same shape and idea .. Believe me it is delicious and worth a try.
Adapted from my friend Manal.
For the ingredients
3 tablespoons Coriander chopped
3 tablespoons Parsley chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 medium sized garlic cloves pestled
1/2 lb mincemeat
Salt and pepper
I usually wash the mincemeat with filtered water before using it in cooking. Drain it using a strainer. Everything else is a piece of cake. Mix all ingredients together. Shape the mixture into small/medium size burgers as you prefer. Then, place a frying pan on medium to low heat. Put the burgers and cover. Wait for 15 to 20 minutes (depends on the heat applied, so the best thing is to check from time to time) when the base become light brown, flip to the other side. Wait for another 15 to 20 minutes and repeat. Till your burgers are done.
well .. enjoy with love,