Freezing everything

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by katew, May 12, 2003.

  1. katew

    katew

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    I usually don't eat things very quickly over time and I got sick of throwing stuff away so I have taken to freezing stuff. Cheeses (brie and cheddar), leftover Chinese food, and lettuce most recently. I reheated the hot and sour soup over the stove and stuck the frozen peking dumplings in the oven. Both came out excellently. I haven't tried the cheese or lettuce yet.
    What I want to know is, is there anything I shouldn't freeze or any special instructions I should follow for freezing or reheating any certain foods. I was just going to thaw the cheese and lettuce in the fridge before use. I know you aren't supposed to refreeze thawed food...but does that just go for cooked food or also raw stuff? Thanks :)
     
  2. jim berman

    jim berman

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    Freezing prepared foods isn't necessarily unacceptable. However, there are some items that either won't freeze well or won't do well upon thawing. The lettuce, for example, will not be as appealing as it once was. It's cell walls with first expand with the water content and then collapse upon thawing. What's this mean to your tossed salad? An unsavory and unappealing lettuce soup.

    The USDA web site has good tips on freezing foods as it relates to food safety. Also, as for prepared foods... just think "TV dinner"; if it is something you have seen frozen in the store, more than likely it will do well in your freezer.
     
  3. pjm333

    pjm333

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    Regars to freezing...i was decorating cakes this past friday for brunch and came across 3 passion mousse cakes hidden in the freezer dated 12/00..I was sure was tempted to use them:confused:
     
  4. brie

    brie

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    I don't know about the cheese. When you do decide to thaw them out, make sure you leave room for the condensation to go somewhere - otherwise you risk soggy, slimy cheese!

    I HAVE tried freezing the pre-shredded stuff (ICK!) in baggies for future TexMex parties, but have found that it thaws with a white slime over it. Don't know if that helps you or not.
     
  5. katew

    katew

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    Thanks everyone. I got the cheese out of the freezer before it froze. I decided not to risk it. The lettuce stays there, only because I know it won't last in the fridge either so it's no big loss if i lose it in the freezer. I am back in my dorm, sans fridge or freezer, and my boyfriend will be the one to test the lettuce. ;)
     
  6. chefkell

    chefkell

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    The Lettuce won't work. Any green leafy vegetable will be pooh pooh after freezing. The cell walls on these are to fragile and as the water content freezes, the ice expands breaking down the cell walls and rendering it a off color liquidy mess.

    As far as cheese, I've never tried that. You can get 2-3 months in a fridge if you store it properly.
     
  7. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Kate, uh, how much lettuce are you buying? You can keep lettuce in water if the water doesn't get too cold. You'll probably lose all your water soluble vitamins though so you're just eating fiber.

    Kuan
     
  8. katew

    katew

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    All I bought was one of those bags of prepared lettuce but I only used about a third of it in one salad.
     
  9. mezzaluna

    mezzaluna

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    I have a FoodSaver vacuum gizmo. I tried saving lettuce in one of the canisters in the fridge. It looked okay, but was really, really wet from condensation. I've come to the conclusion there's NO way to save lettuce for use fresh. Other stuff holds very well in the freezer or fridge when vacuum packed. I've saved some money on cheese already, and have put some meals in the freezer that have turned out just fine. The machine is pricey up front, but over time I think I'll get my money back.
     
  10. lynne

    lynne

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    :D Aahcheese!

    16 kinds in my refrigerator/freezers right now....I guess I have a thing for them!

    a lot of cheeses if they are stored properly will last a decent amount of time in your refrigerator and you don't have to worry about trying to freeze them.

    That said, I do freeze portions for use in quick breads, omelets, frittatas during slower times of the year so I can still offer a wide variety (and not use up all of my very limited cooler space!)

    Not all cheeses freeze well; not all cheeses freeze well for all applications. I personally don't like brie/camembert types after it's been frozen -- it's fine for throwing into soups, sauces and fondues - but that's it. If freezing, it seems to do better if the skin is cut off and it is cubed first (I IQF it and pull out whatever is needed).

    shredded cheese- I tend to shred my own and not over fill bags so they freeze evenly and not in a massive lump. if you freeze with paper toweling in the bag and thaw slowly in the cooler, it doesn't do the slimy thing (or the slimy white thing on the sharp cheddars...)

    If cooking with frozen shredded cheeses, no need to thaw first -- IF it is not one big clump

    frozen lettuce....I don't think works -- but - it can be utilized in minted English pea soup....
     
  11. lwunderlich

    lwunderlich

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    The vacuum food saver is the only one that I have found can keep cheese. It keeps it beautifully. In the past, I have thrown away so much fuzzy cheese along with the dollars that bought it.
    I have used the vacuum sealer for lettuce as well. I use two gallon jars with wide mouth lids. I wash the lettuce in a salad spinner, lay it on paper towels or dish towels till it is dry but still crisp. I sometimes put a folded paper towel in the bottom of the jar and pile the lettuce in the jar and put the flat lid on the top and use the jar sealer, vacuum seal and refrigerate. Lettuce has kept well for over two weeks. I would replace a broken food saver in a heart beat. It has saved me its considerable price over and over.