Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Working Through...

As to storing oddments in the freezer. This can be tricky if something like a spare egg white, a bit of apple sauce, some chicken stock, or lemon juice. When frozen they can look very similar.
My favourite containers are small plastic tubs (yogurt/cream/creme fraiche etc) especially if they still have their lids. Using a marker pen (thick black letters), write on the container what it holds. Chest freezers are the worst, for all sorts of small 'left-overs' can get hidden in there. If I wish to freeze half a jar of curry sauce, then would freeze it in the jar, uncapped to allow for expansion, then the top put on once frozen. This way the label on the jar shows what is inside.

Really small amounts (tomato puree; chicken or beef stock; egg whites; lemon juice etc, ) are frozen in ice-cube trays (and not all at the same time), and when solid, the cubes are tipped into a labelled bag or container, and the trays can be used again for freezing something else.

When buying meat, especially minced or cubed, to keep the costs down I freeze a small amount at a time (usually enough for B and me). Putting my hand into a small plastic bag, a handful is grabbed, the bag then drawn back over the meat so it has never been handled, air pressed out and then put into a larger bag with others bags containing the same meat. Inside the bag is a piece of card on which is written "MINCED BEEF (or lamb/pork/chicken etc). Or the card might read "STEWING BEEF". Or "CHICKEN THIGHS". Keeping the contents in the one larger bag, no real labels need be used and the card can be used, and reused again and again. As can the larger bags. This way I can instantly find the chicken thighs, chicken drumsticks, chicken winglets, chicken livers, minced meats (beef, lamb, pork...), diced chicken, diced beef stewing meat, chunks of mutton, slices of lamb's liver. Believe me, a lot of meat (esp minced) look very much the same once frozen.

As to using surplus egg yolks, these could be used to make lemon curd or mayonnaise. Also yolks can be frozen, just stir them up with a little salt or sugar and freeze in egg cube trays. One cube is about equal to one yolk. They could then be used later in cooking, or added to a spare egg white (these can also be frozen) to make an omelette or scrambled eggs. Mix egg yolks with milk and flour to make pancakes or batters, and also yolks can be added when making burgers or fish cakes to help hold the mixture together. When frying anything that needs dipping first in flour, then in egg and then crumbs, use the egg yolks with a little milk for the 'eggy' part. An egg yolk added when making pastry will make it richer and suitable for fruit pies.