If you do not have time to start from scratch, you can prepare a few items and/ or buy a few items, pastes and sauces ETC to save time and give great flavor. You can prepare Curry sauce, fresh herbs, Ginger chili paste, Garlic chili sauce, Lemon Juice, and other items that you may need . This is very helpful when you are in hurry and still want to make great tasting food.
What you will need
You most likely already have all the items you’ll need.
- Containers -plastic or glass (for fruits, vegetables, and thick purées)
- 1-oz. ice cube trays (for freezing liquids and fresh herbs)
- Freezer-friendly storage such as resealable bags and containers with tight-fitting lids
- Painter’s tape (for easy removal) and a permanent marker for labeling and dating the containers-
Those little recipe extras are easy to freeze and keep for months. Plus, they can be stored in large or small quantities depending on what you have on hand.
Fresh Herbs and special items
Parsley, cilantro, mint, dill, fennel and other herbs that come in big bunches will last only a few days in the fridge but can be kept at peak flavor for months when they’re chopped and stored in ice cube trays in the freezer. Simply fill each ice cube compartment with 1 tablespoon fresh herbs, then add just enough water for them to freeze into a cube—no need to fill the tray all the way up to the top with water. Freeze until solid; then transfer the herb cubes to resealable bags or containers. If you freeze herbs on a regular basis, consider investing in a dedicated set of ice cube trays or small plastic containers that have tight fitting lids. Ice cube trays can absorb flavors over time; by using a separate set, you avoid the risk of parsley-, basil-, or cilantro-flavored ice water! Freezer storage: up to 6 months.
When a recipe calls for citrus zest but not the juice, it’s great to have a supply that’s ready to use. Grate zest from oranges, lemons, and limes before peeling or juicing them. Freeze in small quantities (1 to 2 tablespoons) in freezer containers or resealable bags. The zest can be added directly to recipes just like fresh. Thawed zests will keep 3 to 5 days in the fridge and can be used to add zing to baked goods, stews, and salad dressings. Freezer storage: up to 3 months.
The most convenient and easy way to save fresh lemon, lime, and orange juice is to freeze it in ice cube trays. Transfer the cubes to plastic bags once frozen, then simply help yourself to what you need, when you need it. Standard ice cubes measure 1 ounce (or 2 tablespoons) in volume. Freezer storage: up to 6 months.
WHOLE LEMONS AND LIMES
When lemons and limes go on sale or are at peak season, pick up some extra and throw them in the freezer whole. The juicy fruits retain their color, texture, and flavor, plus the cold temperatures make them even easier to juice. This is an especially good trick for short-season Meyer lemons and hard-to-find citrus varieties like kaffir limes. Freezer storage: 3 to 6 months.
Got leftover applesauce, or fruit purée Date paste or Chutney, Tamarind Chutney, or, something for a baking recipe? Extend its storage time by freezing it. Thick purées such as date paste and applesauce can be dropped by the tablespoon onto parchment-lined sheet pans, or resealable bags, frozen, and stored in ready-to-use quantities. Thinner, more liquid fruit purées should be measured into resealable bags or freezer containers. Keep portions under 1/4 cup so you only have to thaw what you need. Freezer storage: 6 months to 1 year.
Onions, Leeks , Shallots:
All the members of the onion family freeze well raw. Simply chop or slice them as desired; then measure 1- or 2-cup portions into freezer bags or containers (1 cup is equivalent to 1 small onion or leek). Most important thing to remember is to seal in double bag- you do not want onion flavored water or Ice Cubes. Because there’s no need to thaw the frozen veggies before using, write the amount on the container so you know how much is in each. Freezer storage: 6 months to 1 year.
Garlic loses it’s taste and flavor once frozen. I buy Garlic paste in a Jar and keep it in the refrigerator. Also I keep some fresh Garlic in a basket. You can also keep, peeled garlic cloves in freezer bags, thaw in no time for use in recipes.
Jalapenos and other Chilies
Fresh chiles may lose their firm crunch in the freezer, but they retain all their fiery heat. Freeze whole fresh jalapeño, serrano, habanero, and other chiles on a parchment-lined sheet pan until firm. Canned chipotle chiles can be drained, then prepared the same way. Once frozen, store in freezer bags or containers; then thaw what you need and use as directed. Freezer storage: 10 months to 1 year.
Ginger: Place a whole fresh in the freezer and you’ll always have it on hand when you need it. Plus, freezing the ginger makes it easier to grate or mince on a fine grater because the cold helps break down the fibers in the root. Once you’ve grated the amount you need, simply return the root to the freezer for future use. Freezer storage: 3 to 6 months.
Very few recipes call for a whole can of tomato paste—and leftovers will only keep 5 to 7 days in the fridge. Sauté onions in oil and blend it with tomato Puree or paste and you can use the mixture for many items. Freezing the extra means none of that tomato-y goodness goes to waste. Freezer storage: 3 to 6 months.