I cooked a bag of black beans and made veggie burgers. Turned out very well. Can you post the recipe?
Cut up a bunch of apples from a friend's orchard. I have enough in the freezer for 7 apple pies now, all for the price of a visit I took anyways to see my friend!Do you do any prep for freezing?
I'm also curious about these "freezer meals" and freezing fruit. Don't look at me sideways after I ask, but when you put these items in the freezer, what exactly do you do when you take them out? I.e do I need to let the apples or bananas just sit on the counter for a few hours? The frozen meals, is there a method to cooking them after theyve been frozen (oven vs microwave)?
I tried researching online about freezer meals but I keep just coming up with different meals that have been good to freeze. There's nothing about what todo when you actually decide to eat the freezer meal. I almost feel silly asking.
The easiest method is to stick the frozen meal in the refrigerator the night before you want to eat it, then heat however you'd normally heat it the next night (for me, that's usually the microwave). In practice, I very often forget, so the "defrost" setting on the microwave sees a lot of use. It heats slowly enough to thaw without crisping or even really heating up the outer edges that way if you do it by weight (I take an educated guess) or just do it a minute or two at a time. You'll fairly quickly get a sense of how long things take.
I tend to cook with frozen fruit like apples, so say I'm making a cobbler, I just put in the apples or whatever still frozen and check the cobbler at the end of the usual cook time, but figure it might not quite be done yet. For a pie, I cook the filling on the stove, anyway, so I just throw in frozen apples/ berries/ whatever and it maybe takes an extra minute or two. If you make anything like pork and apples in a crock pot, just throw the apples in frozen.
Frozen bananas most often become smoothies or 'ice cream' around here, so they go in the blender straight from the freezer. If I'm using something like frozen pumpkin purée in pasta sauce, I stick it in the fridge to thaw the night before if I remember, but otherwise I just put the frozen chunk in the sauce on the stove and it melts given a little time.
Rural is almost exactly what I do...
except I usually don't thaw the meal first, but stick it straight into the oven or microwave, or even crockpot, depending on what it is / size.
Fruit -- I will eat frozen berries and sliced peaches straight, they thaw a bit in my bowl, with my granola, but otherwise, fruit is blended frozen for mock ice cream / smoothies, or cooked with (sauce, cake, cobbler). Bananas need to thaw for at least 5 minutes, so you can take/cut the peel off. (I toss them whole into freezer when they are too spotty).
Veg - microwave or steam and eat. If I freeze "glazed" carrots, they taste better than just "diced carrots". Raw diced frozen onions straight into the pan. Same with frozen stock.
Casserole type dishes (lasagna, shepards pie) -- pop in the oven 350'F with a temperature probe set to stop the oven at 165'F.
Most other dishes can be reheated easily in a large frypan, straight from frozen if you add a little boiling water and cover for the first 5 minutes.