Casseroles, meat loaf, and spaghetti sauce that I often double and freeze for a no-cook dinner.
Frozen basil, parsley and cilantro. Trader Joe’s has frozen basil, parsley and cilantro in a little squares that I love to pop into tomato sauce or curries when I don’t have it fresh on hand.
Fresh ginger, lemongrass, and fresh turmeric. Wrap it well and store in freezer. Use a microplane to grate directly into dishes.
Frozen roasted garlic. I like to make a huge batch of roasted garlic and freeze them into 2 tablespoon blocks. I buy a large container of peeled fresh garlic at Costco and scatter them on a cookie tray. Then I drizzle them with olive oil and a little salt and put foil over them and roast at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until they are golden brown. Take the foil off and allow them to get more golden if they are slow to brown. Then I put them in the food processor and whiz them down with a little olive oil or mash them and place them on a waxed paper lined sheet pan, drop large tablespoons on the paper and freeze them until frozen. Then I put them in a plastic container and keep them in the freezer until needed. They are great for adding to mashed potatoes, sautéing with veggies, adding to stocks and soups, adding to vinaigrettes, spreading on bread or crackers and lots of other things
Frozen caramelized onions. I like to slice 6 onions in the food processor and cook them with butter in a skillet over medium heat with salt and pepper. I cook them for at least 30-40 minutes stirring occasionally until they are nice and golden brown and very caramelized. I let them cool and then put them in baggies and freeze them. I add them to mashed potatoes, frittatas, pizza, put between chicken breasts with sage and fontina cheese, wrap them with prosciutto and bake, and use them as a garnish and whatever else I can think of. I love caramelized onions!
Fruit. When fruit and berries are not being eaten fast enough, I freeze them and use them for smoothies or berry coulis.
Chicken breasts for when unexpected company comes over and I can dethaw quickly in the microwave cook.
Nuts. I keep hazelnuts, toasted Pinenuts (from Trader Joes), and pecans because they are not nuts I use all the time like walnuts and almonds. I keep those in the refrigerator.
Pancetta. I keep a package of chopped pancetta in the freezer that I can quickly sauté and add to scrambled eggs, frittatas, stews, sauces etc. It keeps really well and you don’t need to defrost it before you use it.
Breadcrumbs. If I ever have leftover French bread (which is not often!), I put it in the food processor and process it down to fine breadcrumbs and keep it in the freezer for later use
Butter. Occasionally, I forget to add butter to my shopping list and find myself going to the freezer for the emergency stash.
Frozen peas and corn. I always have these in case I don’t have any fresh vegetables on hand. I also add the frozen peas to rice pilafs, and salads, and use the corn to make corn salsa.
BBQ Sauce. I like to make a double batch of bbq sauce and freeze it so I can use it for another time.
Pie shell. When I am making a pie, I will often double the recipe and roll one out and put it in a glass pyrex pie plate, wrap it well and put it in the freezer. I can make a quick pie or quiche
French Bread. Costco carries La Brea French bread that I take home and freeze. I allow it to thaw and then put it directly in a 350 degree oven for 12 minutes and it comes out with a beautiful crispy crust and soft interior and tastes like it was just made.
Orange, Apple, and Limeade concentrate. I like to have these all on hand for adding to vinaigrettes, sauces and juice and to have on hand for drinks like mojitos.
Chicken Broth. When I roast a chicken or buy a roasted chicken from the grocery store, I make chicken stock and freeze it for future use.