Apart from the obvious such as meat, fish, chicken, peas, vodka, raw pizza dough, ice, ice cream, ginger and garlic paste, butter, bread and soft fresh goat cheese – and in keeping with my philosophy of preparing meals that are quick and easy, especially when feeling tired and un-bothered – I’ve always felt it makes sense to keep a supply of delicious recipe ‘enhancers’ in the freezer.
Below is a selection of some of my favorite freezer treasures, guaranteed to transform and inspire, enabling me to whip up something delicious at short notice.
Just click on the HEADER links below for each recipe:
Light and pillowy-soft, what sets this Antonio Carluccio recipe apart is that it’s made with baked potato rather than the usual mashed. Very simple to make and freezes like a dream stored in a sealed plastic container.
This intense mushroom paste is wonderfully versatile and can be used in a myriad of ways such as a base for pizza topped with mozzarella, prosciutto and a flourish of truffle oil, or as a topping for burgers or steak; whipped into mashed potatoes; used to enrich gravy and soup; served with pasta or baked eggs; made into little puff pastry parcels – the list is long. Duxelles also makes a perfect layer between beef and puff pastry in a Beef Wellington – a less rich option than pâté.
Replacing pine nuts with Brazil nuts and equally delicious, this – as with any type of home made pesto – will freeze well in ice cube trays. Just pop them out when frozen and transfer to a seal-able plastic bag.
The longer you gently cook onions, the sweeter they become. This fabulous condiment is delicious on crostini topped with goat cheese; used on pizza perhaps with sliced fig and mozzarella; on a burger, steak or pork chop; in mashed potato…the possibilities are endless. Freeze in small seal-able containers.
I like to make praline with hazelnuts but you can use almonds if you prefer. Crushed coarsely, praline elevates a simple dish of ice cream when sprinkled over (like here); or use it in chocolate truffles; as a topping for cakes or cupcakes; folded into whipped cream and served with berries; added to meringue, etc.
I’ll crush the praline coarsely with a rolling pin or grind it finely in a processor as it has multiple uses both ways. Try making it with pumpkin seeds and just breaking into slender shards to stab into a scoop of ice cream. Freeze the coarse and fine praline separately in small seal-able containers.
Not only do these perfect cookies only take 12 minutes to make, they freeze really well and once you’ve tried them, milk and cookies will never be the same again and you’ll never want to be without. Just about everyone – except those with a peanut allergy – will be able to enjoy them so make an extra large batch as they tend to disappear fast!
People don’t believe me when I say I make my own chocolate from scratch in under 20 minutes but here’s proof that it can be done and very easily too. I like to keep a batch in the freezer to take to dinner parties and it’s a lot of fun watching people’s facial expressions when you tell them you make it yourself. Home made dark organic chocolate squares also make the most amazing ‘S’Mores’.