Category: Dish

Dish

Can You Freeze Refried Beans?

Refried beans make a wonderful snack and it makes sense to make a large batch for your next Tex-Mex feast. But can you freeze refried beans? Yes, You can freeze refried beans! The best part? No need to worrying about significant changes in flavor, texture, or nutritional value after freezing the dish! It’s worth noting that all types of beans are freezer-friendly too!

Do note, however, that frozen refried beans will become much thicker than normal after it’s been thawed and reheated. That’s okay. You can restore the original consistency of the dish by adding a little water or olive oil as you reheat it!

Easy (and Freezer-Friendly) Refried Beans Recipe

While you can always buy canned refried beans, nothing beats homecooked refried beans! But if you’d like to try a freezer-friendly recipe, try this one:

You will need:

4 cups cooked pinto beans
¼ cup oil
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. salt

Instructions

This recipe is more freezer-friendly because 1) it doesn’t have butter, milk, or lard and 2) most of the ingredients are dry. You can, of course, season the refried beans with lard or butter when reheating the dish.

You can start by soaking the pinto beans or not soaking them at all, it’s your choice. Pour the beans into a pot of water, season and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the beans are nice and tender, season with salt and drain the water. Mash the cooked blender using a potato masher or a blender until the mixture is thick.

Stir in the spices and the oil until the ingredients are well incorporated. Pour the refried beans in a pot and simmer over medium heat until the liquids are reduced. Turn off the heat and leave the refried beans to cool completely before prepping the dish for freezing.

Image used under Creative Commons from Justin Smith

Cooking Tips and Suggestions

Faster Cooking Time

Pressed for time? Here’s a great hack that will cut the cooking time in half: use canned pinto beans instead of dried beans! Just reheat and mash the canned pinto beans according to the instruction and prepare the dish as you normally would! You’ll be able to finish up in 15 minutes or less!

Creamy Consistency

If you want to give the refried beans a creamy, velvety consistency as well as a richer flavor, add milk instead of water. If you’d rather not add dairy to the dish, swap the water for chicken or vegetable stock!

Keep it Covered

It might be tempting to check the dish as it cooks every few minutes but keep the lid on if you want the refried beans to cook perfectly! This is the kind of dish that needs uninterrupted time to cook. Just leave the dish to simmer until you’ve achieved the perfect consistency (about 2 hours or so)

Robust Flavors

Want to give the refried beans a delectably robust flavor? Add sliced onions and several cloves of garlic to the cooking pot. The amazing flavors and aroma will add dimension to the dish!

Safety

Do note that refried beans may become a hazardous food and is prone to cross-contamination when it is not heated or served properly. For your safety, serve the beans at  140 degrees F to avoid any food-borne illness.

Freezing Leftover Beans

Got leftover beans? If you cook more beans than needed, don’t worry. You can save the rest for later use! Just store the cooked beans in resealable plastic bags, seal, and stick in the freezer. Now you have more cooked beans to use to make more refried beans!

Now if say, you want to give canned refried beans a little tweak, check out this video how:

How to Freeze Refried Beans

How you prep the dish for freezing depends on the state of the refried beans. Homemade refried beans must be prepped carefully to extend its shelf life.

Freezing Homemade Refried Beans

Once the refried beans have cooled completely, prepare several freezer-safe containers. Scoop the refried beans into your desired container. Pour a little oil over the top of the dish to keep it from drying out or developing freezer burns. If you’re using a resealable plastic bag, use a double bag to prevent freezer burns.

Cover the container with a heavy-duty aluminum foil prior to sealing. Remove the excess air then seal. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Freezing Store-Bought Fried Beans

Store-bought refried beans are usually sold in cans. That means you have to transfer the product in a freezer-safe container prior to freezing. Just open the can, scoop out the product into a rigid plastic container with an airtight lid. Do not fill the container all the way, leave a couple of inches of space in case the dish expands as it freezes.

Pour a little oil over the top of the dish to keep it from drying out or developing freezer burns. Cover the container with a heavy-duty aluminum foil prior to sealing. Seal the container, write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from Glory Foods

Shelf Life, Thawing and Reheating Suggestions

Canned refried beans will keep in the freezer for at least 4 to 6 months. This goes especially if the temperature is kept at a steady 0 degrees Farenheight. But for optimal flavor, consume your supply immediately. On the other hand, homemade refried beans should keep in the freezer for 2 to 3 months.

To thaw the frozen refried beans, just leave the dish to thaw in the fridge for several hours to overnight. Once thawed completely, the consistency might be on the watery side, that’s normal. Just stir in a little oil or water to restore the dish’s original consistency. You can reheat the dish on the stove or in the microwave after thawing.

Serve the refried beans immediately and do not refreeze the leftovers. Again, the dish could become a hazardous food once it’s been left sitting at room temperature for hours. If the leftover has been left sitting on the counter within 48 hours, discard it.

Summary

Can you freeze refried beans? It’s great to know that this yummy dish keeps so well in the freezer! Now you can prepare make-ahead refried beans for later use. For best results, keep all the storage tips we’ve outlined in this post in mind when prepping the dish for freezing.

Dish

Can You Freeze Sushi?

Sushi is a traditional Japanese dish that consists of vinegared rice topped with slices of seafood – typically raw fish – and a smidge of wasabi. Since the raw ingredients degrade quickly at room temperature, sushi must be kept chilled at a low temperature prior to serving. So can you freeze sushi?

If say, you made too much sushi or you’ve got leftover sushi from your favorite Japanese restaurant, is freezing a good idea at all? Most people think that freezing sushi will degrade the quality of the fish because ice crystals will form within the fish.

Image used under Creative Commons from Tony Gladvin George

You might be surprised but the “raw” seafood used in sushi has been frozen for several days prior to being cut for the dish! In fact, US regulation requires tuna to be flash frozen seconds after the fish has been harvested to retain freshness.

That means it’s perfectly safe to freeze raw seafood used as ingredients for sushi. What about the rice and other ingredients, do they keep well in the freezer?

How you prepare the sushi rice for freezing will affect the grain’s overall texture. Usually, packing cold rice for freezing will lead to dry, crumbly, or hard results. If you are making sushi from scratch, it’s best to 1) pack the vinegared rice separately from the raw seafood and 2) pack the rice while it’s still steaming in an airtight container.

What about sushi leftovers? Can you freeze it? Technically, any type of food can be frozen. However, sushi does not freeze well. The rice and the nori wrapper could become soggy, broken to bits or simply unappetizing to look at once thawed. That being said, thawed sushi is safe to eat. So really, the choice is yours.

When kept in the fridge, sushi will only keep for 10 to 24 hours. But when kept in the freezer, sushi will keep fresh for up to 3 months. Of course, it’s best to consume sushi as soon as you can for optimal flavor and texture. Below is the step by step guide on how can you freeze sushi:

Image used under Creative Commons from baron valium

How to Freeze Sushi?

Freezing Homemade Sushi

If you are making sushi at home and you’re anticipating a lot of leftovers, it’s best to freeze the ingredients separately. Just assemble the ingredients after thawing. To do this, just prepare the ingredients as you normally would such as washing the block of fish or raw seafood, cooking and seasoning the sushi rice, etc.

Once this is done, prepare several airtight containers. Place the fish in the first container. Do not slice the fish, do this only when you are ready to prep the sushi for serving. This will prevent frost from ruining the texture of the fish. Seal the container with the airtight lid, write the storage date and then stick in the freezer.

Spoon the vinegared rice into the second container. The rice should be steaming hot, not cooled to retain the grain’s sticky, moist consistency. Seal the container with the airtight lid, write the storage date and then stick in the freezer.

Finally, pack the nori wrapper in a resealable plastic bag. Squeeze the air out prior to sealing then write the storage date. Stick the plastic bag in the freezer and you’re done.

Freezing Leftover Sushi

Since leftover sushi is fully assembled, expect the texture or flavor to change after the dish has been thawed. Just place the leftovers in an airtight container and seal with the lid. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

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How to Defrost Frozen Sushi?

To defrost the frozen sushi, just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the sushi to thaw for several hours to overnight. Never thaw the sushi by letting it stand at room temperature. This increases the risk of contamination and bacterial growth! Once the sushi has been defrosted, it’s ready to eat. Since sushi is served chilled, it doesn’t require reheating at all.

Summary

Sushi is one of the healthiest and most popular Japanese dishes for a reason. The savory taste of the vinegared rice pairs so well with the fresh seafood, nori, and wasabi. Freezing sushi may be tricky and will require trial and error but as long as the dish won’t go to waste, all that effort is worth it! Now that you know how can you freeze sushi, there’s no need to worry about what to do with your leftovers.

Dish

Can You Freeze Roasted Potatoes?

Roast potatoes are a popular side dish that pairs well with grilled meats and poultry. Since it’s simple to make, it’s so easy to make a too-large batch of roast potatoes especially if you’re hosting a special event. So how do you keep the leftovers? Can you freeze roast potatoes?

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Yes, you can freeze roast potatoes and it’s quite easy too. But before we get into that, do note that cooked potato is prone to texture changes when it’s stored in the freezer improperly. It could take on a grainy, soggy texture when the roast potatoes are exposed to frost and freezer burn. But when done right, roast potatoes should retain its smooth, delectable flavors even when frozen and defrosted.

When kept in the fridge, roast potatoes will only keep for 3 to 5 days. But when kept in the freezer, the dish will last for a year or more. This goes especially if the temperature is kept at a steady 0° Fahrenheit! Thawed cooked or roasted potatoes will keep in the fridge for an additional 3 to 4 days. How you reheat the potatoes will affect the shelf life of the dish once it’s been defrosted. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze roast potatoes:

How to Freeze Roast Potatoes?

If you’re making roast potatoes from scratch and you’re expecting a lot of leftovers, we suggest holding off on the seasonings until you’re ready to serve. That means washing, peeling, boiling, and sprinkling a little flour on the potato quarters before freezing.  Seasonings tend to change flavors when frozen and defrosted and this could alter the flavor of the dish itself.

Image used under Creative Commons from Rachel Hathaway

To store the half-made roasted potatoes, leave the potatoes to cool completely. Using a shallow rigid plastic container with an airtight lid, place the potatoes inside the container. Do not overfill the container, give the potato pieces enough room so they don’t stick together. Cover with the airtight lid then write the storage date. Finish up by sticking in the freezer.

Now for the leftover roasted potatoes, get several resealable plastic bags. You can either store the spuds in one large resealable plastic bag or divide the leftover into manageable portions using smaller resealable plastic bags. With a slotted spoon, spoon leftover potatoes into the plastic bag. Squeeze as much air as you can before sealing. Then, write the storage date with a marker and stick in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from U.S. Department of Agriculture

How to Defrost and Reheat Roasted Potatoes?

It’s not recommended to defrost the roasted potatoes unless you’re reheating the leftovers. For make-ahead roast potatoes with zero seasonings, you can cook the potato from frozen. Just preheat the oven to 400° Fahrenheit. On a greased baking dish, drizzle the spuds with olive oil and your choice of seasonings then stick in the oven. Cook for 15 minutes or so.

For leftover roasted potatoes, you can thaw the dish by transferring it from the freezer to the fridge. However, try not to let the spuds thaw completely. About an hour or two after transferring the roast potatoes to the fridge, you can reheat it using the microwave. Set on high then cook on 2-minute intervals. Just so the potatoes won’t dry out, cover the dish with a damp paper towel prior to microwaving.

Summary

Roast potatoes make a great snack, an appetizer or as a side dish. Now that you know how can you freeze roast potatoes, you can make a large batch and keep the rest for later!

Dish

Can You Freeze Pasta Bake?

Rich, flavorful, and filling, pasta bake is a popular comfort food because it’s so tasty and satisfying! It makes a fantastic snack or a main course, depending on how you take pasta bake. Pasta bake is also a terrific dish to serve for your next potluck! But what if you made too much pasta bake? How do you keep the leftovers for future uses? Can you freeze pasta bake?

Image used under Creative Commons from Becky

You might not think about freezing pasta bake but this method extends the shelf life of the dish exponentially. You see, pasta bake – as well as most cooked pasta dishes for that matter – only keeps up to 4 to 5 days in the fridge. But when kept in the freezer, pasta bake will keep fresh for 2 months or so. However, it will remain safe to eat beyond this period.

The problem with freezing cooked pasta is the degradation of the pasta itself. That’s why proper preparation and packing are critical to maintaining the original texture and flavor of the pasta dish.

The fact is, poorly packed frozen pasta could turn soggy or take on a gummy consistency when it’s been defrosted and reheated. The dish could also absorb fridge flavors if it’s been defrosted improperly. With all these in mind, let’s take a look at our step by step guide on how can you freeze pasta bake:

Image used under Creative Commons from Kris Awesome

How to Freeze Pasta Bake?

If you’re anticipating a lot of leftovers, it’s best to cook the pasta al dente prior to freezing. This way, the pasta won’t overcook or turn soggy once the dish has been thawed and reheated. Although you can always use a rigid plastic container with an airtight lid to freeze the pasta, we recommend using smaller containers. Packing the pasta bake in single serving portions help keep the integrity of the dish.

Now, if you’re making baked pasta from scratch, consider freezing the cooked pasta and the sauce separately. You can assemble the dish once you’re ready to serve. But if this isn’t possible, storing the pasta bake fully assembled is fine.

To do this, prepare several small resealable plastic bags. Scoop a single serving’s worth of pasta bake into a small plastic bag (do not overfill). Squeeze as much air as you can, seal, and write the storage date. Stick the whole thing in the freezer, laying the plastic bag flat to save storage space.

If say, you don’t have enough resealable plastic bags to store individual servings of the pasta bake, try this trick: scoop the pasta dish into a greased muffin tin. Stick the muffin tin the freezer and leave it to freeze for at least 3 hours.

Once the dish is completely frozen, take the muffin tin out of the freezer and pop each serving of frozen pasta bake out of the tray and into one large resealable plastic bag, squeezing as much air as you can before sealing the bag. Write the storage date and then stick in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from Personal Creations

How to Defrost and Reheat Pasta Bake?

To thaw the frozen pasta bake, take a serving out of the freezer and transfer it to the fridge. Do not open the plastic bag as the dish thaws. Leave the dish to thaw for several hours to overnight. Never leave the dish to thaw at room temperature. Once the pasta bake has been thawed completely, it’s ready for reheating.

To reheat the pasta bake, you can stick the dish either in the oven or in the microwave. If you’re using the oven, Bake the dish at 350° Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until heated through. On the last 5 minutes, try sprinkling a little Parmesan cheese. When using a microwave, heat over high at 2-minute intervals until the pasta is thoroughly heated.

Summary

For many, pasta bake is a comfort food, a classic dish that one simply cannot get enough of. Now that you know how can you freeze pasta bake, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t make this dish ahead of time so you’ll always have a quick snack waiting in the freezer.

Dish

Can You Freeze Baked Potatoes?

Do you love baked potatoes? Baking potatoes is a great make-ahead dish. It’s such a satisfying snack especially for busy folks who have no time to sit down for a full meal. Because really, who has an hour to wait for a meal?

Regardless if you have too many leftovers or you’re baking potatoes as a make-ahead meal, freezing is one of the best ways to save the dish for later. As long as cooked potatoes are packed the right way, they keep so well in the freezer.

Image used under Creative Commons from jeffreyw

Baked potato will only keep for 2 to 3 days in the fridge. This goes especially if the dish contains dairy products. But when stored in the freezer, baked potatoes will keep for 10 months to a full year! Of course, we recommend consuming the dish within a month or two after freezing for optimal flavor. But it’s nice to know that you can extend the shelf life of baked potatoes for a year or more!

Do keep in mind that the freezing temperature must be kept at a steady 0 degrees Fahrenheit for best results. Baked potatoes do contain water and when packed improperly, the dish will take on a grainy, watery consistency. Now let’s take a look at our step by step guide on how can you freeze baked potatoes:

Image used under Creative Commons from alanagkelly

How to Freeze Baked Potatoes?

If you’re making baked potatoes from scratch as a make-ahead meal, bake the potatoes until soft. Do not add the butter or any toppings if you’re planning to freeze the baked potatoes. Leave the baked potatoes to cool completely on the baking tray.

Once the baked potatoes have cooled down completely, wrap each one in aluminum foil. Make sure the potatoes are wrapped completely in foil so they are not exposed to freezing air. Freezing air will ruin the texture of the spuds once they’re defrosted! Place the wrapped baked potatoes in a large, heavy-duty resealable plastic bag. Squeeze as much air as you can prior to sealing. Write the storage date with a marker and then stick the bag in the freezer. This guide also applies for leftovers.

Image used under Creative Commons from alanagkelly

How to Defrost and Reheat Baked Potatoes?

To defrost the baked potatoes, simply transfer the dish from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the spuds to thaw overnight. But if you’re pressed for time, you can defrost the baked potatoes in the microwave. To thaw, microwave the baked potatoes on low. You can add the toppings as you reheat the dish.

As for reheating the roasted potatoes, you can do this using the microwave or an oven. After thawing the spuds, place the potatoes in a baking pan or microwave-safe serving dish. Add your favorite toppings such as herbs, bacon bits, or sour cream then stick in the oven or microwave to reheat. If you’re using the oven, cook over 350 Fahrenheit. Never re-freeze thawed baked potatoes.

Summary

Baked potatoes make a fantastic snack or starters. It’s a good thing that you can bake potatoes ahead of time to be devoured later on. Now that you know how can you freeze baked potatoes, whip up more of this delicious make-ahead dish with no fear of spoilage!

Dish

Can You Freeze Cream Soups?

Nothing is better than enjoying a bowl of cream soup especially on gloomy, bed weather! But what if you’d like to store leftover soup? Can you freeze cream soups? Just like any type of soups, you can freeze cream soup. However, cream soups have higher chances of flavor and texture changes when frozen and defrosted. The ingredients could clump together, the base could turn runny, and the original flavor might not be the same.

Image used under Creative Commons from Marco Verch

The fact is, cream-based soups are emulsified when they are cooked. The proteins are bonded, preventing water molecules from splitting from the fat molecules. Freezing tends to disrupt this bond, causing defrosted cream soup to take on a grainy, unpleasant texture and flavor. This goes for homemade and commercially bought cream soups alike.

It’s also worth noting that cream soups with lower fat content are more likely to split once defrosted. If you’re making dairy-based cream soup, we’d recommend using other types of milk other than skim milk. You can also hold off adding the cream, just add it once the soup has been defrosted. But if say, you’d like to defrost leftover cream soup, you need to prep the soup properly to maintain the integrity of the ingredients.

When kept in the fridge, cream soup should keep fresh for 3 to 4 days. But when kept in the freezer, cream soups will last for 6 months and beyond. Keep the temperature to a steady 0° Fahrenheit for optimal flavor. Here is a step by step guide on how can you freeze cream soups:

Image used under Creative Commons from baron valium

How to Freeze Cream Soups?

If you’re making the cream soup from scratch, wait until the soup has cooled completely before preparing for freezing. And again, consider holding off adding the cream if you’re making soup as a make ahead snack/meal. Just add the cream once you’re reheating, if possible.

Once the soup has cooled down completely, you can start packing the soup in plastic containers. You can use a freezer-safe plastic container or several resealable plastic bags. Just add several ladle-fuls of the soup in the container, leaving about an inch or two of space. This will give the soup enough room to expand as it freezes. Seal the container and mark with the storage date then stick in the freezer.

As for leftover cream soups, use a rigid plastic container with an airtight lid. Just pour the soup into the container but don’t fill the container all the way. Close the container with the airtight lid and stick in the freezer.

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How to Defrost and Reheat Frozen Cream Soups?

When it comes to defrosting frozen cream soups, do it slowly to minimize the separation between ingredients. Transfer the container from the freeze to the fridge. Leave the cream soup to thaw overnight for optimal flavor.

As for reheating the soup, you can do this via stove top or microwave. If you’re reheating stove top, pour the soup into a saucepan and simmer over low. Stir the cream soup frequently so it doesn’t burn. If the consistency is on the runny side, dissolve half a tablespoon of cornstarch in water, and pour the mixture to thicken the soup. For thawed soup without the cream, go ahead and add the cream as you simmer.

If you’re reheating the cream soup using a microwave, pour the thawed soup in a microwave-safe bowl, stick in the microwave and reheat on high for 20 seconds. Then, give the soup a good stir and then microwave for another 20 seconds if needed.

Summary

Cream soup is one of the most popular comfort foods for a reason. It’s such a soothing snack or starter and making it is well worth the effort. Now that you know how can you freeze cream soups, go ahead and make a large batch to share with your loved ones? You can store the rest in the freezer with no worries at all!

Dish

Can You Freeze Scrambled Eggs?

Scrambled eggs may be a quintessential breakfast option for some, but this dish is quite versatile. You can serve scrambled eggs as a bowl topper to your favorite grains or as a filling for sandwiches! Really, scrambled egg is so flexible because of its many uses but what if you have leftovers? Can you freeze scrambled eggs?

Cooked eggs are typically tricky to store in the fridge or a freezer. The egg white tends to take on an unpalatable rubbery texture once it’s been chilled for a while. But scrambled eggs fare better than say, fried eggs or hard-boiled eggs when frozen. Why? The egg whites are mixed with the yolk and this helps retain the original texture of the dish.

Image used under Creative Commons from Larry Hoffman

When kept in the fridge, scrambled eggs will keep up to 4 days. But when stored in the freezer, scrambled eggs could keep for a year or more as long as the temperature is kept at a steady 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze scrambled eggs:

How to Freeze Scrambled Eggs?

If you’re planning to freeze the leftovers before cooking the eggs, it’s important to cook the eggs halfway through or under done. Keep the consistency soft, runny as opposed to dry, and spongy. Runny scrambled eggs are less likely to turn rubbery or unpalatable once the dish has been thawed and reheated. Wait until the scrambled eggs cooled down completely before prepping for freezing.

Once the eggs have cooled down, it’s time to pack the dish into single or double serving portions. This way, the dish will be much easier to thaw and reheat. You can use several small resealable plastic bags to divide the dish into manageable portions. Just spoon the scrambled eggs into the resealable plastic bag, squeeze as much air as you can before sealing and marking with the storage date. Stick the baggies of scrambled eggs in the freezer and you are done.

Image used under Creative Commons from larsomat

How to Defrost and Reheat Scrambled Eggs?

Defrosting scrambled eggs is easy, just transfer a frozen bag of the dish from the freezer or fridge. Leave the dish to thaw for several hours to overnight. You could also submerge the sealed pack of frozen scrambled eggs in a bowl of tap water. This will speed up the thawing process. You may also add your favorite toppings or seasonings, including salt, cheese, milk, etc.

When the scrambled eggs are thawed and ready for reheating, transfer to a microwave-safe platter and add a little water to the eggs. This will prevent the scrambled eggs from drying out as the dish is reheated. Stick in the microwave and cook for 20 seconds on high. Check the doneness of the eggs and microwave again for another 20 seconds if needed. Once the eggs are warm enough, you have to consume the dish right away. Cooked eggs should never be left to sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

Summary

Compared to hard-boiled eggs or fried eggs, scrambled eggs keep so well in the freezer. However, it’s not a good idea to bring defrosted and reheated scrambled eggs in the freezer because texture and flavor changes will set in.  When reheating the scrambled eggs, make sure to consume the dish right away. Don’t reheat more than you can eat in a single seating. Now that you know how can you freeze scrambled eggs, you don’t have worry about wastage or spoilage when you have leftovers.

Dish

Can You Freeze Tamales?

Do you love Mexican cuisine? If you do, then you are probably familiar with tamales, a savory, starchy, doughy, corn-based dish that’s been steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf. This quintessential Mesoamerican dish is usually filled with cheese, meats, fruits, veggies, even chilies.

Tamales are so popular in Mexican culture that preparing it is a ritual itself. Tamale making has been a huge part of Mexican life and this goes all the way to the pre-Hispanic era.

Image used under Creative Commons from Aaron

And speaking of tamale making, making this dish takes hours that it’ll be impractical to make a small batch. In fact, it’s quite common for a household to make a huge batch, storing the rest for future gatherings. But can you freeze tamales? Yes, tamales keep so well in the freezer!

As long as the dish is prepped and packed properly, tamales will stay fresh for up to 6 months in the freezer with little to no changes in flavor or texture. When kept in the fridge, tamales will only keep for a week or so.

One thing to remember when freezing tamales is to cook the dish first prior to freezing. Do not freeze raw or uncooked tamales because this increases the risk of flavor or texture changes. Since the dish is made from uncooked ingredients, they will start degrading even when frozen. This goes especially for uncooked tamales that’s been left sitting at room temperature for too long. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze tamales:

Image used under Creative Commons from anasararojas

How to Freeze Tamales?

Regardless if you’re freezing homemade or leftover tamales, it’s essential to leave the dish to cool down completely prior to prepping. For homemade tamales, leave the cooked dish on a cooking rack for an hour or so. Check frequently to make sure the tamales have cooled completely. Again, if you leave the tamales sitting at room temperature for too long, they will spoil.

Once the tamales are cooled completely, get a large, airtight plastic container or several heavy-duty resealable plastic bags. Place the tamales inside the container, setting them flat so they retain their shape once they’ve been thawed. Do not pack too many tamales in one container. Seal the container, write the storage date with a marker then stick in the freezer.

How to Defrost and Reheat Frozen Tamales?

To thaw frozen tamales, simply transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the dish to thaw for several hours to overnight. When it comes to reheating tamales, there are different ways to do it. You can use a tamales steamer to reheat the tamales. Leave the husks on the tamales if you’re steaming them so the dough won’t stick onto the steamer.

You can also reheat thawed tamales in the microwave. But if you’re reheating the dish this way, you need to remove the husks. Start by removing the husks and then laying each tamale on a microwave-safe platter. Then, place a cup of water on the same platter. This will ensure that the tamales will stay nice and soft as they are heated. Stick in the microwave and reheat for 2 to 5 minutes.

Frying the tamales is also a great way to reheat the dish. Again, remove the husks of the tamales and then fry them in a skillet (add a little cooking oil) for 5 to 10 minutes. Turn frequently until each side is a nice golden brown.

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Finally, you can bake the thawed tamales in the oven. Get a baking pan, spray or brush a little cooking oil or butter on the pan and then place the tamales (husks removed). Stick in the oven and bake at 425 degrees F for about 30 minutes.

Summary

Who can say no to a platter of steaming tamales? Making these savory morsels is a labor of love but all the effort sure is worth it! Now that you know how can you freeze tamales, you can whip up a huge batch and keep the rest to impress guests on your next event!

Dish

Can You Freeze Pâté?

Pâté is a French and/or Belgian delicacy made with liver (usually duck or chicken), onions, and spices that are blended together to create a smooth, spreadable paste. This delicacy is often served with bread and is best enjoyed slightly chilled. If you love this savory spread to a point that you hoarded a lot of it, can you freeze pâté? Yes, pâté can be frozen and enjoyed for later consumption.

The fact is, pâté – especially when made from scratch – has a short shelf life. It’s the reason why store-bought ones are kept in small bottles. When kept in the fridge, pâté will stay fresh for only 7 to 8 days. One way to tell if pâté has gone bad is if it starts breaking down or secreting a rancid liquid.

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When kept in the freezer, you can stretch the shelf life of pâté to 3 months or more. That being said, pâté is best consumed immediately for optimal flavor. The spread has a high-fat content, which means flavor change is likely when kept in the freezer for too long. If you have more pâté than you can handle, here is a step by step guide on how can you freeze pâté:

How Can You Freeze Pâté?

The delicate nature of pâté means packing it in single serving portions is a must if the spread is homemade. This way, you don’t have to defrost the whole jar of pâté when you only need a couple of tablespoons of the stuff.

One way to divide a large batch of pâté into single serving portions is to use a silicone mold or even an ice cube tray. With a clean spoon, spoon the pâté into each section of the mold. Use the back of the spoon to level the pâté. Stick the product in the freezer and give it an hour or two to freeze.

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Once the pâté is frozen solid, take the mold or ice tray out, pop each pâté portion and cover each one in wax paper. Make sure each pâté portion is covered completely to prevent freezer burn during storage! After covering individual portions of pâté in wax paper, get a resealable plastic bag and place the whole lot inside. Squeeze as much air as you can before sealing the bag. Get a marker and write the storage date then stick in the freezer.

How to Defrost Frozen Pâté?

There are two ways to freeze pâté. One way to thaw pâté is to transfer the frozen portion from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the pâté to thaw overnight and it’s ready to be eaten. However, if the pâté has a high amount of butter, you can also thaw the pâté at room temperature.

Another way to defrost frozen pâté is to place the portion inside a small, resealable plastic bag, sealing the bag and then submerging the whole thing in a bowl of tap water. Leave the pâté to thaw for an hour or two then it’s ready to be eaten.

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Summary

The rich, indulgent flavor of pâté is so sought after, which is why this spreadable paste has surged in popularity outside of its native Europe.  Now that you now how can you freeze pâté, why not treat yourself, buy a little more to share and then freeze the leftovers for future use?

Dish

Can You Freeze Mac and Cheese?

Nothing warms the heart and nourishes the soul quite like a heaping bowl of mac and cheese. It’s one of the most beloved comfort foods for a reason. But if you made a sizable batch, can you freeze mac and cheese?

The short answer is yes, you can freeze mac and cheese. This goes for leftovers, homemade, and store-bought mac and cheese.

Just like most cheesy pasta dishes like lasagna and pasta casseroles, mac and cheese keep so well in the freezer. The catch? You have to prep the dish well prior to freezing, of course!

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If you don’t, the pasta will turn soggy and the dish will taste off. In some cases, defrosted mac and cheese would secrete a watery liquid that makes the dish unpalatable.

You see, mac and cheese is made with several dairy products. And dairy products are known for their notoriously short shelf life. To prevent flavor or texture changes, you have to protect the dish from freezer burn and moisture loss. Also, the temperature should stay even throughout the length of the storage period.

When kept in the fridge, mac and cheese will keep fresh for about 2 to 4 days. But when kept in the freezer, it will keep for about 6 months or more. However, it’s best to consume frozen mac and cheese quickly for optimal taste! Check out our step-by-step guide on how can you freeze mac and cheese for later use:

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How to Freeze Mac and Cheese?

When it comes to freezing homemade mac and cheese, it’s best to leave the dish to cool on the countertop prior to prepping. Don’t stick the still-warm mac and cheese in the fridge to cool! Ice crystals from the steam could ruin the texture of the pasta once it’s been defrosted.

Once the mac and cheese have been cooled, get a muffin tin and scoop ample amount of the dish into each buttered section using a spoon or a spatula. Using a muffin tin helps separate the dish into single serve portions. This way, you don’t have to defrost the whole dish when you’re just craving for a scoop-full.

Cover the muffin tin with cling wrap or aluminum foil then stick in the freezer. Leave the mac and cheese to freeze for 3 to 4 hours. Then, take out the muffin tray from the freezer, scoop the frozen mac and cheese and place gently in a large container with an airtight lid. Close the lid, add the label and stick in the freezer once again.

If you don’t have a muffin tin, use small heavy-duty plastic bags. Just spoon the dish into each plastic bag, squeeze the air out then reseal the bag. Get a marker and label each portion with the storage date. Stick in the freezer and you’re done! One thing to remember, lay the plastic bag flatly in the freezer to save space.

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How to Defrost and Reheat Mac and Cheese?

To defrost frozen mac and cheese, transfer a portion of the dish from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the mac and cheese to thaw overnight. If the mac and cheese became dry after defrosting, add a little milk prior to reheating.

As for reheating mac and cheese, there are many ways to do it. You can use the oven to bake the mac and cheese, the microwave or even the oven-toaster. Just add your favorite trimmings on a plate of defrosted mac and cheese before you reheat it for a few minutes and you got yourself a filling snack!

Summary

Do you love mac and cheese? Now that you know how can you freeze mac and cheese, you can make this beloved comfort food in advance and store it in the freezer! This way, you can whip up a quick snack whenever you’re craving for this cheesy, gooey dish.