Our busy lives take a toll on so much of our lives, including getting a homemade dinner on the table every night. We feel forced to spend extra money on “takeout” food. But that is not the only answer. We can have our own “takeout” food right out of our own freezer. All you need is a little forethought and some great tips. That's where I come in.
When you fill your freezer ahead of time, you won’t feel stressed out when holidays or other busy days pop up in your life. But, it is important to follow freezer safety tips and keep your freezer at zero degrees for optimum freshness of your frozen food.
Ever see a great fish recipe, but realize you don't have time to get to the store for some fresh fish? Don't squelch that craving, prepare for it. You can use the following tip to freeze your fresh fish for future use.
Buy fresh salmon, tilapia or flounder, and place them when raw, side by side, in a (9 X 13) low rectangle, flat, airtight, Freezermates Tupperware container. Cover the fish with cold water, leaving ¼ inch space to allow for expansion. Once frozen, it will be encased in a block of ice, preserving its freshness. (Foil or cheap plastics do not allow for the extreme temperatures and vapors in the freezer. Food stored in these types of wrappings dry out and get “freezer burn”).
When you want to prepare “fresh fish” for dinner, simply remove the “block of frozen fish” from the container and run warm water over the pieces you plan on using for that meal. Remove the seal, twist the container slightly. The sheet of fish encased in the ice will pop out, when loosened with the water. Those pieces will drop off, fresh and ready to use. The rest will remain frozen and stay fresh until you need them the next time!
Once removed from the ice, cook the fish semi-defrosted, and it will taste like you just caught it! You will save lots of time not having to run to the store to purchase fish on those days you feel like enjoying a lighter meal with fish as your main course.
This method allows you to take advantage of sales and buy in bulk knowing the fish can stay fresh in the freezer in the proper airtight container. You can stock up way in advance of a Yom Tov or future family occasion, saving money on your food bill.
Fatty fish, like bluefish mackerel and salmon, can be frozen for 2 to 3 months. Lean fish such as cod, flounder, sole and tilapia can be frozen for 6 months.
I made a breaded fish fillet recipe recently, Tilapia Parmesan, and discovered a new favorite to add to my repertoire. Try the recipe—it is so easy to prepare, especially when you always have “fresh” fish available for spur-of-the moment cooking. Also, I am including my sister Bella’s, Quick Salmon Fillet recipe that she always prepares for Shabbos whenever we visit her in Monsey. It is really easy and heavenly. Enjoy!