Defrosting

Frozen foods often get a bum rap, but don't believe all that you hear.  I'm referring to frozen 'fresh' food (oxy moron?), not frozen processed foods.  

I truly love my freezer.  I freeze fresh meats, fish, and fruits.  You may think I'm nuts freezing fresh meat but...

Meats and seafood can get expensive so when they go on sale at the supermarket, I stock up.  People at the checkout stand always stare at my bloody loot, usually beef, being the most expensive.  When there's a sale, an $8.99/lb ribeye or prime rib roast can dip as low as $3.99/lb, by the way, NOT referring to five day old steak about to expire in the next days, NEVER EVER get those.  I'm talking about fresh stocked meat put on sale to lure buyers in the store.  I get about 10 steaks, come home and IMMEDIATELY divide and pack into gallon-sized ziplock bags, squeezing as much air out as possible, enough for 2 servings (about a pound per person because we eat a lot).  If it's ground meat, about 1 pound per sandwich-sized ziplock bag.  For fish, cut into 10 ounce pieces and place in sandwich-sized ziplocks.  Use a Sharpie pen to label the purchase date, item inside (trust me, once it's frozen, you could easily forget what it started out as) and approximately how many pounds - toss in freezer for later use.  It's so handy and you'll enjoy great cuts of meats or fish for less.

DEFROST MEAT
The best method, and safest, is to defrost in your refrigerator - in it's ziplock and on a platter to avoid a possible bloody mess, yuck.  Defrosting meat can take about 24 to 48 hours to fully defrost, depending on the size of the cut, so I just plan what days I feel like cooking which is on the week days (make it a habit so you don't forget) and place a meat I feel like eating in the fridge.  I'll plan out a meal around the type of meat I've decided to defrost.  So much easier to start with the meat and go from there as most vegetables and sides match whatever main dish you'll make.

DEFROST FISH
Fish takes way less time to defrost than meats due to it's light, flakey flesh.  Defrost in it's bag on a platter in the refrigerator overnight and it's ready for dinner the next night.  I, personally, do not buy fish from the local supermarket.  We don't have fish often so I go to Costco or Smart & Final where they sell 2 or 3 pound bags of 8 oz. individual, air-tight sealed packs of fish.  I love this because the fish hasn't been sitting out on ice at the supermarket for who knows how long.  Fish is caught, gutted, cut and immediately sealed and frozen for packaging.  It's essentially "fresh" fish caught that has been immedately frozen.  I just pull out however many servings I want from the freezer, whenever I want.  Don't let this "frozen" stuff fool you - these fishes are SO incredibly flakey, tender and moist.

DEFROST VEGETABLES
I normally use fresh vegetables because it tastes better.  But if you like to use frozen vegetables in your dishes, I would think its easier to use commercially bagged vegetables.  They normally don't need to defrost if they are small pieces, such as corn kernels, peas or green beans.  Just measure out what you need and quickly run under water for a quick wash, which will defrost them as well, then add to your dish as you normally would - although, they will cook faster than their fresh counterpart.  FYI, there are many vegetables that should not be frozen such as leafy greens, cilantro, avocados, celery, etc.  Spinich is a leafy vegetable and are, yes, frozen but honestly they look kind of gross to me.  If you like 'em, you do you ;) 

DEFROST FRUIT
I love to freeze hard to find, expensive or seasonal fruits such as berries, mangos and stone pitted fruits. Frozen grapes and bite-sized bananas are also awsome to have around ;)  Give them a good wash, pat dry completely, cut (if necessary) to bite sized pieces and into a labeled ziplock bag they go!  I do not defrost fruits - once defrosted, they become limp and disgusting looking, probably tastes a bit stale too.  But when kept in its frozen state, they are great for making smoothies or baked into cakes.  

 

... ALL in all, freezing is a great way to save money, and it's hard to taste the difference when prepared properly.  Just make sure you defrost your meats completely before cooking or else you'll end up with a raw center.  Disgusting.  If you're not sure it's been properly defrosted, give it a good poke in the center to see if your finger sink in - use your best judgement...  and make a mental note for the next time you defrost!