Freezer Cooking’s Most Important Step

Wow.  This has been one busy month/three-day-weekend.

Money Saving Mom has been hosting a freezer cooking link-up every night this month, and I haven’t once been able to participate.  There’s just so . . . much . . . going . . . on.

But last week, as I once again realized that while I had menu planned, I hadn’t grocery planned (and was lacking an essential ingredient for whatever was supposed to be on the menu that night), I grabbed something out of the freezer which I had purchased at Costco several months ago.

This something needed to be served over rice.  So I did what I usually do when I cook rice, and doubled/tripled/quadrupled the amount that I needed.

I love to pre-cook and freeze rice to use in our family’s favorite Chicken Fried Rice recipe or in my Mexican Casserole recipe.

But there’s one small step which I tend to forget when I do this.  It’s kind of an important one.

It’s called freezing.

Yes, I love to cook extra.  LOTS of extra.  But I have been known . . . to leave that lots of extra in the fridge and forget to freeze it.  Because of my totally-made-up-and-self-diagnosed Time Passage Awareness Disorder, I generally realize what I’ve done (or haven’t done) when I go looking for my rice-cooker and see that it is full of pink-polka-dotted rice.

Did you know that rice-mold can be pink?  It can.

So, I’m proud that not only did I do a little freezer cooking last week, I also did a little freezing.

And here’s my bonus tip for freezing cooked rice: The best way I’ve found to freeze rice is to first let it get very cold in the fridge so it becomes hard and solid.  Then, I divide the rice chunks into freezer bags, seal the bags, and smush down the rice chunks.  The large chunks break apart easily when the cooked rice is cold and dry.

After they’re as broken up as possible, I freeze the bags flat.

This allows me to easily break off as much rice as I need for a recipe, and also greatly decreases thawing time compared to large chunks of frozen rice.

Be sure to check out all of my freezer-cooking tips and recipes here.

Comments

  1. Oh thank God, I thought I was the only one that attempted freezer cooking but forgot to freeze stuff!
    I had to throw some chicken out last week—I hate throwing out food like that. Plus I have a big thing of beans (nope, didn’t measure) that I just put in the freezer– just moved them from the fridge to the freezer, bowl & all, didn’t want to throw something else out. IF I could find my blender’s blades I would make a bean dip, but not sure what I’ll make

  2. Oh, my… My soulmate. I thought I was the only one. Yes, I have done the exact same thing. And come back later to soupy, pink, smelly rice. T hank you so much for sharing. (sniffle) I’m not alone in this world!

  3. Angela Michaud says:

    I TOO have Time Passage Awareness Disorder (let’s just call it TPAD), but until now I didn’t realize that here were other sufferers. Hallelujah! We’re not alone. But I am guilty (and, really – this makes me feel GUILTY) of buying something in bulk and telling my husband “ohmygosh it was such a great sale I will totally freeze it and we’ll save so much money…” only to have to explain to him later why it’s furry and inedible.
    I guess there’s nothing to do but improve!

  4. Yeah – I have Time Passage Awareness Disorder too, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve forgotten this important step. It is SO irritating!

    You know, I haven’t really frozen rice before, but I tend to have leftovers of Mexican Rice that I always throw away. If I froze those, how would I reheat them to serve as Mexican Rice? Just in the microwave?

    • I generally use the rice I’ve frozen in recipes rather than as a stand alone dish. Mexican rice would be great in a soup or as filler in burritos or a casserole. Definitely would work in that Mexican casserole recipe I linked to in this post!

      I thaw frozen rice for a minute at a time on 10% power in the microwave. Because I use it in dishes, I just want it to break apart.

  5. TPAD sufferers, unite! :) I’m one as well – the things in the back of the fridge, leftovers perfectly packaged for lunch at work the next week, seem to drift right out of view and I come back two Tuesdays from now to moldy yuck. :(

    Thanks for another great post, Nony! :) We love you!!!

  6. LOVE the idea of Time Passage Awareness Disorder! So funny. Thank you for giving it a name!! So far haven’t had the pink rice in the rice cooker, as we generally eat all of ours (I just make enough for dinner), but have had plenty of “science experiments” in the fridge! Not sure how to make a plan to use up those leftovers before they go bad. Any suggestions from those w/o TPAD?

  7. So that’s what it is……TIME PASSAGE AWARENESS DISORDER!!!! I never had a name for it and have tried to explain it to people. If you don’t have TPAD, you can’t understand the frustration of time disappearing as if it never existed. So glad that I am not alone!!!

  8. Christie says:

    Ah, the big batch of beans that gets left in the crockpot at the end of the day (had to wait for it to cool off enough to put it away) or the homemake chicken stock that I’m so proud of saving the veggie trimming in the freezer to make (same story)…I know it all too well!

  9. This post reminded me of the CrockPot full of cooked black beans that has been in my refrigerator for several days.

    Luckily, the beans were still fine, and I bagged them up this morning and (wait for it) actually put them in the freezer! :)

    Thanks for the motivation, Nony. I just love your blog!

  10. Or the big batch of bean soup that I made and we didn’t have room in the fridge for the leftovers, but it was below 0, so I put the container in the enclosed front porch. I’m scared of that container now. It’s been out there for like 3 weeks and I’m scared to take the cover off. And it’s my really cook enamelware dish… Hmm, hubby must need to do some chore out there, right and then he can dump it in the garbage and clean out the pot, right? (Blech!)

  11. I thought I was the only one! I hate dividing meat so much that I actually started freezer cooking to combat that.

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