Freeze frame: Flavors last in frozen flash
Time for another salute to Clarence Birdseye, who discovered the deliciousness of frozen foods by tossing some fish into a snow bank.
He then noticed people living in the Arctic throwing fresh fish and meat in barrels of sea water and quickly freezing them in the arctic’s frigid temperatures. The creative thinker soon developed his “flash freeze” preservation method for foods in 1923. He sold his patents and trademarks in 1929 for $22 million, which led to frozen foods appearing in stores by 1930. The rest is food history.
The 30th annual National March Frozen Food Month and the National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association reminds us that frozen foods can be simple, nutritious, delicious, affordable and customized to meet today’s consumer needs while saving time and money.
Freezing preserves the flavor of our local produce. Recently, a friend and I were bemoaning the fact our freezer supply of Palisade peaches was disappearing waaay too early.
I toss those peaches in the blender with some lowfat or fat free milk, a little vanilla and sweetener of choice, for a treat or meal that’s so good it almost makes you feel guilty. Add frozen banana slices and forget the sweetener or add frozen raspberries for a heavenly Peach Melba shake.
However, when my local peaches are gone, I’ll be off to the supermarket for some frozen berries, which I’ll stick to while waiting for the best peaches in the world.
Try combining bags of frozen cauliflower and broccoli with fresh produce to roast in the oven or on the grill.
Freezing local produce and meats is certainly one of way to preserve the freshness of summer. Combining fresh or home frozen with frozen food choices at the market is the way to go.
4 frozen salmon filets, thawed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
1 package frozen asparagus spears
Radish slices, mixed greens and lemon slices for garnish
Place salmon fillets in lightly greased baking dish. Combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, salt/pepper; pour over salmon. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily. Meanwhile, prepare asparagus per package directions. To serve, place radish slices on each plate, top with asparagus and salmon fillets. Garnish top with mixed greens and lemon slices.
Tortellini Vegetable Soup
Prep time: less than 15 minutes. Servings: 4.
1 16-ounce bag frozen meat or cheese tortellini
3 15-ounce cans vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
Hot sauce to taste
Pinch of sugar
Parmesan cheese, grated
In large pot, heat vegetable stock, tomatoes, spices and vegetables on medium high for 5 minutes. Add tortellini; cook until tender (4–6 minutes). Add hot sauce and sugar to taste. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Dixie note: Warm and quick to fix on a cool, windy March day.
Prep time: less than 15 minutes. Serves 6.
6 frozen pancakes
2 cups frozen strawberries, thawed
1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
1⁄2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Prepare pancakes according to package directions. Slice strawberries. On each pancake, create face with blueberries as eyes, chocolate chips for the smile; place strawberry slices around edge of pancake; looks like the sun.
Dixie note: Whole grain pancakes; blueberries for both eyes and smile.