Freezer Essentials Shopping List
The freezer isn’t just a place for long-forgotten leftovers. It plays an important role in your entertaining palette. Here are some of the things I keep inside mine:
- Packaged vegetables. Corn, peas, carrots, and fava and lima beans can serve as inspired, last-second additions to stews, pasta, and other side dishes.
- Steaks (in various cuts) and chickens. Because I entertain a great deal, I buy my food in bulk. For instance, I probably have twelve organic chickens in my freezer at any given time! Meats and poultry should be wrapped in plastic wrap, then placed in dated freezer bags to guard against freezer burn. They’ll taste great up to three months.
- Soups, stews, and chili. Once in a while I whip up a big pot of homemade soup or a delicious stew, which I then freeze and vacuum-seal in portions custom-ready for two. If I don’t have time to make them myself, I stock up on favorite store-boughts.
- Chicken and veal stock. These two bases are the fundamental secrets of the world’s most famous chefs and are great for assembling an amazing spur-of-the-moment soup or tasty sauce to go alongside steak, chicken, or lamb. Veal stock works well for rich gravies, especially with some red win added to the mix. Stocks can be stored in the freezer for up to two months, and will, without a doubt, make your lamb, beef, or pork “gourmet.”
- Frozen appetizers. Sausage rolls and samosas can be popped into the oven, or deep-friend, at a moment’s notice and served with dipping sauces. If friends drop by unexpectedly, you’ll be prepared.
- Chilled vodka or tequila. You never know when there’s going to be a great reason to celebrate at a moment’s notice, so keep a bottle of vodka or tequila ready and waiting. White wine and champagne can be placed in the freezer one to two hours in advance of your guests’ arrival. If they’re left too long or forgotten, the cleanup will be messy!
- A selection of frozen yogurt, ice creams and sorbets.
- Puff pastry. An essential ingredient for quick and easy appetizers.
- Bread and rolls. They last for months and can be quickly toasted or heated in the oven and served hot alongside salads, soups, and your main course.
- Ice! If you don’t have an ice maker, I recommend you keep a pound or more in Ziploc bags!