No Need To Thaw: You Can Cook These Straight From The Freezer
Don't panic if you forgot to thaw!
When it comes to cooking frozen food, most people believe that everything needs to be thawed before it can or should be cooked. That's not always the case. When you're hungry and you didn't prepare anything before looking into the refrigerator, you can turn to the freezer for your next meal and not have to worry about thawing.
Here are food that you cook straight from the freezer, no need to thaw!
1 Chicken nuggets, French fries, and other breaded frozen food
You might already know this but for those who thaw chicken nuggets will find that the nuggets may become tough on the inside and too browned on the outside. That's because these are already precooked and are already almost a golden brown and delicious color. A little more cooking from frozen maintains that golden brown cooking while keeping the inside juicy.
The same goes for almost any breaded frozen food unless otherwise stated in the package instructions, which include French fries.
It's no secret that dumplings can be finicky to make. After all, those pleats are not perfectly made without some practice. Enter the frozen dumplings which is not only super convenient but also perfectly made. The even better part of having premade dumplings is that these are ready to cook, too. Just place these directly into your steamer and in about 10 minutes, you should have perfectly cooked dumplings that are ready to eat.
You can even steam dumpling in a frying pan!
It's controversial, we know, but we found advocates of cooking frozen steaks and they're avid testers of all things food: Cook's Illustrated under America's Test Kitchen. The premise is that to cook perfectly cooked steak that's tender and juicy throughout, you need to cook it from a thawed state versus a frozen state. The belief is that a frozen steak will still be frozen on the inside, in the center, if it's not thawed.
According to the tests, that's not true. A frozen steak actually emerged better than expected, with a perfectly juicy interior throughout while the thawed steak had an overcooked outside.
Want to to try cooking steak that's frozen? Here's what they did:
- 1 Heat enough oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat for pan frying, about 1/8 inch up the sides of your pan.
- 2 Cook the steak about 90 seconds per side until well seared on both sides.
- 3 Place the steak in a preheated 275 degree F (135 degree C) oven until the minimum internal temperature of the steak reads around 125 degrees F (52 degrees C) for medium-cooked steak, about 18 to 20 minutes.
- 4 Serve immediately after resting.
This may be longer than you think you should be cooking steak but the results make perfect steak every time.
4 Fish fillets and seafood
Fish and other seafood are commonly best prepared as fresh as possible. However, the convenient ingredient is really the frozen kind. These don't require being shelled nor gutted and filleted to be ready to cook! Instead, you can toss the pre-shelled frozen shrimps into your hot pan and let it thaw in the sauce. You can also top a frozen cream dory fish fillet with the classic ginisa mix of tomatoes, onions, and garlic with a little oil, salt, and pepper. Place this on a microwave-safe plate, covered loosely with plastic wrap, in the microwave and cook on High for 10 minutes. Add an additional 2 to 3 minutes as needed until cooked through. The result is a tender and flaky fish meal that didn't need to be thawed before cooking.
5 Frozen mixed vegetables and other vegetables and fruits
Those mixed vegetables made of carrots, peas, and corn add instant bulk to many dishes. That stew you wanted to make but didn't because you didn't have potatoes could use a cup or two of mixed vegetables instead.
Got more affordable frozen broccoli and cauliflower florets instead of fresh? You'll love that you can just pop these in the simmering soup or steamer to make a hearty and warming bowl of broccoli cheddar chowder or a cauliflower gratin.
Those frozen berries add instant flavor to your smoothie glass or yogurt bowl and elevate your tub of ordinary vanilla ice cream to luxe treats. Frozen bananas make themselves especially useful as both a flavor and base of 2-ingredient ice cream recipes that don't need to be churned. Just frozen overripe bananas and a little chilled milk or cream to help the blender or food processor going are all really you need. You can even season it to taste with your choice of sweetener, too!
6 Frozen bread
If you stored the last 2 inches of that gorgeous sourdough bread because you didn't want it to become stale, you did good. Now, the other piece of good news is that you don't even need to thaw the bread to slice it and toast it. It emerges from the toaster (or skillet) as if it was almost freshly baked!
Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!
Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here.