Perfect for those busy nights when you need a quick dinner, the concept behind homemade stir-fry freezer bags is pretty simple: blanch and freeze fresh vegetables in batches and get a handy mix ready to throw in the skillet for a dinner in a snap. Simple as that! No stress of preparing a meal from scratch, and no need to end up ordering take away!
Pick up your own veggies at the farmer’s market or the produces aisle of the supermarket then lock a quick cooking session at home. You’ll be able to stock up an impressive amount of vegetables, ready to jump in the skillet when you need them!
For this example we’ll be using:
- 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 8 young carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1/2 red onion, finely sliced
- 1/2 white onion, finely sliced
Cut cauliflower into florets: break the head of cauliflower then trim the hardest parts. You’ll just have to divide into smaller florets. Rinse them briefly under cold water before blanching.
Peel and slice carrots about 1/5-inch (5mm) thick. We made some little carvings on the sides to make carrots look funnier — kids, you know…
Blanch each vegetable separately then gather on a large tray to finish draining and cooling down.
Toss the vegetable together with a wooden spatula to obtain an homogenous mix.
Divide into freezer bags, depending on the portion size you want.
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Blanch briefly the vegetables, one variety at a time. Count 90 sec for the cauliflower florets; carrots 2 minutes; onion 30 seconds.
3. Remove vegetables from water with a large spider￼ and transfer to a bowl of iced water to stop the cooking process. Then spread on a platter to drain and dry up.
4. Once vegetables are well drained, toss together gently with your hands and divide into meal-sized portions (1/2 lb, 1 lb or any volume your are use to when your cook) and slip into large freezer bags. Press as much air out as possible and seal tightly.
5. Place as flat as possible in you freezer, spreading the bags over lots of surface area so that they freeze as quickly as possible. Then you can stack them in a corner of the freezer.
- When you’re ready to cook: add the vegetables directly to a hot sauté pan or wok with a bit of oil and cook quickly, moving them around until they thaw and finish cooking.
- Blanching the vegetables has many benefits: it precooks the ingredient, so you save time when preparing your meal; it kills most of the bacteria; it preserve the nice bright color of the vegetable.