Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Freezer Tip: All Things Citrus

How to freeze all things citrus.
Welcome to another Freezer Tip post. Some of these posts may be obvious and/or common knowledge. But as some of you may know, I started this blog for my children. So they that could reference it when they move out and if they ever wanted a recipe for a dish they liked. So these little tips may be useful, someday.

Today I'm posting about citrus. The zest, slices, and the juice. First off let's talk about the zest because that's the first thing you'll take off if you are going to freeze, say a lemon- but any citrus fruit like oranges and grapefruit work. There are a couple ways that I save zest.
  • Pieces of zest: I use a vegetable peeler and peel thin pieces of zest off of the lemon. These can later be minced or cut into smaller strips if needed.

Use strips of citrus zest in one of my Chai recipes.
  • For easy minced or grated zest. I save halves of citrus after they are juiced. Just the empty peel. If I need grated zest, I'll pull a half out of the freezer and grate from frozen. It's very simple and gives dishes a brightness and freshness that only fresh not fried zest can give. 

Use grated zest in recipes like my Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.

  • Slices of citrus: Slice the citrus fruit into rounds or half circles. Flash freeze on a piece of wax paper. Once frozen through, transfer to a freezer bag or container. 
Use slices of citrus in:
A glass of water, or cup of tea.
On roasted chickens.
On slices of fish on the grill or in the oven.
  • Citrus Juice in blocks: You can freeze citrus juice in an ice cube tray (or muffin tins) and store in freezer safe bags or containers. While freeze juice in blocks or muffin tins, note how many tablespoons or cups your vessel holds. If your ice cube tray holds two tablespoons of liquid, mark that on the container you store the cubes in. That way you know how many cubes to pull out for a recipe. This is great for most citrus juices. But for lime juice I use the method below.
Use citrus juice blocks:
 In smoothies.
  • Citrus juice in a bag : For lime juice I like to freeze a bunch in a bag. This method works well for me because I am able to take the bag out of the freeze and put a teaspoon in the bag to scoop out what I need, this is a great time saver for salad dressings. Simple place the citrus juice into a freezer safe bag, seal well. Every couple of hours move the bag around so that ice crystals form but do not freeze in a solid block. You'll end up with a citrus juice snow cone almost. And that is what you want, tiny little clumps of ice crystals. Measuring this is not cup for cup. Ice crystals take up more volume than just liquid. If you need precise measurements use a cube of juice from above, or thaw and measure.
Use frozen citrus crystals in:

  • Next up is an easy one, Kaffir lime leaves. I simply wash and dry these, toss them in a freezer bag. After I gently squeeze the air out, and put them in the freezer.

Use Kaffir leaves in
Thai Curry One Pot Wonder

Use a few of the methods above for these recipes below:

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