Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ice Cube Trays: Not Just for Water Anymore!

The broth I made from the carcass of my rum-and-Dr. Pepper marinated Thanksgiving turkey filled 5 quart jars. I froze the remaining broth (after cooling) in the ice cube tray kept in my freezer for small amounts of leftover liquids. Once the tray is full (or almost full), I transfer the cubes to labeled freezer bags for storage. It's a great way to eliminate waste due to spoilage. When you need them, they thaw quickly.

So far, I've also had great luck with freezing:

  • heavy cream or half-and-half (use in sauces or cream soups)
  • fruit juice (use to replace some of the water in gelatin, blend cubes into smoothies, or use to cool fruity drinks)
  • vegetable juice (add flavor to soups or rice)
  • liquid from cooking sweet red peppers in broth (use in soups or rice, or to saute other veggies)

I've also heard you can freeze (and plan to try):
  • fresh herbs blended with a little water
  • leftover wine (if there ever is any...)
  • evaporated milk
  • tomato sauce
  • almost any vegetable puree
  • whole eggs, whites or yolks (with some preparation)
  • leftover coffee (cool iced coffee with cubes, or blend into a frozen drink) 
A standard ice cube tray, by my measurements, holds 2 cups of liquid (16 ounces). If your recipe calls for precise amounts, thaw the cubes first and measure carefully. Approximate cooking conversions follow:

1 cube  = 2 tablespoons = 1 ounce
2 cubes = 1/4 cup
4 cubes = 1/2 cup
6 cubes = 1 cup

Any other ideas?

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