A friend and follower recently wrote me, “my number one wish is for a cookbook full of recipes that can be made ahead and frozen so that when yontif comes I can just pull the pans out and warm them up.”
I can’t agree more. I work around the clock 24 6 and I always love to be able to pull things out that I've prepped in advance. My freezer is jam-packed! When I lived in America I had three freezers, not one, not two, but three!!! Now, in Israel, I can only fit 2, but wherever you can fit an extra freezer do it because there are wonderful things that you can prep ahead.
I'm always pulling out food for Shabbos and my number one prep ahead freezer-friendly food is soup.
I actually make 15 to 20 quarts of soup at a time and I freeze them in individual 2-quart containers and therefore I'm able to pull out chicken soup, cabbage soup and split pea soup any time I want. And matzo balls come right out of the freezer too. For any given Shabbos I pull out one or two or three containers depending on how many people I have.
Next, I love to freeze the meat, but not any kind of meat.
Another thing that freezes extremely well is kugel.
All kinds of kugels freeze well, broccoli, carrot, butternut squash, noodle kugel all freeze well. I used to not like to freeze potato kugel, because there is nothing like crispy potato kugel fresh from the oven, but it is totally fine.
Desserts are incredible to freeze. First of all, I actually love cooled and chilled desserts like mousse, sorbet cakes, and ice cream bars and cakes. Second, cakes and cookies and pastries freeze incredibly well, so I'll often spend the day making 5000 cookies just to freeze for when I need them. This way I am always prepared even for last-minute guests.
The freezer to me is like my number one sous chef and my extra set of hands when it comes to preparing for Shabbos so here are a few more tips to get the most from your freezer.
1. Use sealable freezer bags.
2. Double wrap, this helps prevent freezer burn especially on baked goods, either wrap in a paper bag or plastic wrap first then in the sealable bag.
3. Label, label, label. Once the dish is frozen you won’t be able to tell your cabbage soup from your fricassee or even from your chocolate mousse, you don’t want to make a crazy mistake later. Also, label the date so you don’t leave things in there too long.
Want to watch instead? Check out my Q&A when you click play.
Don't miss my 7 Tips For Make Ahead Shabbat Meals.
Here are links to all the recipes I talked about.