Food Storage Tips for Thanksgiving Leftovers and Some Thoughts About Stocks and Soups
• Proper storage at an even temperature or below 40F is important
• Food danger zone: 41F to 135F (never serve foods at these temperatures)
• Don’t overcrowd foods in your refrigerator or freezer. Air should circulate freely to keep foods evenly cooked
• To prevent freezer burn, use only moisture-proof wrappings such as resealable plastic bags or airtight plastic containers. Remove as much air as possible from bags or containers.
• Some foods, such as seafood (crabcakes) or biscuits should be stored individually and then stored. Freeze them on baking sheets, uncovered until firm, then wrap each item in plastic wrap and pack them in a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag.
• When reheating refrigerated or frozen foods, reheat at lower temperature than original cooking temperature. Never use a higher temperature or the food may be overcooked.
• If using a microwave to reheat, use low or medium power. If reheated at high power, the food may be overcook on the edges before center is heated through.
Thawing Frozen Foods
• In the refrigerator, place the food in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or up to overnight. This method will preserve the taste, color and texture of food.
• In the microwave, place the food in the microwave and heat on low heat or defrost setting. Reheat or cook the food immediately after thawing.
Stocks and Sauces
• A stock is a flavored liquid, usually the base for a soup, sauce or braised dish. The French appropriately call a stock a ‘fond’ (or a ‘base’) as stocks are a basis for many classic and modern dishes.
• A sauce is a thickened liquid to flavor and enhance foods. A good sauce adds flavor, moisture, richness and visual appeal. A sauce should compliment food, it should never disguise it.
• The thought of preparing stocks and sauces can be intimidating but following these steps can make it quite simple.
• Bones are the most important ingredient to making a good stock or sauce. They add flavor, richness and color to the stock.
• The best bones for poultry stock (turkey or chicken) are from the neck and back. If an entire carcass is used, it can be cut up for easier handling. Always cut at the joints and never in the middle of a bone.
• If making vegetable stock, use only 2-3 different types of vegetables for the right flavor mix.