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KITCHEN HACKS - ICE CUBES TRAYS AREN'T JUST FOR ICE CUBES!

KITCHEN HACKS - ICE CUBES TRAYS AREN'T JUST FOR ICE CUBES!

Ice cube trays are the ideal vessel for preserving a whole lot of sauces, confits and liquids (savory and sweet) in convenient, fast-to-thaw quantities that will defrost quickly in a sauté pan (and often times, straight in your soup pot, blender or punch bowl).  

Here's what you do:

1. Buy two ice cube trays and designate one savory and one sweet. You may need want to continue making ice cubes with these due to lingering scents.

2. When you have a leftover ingredient you'd like to save for later, spoon it into the tray. On a standard tray, each divot holds about 1 ounce (2 tablespoons). 

3. Once frozen, dislodge the frozen cubes (a silicone tray makes this task incredibly easy) and store them in a zip-top freezer bag.

4. Defrost in the microwave (or in a small, dry bowl floating in a larger bowl filled with warm water) or, in some cases, use straight from the freezer.

Savory Suggestions:

1. Mashed roasted garlic - Defrost then spread it on a piece of toast with Gruyère
2. Vegetable bouillon - Add to soups, grains or dried beans
3. Chipotles in adobo - Add to chili or enchilada sauce
4. Caramelized onions - Add to sauces and meat dishes
5. Tomato paste - Add to spaghetti sauce
6. Fresh herbs in olive oil - Use for any sautéed vegetables, soup or stir-fry
7. Grated ginger - For fried rice, steamed fish, braised chicken
8. Pesto - Turn into a sauce, salad dressing, marinade chicken or fish
9. Chicken stock - Add a couple of cubes along with some wine to deglaze a pan
10. Celery leaves in lemon juice - Chill down your Bloody Mary without diluting it.

Sweet Suggestions:

1. Date paste - Add to your morning smoothie
2. Clarified or brown butter - Add to pasta, roast chicken or granola
3. Buttermilk - For biscuits, pancakes, fried chicken, salad dressing
4. Berries in water - For lemonade, iced tea, sangria, or fruity cocktail
5. Coffee - For cold brew that gets stronger, not more watery
6. Coconut milk - Add a cube or two to soup, stew, curry for no-cream richness
7. Rosé - Chill your wine without weakening it
8. Lime wedges - For punch, iced tea, lemonade or a glass of good old water
9. Greek yogurt - Straight into your smoothie!
10. Green tea - Add to cool, lightly-sweetened green tea or lemonade. 

 

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