Friday, December 25, 2009

Freezing Green Beans and Snow Peas

  1. Bring a very big pot of generously salted water to a rolling boil (the kind that will quickly come back after you add your room temperature beans.)
  2. Add rinsed beans, in one pound batches, though that depends on just how big your pot is. Do not crowd the beans!!
  3. Boil , or as it is more technically called, blanch the beans for 2-3 minutes depending on just how big your beans are and whether or not you left them whole, or chose to cut them into 1 inch or 2 inch segments.
  4. Drain immediately and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. The key is that your beans are partially blanched, not completely blanched, before freezing.
  5. Shake the beans so that most of the water drips off and then lay them out of a baking sheet. If they seem really wet, pat them dry, to minimize ice crust formation on their surface.
  6. Then place your sheet, of well spread out beans in the freezer and come back to it in a half hour or so. What you are doing is beginning the freezing process in such a way that each bean freezes on its own, and not in a crammed, packed mass stuffed inside a ziploc bag. You want inidividual frozen beans, not a frozen ice block of beans.
  7. After a half hour or so of freezer time on the tray, go ahead and place them into ziploc bags with as much air as possible squeezed out of them.
  8. Come December, enjoy your summer green beans and snow peas by pulling out a bag full and blanching them straight from the freezer for 2-4 minutes in a big, well salted, rigorously boiling pot of water!!!!

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