Cooking in advance

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SamA's picture
Joined: 2014-10-01 03:16
Cooking in advance

Hi Chef and Stellas

Time to start thinking about Xmas - that means cooking as much as possible ahead without comprimising on taste, as well as planning execution

So, I have tried Chef's amazing sprouts with honey anchovy aioli dish, so my first question is

1) After I've blanched the sprouts in iced water, how long can I keep them fresh for, and what is the best way of doing so?

Next questions is similar for roast potatoes / root vegetables;

2) Is it best to parboil, then coat in fat, then refrigerate / freeze? Or to parboil and refrigerate / freeze, then coat in fat prior to final cooking? Does freezing give them more crunch when cooked due to carbohydrate structure? Any other ideas?

3) Ham - presumably I can braise it, cool and refrigerate, then give it a final cook in the oven to finish. Any other ways to cook in advance / retherm?

Turkey and gravy - no problem thanks to November's posts - thanks again Chef!

I'm sure I'll think of more, but this is to get the ball rolling......

Season's Greetings!


Mucho Bocho's picture
Mucho Bocho
Joined: 2015-01-26 09:37

Simon, I'll offer my suggestions.

1.) Trim ends. Blanch, chill, strain, put in Ziplock bag with a dry paper towel. Will last at least a week.

2.) You can boil the potatoes till par cooked (still have some give i the middle), Then cool and put in refrigerator. Could be done the night before.

3.) Ham, Most of the time its already cooked, or are you doing a smoked shoulder? Just take it out early and serve it at room temp. If you'd like it a bit warmer, seal it in a vac bag and submerge it in a warm water bath or some sort. I'm not a fan of trying to rethermalize it in the oven, you'll dry it up and make it tough. Maybe a 200 degree oven would be ok

SamA's picture
Joined: 2014-10-01 03:16

Hi Mucho

Thanks for the feedback. With the ham I've done a trial run by poaching / braising a cured joint (cut of gammon from the leg I think), then removing some of the fat, scoring, studding with cloves, glazing and then  crisping it up in a high oven. I was thinking maybe I could do everything up to the crisping the night before?

jacob burton's picture
jacob burton
Joined: 2015-05-25 20:37

Mucho's suggestions are on point, but the max I would store blanched brussel sprouts is probably five days.

If you freeze the potatoes, it will disrupt their cellular structure, which will result in a fluffier interior texture.

Sounds like you're right on track. Let us know if you have any more questions, and good luck!

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