Quick Tip: Cubes of Flavor

January 3, 2013

Pesto Cubes

It’s one of those tips that it seems everyone knows, until you hear from that one person who doesn’t. And to them it’s mind-blowing, earth-shattering… okay, maybe not. But it’s super-neat and cool! Or, maybe just really handy.

So with that in mind, I share the flavor-enhancer-in-an-ice-cube-tray trick. When you have bits of liquid or semi-liquid things left over (or if you just want to perfectly portion a huge batch of something), pour into an ice cube tray and freeze. Each cube usually yields 1 to 2 tablespoons of whatever. You could do this with stocks for those recipes that call for 1 tablespoon here or there, leftover wine, citrus juices, or, as I’ve done here, my pesto. These are perfect for a serving of pasta or tossing into a baked egg.

For heavier substances, like the pesto, or chipotle chilis in adobo, I first line the ice cube tray with saran wrap before filling each cube with a tablespoon of the ingredient. Then I top it off with another layer of saran wrap. After the ingredient is frozen, I pop these out, trim the plastic wrap so the cubes are individually-wrapped single servings, and ensure they are tightly wrapped before tossing into a ziploc bag that is noted with ingredient and amount per cube. This ensures the cubes don’t stick together in the freezer, and it makes cleanup of the tray easy.

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