Cooking with fresh herbs is a great way to brighten up and intensify the flavor in just about every recipe. But keeping fresh herbs on hand can be expensive and often times, one doesn’t end up using an entire herb bunch in one recipe. Growing your own herbs can take time, and isn’t always practical if you don’t live in an area with a lot of sun (ahem, Norway).
I make herb ice cubes in a muffin tin, and keep the cubes in a plastic bag in my freezer. You can make the ice cubes as big or small as you want by altering the amount of herb you place in each ice cube (using 1-2 tablespoons of chopped herbs per cube,-maybe less, maybe more -depending on what you’re freezing and how much you normally use at one time)or buy using a bigger or smaller muffin tin (an ice tray also works well here).
How to Make Herb Ice Cubes:
Step One. Chop your herbs. You can chop them bigger or smaller, but I usually try chop my herbs on the small side since no one wants a big wad of cilantro (aka coriander) in their salsa. I usually make cilantro ice cubes, but this can also be done with basil (if you plan on using the basil in anything but pesto), parsley and dill-just about any herb will do.
Step Two. Place 2 tablespoons (that’s spiseskjeer for you Norwegian readers) of your herbs into each muffin hole (hole? The place where you normally put the muffin batter actually looks more like a muffin cave if you ask me (you obviously ask didn’t but I am just saying… So let’s just be silly and call it a muffin cave from now on.)
Step Three. Pour water into each muffin cave. I can’t give you exact measurements since the amount of water you need, will depend on the size of the muffin tin you are using. However, you only need enough water to cover the top of the herbs. Be careful to not overfill with water. No one likes scrubbing frozen cilantro out of the freezer (I tell you I never learn).
Step Four. Admire your hard work. You can even take photos of your work at this point if you want to. Then stick the entire tray into the freezer. Make sure that the muffin tin sits flat in the freezer.
Step Five. Whoops-I forgot to take a photo of this step and step 6 but you still love me anyway, no? C’mon-sure you do. When the water in the muffin caves has frozen solid, take the muffin tin out of the freezer and simply run the back of the tin under hot water for 15-30 seconds or let the tin sit out on the counter for ca. 10 minutes. This will loosen up the ice cubes so you can get them out.
Step Six: Place all of the cubes in a plastic bag or container and put them back in the freezer. Voila-not you have herb ice cubes.
To use the Ice Cubes:
I usually place one in a small coffee cup sized strainer which has been placed on top of a coffee cup. That way all of the water drips away into the coffee cup and I’m left with the defrosted cilantro. You can speed up this process by placing a cube or two in a bowl of hot water, waiting 5-10 minutes, then straining away the excess water.
This post is for non-commercial, personal use only. Copyright ©2012 by Whitney @ Thanks For The Food.
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