[Sca-cooks] Pre-Freezing Feast Stuff

Lilinah lilinah at earthlink.net
Sat Sep 22 00:37:51 PDT 2007

For my Ottoman feast, i'd like to start making some stuff now and 
freezing it. The feast is November 10th, seven weeks away. But I'm 
not used to freezing prepared food and i'm quite ignorant about how 
to do it right.

Also, i don't cook sweets at other times, i only cook them for 
feasts. So, again, i don't have experience storing them. Three of the 
five items listed below are sweets. I know i can make them, but i 
really don't know the best way to store them.

Third, this is a much simpler feast than i usually do. I'm probably 
only serving about fifteen dishes, not counting the fruit syrups for 
beverages, which i already know how to deal with.

Finally, there is a limit to 60 paying diners, with the addition of 
the Royalty and their entourage (unknown number) and for the more 
complicated sweets i'm planning to make only one per person.

Here's what i'm thinking of making ahead and freezing:

First Course:

1. Small meatballs for one of the soups - these would be reheated in 
the hot soup. Do they need to be cooked first, then frozen? Or can 
they be frozen raw?

2. Manti - wonton wrappers filled with a mix of spiced pureed meat 
and crushed chickpeas. These would be simmered in hot broth on site, 
and served with a tangy yogurt sauce. Can i freeze them uncooked? Or 
should i cook them ahead and freeze them, which would be more 

Third Course:

3. "Cheker Borek" - unlike modern borek, these are sort of saffroned 
cookies topped with nuts and sugar, baked in a buttered pan, then 
dusted with powdered sugar. I think it would be better to bake them 
first - the sugar would melt and hold the nuts onto the dough - then 
freeze them. Would they need to be reheated? or just thawed?

4. "Senbuse which are Mukallele" - sambusek/samosa wrappers filled 
with ground almonds, sugar, and rosewater, and folded into triangles. 
They're fried, then soaked in syrup. There's a commercial type deep 
fryer on site, so i'd like to assemble them, freeze them, then fry 
them at the event. If i make them small, i think we should be able to 
make 6 dozen or so and serve them fine, since they don't need to be 
served immediately they come from the fryer.

5. Helva- i Sabuni - starch mixed with honey, a little water, and 
crushed almonds, then cooked until thick, sesame oil is stirred in, 
it's poured into a pan, scored, cooled, and finally cut into small 
pieces. These are white, but they can also be red, yellow, green, or 
made with tamarind. I guess this will keep in a tightly sealed 
container, and won't need to be frozen.

These five things seem to me to be rather fiddly, involving a lot of 
labor, so i'd like to make them ahead of time.

I intend to cook the dishes in the Second Course, the two main meat 
dishes (one lamb, one chicken), the two vegetable dishes, the rice, 
and the bulghur, from scratch on site.

So, how do you suggest i deal with them? What do i need to do to 
freeze them without declining in quality? What should be pre-cooked 
and what can be frozen raw?

Thanks for any help
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

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