Vigo has already turned on its famous lights, the Lottery announcement is broadcast daily and company dinners are beginning to be held. almost without realizing it Christmas hangs over our heads, and with it the responsibility of offering good meals to our relatives.
But if we want the invitation not to cost us an eye of the face, It is best to start shopping as soon as possible. And more this year: inflation seems unstoppable and prices of everything are rising.
Although most foods become more expensive at Christmas, there is one that takes the cake: seafood. On this day you can find crustaceans, bivalves and other marine delicacies at up to 40% lower price than that reached in the days before the festivities. And the good news is that most of them can be frozen. Now, not in any way.
When buying seafood we must distinguish well the different families, because not all species must follow the same freezing process. This is a complete guide with everything you need to know to freeze and thaw seafood correctlyand enjoy all its flavor at (almost) half the price.
Freeze large crustaceans: crabs, spider crabs, lobsters…
we start by the kings of seafoodlarge crustaceans such as spider crabs, lobsters, crabs or crabs.
To properly freeze these we must make sure to buy them alive and cook them just before putting them in the freezer. The ideal is to kill them before cooking, suffocating them in water, and then cook them, as if we were going to eat them at that moment. After cooking –following the recommended times for each animal– we must wrap the shellfish in a cloth soaked in the cooking water, and then cover it in plastic wrap or put it in a freezer bag, which guarantees that no air enters.
Crabs and crabs must always be kept with legs facing up to avoid that, while they are frozen, the broth of the chub is lost.
These large crustaceans They keep optimally for three to four weeks in the freezer.without losing any of its quality, so they can be bought right now for the main Christmas meals.
Freeze small crustaceans: Norway lobster, prawns, prawns…
It’s time for prawns, langoustines, langoustines, carabineros… Many resort directly to the classic frozen prawn already cooked, but the truth is that a minimum effort is enough to enjoy a much more appetizing product if we cook it ourselves. For it, it is preferable to freeze these crustaceans raw, something especially important if you plan to cook on the grill. There is only discussion around the Norway lobster, because if it is frozen raw, the head may blacken a little. In this case, if you are going to eat it cooked, there is no problem in cooking it beforehand and eating it as it is after thawing.
As usual, everything we freeze must be properly sealed with film, freezer bags or, even better, vacuum. These small shellfish hold up very well to freezing, and can be perfectly six months without losing qualities.
Freeze bivalves: mussels, clams, cockles…
All shellfish, such as cockles, clams, razors, scallops or mussels, must be frozen rawOtherwise they lose properties. You have to be especially careful when selecting these, because if we freeze a bug that is already dead we can have a serious problem later. For it we must review the specimens and wash them wellbefore freezing them well sealed in film, freezer bag or vacuum.
As we will explain later, the entire freezing process is best done in the fridge, so that the temperature rise is not sudden, but in the case of shellfish You have to be especially careful. because they do not hold anything once defrosted: they should be cooked immediately after thawing.
bivalves They last up to three months in the freezer. in perfect condition.
You should never freeze barnacles and oysters
They are the exceptions that prove the rule, neither barnacles nor oysters freeze properly. Some people do it, but it’s not worth it Well, the product loses many of its qualities and in the case of oysters you risk it a lot, since it is difficult to know if they are dead or not before putting them in the freezer.
How to defrost
defrost properly is as important or more than freezing. At this point, it is essential to differentiate between the product that has been cooked before freezing and the one that has not.
All the shellfish that we have previously cooked They must be thawed in the refrigerator. so that the defrosting process is carried out slowly. Ideally, take them out of the freezer a day before consumption, although they will last well in the fridge for two or three days.
Raw frozen shellfish can also be defrosted in the refrigerator, but in this case there is no margin worth: although crustaceans can last longer than bivalves Ideally, cook them as they have thawed.
If we are going to cook the shellfish, there is no problem in doing it with the product as we take it out of the freezer, although a series of guidelines must be followed, which we already explain in this article. You can also cook grilled seafood directly frozen, but the result is not the same, especially visually.
Once we have the product well defrosted, we can use it in any recipe, such as the classic garlic prawns, seafood clams or these fantastic mussels in cider. Any of these thirteen Christmas seafood recipes will be a success.
However, there are those who prefer, not without reason, to enjoy grilled seafood or, simply, well cooked. For this it is very important to respect the cooking times, which vary according to the size of the defect.
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How long does frozen seafood keep?
Now that you have all the keys, don’t forget to visit your fishmonger before prices skyrocket.
Regarding the time that frozen seafood lasts in good condition, we should not worry. At the very least, all shellfish hold up well in the freezer. at least three months, a time that can be extended depending on the size of the bug. Crabs, spider crabs or sea crabs can last up to 10 months in good conditions, and a lobster perfectly for a whole year.
Some ideas for Christmas
Direct to the Palate we love these parties and we have thousands of recipes for you to be sure of your Christmas meals.
Do not miss our special with the 215 best Christmas recipes and 16 special menus. and if you need ideas for specific dishesHere’s a good starting point:
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