Once or twice a month, we like to spend a quiet day or evening preparing pantry and freezer staples from ingredients like onions, shallots, garlic, and ginger. This little bit of advance work provides us with a store of quick flavor builders that we can reach for when cooking weeknight meals. Here are 5 of our favorite make-ahead ingredients that can be added to soups, stir fries, pasta dishes, and more. • Caramelized onions
– Did you know you can freeze caramelized onions
? Freeze them in ice cube trays or muffin tins for small portions that thaw quickly.
• Roasted garlic – There are several ways to freeze roasted garlic, from whole cloves to cubes of mashed garlic.
• Grated ginger – Freeze grated ginger root in ice cube trays or rolled up like candy!
• Garlic confit – Covered in oil, sweet, smoky garlic confit can usually be stored in the refrigerator for a few weeks.
• Shallot confit – Like garlic confit, you can also use the fragrant oil once the confit is done. Here's a recipe for shallot confit from Food & Wine.
Related: Vegan Pantry Staples: 5 Best Ingredients for Adding Flavor
(Image: Flickr member ben30 licensed under Creative Commons)