Will this recipe freeze well?

laceyvailNovember 30, 2012

I want to make meatballs that I can freeze and take out a few at a time to use in various recipes. Will this recipe freeze well, and if so, what's the best way to freeze them and then defrost them. And what is "fresh" ricotta? Is it different from the ricotta I buy in a container?

2 lbs ground beef
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp ground fennel
1/2 c. dried bread crumbs
1/4 c. parsley
1/ tsp oregano
1 c. fresh ricotta cheese
2 eggs.

Mix all ingredients. Roll into golf-ball size balls, packing firmly. Place in greased 9 x 13 baking dish so they're touching. Bake 20 mins.

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teresa_nc7

I would guess that "fresh" ricotta means recently made ricotta as opposed to manufacturer-made ricotta? Maybe there is an Italian deli near you that makes their own ricotta?

I think the meatballs will freeze just fine but might be more moist than a recipe w/o the ricotta cheese - don't know for sure as I have never made meatballs with a soft cheese in the ingredients. I do make and freeze meatballs all the time.

You might want to freeze these in hard-sided plastic containers rather than bags as these may be softer meatballs than most.

I would use foil or parchment paper to line the baking sheet - less chance they will stick to the pan.

Teresa

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 6:46AM
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azzalea

They'll freeze just fine. I'd recommend after baking, putting them on a parchment-lined jelly roll pan, spaced out so they're not touching, and popping that into the freezer until they're solid, then put them in your ziploc bags or containers. That way, they won't stick together and they'll be easier to use. I generally package them in meal-sized quantities (4-6 for the 2 of us, depending upon how big the meatballs are) in smaller ziplocks, then put those in a large ziplock to keep them together. That way, I can send DH to the basement for a bag of them for dinner, and it's easy for him.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 9:20AM
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azzalea

They'll freeze just fine. I'd recommend after baking, putting them on a parchment-lined jelly roll pan, spaced out so they're not touching, and popping that into the freezer until they're solid, then put them in your ziploc bags or containers. That way, they won't stick together and they'll be easier to use. I generally package them in meal-sized quantities (4-6 for the 2 of us, depending upon how big the meatballs are) in smaller ziplocks, then put those in a large ziplock to keep them together. That way, I can send DH to the basement for a bag of them for dinner, and it's easy for him.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 9:21AM
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laceyvail

Thanks for the advice. No little Italian groceries here in rural WV, so I guess I'll have to use the storebought.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 10:44AM
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pkramer60

Fresh ricotta refers to a batch that is made at home and not commercially. Dead easy to make and we just had a thread about it. I think it was titled "Is it really that easy?"

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 10:54AM
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cloudy_christine

Drain the store-bought ricotta before you use it in the meatballs. Fresh ricotta from the Italian deli is much drier. It stands up, a short wide cylinder, draining all the time. It's still a wet cheese, but not like the stuff in the plastic container at the supermarket.

I'd test this for freezing before making a whole lot. Frozen cheese may change texture enough to matter, or it may not.
Standard meatballs without ricotta freeze very well.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 11:08AM
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Olychick

Fresh ricotta means the kind sold in the cottage cheese container vs. ricotta salata which is a salted harder cheese that is often shredded.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ricotta salada

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 12:13PM
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