I have some BIG tomatoes. I'd like to stuff them with a rice mixture and freeze them. Questions are....
Does the rice have to be cooked first, made into the mix, then stuffed?
Do the stuffed tomatoes have to be cooked first (I'd imagine they'd just fall apart on de-frosting but I stand to be corrected)?
How do you folks do this?
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
posted 7 years ago
I haven't frozen stuffed toms, but I imagine they could collapse as they defrosted and make quite a mess.
Whatever happened, the rice would definitely need to be precooked.
I'd just shove the toms in the freezer in bags and cook the rice as needed to use with broken-down tomato-y stuff.
I'd give frozen stuffed peppers a go though!
When tomatoes freeze, the process does considerable damage to the fruit. Ever see a tomato after a frost? They have a high water content. The spherical shape gives them a surface area to volume ratio that allows water crystals to form unevenly, destroying the cell structure. Brown and mushy is the best you can hope for. As for the rice, the air spaces in between the grains of cooked rice combined with their moisture content would promote early freezer burn. You can try it, but I suspect you would experience discouragement.
If you were able to seal them well in a manner that holds their shape, you might have some degree of success. Getting as much air as possible out of the meal would help.
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I would never freeze stuffed tomatoes; they do not hold up after defrosting. When I have extra tomatoes I always can them with great results. If you chose to try and freeze them anyway, I would cook the rice first and stuff the raw tomatoes. After defrosting slightly, I would bake them in the oven until thoroughly heated; be prepared they will not hold their shape. If you have a few extra tomatoes, quarter them and freeze them for chili or other soups; they work well like that. If you want something you can stuff and freeze, the green bell peppers are great for that.
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