Sometimes I have my heart set on making a soup, stew or sauce only to find that I have just a few shriveled carrots, some limp celery, and no onions. I’m wanting to make a flavor base, that comes from gently sauteing these old kitchen standbys. Instead, I have to make a trip to the store first and do some serious chopping to start my recipe.
A Mirepoix to the Rescue
But wait! There’s another way. I’ve recently discovered that Trader Joe’s offers a mirepoix (meer-pwah, as the French would say; Italians would say soffritto; I say Miracle Mix). The vegetable medley comes already peeled, diced, measured and ready for the pot. The blend of half an onion, 3 carrots, and 3 stalks of celery sells for about $3 for 14.5 ounces.
More Good News!
I’m one of those who likes the addition of fresh garlic to a recipe. But too often the bulb I’m counting on has sprouted or shriveled and I have to settle for garlic powder. Recently I stumbled upon Dorot Crushed Frozen Garlic cubes. Now I have a reliable backup or a quick fix when I want to bypass smashing, peeling and chopping.
Dorot Cubes to the Rescue
Dorot garlic is grown on a kibbutz in Israel, flash frozen within 90 minutes of harvest, and has a two-year shelf life. Each package contains 20 one-teaspoon portions of crushed garlic; that is, 1 cube=1 clove, making it easy to measure and dispense into a sauce, casserole, stir fry, meat or vegetable dish.
Dorot Crushed Garlic is available in most large frozen food sections. Their line created for Walmart is called Pop n’ Cook. Other frozen herbs include basil, parsley, cilantro, ginger, dill, and glazed onions.
Cost vs. Convenience
Naturally, all this convenience comes at a price. Despite the cost, I decided long ago that I wanted professionals with sharp knives cutting up my butternut squash and pineapples. It was a decision based on prep time, clean up, and the fear of doing damage to my digits.
There may come a time when I turnover the chore of chopping mirepoix entirely to others, too, but not yet. For now, I’ll go on chopping my own onion-carrot-celery mix, though it’s good to know pre-cut veggies are available when I’m in a hurry. The frozen garlic, however, has already found a permanent place in my freezer.