During and after the Christmas holidays, my trusty little home vacuum sealer is at the ready on our kitchen counter. Mrs. MM gave me this appliance several Christmases ago and I love it. So much so, I aspire to a serious industrial vacuum sealer (for the restaurants) but it’s me that really wants to play with it! When I cook or make things in bulk, share dishes with relatives or friends, it’s sometimes best to send them out vacuum sealed so they have the option of throwing it into the fridge or deep-freeze for a longer life span. Last January, (I think I forgot to post these photos) we had a leftover jamon serrano that had been sitting out in our dining room for 2-3 weeks and I thought it was time to put it away…
…so I carved lots of nice thin slices of jamon that were still perfect for pica-pica at some future date, and laid them out neatly on some of the shrink wrap bags.
They went into the freezer and we enjoyed them several months later, still in pretty darned good condition. I only meant to keep them for a few weeks, but one thing led to another and their discovery in May(!) meant a tapas style dinner with a large paella as well.
And DO NOT THROW OUT that fabulous bone. It is perfect for flavoring stocks, stews, beans, etc. One of the crew tried to hack at it with a cleaver with little success, so he took out a saw meant for metal (brand new) and used it to cut the jamon serrano bone into manageable, storable pieces.
These also went into the deep freeze, and were later used for some fabada, a classic Spanish bean dish that Mrs. MM is fond of. Her family’s cook used to make a great version of fabada even though I suspect she never had access to jamon serrano bones at the time.
I also vacuum packed half terrines of pate de campagne.
And the vacuum sealer is great for storing gravlax or smoked salmon in the freezer for use later in the holiday season. Our vacuum sealer was an S&R purchase, and probably cost roughly PHP3000 or so at the time, but it’s been very useful over the years.