"This tomorrow tastes much better!" Who has not exclaimed this phrase in the midst of the joy of a sumptuous stew, in the clouds to which it lifts a glorious stew or in the praises of a roast beef at its exact point? Who has not done it, does not know about leftovers, because many of them, with well-known exceptions (such as salad dressing, sushi, sandwiches and French fries), taste better the next day, or a couple of days after its preparation. The success of this kind of "fridge kitchen" has an explanation. As the food cools, there are chemical reactions that continue to occur in the foods, and that produce more, or new, flavor molecules. But for these processes to arise, it is essential to know how to store the leftovers well.
Leave them too long at room temperature, do not place them in the proper container, do not control the contact of the food with air or put them in the refrigerator when they do not need cold they are mistakes that we often make. All of them can ruin the second time of some delicious gastronomic parties. For this enhanced flavor and also for your health, it is important to know how to store the leftovers properly, which is easier with tips like the ones detailed below.
'Film' for guacamole, glass for tomato sauce
When it comes to remnants of homemade mayonnaise or tartar sauce, and although they have a life of 24 hours, it is best to throw away what is left over, as it spoils easily with both excess cold and excess heat and is the safest way to avoid poisoning. Other sauces, however, can be saved when left over, although they demand pampering. Homemade guacamole, for example, lasts at least 2 days in the fridge, the only thing he loses is his color. And it's an excellent breakfast. To avoid taking the brown tone that stains the avocado once opened, you can add lemon juice or lime on top, which prevents the oxidation that causes the color. Then you have to put the guacamole in a suitable container and, before putting the airtight lid, cover it with a paper film, flattening it and pressing it against the surface of the guacamole so as not to let any air pass by. This operation can also be applied to other types of sauce to preserve its quality.
Regarding tomato sauce, there is a very important detail (beyond that the cooked tomato is better than raw). If it comes in a can, it must be changed to an approved container immediately, since The inner lining of the container oxidizes quickly and the material can pass to the food. The same happens with other foods that we usually buy in can and canned. You can put the leftovers in a glass jar, leaving between 2 and 3 centimeters between the surface and the lid, and cover the tomato sauce with a splash of olive oil. So not only will it last longer, it will probably taste better.
Dismantling the chicken to take advantage of it
Expert food technology scientist Kantha Shelke explained in a radio interview her tricks to take advantage of leftover turkey at the Thanksgiving holiday. In Spain, where this celebration is not usual, we can apply their advice to the leftovers of Christmas, but also to another big day, although less prominent, the day we roast a good chicken. The key to getting the most out of the bird is simple: you have to separate the bone and the carcass of the animal and leave only the meat (If there was filling, it is also removed). The breast, which dries easily, should be cut into pieces and left soaked in the juice of the roast, before putting it in the refrigerator. This very dry meat acts as a sponge and, as it gets colder, it contracts and traps part of the liquid inside its structure. This is the miracle that the sad and dry breast that we could find in the fridge the next day (if we do not do this operation), becomes a juicier and more tasty meat.
Pizza does not die in the fridge
There are many opinions about it, but There are many pizza lovers who think that its taste is infinitely better the next day. The scientist at the University of Stirling Maureen Cooper has investigated the matter and has concluded that if you know how to store them well, throwing away the leftovers from the pizza is a bad idea. According to her, there is a phenomenon that, in effect, enhances the flavor of this food after a night in the fridge.
Cooper assures that the fat of the pizza (a food that we do not always know how to eat) does not reach the base, the cheese sits on the tomato without mixing (it is an effect similar to that of mixing water with oil), so the dough It is not pasty, but crunchy, and the previous mixture enhances its flavor. Yes, you never have to put the pizza at home in the fridge inside your box, as this will soften. You have to cover the remains with kitchen paper (or oven) and then put them in an airtight container.
Lentils, without potatoes
Beware of potato stews that carry potatoes because, due to their chemical characteristics, once they get cold they can end up spoiling the dish. The United States Potato Board, the US council of potatoes, advises not to keep the tubers below 7 degrees, since the cold turns the starch of the potato into sugar. This compound It discolours and makes them taste more sweet, which in the end means that it changes the flavor of the whole dish. Remove them and put the rest of the stew in a glass container with airtight seal, thus avoiding cross contamination in the refrigerator.
The Spanish Agency for Consumer Affairs, Food Safety and Nutrition (Aecosan) recommends glass because it is a cleaner material that is much easier to clean, since the bacteria that accumulate in the container are better eliminated. But this does not mean that containers of other materials can not be used, as long as they are recognized as suitable for contact with food. That is, they have been manufactured in compliance with European food law standards that ensure that, under normal conditions, they will not transfer chemical components to food in amounts that may pose a danger to health, cause a change in their composition or alter their organoleptic characteristics.
Long live cheese
A good selection of cheeses dresses a table better than the finest tablecloth, but, if in the variety is the taste, the more refined you are, the more problems you will have to keep the cheeses that remain in the table, because each one is a world. The fundamental guideline is that the leftovers of a fresh cheese do not require the same attention as those of a cured one. The first, softer, lasts less because it has not been subjected to the healing process, and also releases water. It is best to remove it from its original plastic container (in which it remains perfectly until it has been opened), wrap it in paper and put it in a tupper of glass or plastic with airtight seal. So you manage to create a barrier between the cheese and the container that will prevent the exchange of odors, although to avoid undesirable effluvia it is convenient to change the paper daily. This type of cheese must be placed in the upper part of the refrigerator, next to yoghurts.
Soft cheeses without original box can be wrapped in a clean, damp cotton cloth, this way they absorb the humidity and their life lengthens. The cured, however, must be eaten at a temperature of 18 to 22 degrees, so if you eat a piece every day it is best to leave it out, in a place without light. You can put it inside a cheeseburger, but the only thing it does is that the smell does not come out, because the air does enter. If you're not consuming it on a daily basis, it's a good idea to put it in the fridge, inside a tupper with airtight seal wrapped in waxed paper but, unlike the soft one, in the lower part of the refrigerator.
Bread and pastry
Low temperatures dehydrate the bread and accelerate its decomposition. This food, no matter what type it is, is best stored at room temperature, although only during the first 24 or 48 hours. If you've come upstairs buying bread for a banquet and, in the end, you're going to have to eat it alone, there's no problem in freezing it. The way to do it is to wrap it in aluminum foil (The mold can also be frozen in its original packaging, then you can take it out and put it directly in the toaster). In any case, the bigger the bread, the more it will hold in good condition, since the thick-crust loaves allow better moisture to be conserved inside the crumb.
In general, this food holds better in a dry place and in a cloth bag, since, unlike plastic, this material allows it to breathe. Y the same rule can be applied to pastry, which can be at room temperature, in a pan or on a plate covered with film to prevent drying, unless it is cakes or pies made with dairy or fresh fruit. In that almost, it has to be stored for 2 or 3 days in the refrigerator. In these cases, they should also be kept covered with film transparent, in case you do not have a container with a lid of the right size, and do not leave them for more than two hours at room temperature.
Rice and pasta, unusual suspects
When we talk about intoxications, fish and seafood are, with good reason, the most feared foods, but the contamination of rice by bacteria Bacillus cereus It is more frequent than we think. Rice and cooked pasta, if left out of the refrigerator for hours, or overnight at room temperature, favor the multiplication of these microorganisms, which produce toxins that are not destroyed by cooking. The most dangerous for the consumer is that, unlike other foods, This contamination can not be detected by the bad taste or bad smell.
The problem with this bacterium is that it is found naturally in plant products, such as rice, and also in flours and products rich in carbohydrates, and that it produces spores that make it very resistant to cooking and pasteurization. Its ideal temperature to grow is that of the environment, between 22ºC and 37ºC. This type of leftovers should always be stored in the refrigerator as soon as possible (as they are no longer very hot), in an approved container, and you have to consume them in the next 2 days.
The differences between meat, fish and stew
Stews with meat are the typical examples of dishes that taste better the next day, which happens because, when cooled, the gelatinous material of the collagen, tendons and bones of the meat that had melted during cooking also cools. And it begins to aggregate around the pieces of meat, catching many flavors. It also happens with the textures, which, in certain dishes such as a curry and a good stew, the sauces thicken, become more creamy when cooled and reheated because the fibers of the protein decompose and release gelatinous material. Red meat, like white meat, can last about 3 or 4 days, but since we can only reheat it once, if there is a lot of left over, it is best to distribute it in different containers and take out the portions that we need.
The fish, however, once cooked, should not be consumed beyond 1 day after cooking and always having previously stored in the refrigerator, never at room temperature. Cooked seafood, if cooked the same day, can stand for 2 to 3 days in a container with airtight seal.
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