Home-Cooked Fast Food Sounds Like An Oxymoron? Not When It’s Mister Delicious’ Line Of Ready-To-Eat Meals
There was a time when I couldn’t be happier than when I was preparing all my family’s food from scratch. When you dined with us at home, you can be sure the pasta sauce you enjoyed was simmered for hours, the pork belly was rubbed with a personal mix of spices and herbs and slow-roasted until deliciously crisp, and the salad dressing was a purée of olive oil, lemon juice, and oven-roasted tomatoes. For the pièce de resistance, our dessert, naturally, was home-baked gooey goodness.
I’ve always believed that stepping up in the kitchen is the way to go for my family and prepping and cooking food that others would normally reach for on a grocery shelf, is a sure way of knowing exactly what goes into every dish that is served on my table.
But as with all good intentions, life inevitably happens.
A whirlwind of work would crop up and the time reserved for whipping up home-cooked meals was suddenly gone. Not one to throw in the towel just yet, I quickly adjusted by cooking one-dish meals that contain both protein and vegetable requirements, stocking up on dry rubs, broths and dressings, and making quick no-bake desserts. The slowly-simmered dishes were now reserved for lazy weekends, if and when there was one.
Unfortunately, reality never tires of rearing its ugly head, because even re-adjusted prepping and cooking times get snatched away by more work. I’m no superwoman and in times like these, the lure of buying fast food becomes so hard to ignore. While most grocery shelves are lined with canned goods and frozen processed food of almost perpetual lifespans due to loads of preservatives, take-outs and online food orders can take forever to arrive to a ravenous family. I see a dearth of quality, conveniently cooked food out there to save the day for my household.
So when I hear of a frozen cooked product that proudly speaks of freshness and quality from the time it’s cooked to the day you open it, my mind quickly goes into overdrive, wanting right away to take this baby for a spin in my kitchen.
The Mister Delicious brand, whose line of Everyday Foods has got me all excited, is the brainchild of chefs Jen and Jeremy Slagle, a husband-and-wife team trained in classical French cooking, with years of professional experience working in Michelin-starred restaurants across France, Las Vegas, and San Francisco, before deciding to be based in the Philippines as chef consultants.
While it’s easy to assume that cooking at home is not a problem because they’re chefs, one overlooks the fact that both are working parents and with two children to raise, what to come up with for dinner at short notice was as real a problem for them as with anyone living in a traffic-congested city.
So they decided to take matters into their own hands and put together their expertise in the kitchen by creating a line of restaurant-quality, ready-to-eat meals, blast freezing them so they stay fresh as the day they’re made. They’ve simplified kitchen preparation to just 10 minutes of submerging the food packet in boiling water, after which dinner is happily served.
True to form, the Mac and Cheese pours out to a bowl hot and gooey after 10 minutes of heating in boiling water. It’s a single serving of surprisingly al dente pasta enveloped in a creamy cheese sauce, one that satisfies your craving for this childhood comfort food.
The Three-Ginger Tinola is a one-dish meal of tender chicken and vegetables, the broth soothing on a cold, rainy night, and steeped just enough with the warm flavor of ginger.
The Malunggay Hummus is a revelation. After thawing it in a bowl of tap water, transfer to a medium serving dish, and pair with pita or crisp bread for an instant appetizer and crowd pleaser. Each bite is a refreshing mix of nutty and cheesy flavors with a slight tang to perk things up.
Another signature product of Mister Delicious is its frozen Applewood Smoked Bacon, thick slabs of meticulously dry-cured meat to bring out the spices and smoky flavor once they’re cooked to golden brown perfection.
When you’ve gone through days of constantly wracking your head for dinner ideas, these products are like manna indeed, especially to a household badly in need of nourishing meals done quickly and conveniently.
Premium quality food that’s hassle free, traffic-free, and worry-free. Now that’s my kind of dinner.
Photos by Tina Concepcion Diaz