Thursday, November 21, 2013




Many among us love fast food, just pass by at the drive – through and pick up your favorite burger, pizza slice or hot dog, a regular practice for many of us.
 There are bad fast foods, very bad fast foods but also not so bad fast foods available in the market, but I think that you can make something better than that.
I do not have any intention to tell you here not to eat fast food or lecture you about health issues related to eating fast food, many chefs, a hundred times more famous than me, are touching that subject in and out, so I leave that to them.
Fast food companies do not cook, even though they make it look they cook like a celebrity chef, they purchase products from a food processing company and basically just re-heat the products they serve. 
I have worked for such a food processing company as product development chef for several years and dare to say that I pretty well know how the fast food industry works behind the counter and in their ‘kitchen’.
To give you a peak, we made, among others, burgers for a famous burger giant, good burgers, well produced, HACCP proof, super fast frozen, tip top product. They, these burger guys, have in every outlet around the world a special, only available to them, designed oven where staff places the burger on the base of the oven and your perfect burger drops, at the other side of the machine, on your bun after four minutes and twenty five seconds.  
 Sounds like magic? It is not, you can do the same at home, quality patties and even better quality fries and buns      
With increasingly worrying stories about the health aspect of fast food, heart diseases, obesity and what not, making fast food at home becomes more and more popular.   
The best thing about making fast food at home is that YOU choose the products to use.
Meat from a trusted butcher, buns from your favorite bakery shop and maybe you like to make your own sauce and fries.
Now here is the problem. I know. I hear them too often.
“I have to start making everything from scratch every time and I hate that”.
Here is your solution, make batches at a time, vacuum pack what you make and freeze it. If you have a family of four, pack four burgers per bag, no waste. 
Buy fast food ingredients on offer, you may save money as well, minced meat, chicken wings, sausages, vacuum pack and freeze.
When you freeze potatoes they will turn sweet after a while but you can freeze homemade French fries.  Cut potatoes in French fries shape, fry at 170 degrees Celsius or 338 F. for three to four minutes until cooked, drain, cool, vacuum and freeze. When you use them, just fry golden and crispy at 180 degrees Celsius or 356 F and you have the perfect fries.   
Vacuum packing and freezing prolongs the shelf life significantly and your products retain its freshness. 
The burger patties I spoke about earlier have NO seasoning whatsoever, if that works for them it works for you, just form the patties, vacuum and freeze.
Below a very easy, but tasty, recipe for fried chicken wings that you can use for the vacuum/ freeze method. Season the wings, vacuum and freeze is all you need to do to have a great fast food snack in your freezer. Give it a try. 

1 Kg Chicken wings (cut in half, drummet and wing)
1 Nos Large onion (cut into rings)
1 Tbsp Turmeric powder
Salt and crushed black pepper
Oil for frying
Season the chicken wings with the turmeric powder, salt and pepper.
Heat the oil to 180 degrees Celsius or 356 F and fry 4 to 5 minutes.
Check for doneness
Drain the fried wings on kitchen paper.
Fry the onion rings in the same oil for two minutes 
Top the chicken wings with the onion rings and serve hot with a sauce of your liking, ketchup, mayonnaise, tomato sauce or hot sauce.
Note: You can use other small cut chicken parts as well, like I did in the picture.
Oh, if you still decide to go to the drive- through, don’t forget to ask them to include these wings in their menu.    

Written for PMG 
By Chef Marinus Hoogendoorn
Culinary expert in recipe development and proof reading.

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