March 24 2013

The at-home takeaway: fast, fabulous, frugal quick-fix food at a fraction of the high street price

• Squidge 500g lean minced beef, a splat of Dijon mustard, salt, pepper and a generous glug of beer together in a big bowl. Shape into patties and fry in a hot pan for four minutes on each side. The result? Four juicy beefburgers for less than £3

• Coat 2 x 75g dab fillets in a dusting of plain flour and fry in hot butter for two minutes each side. Meanwhile, line a white floury bap with a blob of tartare sauce, a squirt of tomato ketchup and a lettuce leaf, and you’ve got yourself a luscious fish ‘burger’ for less than £2

• Scrunch 400g lamb mince with 1tsp garam masala, 25g shelled, chopped pistachios and a drizzle of honey. Shape into ‘sausages’, grill or fry for around 8 minutes and stuff into pitta parcels with salad. That’s  4 x lamb kofta kebabs ready to go for approx. £6

• Make a dough with one and a half mugs of self raising flour, half a mug of warm water, a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Tip onto a floured surface, knead lightly to combine and roll into a 1cm thick circle of a suitable size to transfer to a hot, oiled frying pan. Cook on the hob for around four minutes until base crisps up. Meanwhile, heat the grill to a hot setting, and blend half a tin of chopped tomatoes with chopped garlic, torn basil leaves and a pinch of sugar. Spread tomato mixture over dough base and top with mozzarella, olives, Parmesan cheese and whatever else takes your fancy (anchovies, salami and Parma ham all work well). Place under hot grill (not too close to heat source!) for around five minutes until cheese is bubbling and the edges of the dough turning crispy. Et voila: cheats’ pizza, pronto, for around a pound (depending on how lavish your choice of toppings).

• Mix 400g minced pork with approx. 40g breadcrumbs, 1tsp chopped sage, salt, pepper, a glug of vegetable oil and around 2tbsp water together in a bowl. Unroll 1 x 320g sheet of ready made puff pastry and fill with the pork mixture to create four large sausage rolls or eight small ones. Bake in a hot oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Total cost: approx. £4.20 for the whole batch.

(Thanks and hugs to The Animal Disco for the inspirations)

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