We all love a good takeaway. There are times when you get home from work and the last thing you want to do is cook and you reach for the menus, make a call and less than half and hour later you're eating. It tastes nice, it's easy and quick. But if you take just a little time you can cook your takeaway favourites for at least the same or a lower cost and it takes the same time or even less to do. Below are just two examples of classic takeaways that you can do at home and they take no time at all.
Mushroom, Sweetcorn and Spinach Pizza
I have to admit, pizza is my favourite takeaway. Bread, cheese and meat is always a winning combination in my book. For this though, I've gone for a vegetarian pizza that is so quick and so easy it takes twenty minutes (at the most) to prepare and cook.
Firstly, make the pizza dough -
250g plain flour
150ml warm water
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Mix together the flour and salt, then add the olive oil to the warm water and stir. Slowly combine the water and oil mix to the flour and knead until dough-like. Roll into your desired pizza base shape (who says it has to be round), place on a baking tray and then add the toppings.
I like to use passata on my homemade pizzas as it is so quick but you could easily make a tomato sauce. Passata also costs just pennies to buy. Mozzarella is traditional of course but on this occasion I used grated cheddar which works just as well, then I added the mushrooms and sweetcorn. Put in the oven at full temperature for 8-10 minutes and place a few spinach leaves on top after cooking. That's it. Great tasting pizza in twenty minutes and for half the price.
Pan Roasted Duck and Mushroom Korma with Fragrant Lemongrass Basmati Rice
Curry is just one of those things most people get a craving for every now and again. This is a great one that is better than any you can order in. Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients. Once you make your own curry you'll never order another one again. Duck is just a fantastic and versatile meat and I think it goes superbly in a curry. First of all the duck - you need a hot pan. While your frying pan is heating up score the fat on your duck breasts with parallel lines approx one centimetre apart. As duck has a thick layer of fat you don't need any oil in the pan as the fat will render down. Fry fat side down for a few minutes until the fat is crispy. Place a saucepan of water on the boil for the rice while you do this. Turn over the duck and place in the oven at 200C for eight minutes. Duck is at it's best cooked medium rare. If it's not pink, it's ruined.
By now the water should be boiling. Add basmati rice and throw in a stick of lemongrass blunted slightly by the back of a knife. Cook as normal. While the rice is cooking start with the korma sauce:
1 clove of garlic, chopped finely
1 onion, chopped finely
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
3 tablespoons tomato puree
100ml chicken stock
2 tablespoons ground almonds
4 tablespoons double cream
4 tablespoons plain yoghurt
Fry together the garlic and onion then add the ginger, chilli powder, cinnamon, turmeric, pepper, tomato puree and stock. Combine and then add the almonds. Cook all this off for a minute or two. Take the duck out of the oven and slice along the score marks made earlier. Add to the spice mixture and then add the cream and yoghurt. Cook gently for another minute.
The rice will be cooked by now. Remove both the rice and curry from the heat and serve. It's that easy!
So next time you fancy a takeaway resist reaching for the menus and get in the kitchen!
Thanks for reading!