Those who pretend they don’t enjoy a takeaway from time to time are fibbers. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy eating top quality meals, but in reality my mouth begins to water the moment I think about any sort of grub. From KFC crispy strips (yes, that’s right – I said KFC) to an authentic crème brulée from a restaurant in Montpellier, it is all good to me. Because sometimes I really just need a greasy kebab smothered in chilli sauce, while other times I genuinely want the fresh tastes of a salad.
Although takeaways are heaven on earth when you have a craving for something high in fat yet low in effort, they can be so expensive. Too expensive for the most part. So I have devised my own versions of takeaways to satisfy those impulses.
There’s a place right next to Putney Bridge that does the tastiest naan kebabs. I’ve staggered in there a few times en route to the bus stop and ordered one. What’s great about it is that they make the naans right in front of you and they taste amazing. Granted, I couldn’t necessarily vouch for the freshness of the meat, but still – yum. The thing about kebabs though is that they’ve been turned into this dirty snack you shovel down your neck while boozed up, when actually they can be delicious and healthy.
This meal can be made quickly once you’ve got it from work, but takes on a whole new level when the meat is prepared the night before and left to marinate. But the most essential thing about this dish is the bread. Tortillas and pittas just won’t cut it – flatbreads are needed to give enough bite but also enough room to stuff it as full as possible of meat and salad.
I really don’t need to point out the differences between a Dominos and an authentic stone baked Italian. So why would you opt to spend £15 on a takeout that is costly and greasy, when you can just as easily make your own. This might take a little bit more prep than just picking up the phone and giving over your credit card details, but it is more than worth it in the end. I’ve made from scratch using the recipe given and by using the pizza base flour packs from supermarkets. To be honest, I really don’t see much difference between them, apart from perhaps saving more money over time. And given that I quite often have ingredients in to make bread (as well as the sauce), it does mean I don’t have to go out of my way to whip up a first rate pizza.
Obviously pizza toppings are a very personal thing, but this simple selection may provide a little inspiration.
Although I’ve tried my hand at crispy duck several times in the past, the other week I embarked on making the pancakes from scratch for the first time the other week. I’d read Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson’s advice on this iconic Chinese dish and they both recommended buying the pancakes in. But after a quick sweep of my local supermarkets, I couldn’t find any at all. Undeterred, I ignored advice from these chefs and checked out a recipe online for pancakes. And I am so glad I did this. The pancakes were really easy to make and tasted great. Again, it was a little more time consuming than shop bought, but if you love cooking it is actually a fun experience.
This may be a slightly more expensive meal than I may usually cook (Err, duck – hello?!), but in comparison to half a crispy duck from a restaurant, it’s a cinch. Plus, making the pancakes yourself significantly cuts down the costs as well.