The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - FOOD & DRINK -

You know, know it al­ways baf­fles me when I hear some­one com­plain that it’s too ex­pen­sive to cook a meal from scratch. Yet in the next sen­tence, they’re ask­ing the fam­ily where they want din­ner picked up from. Nine times out of 10, I reckon you’d be hard pressed to get din­ner for a fam­ily of four at a High Street fast-food restau­rant for less than €30. And once you start putting it on the ta­ble four, five, six or even seven nights a week, it gets ex­pen­sive very quickly.

We need to learn how to bud­get, how to shop, and how to use left­overs so we can cook our favourite take­aways from scratch for a frac­tion of the price — so I’ve teamed up with the amaz­ing food stylist Ge­orgie Socra­tous to show you how easy it is to make them at home.

So be­fore you reach for the take­away menu, give this home­made pep­per­oni pizza a bash. With a lovely crisp base, proper tomato sauce and qual­ity top­pings, this beats a greasy de­liv­ery pizza any day. We’ve given you dou­ble the quan­ti­ties for the dough so you can freeze half and have it ready for a quick sup­per an­other time.

I don’t know any­one who doesn’t love a good curry and this tikka masala, served with fra­grant rice and a cu­cum­ber raita, hits all the right but­tons. I guar­an­tee you won’t be dis­ap­pointed. And last but not least, fish, chips ’n’ mushy peas is an old-school clas­sic. To make this dish health­ier than the deep- fried chip­pie ver­sion, we’ve swapped the bat­ter for bread­crumbs and thrown in a mix of car­rot, potato and sweet potato wedges in place of the chips. So ditch the take­away and give th­ese a go — I guar­an­tee you’ll love them.

To freeze any ex­tra pizza dough, roll it out and stack be­tween grease­proof pa­per first. You can then whack on top­pings and bake it straight from frozen — just add 10 min­utes to the cook­ing time.

If you can’t get hold of pollock for your fish ’n’ chips, any sus­tain­able, firm white fish will work well. Mix up the wedges too de­pend­ing on what’s in sea­son — try parsnip, beet­root and but­ter­nut.

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