One of our readers, Mitchell O’Brien, sends us this excellent guide to feeding a family on a budget. We eagerly await his next installment:
As I am a keen amateur chef and with money becoming tighter, I’ve been trying to mind the meal budget without compromising on quality, variety and the fun of eating for our family of five and the regular evenings in with friends.
I have developed some menus that allow our family to eat restaurant quality food at a cost of between €1 and €2 person. I’m sure that others must be doing this but I’ve googled “€2 meal menus” and can’t find specific examples.
Can you put together a meal for €1-2? Share your recipes here!
Thin & Crispy Italian Pizza
Pepperoni, sweetcorn, pineapple, oregano and mozzarella on basil flavoured tomato sauce.
Cost per pizza: €2.16
Number of pizzas: 6
Total Cost (excluding electricity): €12.96
Cost per person: €1.86
For the from” the Kitchen press” items, I have allocated 60c – I suggest a jar or money box on the window sill.
- Sieve 900g of plain flour into a large mixing bowl and add the 14g of yeast, the salt & caster sugar. Make a hole in the middle and add 6 tbl spoons of olive oil. Finally, gradually add the 600ml of warm water while mixing with a spoon until you have one big ball of dough.
- Scatter some flour on a clean work top and turn the dough ball out of the bowl on to the worktop. Sprinkle some more flour on top of the dough ball and knead vigorously for four minutes.
- Wash out and dry your mixing bowl and return the dough ball into the bowl and cover with Clingfilm and leave to rise for two hours.
- Dice all four packs of thin pepperoni sticks into ¼ inch thick pieces
- Open the three bags of grated mozzarella
- Open and drain the tin of sweet corn
- Open and drain the pineapple chunks. If these chunks are very thick, spend a few minutes slicing each chunk in half
- Get out your basil paste (or fresh basil leaves if you have a herb garden) and the bottle of olive oil
Making the Pizzas
- Pre-heat the oven to its maximum heat (usually about 220˚C)
- The dough will have risen in the bowl. Peal off the cling film and turn out onto a floured worktop and knead again for 30 seconds. Cut the dough into 6 equal amounts and roll each piece into a ball.
- Take one dough ball at a time and use a rolling pin to roll out your dough ball into a flat circle about 12 inches (30cm) in diameter, careful to only roll one direction at a time and turning your pizza base every time you change direction. Keep your rolling pin floured all the time so the dough doesn’t stick to the rolling pin or the worktop.
- Place the rolled out pizza base on a 12 inch (30cm) pizza tray that was dusted with flour.
- Add a tbl spoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of basil paste along with one fifth (100ml) of the crushed tomato sauce and spread evenly over the pizza base keeping ½ an inch back from the edges of the pizza base.
- Sprinkle a ¼ bag of grated mozzarella over the tomato sauce and add your pepperoni, sweet corn and pineapple, making sure each ingredient is evenly scattered on the pizza base.
- Sprinkle another ¼ bag of grated mozzarella cheese over the top of the pizza and sprinkle a ½ teaspoon of dried oregano and drizzle 2 tea spoons of olive oil over the top.
- Place in the pre-heated over for 15 to 16 minutes.
- Remove and let stand for 1 to 2 minutes before slicing into 6 slices & serve immediately.
A normal kitchen over will take up to three pizzas at a time if you have three shelves in the oven.