Do you prefer luxuriously prepared and aesthetically pleasing fine dining using the most exquisite ingredients but can’t even afford to buy brand name laundry detergents? Or do you have an intense case of social anxiety which prevents you from speaking to a waiter? Or are the Western spies after you that you can’t leave the safe house? Well what ever the reason, this blog will show you how to make elaborate dishes in your own kitchen using the cheapest ingredients.

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Baklava (Middle Eastern Nut Pastry)

Baklava is a classic Middle Eastern dish, even more Middle Eastern than that forty something year old guy trying to get girls at a college bar. Make this for your terrorist-y friends and they will embrace you with open arms into their community. Baklava requires a lot of time and you don’t really understand what that means till you’ve tried to make this damn dish. Phyllo dough is like thinner than paper and can’t support its own weight and breaks just by looking at it. Half way through you will want to give up on life and want to be like the dinosaurs, extinct. But you’ve already come half way, so might as well finish it. But after it is done and you’ve waited a minimum of 6 hours, you’ll have a taste of heaven and forget all the hardships until the next time you decide to make this dish. Baklava is made from a mixture of nuts, its best to use equal parts almonds, walnuts, and pistachios, but pistachios are expensive so I just used almonds and walnuts.

Japanese Teriyaki Chicken

Teriyaki means to grill something and then shine it with soya sauce. It was commonly used for fish in Japan but has expanded to white meats like chicken and pork. My recipe slightly modifies the grilling process and suggests to shallow fry it for an added texture and let the chicken sit in the sauce for a long time to absorb the flavors and become tender. The key to this recipe is to get the perfect soya sauce to honey ratio, luckily for me I was able to infiltrate a gang of chefs in Tokyo with my knowledge of Toriko that they just gave it to me. Sounds like I’m say spewing random words, but that is exactly how it happened.

Tandoori Chicken (Indian Chicken Roast)

A tandoor is a type of oven, imagine a big pit lined with bricks with an open fire below. It is used to make a variety of flatbreads or roasting meats in South and Central Asia. Tandoori chicken originated from the Indian Subcontinent and quite obviously needs to be roasted in any kind of oven. I’m obviously referring to Gordon Ramsay’s pan fried abomination, but it’s not the like this is the first time the English have shown complete disregard for Indian traditions. This recipe requires a lot of South Asian spices which might not be readily available from Dollar General (your regular grocery and clothing store) and require a lot of investment. I have all of them because I cook a lot of Indian food and this method is much cheaper in the long run, but if you are just making this once to impress that Indian girl who friend-zoned you ages ago then I suggest you go to your local Indian store and purchase a single box of ready-made Tandoori Masala. Shaan is by far the best tasting and only costs $1.25.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

This sweet and sour chicken is a weird combination of food, but it wasn’t always so. These damn Western spies took the traditional Chinese sweet and sour sauce, which is a mixture of vinegar and honey, and forged something so ridiculous but tasty. As the name suggests in the Western influenced recipe, we add a sweet component (the pineapple) and a sour component (cooking wine or soya sauce) to the chicken and peppers. You may be tempted to swipe that pineapple from your neighbor’s retirement fruit basket for this recipe but don’t! The best results come from the canned variety since it already comes with pineapple juice. A lot of people use ketchup to get the strong red color of this food, but I really advise using sirachi or any chili garlic sauce since it will taste a hundred times better.

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