Get a taste of normal life with recipes from your favourite food places
Get a taste of normality under lockdown by recreating recipes from the likes of Pret, Wagamama and Starbucks
Pret A Manger Cookies
This foolproof recipe doesn't require any specific equipment and you can portion the dough and store in the fridge or freezer to bake a fresh cookie every time you fancy one.
To make 8 large cookies
110g unsalted butter
170g caster sugar
85g light brown sugar
190g self-raising flour
120g large dark chocolate buttons
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Melt the butter in a saucepan or microwave, until just melted (but not hot).
- Using a stand mixer or electric beaters, beat the butter with the caster and brown sugars until well combined. Add the egg and beat on low speed until just incorporated – 10-15 seconds or so. Don’t overbeat as this will result in a firm dough.
- Add the flour and salt. Mix until a smooth dough forms – again, be careful not to overmix.
- Add the chocolate buttons to the dough and combine with your hands. For an even distribution of chocolate, don’t be afraid to break up some of the buttons into pieces or chop them slightly beforehand.
- Scoop out 8 balls of dough and place on a non-stick or lined baking tray. Make sure there is plenty of space between them as the dough will spread out in the oven. Press them down lightly with your palm to flatten a little and bake for 10-12 minutes until the cookies look puffed up and golden.
- Let the cookies cool on the pan for around 30 minutes as they will settle and sink into a dense buttery cookie.
- Best enjoyed warm (or place in an airtight container and eat within 3 days).
Itsu Vegetable Gyoza Ramen
Okay, so this is a partial cheat as you can buy Itsu's frozen gyoza in most supermarkets… but here is how to prepare them so they taste like the originals.
splash of sunflower oil
10g grated ginger
2 cloves crushed garlic
400ml veg stock
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
6 vegetable fusion gyoza
100g pre-cooked rice noodles
1 small carrot, sliced into ribbons using a peeler
1 handful beansprouts
1 handful mange-tout
1 tbsp chives, finely chopped
1. In a medium saucepan gently heat the sunflower oil, add the ginger and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.
2. Then add the stock, the soy sauce and rice vinegar and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Strain the flavoured stock through a fine sieve, discard the ginger and garlic and pour back into the saucepan.
4. Bring back to a gentle simmer, add the gyoza and simmer for 3 minutes.
5. Lift the gyoza into a serving bowl.
6. Add the pre-cooked noodles, carrot ribbons, beansprouts and mange-tout to the ramen broth and cook for a further 2 minutes.
7. Ladle the ramen broth and vegetables over the gyoza and sprinkle with chives.
Pretty much anything goes with this simple take on frozen frothy coffee
2 shots of espresso, or half a cup of strong coffee, left to cool
2 handfuls of ice
1 cup of dairy or plant milk
Sugar or sweetener to taste
(Whipped cream to top)
Flavour options: chocolate syrup, caramel sauce, flavoured coffee syrups, Nutella, cocoa powder… raid the cupboard and experiment with what you find
1. Blitz the coffee, ice and milk in a blender until slushy.
2. Add sweetener and/or flavouring to taste and blend briefly to combine.
3. Serve in a tall glass with a straw or spoon. Top with whipped cream and a drizzle of syrup to make it feel fancier.
Wagamama Katsu Curry – Chicken or Vegan
With a little patience you can whip up your favourite Japanese comfort food at home. For a quicker and healthier twist on the dish, you can shelve the deep-frying and serve the sauce with grilled chicken.
2–3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
2.5cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
1 tsp turmeric
2 heaped tbsp mild curry powder
1 tbsp plain flour
300ml chicken or veg stock
100ml coconut milk
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp sugar, to taste
120g cooked rice (any rice will do)
1 quantity katsu curry sauce
2 skinless chicken breasts or 1 aubergine / sweet potato, thickly sliced lengthways
50g plain flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten (substitute with 150ml water for vegan)
100g panko breadcrumbs
75ml vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Salad, to serve
1. Over a low to medium heat, fry the finely chopped onion, garlic and chilli in the oil until soft.
2. Add the turmeric and curry powder and cook on a low to medium heat until fragrant.
3. Add the flour to the pan and cook it off a bit; it's this roux that will make your sauce deliciously thick and silky.
4. Add the stock a little at a time, stirring as you go. Then add the coconut milk, sugar and soy sauce. Leave to simmer.
5. Strain through a sieve to make it super-smooth.
1. Toss the chicken breasts or vegetable slices in flour.
2. Coat in egg. For a vegan version, make a batter from the flour and 150ml water, and dip the vegetables in this to coat.
3. Toss the chicken or vegetables in panko breadcrumbs.
4. Fry evenly on both sides until crisp.
5. Generously heap the rice onto your plate, add the fried chicken or veg, pop a little dressed salad on the side, and pour the curry sauce liberally on top.
Pizza Express Dough Balls
Garlicky goodness comes to your home as Pizza Express shares the recipe for its classic dough balls.
To make 16 dough balls
1 tsp sugar
15g fresh yeast or 2 level tsp dried yeast
150ml warm water
225g of plain flour (plus extra for working)
1.5 tsp salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
0.5 tsp chopped garlic
4 tsp butter
1. Preheat the oven to 230°C / 210°C fan assisted.
2. Add the sugar and crumble the fresh yeast into the warm water. Allow the mixture to stand for 10-15 minutes in a warm place until froth develops on the surface.
3. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast mixture.
4. Lightly flour your hands and slowly mix the ingredients together until they are combined.
5. Generously dust your worksurface with flour, throw down the dough and knead for 10 minutes until smooth, silky and soft. Leave dough to rest until soft to the touch but not too springy.
6. Roll dough into a 1.2m long sausage. (You may have to do this in several lengths.) Chop into 16 chunks and place in an ovenproof pan. Leave the dough balls to rest in the pan for 30 minutes.
7. Bake for 6 minutes until golden.
To make the garlic butter
1. Blend olive oil and chopped garlic into a paste. Pour over the butter and blend with a spoon. Spread on top of the warm dough balls.