Cooking on the cheap shouldn't mean minute rice and buttered pasta every night. With a little creativity and a little planning, Gabriella Paiella shows us how to make the most of a tight budget -- without sacrificing flavor or variety.
Today: Recreate must-try restaurant dishes at home, for a fraction of the price.
One night, about a year after I had moved to New York, I was at a Mets Game. It wasn't terribly memorable, but I do remember that my date ordered chicken tenders; they were $11, and predictably not very good, but I immediately thought, "Damn, those are surprisingly cheap."
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That was the moment that I realized that living in this city had permanently skewed my perceptions of what people should pay for food. Even though I'm incredibly frugal at the grocery store, I'm often lured into shelling out at every new restaurant that I have to try -- and there is always another one.
Fortunately, working in food media means being surrounded by people creative and motivated enough to recreate some of the most acclaimed restaurants' recipes. I've pulled together a few of my favorites -- you'll save money, won't have to wait for a table, and can eat them in the privacy of your home (no pants!). Here's how to live the dream: