Baked Scotch Eggs

Baked Scotch Eggs

Sorry for the late post dear reader but I’ve been busy moving myself, Jamie and my vast collection of cook books into our new home. I had fifteen boxes of cookbooks, FIFTEEN! Ridiculous. I felt very sorry for Jamie’s dad Billy, who heroically carried them up two flights of stairs (apologies Billy), I clearly have a problem.
Anyway, let’s talk veggie Scotch eggs. I’ve been a bit obsessed with them ever since I tried my first one in the The Southampton Arms last month. However, this is not the first time I’ve tried to make them. My first attempt was a bit of a fail back in 2015. Although tasty, they resembled mushroom burgers, far too flat to be considered a Scotch egg. So, two years later and with a picnic on the horizon, it was time for round two. Using a mixture of chickpeas, breadcrumbs and cannellini beans, I finally managed to get the right texture to mould around my boiled eggs to form the perfect Scotch egg (#winningatlife). Unlike a regular Scotch egg however, I opted for baking not frying, not only to keep the calories down (as you all know, I’ve been on a diet for about 100 million years) but because I don’t trust myself to deep fat fry anything, far to scary. I mean I don’t even own a microwave, let alone a deep fat fryer, although my mum did once, my dad bought her one for Christmas. Not cool dad, not cool.
Anyway, if you fancy a bit of challenge and want to impress your friends at that picnic then be brave and give these a go, you won’t regret it.

Baked Scotch Eggs

Makes 6 / Take 55 minutes to prep / 20 minutes to bake + cooling time
You will need: Cling film, spray oil, hand blender and a food processor (if making your own breadcrumbs)
Ingredients:
6 eggs medium
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 big garlic cloves, crushed
1 medium carrot, grated
2 tsp smoked paprika
Half tsp chilli flakes
1 can soft chickpeas, rinsed and drained (try and get the big juicy chickpeas if you can, I use Napolina)
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper
Flour for dusting
100g breadcrumbs (roughly 3 slices of brown bread blitzed)
Spray oil
20g panko breadcrumbs
Serve with English mustard (optional)

Method:
1. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas mark 6.
2. Place the eggs in a small pan and cover with boiling water. Simmer for 7 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with cold water and add some ice. After 7 minutes, remove the eggs and place carefully into the water bath. Leave to cool.
3. In a large cooking pot sprayed with oil, add the chopped onions, garlic and grated carrot. Cook on a medium to high heat with the lid on with a tablespoon of water until soft (5-10 mins).
4. Add half a teaspoon of chilli flakes and 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika and cook for another 2 minutes before adding the drained cannellini and chickpeas. Season well with salt and pepper and give it a good stir. Turn down the heat and cook with the lid on for a further 10 minutes.
5. By now your eggs should be cold enough to carefully peel. Peel all the eggs and put to one side.
6. To make your breadcrumbs, simply tear a few slices of brown bread (or any bread you have) into rough chunks and blitz in a food processor. Alternatively, use 100g of shop bought breadcrumbs. Put on a large plate and cover with 20g of pako breadcrumbs (optional), season with salt and pepper and mix together roughly with your hands. Put to one side
7. Turn the heat off under the bean mixture and blend into smooth paste, using a hand blender or food processor. Once blended, add 2 handfuls of breadcrumbs and mix together using a spoon. Put to one side to cool slightly.
8. Now here comes the fun bit. Next to your peeled eggs, put a small bowl filled with 100g of plain flour and next to that, your plate of bread crumbs. Tear off a sheet of cling film and place on the tabletop in front of you. Roughly take out about a 6th of the bean mixture and place it in the centre of your clingfilm. Using the back of a wooden spoon or your hands pat it down until you have a round-ish disk.

9. Take one of your eggs, roll it in the flour and then place in the middle of your bean disk. Gather up the edges of the clingfilm and start to squish the beans around the egg until the egg is entirely encased by the mixture (this is easier than it sounds). If you find you haven’t taken enough mixture then just add a bit more on top.

10. Once the egg is encased, carefully remove the clingfilm and using your hands mould into a ball. Roll in the breadcrumbs until evenly covered and place on a baking tray sprayed with oil. Repeat this process 6 times. Finally, spray the scotch eggs with spray oil and cook in the oven for 20 minutes, turning and spraying with oil halfway through.Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the baking trays. Once cool, refrigerate until ready to serve with a dollop of English mustard. Don’t mind if I do.

Baked Scotch Eggs

If you’ve had a go at making my Scotch eggs or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com

Chilli & Lime Cheesecake 

Chilli & Lime Cheesecake

I don’t know about you, but I spend an abnormal amount of time thinking about my Come Dine With Me menu. Not that I would ever apply to go on the show of course, everyone seems far too mean and annoying but if I were to go on it, what would I make?
My starter and main course tend to change on a daily basis, some days I like the idea of doing a themed menu, other days, a more restaurant worthy affair with matching wine. But the one course I’m always most confident in, is dessert. My chilli and lime cheesecake is a sure fire winner, with it’s buttery ginger crumb laced with subtle chilli and zesty creamy topping, I’m certain my guests would find it intriguing yet delightful. ‘Oh what a clever dessert’ they would say ‘I’m going to score her a 9 just for the cheesecake’. So to cut a long story short I would win the £1,000 and we’d all live happily ever after, The End… Actually, I’d quite like £1,000, maybe I should apply? Nah, can’t be bothered but if you can and you make my cheesecake then I happily await your bank transfer (bank details to follow).

Chilli & Lime Cheesecake
Serves 10 / Takes 45 minutes + chilling time
You’ll need: 11 inch flan tin
Base:
250g ginger biscuits
90g melted unsalted butter
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
Baking paper
Topping:
400ml double cream
560g cream cheese
5 limes (the juice of 4, the zest of 3 and 1 lime left over for decoration)
50g of caster sugar 

Method:
1. Line an 11 inch flan tin with baking paper and put to one side.
2. In a food processor blitz the ginger biscuits until they resemble bread crumbs. Pour into bowl and mix in the chillies and the melted butter.
3. Pour the base into your flan tin and level it out evenly to the edges. squash the base down using either your hands or a wooden spoon. Pop in the fridge for an hour to chill.
4. Using a mixer with a balloon whisk or a hand help electric whisk, whisk the cream cheese, sugar, lime and lime zest. Once combined start to whisk in the double cream bit by bit to thicken the mixture.
5. Once mixture has thickened pour it into the centre of your flan tin and spread to the edges evenly with a wooden spoon or spatular.
6. Chill for a couple of hours or cover with cling film and chill over night. Cut into segments and serve topped with lime zest  and a few slices of chopped lime for decoration.

Chilli & Lime Cheesecake

If you’ve had a go at making my cheesecake or any of my recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com

Peanut Butter, Honey & Pears on toast

Peanut Butter & Pears on Toast

Peanut butter and honey on toast might seem like an odd combination but trust me, it’s a wonderful thing. I was first introduced to it by my old school friend Hina. Hina was (and still is I believe) Japanese and the Japanese like their peanut butter a bit sweeter than us Brits. So after school, we’d often scamper back to her boarding house and eat peanut butter on toast slathered in honey, which I later christened ‘Hinabutter’.
Anyway, so I forgot all about Hinabutter until I purchased an insanely expensive pot of raw honey recently. Apparently the 40p honey I’d been buying all these years was no better than eating filtered dog turds. So did it really taste all that different?
Well no, not really but there’s a quite a significant difference between the two despite tasting very similar. For a start, regular honey tends to be pasteurised and filtered, which is said to destroy the honey’s natural vitamins and nutrients. Whereas raw honey, comes straight from the hive so remains untreated, unheated and unfiltered. This means, unlike regular honey, it retains most of it’s nutritional properties and can even include the odd bit of wax, pollen and a couple of bees knees (literally). Although don’t worry, raw honey is often strained to remove wax/knees so no need to freak out, humans have been eating raw honey for thousands of years. Anyway that’s enough eduction for one day, now where was I?
Oh yeah, so for the past week, I’ve been pouring honey all over my peanut butter on toast like some kind of deranged Pooh Bear which doesn’t exactly make for a balanced breakfast. So I chucked in some pears and a bit of ricotta to help balance it out and to help cut through the sticky sweetness of it all. Bananas I’m sure would work wonderfully too but as I can’t stand the little buggers, I think I’ll stick to me pears thanks guvna… Not sure why I’ve gone all cockney but there you go. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter, Honey & Pear on Toast
Serves 1 / Take 5 minutes 
Ingredients:
2 slices of bread (I like fresh heavily seeded brown loaf)
knob of butter (for spreading, optional)
Crunchy peanut butter
Honey (preferably raw or organic)
Half a conference pear, cored and sliced
1 – 2 Tbs Ricotta
Sprinkle of pumpkin seeds (optional)

Toast the bread of your choice and top with an even layer of butter and then peanut butter. Drizzle the toast with a couple of teaspoons of honey and spread evenly with a knife. Top with slices of pear, drizzle with a bit of extra honey and serve with a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds and a good dollop of ricotta.

Peanut Butter & Pears on Toast

If you’ve had a go at making my peanut butter and pears on toast or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com

Fragrant Coconut Soup

Fragrant Coconut Soup

Something very strange and mystifying has happened, I’ve joined a gym. No longer happy with my soft fleshy physique, I’ve decided to take action. Over the past year, I’ve actually managed to lose a stone through healthy eating, stress and gastroenteritis (good old gastroenteritis) so I’m pretty happy. However, with weight-loss does not come toning my friends, so my body is literally a load of flesh wrapped around some bones, not a muscle in sight.
The final straw came when I recently attempted to do a press up, just the one. I lowered myself down pretty successfully but when it came to coming back up, it simply didn’t happen. So I just lay there grunting and cursing my weak upper body, my face squished into the carpet. ‘Well this is a new low’ I remember thinking along with ‘I really should hoover’.
So I joined a gym, bought a little padlock for my locker, a cool looking water bottle and decided I would go everyday for the rest of my life. First of all though, I’d have to get through my stupid induction, (sigh) can’t we just skip it? While we’re at it, can’t we just skip to my body looking like Jennifer Aniston’s please? Gym inductions are stupid. I don’t need a gym induction to strut around and pretend like I know how to use everything, that’s what everyone else does right? Anyway regardless, I went to my induction and got well and truly broken.
“Can’t you just show me how to use the machines ‘in theory’ and I’ll do it myself next time?”
“No” said my induction master (that’s what they’re called these days) “You learn by doing not watching, now give me another ten.”
“Ten??!!!” When did ten become a thing?
Forty minutes later I emerge very pink, breathless and appear to have lost the ability to move both my arms and my legs. So this is what being fit feels like? Poor Jennifer Aniston.
Anyway enough of that, lets talk about this rather lovely coconut soup I created to keep those love handles at bay. I adore Thai green curry but after a long day at work, I tend to just want something quick and easy but with similar flavours. This is it. Enjoy!

Fragrant Coconut Soup
Serves a generous 2 / takes 25-30 minutes / Vegan
Ingredients:
2 cans of light coconut milk
1 veg stock pot or stock cube  (I use knorr vegetable stock pots)
3 sticks of lemon grass, bashed with a rolling pin (this releases the flavour)
Half a white onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
1 medium sized red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
1 knob of ginger, grated
2 tsp caster sugar
28g bunch coriander
1 nest rice noodles
2 tsp red miso paste (or 2tbs of soy sauce)
5 chestnut mushrooms, roughly sliced
2 bulbs of pak choy, roughly chopped
3 Chinese leaves, roughly chopped
Juice of 1 lime

Method:
1. In a large saucepan, add the 2 cans of coconut milk, vegetable stock cube or pot, chopped onion, chilli, garlic, ginger, bashed lemongrass and sugar. Roughly chop the coriander stalks (saving the leaves) and add to the coconut milk.
2. Give it a good stir and bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook your rice noodles in small saucepan according to the packet instructions. Once cooked, drain and cover in a stream of cold water until completely cold (this will stop the noodles from continuing to cook). Drain again and divide the noodles into two large soup bowls. Put to one side.
4. Turn your attention back to the soup and give it a quick stir. Roughly chop the remaining coriander leaves, Chinese leaves, pak choy and mushrooms.

5. After 15 minutes your soup should be well infused and fragrant. Over a large bowl, carefully pour your soup through a sieve. Discard the contents of the sieve and pour the remaining soup back into your saucepan.
6. Stir through 2 tsp of red miso paste and add the pak choy, mushrooms and Chinese leaf. Give it a good stir and cook on a medium heat for a few minutes or until the veg is tender. Take the saucepan off the heat, squeeze over the lime juice and stir.
6. Finally, ladle over the cooked noodles and top with fresh coriander. Devour.

Fragrant Coconut Soup

If you’ve had a go at making my soup or any of my recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com

Spanakopita Parcels

Spanakopita Parcels

I totally forgot how much I like to eat raw filo pastry dipped in butter. I know it’s a bit wrong but then again, my boss likes to drink double cream from the carton. No judgment.
Anyway, for those of you who don’t know what spanakopita is, it’s a Greek pastry made of buttery layers of filo, stuffed with a spinach and feta filling. Drool. My friend Philippa’s actually been nagging me to make these for years but alas, the occasion has never quite presented itself, until now.
With a big charity event on the horizon and Jamie’s nan’s 82nd birthday that same weekend, I thought this is it, it’s time. So I dramatically whisked myself off to Waitrose (sorry Sainsbury’s, you ain’t near my work) and bought a giant bag of frozen spinach (which then proceeded to defrosted on my lap on the 390 bus home. Nice.)
Back at chez Camden, I did a spot of research and came to the conclusion that these beggars were potentially tricky little customers. So as usual, I chucked all my bamboozling research in the metaphorical bin and decided to wing it.Luckily for me and everyone else at Party on the Pitch, they turned out to be rather delightful as was the party itself.
Every year, this marvellous family music festival takes place in Southam Warwickshire, to help raise money for motor neurone disease. Jamie’s Uncle Simon, tragically died of this degenerative disease back in 2011, but before he did, he was determined to raise awareness and £1,000,000 to help find a cure. Party on the Pitch, is just one of the ways in which money is being raised in Simon’s honour, but if you’re feeling charitable, then a little donation can go a long way. Click here to find out more and to make a donation. Thank you.

 

 

Spanakopita Parcels:
Makes 14 / Takes 45 minutes to prepare / 10-12 minutes to cook
Ingredients:
500g frozen spinach thawed (once thawed, pressed and drained, you should have around 350g)
Half an onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 spring onions, finely chopped
Small handful of dill, chopped
Small handful of Parsley, chopped
300g feta
Salt and pepper
5 sheets of fresh Filo pastry (I used jus-roll filo sheets 270g)
100g unsalted butter

Method:
1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C fan /Gas mark 6.
2. Start by taking your thawed spinach and put a quarter of it into a sieve over a bowl. Using a spoon, squish it down as much as you can to get the moisture out before scraping the spinach into a larger bowl. Repeat this step until you have no spinach left to squeeze.
3. Finely chop half an onion, 2 spring onions, a handful of dill a handful of parsley, 2 crushed garlic cloves and add it to the spinach along with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Give it a good stir. Using your hands, crumble all the feta into the mix and give it another thorough stir.
4. In a small saucepan, heat 100g of butter on a low heat until melted. Put to one side. On a clean surface, lay out two sheets of filo on top of each other. Using a sharp knife, divide the filo into 6 (you don’t need to be too precise about this). You should now have 12 square-ish squares. Stack on top of one another and put to one side.
5. On a chopping board, take one of your squares and brush it with butter right to the edges. Lay the second square on top creating a star shape. Scoop a heaped tablespoon of spinach mix and pop in the middle of your star. Brush with butter right to the edges and then carefully bring all the edges together and pinch the top firmly to seal in the filling, creating a little filo sack. (Treat filo like fabric, it folds like fabric but can tear so be gentle with it.) Pop on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

6. Repeat this process until you have 14 filo parcels (dividing up more filo as you go, see step 6). Pop in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.

7. Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool on their baking trays for 5 minutes. Transfer carefully to a cooling rack and leave to cool for a further 5 minutes. Serve warm or cool completely and refrigerate. Perfect for any barbecue or picnic.

Spanakopita Parcels

If you’ve had a go at making my spanakopita parcels or any of my recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com

Tortilla Lasagne 

Tortilla Lasagne


Why I ever think drinking on a Sunday is a good idea is beyond me. To cut a long story short, Jamie and I went for a roast and I drank a bottle of wine. Next thing I know, I’m lying on my bed, fully clothed and surrounded by mini Toffee Crisp wrappers, popcorn and there’s a half eaten cheese toastie upon my person. My laptop’s open on the bed and is playing endless episodes of Ru Paul’s Drag Race (I love Netflix). So all in all, a very successful Sunday.
Although the fun never lasts, I was so horribly hungover at work today that I’m pretty sure I needed medical assistance. When I finally got to the hospital (to see my mum who is currently having chemo) I was stunned nobody took any notice of my condition, savages.
Anyway, enough about my life, lets talk about my new flat… What? It’s exciting and I feel like sharing! So yes, Jamie and I are officially the new renters of a one bedroom flat in sunny Archway. It has a roof terrace and everything so now I can buy plants and accidentally neglect them like everyone else in North London.
So let’s celebrate with this this rather tasty tortilla lasagne (which I’m sure I will be making with tomatoes I grow on my new roof terrace) okay I’ll stop it now. This recipe is actually one I wrote for Families First Magazine’s July/August issue (out now). They trust me to write recipes for them sometimes which is nice, they clearly have impeccable taste. 

Tortilla Lasagne
Serves 6 / Takes 1 hour 30 minutes
You’ll need: A deep ovenproof dish (roughly 10 inches wide)
Sauce
1 white onion peeled and chopped
1 yellow pepper chopped
1 large deseeded red chilli finely chopped
Two handfuls of chopped coriander
2 tbs tomato purée
1 heaped teaspoon of smoked paprika
Half a tsp of chilli flakes
2 cans chopped tomatoes
500ml veg stock
Salt and pepper
Spray oil or tsp of olive oil
Filling
1 can black eyed beans drained and washed
1 can black beans drained and washed
1 sweetcorn, kernals removed or 2 small cans of drained sweetcorn
100g cheddar grated (save half for topping)
100g feta crumbled (save half for topping)
6 medium tortillas
To serve
Sour cream, salsa, handful of chopped fresh coriander, lime wedges and salad leaves. 

Method:
1. Preheat an oven to 200C/180C fan.
2. Finely chop the onions, yellow pepper and the chilli. Add them to a large saucepan with the oil and sweat on a medium heat for around 10 minutes until softened.
3. Once soft, add the tomato purée, smoked paprika, chilli flakes, chopped coriander, canned tomatoes and the vegetable stock. Give it a good stir, season with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. Once boiling turn down the heat and let the sauce reduce for around 15 – 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
4. Drain the wash the beans and pop them in a large bowl along with the corn kernels. (To remove the kernels, hold the corn upright. With a sharp knife slice in a downwards motion towards the base to remove the kernels. Alternatively use two small cans of drained sweetcorn)
5. Mix the beans and the corn together along with half of the crumbled feta and half of the grated cheddar.
6. Once your sauce has reduced, take off the heat. Grease a large oven proof dish with spray oil or oil and place 2 tortillas in the bottom (Don’t worry if they overlap). Top with a third of tomato sauce and spread it out evenly.  Top with half the bean and cheese mixture evenly. Top with another two tortillas.
7. Top with another third of the tomato sauce and spread out again. Top evenly with the other half of the bean mixture. Top one more time with two more tortillas, spread over the last of the tomato sauce and sprinkle with remaining feta and grated cheese.
8. Pop in the oven for 20-30 minutes until the top is lovely and brown. Remove from the oven and let the lasagne rest before serving for 5-10 minutes. Finally serve topped with a sprinkling of fresh coriander, sour cream, salsa, lime wedges and salad leaves.

Tortilla Lasagne

If you’ve had a go at making my tortilla lasagne or any of my recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com

Mushroom Katsu Curry

Mushroom Katsu Curry

Katsu curry doesn’t have to be made with chicken you know, a chestnut mushroom rolled in breadcrumbs can do just as well… I think… Not that I’ve ever tried chicken. Well I did once, I ate a chicken burger from New York Chicken & Ribs in Letchworth Garden City when I was 15 but I was so drunk, I don’t remember what it tasted like. Probably pretty good considering anything fried and greasy tastes amazing when you’re inebriated.
Anyway, realising chicken katsu curry is in fact vegetarian (minus the chicken on course) I decided to give it a go. It’s not that hard to make but it can be a bit of a faff, so I tend to make double the sauce and freeze the rest for later. This means that when I’m feeling lazy (which is a lot), I can forget the breaded mushrooms altogether and simple pour the silky sauce over some roasted butternut squash, it’s divine and little less fiddly. However, if you’ve never tried katsu curry, then I highly recommend you start with this mushroom version, it’s well worth getting your hands a bit messy for.
Unlike an Indian curry, Japanese curry is a bit sweeter, not as spicy but has just enough chilli to warm through you as you eat it. Perfect for people afraid of a bit of heat (like my mum). Enjoy, or as they say in Japan
楽しんで… (I think). 

Mushroom Katsu Curry
Serves 2 / Total time 1 hour 10 minutes / medium hot
For the sauce: 
1 Tbs sunflower or vegetable oil
1 Onion, peeled and chopped
5 Garlic cloves, peeled
2 Medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 Tbs plain flour
1 Tbs medium curry powder
600ml vegetable stock (I use knorr vegetable stock pots)
1 Tbs reduced salt soy sauce
1 Bay leaf
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp garam masala
Salt and pepper
For the mushrooms:
Spray oil (I use frylight)
8 large chestnut mushrooms
Pako breadcrumbs
2 medium eggs, beaten
To serve :
250g sushi rice (optional)
Salad leaves (optional)
Salad Dressing: 1tsp sesame oil, 1tsp soy sauce, 1tsp rice vinegar, sprinkle of sesame seeds. 

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 200C°/180°C fan.
2. If making sushi rice do this first and follow the packet instructions.
3. To make the sauce, fry the chopped onion and whole garlic cloves in a tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat for a couple of minutes. Add the chopped carrots, give it a stir and put the lid on. Continue to sweat for a further 10 minutes.
4. Add 2 tablespoons of plain flour and 1 tablespoon of medium curry powder and cook for a minute stirring continually. Then add the stock in a slow steady stream and continue to stir (this avoids any lumps). Add the bay leaf, tablespoon of soy sauce and two teaspoons of honey. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a bowl with a fork and pour out a generous amount of pako breadcrumbs onto a large plate. Spray a large oven tray with oil and pull the storks out of the mushrooms. Take each mushroom and dip it in the beaten egg. Once covered, roll it in the pako breadcrumbs until well coated and place on the oiled baking tray. Repeat this process until all your mushrooms are covered. Spray them with spray oil and pop in the oven for 20 minutes turning them over halfway through.

6. Add half a teaspoon of garam masala to the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Give the curry a stir and take off the heat. Pass the curry through a sieve using a wooden spoon to help force it though. (If you prefer a chunkier sauce then don’t bother sieving it but remember to remove the bay leaf. Or if you like a smooth but thick sauce, sieve it but add the veg back in (minus the bay leaf) and blitz with a hand blender until smooth or until you get the thickness you like). Pour into a new pan and heat on a low heat to keep the sauce warm until you mushrooms are ready.

7. If making a salad, mix all the ingredients together and cover 2 handfuls of mixed leaves in a bowl. I do recommend serving a said with this curry. 
8. Remove the mushrooms carefully from the oven and serve on top of the curry sauce, accompanied with sushi rice and salad. Oh and to make sushi rice domes, simply spoon sushi rice into a tea cup and mold to the cup by pushing down with a spoon. Turn out onto a plate.

Mushroom Katsu Curry

If you’ve had a go at making my mushroom katsu curry or any of my recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com

Marmite Grilled Cheese

Marmite Grilled Cheese

Let me make something clear, a grilled cheese is not the same as a cheese toastie. For 33 years I thought they were the same thing, until my boyfriend Jamie made me one on my birthday last week for breakfast. (I know, he’s the best.)
So the main difference is that the grilled cheese is essentially the bigger, fatter, American cousin of our more humble cheese toastie. Traditionally it’s made with shitty white bread but as I can’t bring myself to buy that (mainly because I love shitty white bread and would end up eating the whole loaf) I’m sticking to the less traditional, more rustic wholemeal loaf. Not only is it the healthier choice but it’s all I have in the house and can’t be bothered to go to shops. I think if I had planned this better, I would have chosen sourdough but my wholemeal loaf is just as robust and will give a good textural contrast with the oozy cheese.
The other main difference between the two, is that you butter the outside of the bread and fry it in a frying pan (no grilling involved so not sure why it’s called a grilled cheese but who cares). Buttering the outside of the bread gives the grilled cheese a deliciously crisp, golden coating unlike it’s dryer cousin. I do love a cheese toastie though and regularly make one after a drunk night out. Although I nearly always opt for a cheese and Branston pickle filling like my mum used to make. Good old Branston.
Anyway, unlike the traditional grilled cheese, I’m filling mine with cheese and Marmite but if you’re not a Marmite fan, then simply leave it out, I won’t be offended.

Marmite Grilled Cheese
Serves 1 / Takes 15-20 minutes
You’ll need…
A non stick pan
Ingredients:
2 pieces of  bread (standard white is traditional but you can use wholemeal or even sourdough. Just make sure your slices aren’t too fat or your cheese will struggle to melt)
60g medium cheddar cheese, finely grated (don’t use mature cheddar as it tends to separate when it melts, mild or medium is perfect)
1 tsp Marmite
2 tsp boiling water
Spreadable butter
Salad leaves to serve (optional)

Method:
1. In a small bowl, add 1 teaspoon of Marmite and 2 teaspoons of boiling water. Mix together to loosen the Marmite until you have a brown watery liquid.

2. Finely grate the cheese (finely grating helps the cheese melt faster) and pop in a bowl. Pour the Marmite liquid over the cheese and stir well. Put to one side.
3. Butter each slice of your chosen bread (you can use any bread you like really, just make sure it’s not too thick or your cheese will struggle to melt).
4. Heat a medium sized saucepan on a medium to high heat for a couple of minutes until hot. Place one of your slices carefully in the pan butter side down. Spoon on your cheesy Marmite mixture and spread to the edges. Top with the other slice of bread, butter side up and squidge down. Turn the heat down to a medium to low heat.

5. Cook for a couple of minutes before flipping and cooking on the other side for a further few minutes or until the cheese has melted.
6. Serve immediately with lightly dressed salad leaves.

Marmite Grilled Cheese

If you’ve had a go at making my Marmite grilled cheese or any of my recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com

Roasted Vegetable Couscous with Goats Cheese & Harissa

Vegetable Couscous with Goats Cheese & Harissa

Why I thought it was a good idea to roast vegetables on the hottest day of the year, in my tiny 2 bedroom flat is beyond me but I’ve never claimed to be the smartest tool in the box… Hang on that doesn’t sound right. Why would a tool need to be smart? Hang on, let’s check Google…
Right so it’s the ‘sharpest’ tool in the box. Think I’ve literally just proved my point.
Anyway, my mum used to make a Delia Smith recipe similar to this one, she even managed to dig the book out for me to look at but the recipe was so long I got bored and walked off. I mean it’s hardly rocket science is it? Make some couscous, roast some veg, top with cheese, BOOM! Come on Delia sort it out, I don’t have 9 hours to make my dinner. Actually I should be nice to Delia, she launched Sainsbury’s Magazine back in 1993 who currently employ me so I should stop talking now. Love you Delia, you da best!

Roasted Vegetable Couscous with Goats Cheese & Harissa Dressing

Serves 4 / Prep time 25 mins / Total time 1 hour 10 mins
Ingredients:
250g couscous
270ml vegetable stock
Half a red onion, peeled and roughly sliced
1 medium Aubergine, cut into chunks
5 Baby leeks (or 1 regular roughly chopped)
Handful cherry tomatoes (roughly 10)
200g Butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and cut into chunks (I buy mine ready peeled and chopped)
1 Red pepper, sliced
3 fat garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
Spray oil
150g Firm goats cheese
Handful for basil, chopped (optional)
Harrissa dressing: 
Juice of a lemon
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp honey
2 tsp harrissa paste
Salt and pepper

Method:
1. Preheat your oven to 220°C/200°C fan.
2. Measure out your couscous and pour into a large bowl. Pour over the 270ml of vegetable stock making sure all the couscous is moist. (It won’t look like much but trust me, it’s enough). If some couscous still looks fry then give it a stir to coat it and pat it down. Cover the bowl well with cling film and put to one side.
3. Roughly chop the aubergine, red onion, red pepper and butternut squash and put into a large roasting tray. Scatter with a handful of cherry tomatoes, whole baby leeks and the peeled and bashed garlic cloves. Spray well with spray oil, give it a good mix and then spray well again. Season with salt and pepper and pop in the oven for 30 minutes.

4. While your veg is roasting make your dressing by combining the juice of a lemon, 2 tsp of harrissa paste, 2 tsp honey, 1 tbs of extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

5. By now your couscous should be nice and soft. Uncover the bowl and using a fork, scrape across the top to start loosening the couscous. Keep the pressure light and keep scraping until you get to the bottom of the bowl and your couscous looks light and fluffy. (Don’t worry if you still have a few lumps). Put to one side.
6. After half an hour, take out your roasted veg, give it a bit of a shake and a turn and pop back in for another 10 minutes. Meanwhile, roughly chop a handful of basil leaves and cut your goats cheese into chunks and put both to one side.

7. Once your veg is roasted, remove from the oven but leave the oven on. Carefully scoop out the veg and pop it onto a plate. Then in the same baking tray, spread out the couscous and top evenly with the roasted veg. Scatter with goats cheese and put back in the oven for a further 10 minutes.
8. Finally remove from the oven and spoon onto plates. Top with the chopped fresh basil and good drizzle of the Harissa dressing.

Vegetable Couscous with Goats Cheese & Harissa

If you’ve had a go at making my couscous or any of my recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com

Veggie Salad Niçoise

Veggie Salad Niçoise

I’ve been eating out quite a lot recently and something really annoying has started to happen on menus across the land.
Warm asparagus salad with poached hens egg… Spiced aubergine pilaf with poached hens egg… Sweet potato and harrissa hash topped with a poached HENS EGG… “Oooh a poached hens egg, how exotic, I’ll have that please.” AGHHHHHH!
A hens egg is surely just an egg. News flash, chickens are hens, well female ones are and as we all know, only female chickens (i.e. hens) can lay eggs. Silently and pretentiously, the hens egg seems to have swept onto menus across the capital without anyone even noticing. Where have we all been?!
So next time you see it on the menu, ask for just a regular egg and see what happens. “Oh, is a hens egg just a regular egg? Then why doesn’t it just say that?” You utter politely before picking up your table and throwing it across the room. On that note lets move swiftly on to my salad Niçoise with boiled ‘hens’ egg (okay I’ll stop it now).
Salad Niçoise originated in the French city of Nice and is traditionally made up of a mixture of Niçoise olives, anchovies, tomatoes and hard boiled eggs. I was surprised to learn that a traditional Niçoise salad doesn’t include tuna, french beans or even potatoes but I guess every recipes it subject to interpretation. However, I’ve included french beans and potatoes in mine because it’s just not a Niçoise salad without them in my opinion. I’ve also substituted the anchovies for a tangy black olive and lemon dressing to give it the salty zing without the fish. Bon appétit. 

Veggie Salad Niçoise
Serves a generous 2 / Takes 30 – 35 mins total
You’ll need:
A pestle and mortar
Ingredients:
3 eggs
1 cos lettuce
1 handful of pitted black olives
100g French beans
300g new potatoes/Jersey royals
4 ripe tomatoes cut into eights
1/4 cucumber, peeled and chopped
Handful of basil torn
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper
Dressing:
Small handful of basil leaves
60g black olives
Juice of half a lemon
1 medium garlic clove, peeled
1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Method: 
1. Start by putting 3 eggs in a small saucepan and cover with boiling water. Boil for seven minutes. Once boiled drain and cover in cold water and put to one side.
2. Cut the larger new potatoes in half but leave the small ones whole. Put in a large saucepan and cover with boiling water and season the water with salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, make your dressing by putting 60g of pitted black olives in your pestle and mortar along with a peeled garlic clove, a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, a teaspoon of red wine vinegar, small handful of basil leaves, the juice of half a lemon and season with salt and pepper. Being careful not to splash yourself too much, bash it all together until you have a rough paste.
4. Cut your tomatoes into eights and peel and chop your cucumber. Put in a large bowl along with a handful of torn basil, a handful of pitted black olives and season with salt and pepper.

5. By now your potatoes should be cooked but don’t remove them from the heat just yet. Add the trimmed french beans to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes and beans and cover in a stream of cold water to prevent them from cooking further. Leave to drain.
6. Line a large salad bowl with cos lettuce and peel your eggs. Slice into quarters and put to one side. Tip the warm potatoes and the beans into the bowl along with the rest of the salad mixture and top with the dressing. Give it a good stir and tip the whole lot on top of the lettuce.
7. Place the sliced eggs on top, squeeze over the other half of the lemon, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Veggie Salad Niçoise

If you’ve had a go at making my salad or any of my recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale corrie.heale@gmail.com