Vanilla apple cake

Vanilla apple cake

This was the first recipe I ever blogged, which was a bit of a surprise, as this was supposed to be a dating blog. After two and a half years of dating hell, my disastrous mishaps had become my identity and – in some friendship circles -legendary. My shenanigans were often met with gasps, laughter and even horror, which to me, was preferable to pity. Since when did being thirty and single become such a terrible affliction? So I wrapped myself up in humour and performed my party pieces to crowds of hungry, happily married people, who couldn’t get enough of my hilarious existence.
But when it came to writing it all down, I wasn’t laughing. So I wrote a cake recipe instead; this cake recipe, in fact, and never looked back. This cake is sweet, delicious and handsome, just like my boyfriend Jamie who I met a month later – I got there in the end!

Vanilla apple cake
Serves 8 / Hands on time 25 mins / Total time 1hr 30mins + cooling / V
You’ll need: 20cm cake tin, foil, electric hand whisk or standing mixer
350-400g Brambly apples, peeled, cored and sliced
½ lemon, juiced
250g unsalted butter + extra for greasing
250g caster sugar
3 large eggs
250g self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbs demerara sugar
1 tbs icing sugar for decoration


Method
1. Preheat an oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ 350°F/gas mark 4 and grease your cake tin with butter.
2. Peel, roughly slice and core the apples. Put them in a large bowl, squeeze over the juice of half a lemon and give the apples a good toss – this prevents the apples oxidising and turning brown. Put to one side.
3. In a large bowl or standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until using an ecliptic whisk until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat the eggs in one at a time. If the mixture starts to curdle, simply add a tbs of the self-raising flour and continue to whisk until combined.
4. Sift in the remaining self-raising flour along with the salt and baking powder. Use a wooden spoon to fold in the mixture before giving it another quick whisk until you have a thick, pale batter.
5. Finally fold in the apples and spoon into your prepared tin, using the back of a spoon to push the mixture evenly to the edges (it may seem like there isn’t enough batter to cover the apples but don’t worry, the apples sink to the bottom of the cake during baking). Smooth over the top with a wooden spoon and sprinkle over a tbs of Demerara sugar.
6. Bake in the oven for 45 mins. At this stage the cake will be very brown but don’t worry, it’s not burning. Remove the cake from the oven and swiftly cover the top loosely with foil. Continue to bake for a further 30 mins.
7. Remove from the oven and leave the cake to rest in the tin for 10 mins before turning out onto a cooling rack. Leave to cool fully before dusting with icing sugar and serving with clotted cream and a cup of tea.



Vanilla apple cake

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


V – Vegetarian
 – This cake is suitable for home freezing once cooled. Wrap well in cling film and freeze fore up to 3 months. Defrost fully before serving.



Vegan red lentil bolognese

Vegan red lentil bolognese

It’s official, veganmania is in full swing, and it looks like she’s cool, young and beautiful. Whereas vegetarianism is still an old hippy, who doesn’t wash his hair. Why are we still so uncool? Plant-based burgers, vegan cheese and even vegan Happy Meals are popping up on menus across the land, and I still get risotto?! It’s so unfair! Don’t get me wrong, I’m appreciating the ever-expanding vegan menus with offerings that are more exciting and innovative – but where is vegetarian revolution? Stuffed peppers and goat cheese tarts are still thrust upon me at any given moment, as it seems our time in the sun has been eclipsed. Restaurants are killing two birds with one stone, and I don’t blame them, but it would be nice to have some sort of renaissance. Well, if you can’t beat them, join them. Here’s a vegan spaghetti Bolognese, because apparently I’m vegan now.


Vegan red lentil bolognese
Serves 4 (makes enough sauce for 6) / Hands on time 30 mins / Total time 1 hr 20 mins / V Vn Df Gf* 
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 large white onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 celery sticks, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
1 can plum tomatoes
250g red lentils
1 tbs tomato purée
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried parsley
700ml vegetable stock, I use 1 Knorr stock pots that are gluten free, vegan and dairy free.
3 tbs vegan red wine (optional)
8 cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
300g wholewheat spaghetti or gluten free alternative
Extra virgin olive oil to serve
Fresh basil leaves to serve (optional)


Method
1. In a large cooking pot, sweat the diced onion, carrots, celery and garlic together in a tsp of oil over a medium heat. Season well with salt, add a dash of water and soften for 20 mins with the lid on, stirring frequently.
2. Stir in the tomato purée and add the tinned plum tomatoes using a wooden spoon to break them up a bit. Pour over the stock, add the lentils, cherry tomatoes and sprinkle over the herbs and ground nutmeg. Season well with salt and pepper and bring to the boil.
3. Once boiling, turn the heat down and simmer for 40-50 mins with the lid on and stirring occasionally to prevent the lentils sticking to the bottom of the pot.
4. After 40 minutes, fill a large saucepan with boiling water and add 300g of wholewheat spaghetti. Season the water well with salt and boil the pasta for 10-12 minutes (or according to the packet instructions).
5. Finally, take the bolognese off the heat and leave to stand for a couple of minutes whilst draining the pasta and dividing into bowls. Top the spaghetti with the bolognese and serve drizzled with olive oil and topped with a good crack of black pepper.

Vegan red lentil bolognese

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


V– Vegetarian    Vn– Vegan    Df– Dairy free
Gf– I use Knorr vegetable stock pots because they are gluten free but other stock pots/cubes may not be. Always check the label. Please substitute wholewheat pasta for a gluten free alternative.
❄ The bolognese sauce is suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.



 

Penne al’arrabiata

Penne al’arrabiata

Eaten enough chocolate to sink a small ship this Easter? Me too… Penne al’arrabiata anyone?


Penne al’arrabiata
Serves 2 / Hands on time 15-20 mins / Total time 15-20 mins / V
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 tbs Pomora extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp of chilli flakes (½ tsp if you like it really spicy)
1 can of good quality plum tomatoes
1 tbs tomato purée
1 ball vegetarian mozzarella (optional)
130g penne pasta
Fresh basil to serve


Method
1. Set a full kettle on to boil and measure out your penne and put in a large saucepan along with a good pinch of salt.
2. Meanwhile in a large frying pan or pot, add 1 tbs of extra virgin olive oil and warm over a low to medium heat. Peel and chop your garlic and add it to the oil (you don’t want to fry the garlic, only infuse the oil with it so watch that it doesn’t start to fry and brown). Infuse the garlic for a few minutes before adding the chilli flakes.
3. Once the kettle has boiled, pour over the penne and set over a high heat. Cook according to packet instructions.
4. Add the can of plum tomatoes to the garlic and chilli infused oil along with 1 tbs of tomato purée and a good pinch of salt. ​Stir carefully and break the plum tomatoes up with the back of a wooden spoon. Up the heat and simmer for a good 5 minutes or until your pasta is ready.
5. Drain the penne and pour it straight into the sauce making sure it is well coated. Spoon into bowls and finish by topping with torn mozzarella, fresh basil leaves and a good crack of black pepper.

Penne al’arrabiata

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


– Vegetarian


Carrot cake loaf

Carrot cake loaf
Carrot cake loaf
Carrot cake loaf

I’m going to keep this short but sweet – much like this carrot cake. Partly because it’s past my bedtime and partly because I’m grumpy after spending my entire Sunday burning multiple carrot cakes – would have helped if my oven wasn’t an old tin can with no temperature markings on it.


Carrot cake loaf
Make 1 loaf / Hands on time 35 mins / Total time 1 hr 45 mins / V
You’ll need: 2 lb loaf tin, electric hand whisk
Juice of 1 orange
45g sultanas
150g carrots, peeled and grated
150g soft brown sugar
80g self-raising flour
80g wholemeal flour
1 tsp bicarbonate soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp ground ginger
50g pecans, roughly chopped
Pinch of salt
150ml rapeseed oil
2 eggs
Cream cheese icing
130g cream cheese
30g soft unsalted butter
65g icing sugar


TIP: To store, refrigerate for 1-2 days at most and then allow to come up to room temperature before serving.


Method
1. In a small saucepan, heat the juice of an orange over a low to medium heat and add the sultanas. Warm through for 10 minutes before putting to one side to cool.
2. Meanwhile, grease the base and sides of a loaf tin with a bit of extra rapeseed oil and line the bottom with baking paper. Put to one side and preheat an oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ 350°F/gas mark 4.
3. Peel and grate the carrot before weighing out the sugar, self-raising flour, wholemeal flour, cinnamon, ginger, mixed spice, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the roughly chopped pecans and give it a good mix before incorporating in the grated carrots using a wooden spoon.
4. In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the rapeseed oil and the eggs until combined. Pour into the carrot mixture and mix thoroughly. Spoon into the loaf tin and bake on the middle shelf for 1 hr or until a skewer comes out clean.
5. While the cake is baking, make the cream cheese icing by whisking the butter and the cream cheese together in a bowl with an electric whisk. Fold in the icing sugar with a spoon before whisking again for a couple of minutes. Cover loosely with clingfilm and refrigerate.
6. Allow the carrot cake to cool completely in the tin before turning out and topping with lashings of cream cheese icing. Delicious!

Carrot cake loaf
Carrot cake loaf

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


– Vegetarian
❄ – This cake is suitable for home freezing once cooled and before icing. Wrap well in cling film and freeze fore up to 3 months. Defrost fully before icing and serving.



Celeriac & goats cheese soup

Celariac goats cheese soup
Celariac goats cheese soup
Celariac goats cheese soup

The other day, my friend Kaydence asked how old I was. I’m not quite sure how we got onto this topic, but I genuinely couldn’t remember.
“So, you were born in 1984 in June, yeah? So that would make you…” Kay started counting on her fingers. “Thirty four,” she said triumphantly, as she swigged her giant gin and tonic – when did gin glasses get so big?
“Really? I’m pretty sure I’m thirty five.” I replied, texting my mother.
“How do you not know how old you are?” Kaydence asked, baffled and slurring slightly.
“Well, I guess because no one really asks me how old I am these days – must have just forgot,” I laughed, as a wall of ice hits my teeth. “Hey. where did all the gin go?”
My phone flashes and I see a blurry text message from my mum.
“Hi, Corricles,” I read aloud – Kay sniggers. “You were born in 1984, so you are thirty four. I’M THIRTY FOUR! BRILLIANT!” I slam my fist on the table a little too hard, causing a bit of unwanted attention from the locals – oops. “It’s like I’ve gained a year,” I say, in a slightly more hushed tone. Kaydence raises her glass and toasts to my newly discovered youth, before slumping her head on the table.
The next day I woke feeling dehydrated and tired – but thirty four. Huzzah! So, I decided to treat myself to a loaf of walnut bread in Tesco to go with this gorgeous celeriac and goats cheese soup. Just what I fancy on a freakishly warm February day – I know, we’re all doomed.


Celeriac & goats cheese soup
Serves 4 / Hands on time 20 / Total time 40 mins / V Gf* ❄
You’ll need: Hand blender or food processor
30g unsalted butter
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
½ tsp salt flakes
1 medium celeriac (400g), peeled and chopped
1 litre vegetable stock, I use 1 Knorr stock pots
125g vegetarian soft goats cheese + extra to garnish
Black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil to serve


Method
1. Over a medium heat in a large pot, sweat the chopped onion and garlic down in the butter along with ½ tsp of salt flakes. Put the lid on and soften for 10 mins, stirring frequently.
2. Meanwhile, peel and chop the celeriac. Add to the softened onions along with the vegetable stock and a pinch of black pepper. Up the heat and bring to the boil, before reducing and simmering for 20 minutes with the lid on. Once the celeriac is soft, take the pot off the heat and blend well with  a hand blender or food processor until smooth.
3. Add the soft goats cheese and blend again until your soup is silky smooth. Ladle into bowls, top with any spare goats cheese, extra virgin olive oil and a good crack of black pepper.

Celariac goats cheese soup
Celariac goats cheese soup

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


V– Vegetarian   Gf*– Knorr stock pots are gluten free but some stock cubes may not be. Always check the label.
❄ Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.


Winter ribollita

Winter ribollita
Winter ribollita
Winter ribollita

Because we can’t all survive on mince pies this December… Or can we?


Winter ribollita
Serves 4 / Hands on time 10 mins / Total time 1 hr / V Vn Gf Df
1 tsp olive oil
1 white onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, sliced
2 celery sticks, chopped
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
½ tsp salt
1 can plum tomatoes
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 litre vegetable stock, I use 2 Knorr stock pots
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
100g cavalo Nero, roughly chopped
Extra virgin olive oil to serve


Method
1. In a large saucepan or pot with a lid, add 1 tsp of olive oil over a low to medium heat. Add the chopped onion, garlic, celery, parsnip, carrot and half a tsp of salt. Give it a good stir, cover with a lid and leave to soften for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add a can of plum tomatoes and break them up with a spoon. Add the drained and rinsed chickpeas and the vegetable stock before upping the heat and bringing to the boil. Turn down the heat and add the parsley and the cavalo nero. Simmer for 20 minutes.
3. Take off the heat, ladle into bowls and top with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and serve with crusty bread and good crack of black pepper.

Winter ribollita
Winter ribollita

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


V– Vegetarian    Vn– Vegan    Gf– Gluten free    Df– Dairy free
❄ Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.



Butternut squash & goats cheese nut roast

Butternut squash nut roast
Butternut squash & goats cheese nut roast
Butternut squash & goats cheese nut roast

It is no secret that I hate nut roast. I hate it for the same reason I hate stuffed peppers, mushroom stroganoff and risotto – because they’re the dishes that were stuffed down my throat as a child in the late ’80s.
But times have changed, and so have these dishes (or so I hear) and therefore, so must I – although actually, I’m pretty sure stuffed peppers are still pretty awful.
Anyway, nowadays, ‘I’ll have the risotto,’ is a phrase being uttered across the country, and not just out of necessity but choice! By choice, I tells you! And the same can be said for my ultimate nemesis – the nut roast, AKA – dry, flavourless, nutty gravel.
Want a way to ruin a lovely plate of roast vegetables? Simply add a big, ugly door-stopper-sized slice of nut roast. Horrible. Or so I thought.
Recently, I took a chance and ordered the nut roast at our local pub and it was (dare I say it) rather tasty. Like a rare and exotic specimen, I expertly dissected it with a fork as Jamie and his friends tried to ignore my terrible table manners – I practically face-planted into my plate in order to give it a good old sniff. In the end, I couldn’t figure out what was in it (and I was being being incredibly rude) so I just scoffed it.
So, with that in mind, and not having a clue what was in it, I decided to try and make it – not at all challenging. What I came up with in the end was this butternut squash, goat’s cheese and chestnut concoction. It’s nothing like the one I had at the Brave Sir Robin, but wrapped in cabbage leaves it’s lovely and moist and scarcely resembles the nut roast that used to end up on our Christmas table in the ’80s.

Butternut squash & goats cheese nut roast
Serves 6 / Hands on time 45mins / Total 1hr 45 mins / V
You’ll need: Food processor, hand blender, 2lb (21cm x 11cm) loaf tin, ice cubes and kitchen roll.
6 savoy cabbage leaves
50g unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
100g parsnip (1 medium) cubed
150g butternut squash, peeled and cubed
150g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
100g cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped (I used Merchant Gourmet)
75g cashews
50g walnuts
100g brown breadcrumbs
100g vegetarian goats cheese, roughly cubed
2 Sprig rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
1 tsp salt


Method
1. In a large heavy bottomed pot or large saucepan, sweat the onions in 50g of unsalted butter and ½ tsp of salt, on a medium heat with the lid on. Put a filled kettle on to boil and start preparing and chopping the butternut squash and parsnip.
2. Add the butternut squash and the parsnip to the softening onions, give it a stir and replace the lid. Turn the heat down from medium to a low heat and stir occasionally.
3. Grease a loaf tin generously with butter, line with foil and grease the foil with more butter. Put to one side. Pour the boiling water from the kettle into another large saucepan and and bring to the boil. Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice cubes and put to one side. Remove 6 cabbage leaves from the savoy cabbage and drop them carefully into the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Once cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and place straight into the ice cold water bath. Put to one side.
4. Using a food processor, now is a good time to make the breadcrumbs by simply wizzing a couple of torn slices of brown bread in a blender. Put to one side. Preheat an oven to 180°C/160°C fan/ 350°F/gas mark 4
5. Uncover the butternut squash and onion mixture and using a hand blender, blitz half the mixture straight in the pot. Give it a good mix and add the chopped mushrooms before stirring again and covering with the lid once more.
6. In a large dry frying pan over a high heat. Once hot, toast the cashews and the walnuts together for a few minutes moving constantly in the pan to avoid burning (you want them to get a bit of colour but not too much). Turn out onto a chopping board and using a large knife, roughly chop them along with the cooked chestnuts.
7. Take the butternut squash and mushroom mixture off the heat and add the breadcrumbs and the chopped nuts. Add the roughly chopped gooey goats cheese along with a ½ tsp of salt, a good crack of black pepper and the chopped rosemary. Give it all a good stir and put to one side.
8. remove the cabbage leaves from the water bath and blot each leaf with kitchen roll to dry it off a bit. Line the tin with overlapping cabbage leaves, leaving any excess hanging over the sides. Spoon in the mixture and pressing it down well with the back of a spoon. Fold any overhanging cabbage leaves back over the top and use any spare cabbage leaves to fill any holes. Cover with foil and bake in the oven 40 mins. After 40 minutes, remove the foil and continue to cook uncovered for a further 15 minutes.
9. Once cooked take out of the oven and put a large serving plate over the top of the tin. Holding the tin with oven gloves, turn the plate over and turn the nut roast out. Peel off any foil and cut into generous slices and serve as part of a roast dinner.

Butternut squash & goats cheese nut roast
Butternut squash & goats cheese nut roast

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


– Vegetarian


 

Cheese and onion puff pasties

Cheese and onion puff pasties
Cheese and onion puff pasties
Cheese and onion puff pasties

I was shopping in my beloved Sainsbury’s today and got talking to an elderly man in the queue. His trolley was full of cakes, various pastries, walnut whips and a large pack of adult nappies – way more interesting than my own basket. He was quick to explain that the adult nappies were for his 80-year- old boyfriend, but unfortunately one pack only lasts him three days – TMI. When I suggested he go and get another pack, he explained he couldn’t carry the chocolate, cakes and the two packs of nappies on the bus, so I offered to give him and his nappies a lift.
In the car, I learned that not only was this eccentric old man a delight to talk to, but his name was Peter and he used to be a producer at the BBC. He spent the journey recounting all his worldly adventures, dropping casually into conversation that his tutor was none other than David Attenborough.
Sadly, when I pulled up outside his house, I had to say my goodbyes – he had afternoon tea to prepare – so I helped him with his bags and shook his lovely warm hand, only for him to present me with a box of walnut whips that I will treasure forever.

Oh, and so when I got home, I made cheese and onion puff pasties, but they were a total disaster, so I decided to sack off making another batch and retreat to my sofa to eat marmalade on toast for the rest of the afternoon. So, these are my second attempt and the reason you didn’t receive a blog yesterday, apologies.


Cheese and onion puff pasties
Makes 4-5 pasties / Hands on time 45 mins / Total time 1 hr 10 mins / V
You’ll need: A rolling pin and a tea cup saucer (roughly 14 cm)
1 medium large baking potato (250g), skin on and chopped into cubes
250ml cold water
½ a vegetable stock pot or cube, I use Knorr
1 large onion (200g), peeled and finely chopped
150g mature vegetarian cheddar, grated
375g chilled ready rolled puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
1 tbs flour (for dusting)


Method
1. Preheat an oven to 220°C/200°C fan/ 428°F/gas mark 7. In a casserole pot or large saucepan, add the chopped potatoes, stock pot and 250ml of cold water. Put on a high heat and bring to the boil. Continue to boil for 5 minutes.
2. Add the chopped onions and give it a good stir. Turn the heat down slightly and continue to cook for a further 8 minutes, stirring frequently (now is a good time to grate the cheese). Take off the heat, season well with salt and pepper and put the filling to one side to cool.
3. Roll out the ready rolled puff pastry and using a tea cup saucer as a stencil, cut out as many circles as you can before gathering up the trimmings and re-rolling to make more. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper and dust with a little flour. Place the pastry circles on them and using the back of a fork make little imprints along the edges of each circle.
4. Stir the grated cheese into the cooled potato and onion mixture and add another crack of black pepper to taste. Place a heaped tablespoon of mixture down the middle of each circle of pastry. Brush the imprinted edge with a little beaten egg, before folding over to create a half moon pillow. Seal by applying downward pressure with your finger tips and imprinting with the back of a fork. Cut 3 small slits in the top of each pasty with a sharp knife to allow the hot air to escape while baking.
5. Once all your pasties are filled, brush them with beaten egg, space out evenly on the baking trays and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool on the baking trays for 5 minutes before carefully transferring to a cooling rack. Serve warm or cool completely and enjoy cold as a snack. The pasties will last up to 3 days refrigerated in an air tight container.

Cheese and onion puff pasties
Cheese and onion puff pasties

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


​V– Vegetarian   ❄ Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.



Homemade labneh

Labneh
Homemade labneh
Homemade labneh

When it comes to making things like cheese and bread, I have to admit that I have a bit of a bad attitude. I mean, why would I bother when I can buy a lovely loaf of bread from the shop made by someone who actually knows what they’re doing? I know that’s not the point, but sometimes I find it hard to snap out of my stubborn, convenience-obsessed self.
So, after accidentally adding two pots of Greek yoghurt to my online shopping basket, I decided to roll up my sleeves and have a go at making labeh* – I mean, there’s only so much yoghurt a girl can eat.
I dug out the muslin cloth I used to make cheese three years ago and draped it over an inadequately sized sieve, balanced over an inadequately sized bowl. I added salt to my yoghurt and poured it straight into the muslin and tied it in a knot. Okay, what next? Oh, is that it? Well, that was easy. So I walked off and enjoyed an afternoon watching Blake Lively almost get eaten by a very big shark in The Shallows.

*For those of you that don’t know, labneh is literally strained yogurt. It has the texture of cream cheese but the flavour of Greek yoghurt and is utterly delicious. Serve with salads, roasted vegetables, on toast or check out what I decided to make with it next week. Oh, I bet you’re on tenterhooks.


Homemade labneh
Makes 350g  / Hands on time 10 mins / Total time 10 mins + 20-24 hours draining / V Gf
You’ll need: Roughly a metre of fine muslin
500g full-fat Greek style yogurt
1 heaped tsp of sea salt flakes


Method
1. Place a sieve over a large bowl and cover with a muslin cloth folded in half (you need to fold the muslin to prevent yogurt seeping through, you only want to remove the liquid).
2. Add the salt directly to the tub of yogurt and stir well with a butter knife (you can use a spoon but the surface area of a butter knife is smaller so you’re less likely to spill the yogurt).
3. Once combined, spoon the yogurt straight into the muslin cloth. Gather up the edges and tie in a tight knot (the liquid draining out of the yogurt should be relatively clear). Keep in a cool dry place for 20-24 hours covered with a tea-towel (the longer you leave the labneh the thicker it will become).
4. When you’re ready, give the labneh a final squeeze to get rid of any excess water before untying the knot. Tip the labneh into an air-tight container and store in the fridge. Consume within 3 days.


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


V– Vegetarian    Gf– Gluten free



Saag paneer with kale

Saag paneer
Saag paneer
Saag paneer

This is what I order every time I eat in an Indian restaurant. I always have the intention of trying something new, but I don’t like change. So, when the waiter looks at me, pen poised, I always utter the same words. “…And I’ll have a saag paneer, taka dhal and a chapati, please. Oh and I’ll just share Jamie’s rice.” (Jamie scowls.)

This isn’t the first time I’ve had a go at making saag paneer, though – I’ve made it once before the more traditional way, using a ton of fresh wilted spinach, drained and squeezed by hand – but I ain’t got time for that these days, far too hungry. So I came up with this quicker, less labour-intensive version (#storyofmylife).


Saag paneer with kale 
Serves 4 / Hands on time 50 mins / Total time 50 min / V ❄ 
You’ll need: A hand blender or food processor
1 tbs rapeseed oil
500g paneer, cut into chunks
1 white onion, peeled and chopped
½ tsp salt
Knob of ginger (1 inch), grated
5 garlic cloves, peeled roughly chopped
1 green chilli, de-seeded
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground fenugreek
½ tsp garam masala
500ml vegetable stock, I use 1 Knorr vegetable stock pot
150g spinach leaves
150g kale, roughly chopped
Handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
To serve
Lime wedges, chapatis, brown basmati rice

Method
1. Slice the paneer into chunks and fry in batches in the rapeseed oil over a medium to high heat in a casserole dish with a lid (the paneer can spit a bit so you may need to cover with a lid). Once the paneer is browned on all sides, remove from the pan and leave to drain on kitchen paper. Put to one side.
2. In the same casserole dish, add the chopped onion and a bit more oil and a sprinkle of salt. Give it a mix before covering with a lid and cook on a medium heat until soft (you may need to add a dash of water to help the onions steam).
3. Add the garlic, fresh ginger and the chopped green chilli. Cook for a further few minutes before adding the all the spices. Add a dash of water to help loosen the spices a bit and to stop them from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook for a further 5 minutes.

4. Add the stock and give it a good stir before adding the spinach in batches. Once wilted, add the kale and continue to cook until the kale has softened. Remove from the heat and blend with a hand blender until smooth.
5. Return the sauce to a medium to high heat and add the paneer. Bring to the boil and cook for 5 minutes or until the paneer has softened. Serve immediately with boiled brown basmati rice and chapatis. 

Saag paneer
Saag paneer

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


V– Vegetarian   ❄ Freeze the fried paneer and curry sauce separately. Defrost before combing and heating through until piping hot. Consume within 3 months.