HEAT COOKS THE BOOKS: Tahini Crunch Noodle Salad

If you’re anything like us and indulged in a little too much cheese over the festive period, then don’t worry. Let’s start 2016 off with a healthy noodle salad to help flatten those tummies.

866 Noodles Salad

Tahini crunch noodle salad
Serves 4
2 carrots
2 large cucumbers
2 large handfuls ofBkale (about 100g)
5 spring onions, finely sliced
200g cooked flat rice noodles
4 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
Small handful of fresh coriander and mint, roughly chopped
For the tahini dressing:
1 chilli, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled
and finely chopped
3 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil, plus extra for massaging
the kale

1. Peel the carrots into long ribbons using a vegetable peeler. Do the same with the cucumbers, but turn the cucumbers and peel from
the other side when you reach the seeds in the
middle (discard the seeds).
2. Whisk together the ingredients for the dressing and loosen with a few tbsp of water until it reaches the consistency of single cream. The
dressing keeps well in the fridge for up to five days.
3. In a large mixing bowl, massage the kale with a small drizzle of sesame oil until it is tender. Add the carrots, cucumber, half the spring onions, noodles, half the sesame seeds, coriander and mint.
4. Pour over the dressing and toss until all the ingredients are evenly coated. Scatter over the remaining sesame seeds and spring onions to serve. This salad is great enjoyed straight away, but will also keep well if made in advance. Recipes taken from Fresh by Donal Skehan (Hodder, £20). Follow Donal… will air on The Food Network in January.

Heat’s Verdict:
Corrie says, “I’m not usually a fan of salad for lunch in winter, but if it also includes noodles, I can make an exception. After a big, indulgent Christmas, I was craving something light and fresh, so Donal’s dish was just what the doctor ordered. I halved the recipe, though, as I only needed two portions, but I still covered it in the same amount of dressing. What? It’s still healthy if you do that, I think. Anyway, so where were we? Oh yes. ‘Finish with the toasted sesame seeds…’ Oh, I was supposed to toast them? Untoasted ones had to do and they did very nicely. Yum, Donal.”

HEAT COOKS THE BOOKS: Tahini Crunch Noodle Salad
HEAT COOKS THE BOOKS: Tahini Crunch Noodle Salad

If you fancy trying this or any other of Donal’s recipes, then why not treat yourself to his book Donal Skehan, Fresh.
Also, if you have a taste for the good, the bad and the unmissable, check out the brand spanking new heat magazine.

HEAT COOKS THE BOOKS: Frances Quinn’s Strawberry Shortcake

Hello my foodie chums, sorry I’ve been a little quiet of late but I have an announcement to make… My fellow blogger and work colleague Anna and I have just been made THE NEW FOOD EDITORS OF HEAT MAGAZINE! Whoop whoop! Every week, we’ll be trying and testing recipes for your reading and cooking pleasure. Now, not all recipes will be vegetarian but rest assured that the ones that are, I will share with you dear readers on this very blog. Fortunately the first one we published was vegetarian so ENJOY!

851 REVS Food

Remember Frances Quinn who won the Bake Off in 2013? Well, she’s only written a book full of ingenious cake creations. Go, Frances! Admittedly, it may be for the more advanced baker, but undeterred, we donned our aprons and had a go at the easist recipe we could find. Now don’t forget, cakes can smell fear…

Strawberry Shortcake
Makes one 10cm cake
(serves 2–3)
Cake: 50g softened butter, 50g caster sugar,
1 egg, 1tsp vanilla extract, 50g self-raising flour,
1tsp warm water
To decorate: 50g strawberry jam, 50ml double cream, 1/2 tbsp icing sugar, few drops vanilla extract, 9 shortcake biscuits, 1 med & 2 small strawberries, 1tsp freeze-dried strawberry pieces

1. Heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Lightly beat the egg with the vanilla extract. Gradually add the egg to the butter and sugar, beating well after each addition. Sift in the flour and fold in until just combined, then add the warm water. Scrape the mixture into the tin and level with a spatula.
2. Bake for 20–25 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin for ten mins before transferring to a rack to cool completely.
3. Slice the cake horizontally into two equal pieces.
4.Place the bottom piece on a cake board. Spread a few teaspoons of jam over the cut surface. Place the other cake layer on top. Put the cream in a bowl with the icing sugar and vanilla extract, and whip until it holds medium peaks. Spoon the cream on top of the cake and smooth with a palette knife.
5. Spread jam over the back of each biscuit to act as “glue” and press the biscuits around the side of the cake. Leave a few millimetres between each one to make it easier to cut the cake into even slices.
6. Decorate the top of the cake with the three strawberries, placing the larger one in the centre and the smaller two alongside, slightly off-centre. Scatter the freeze-dried strawberry pieces over the top.

Heat’s Verdict…
Not knowing what a shortcake was, we decided to triple the ingredient amounts. We also covered it in 450ml of double cream, which is nine times the amount specified. WE LIKE CREAM, OK? We didn’t manage to get a good rise, either, most likely because we didn’t beat the mixture enough,so cutting our flat shortcake lengthways was challenging. But,once assembled, it looked great and tasted even better.

HEAT COOKS THE BOOKS: Frances Quinn's Strawberry Shortcake
HEAT COOKS THE BOOKS: Frances Quinn’s Strawberry Shortcake

If you fancy trying this or any other of Frances’s recipes, then why not treat yourself to her book Quinntessential Baking by Frances Quinn.
Also, if  you have a taste for the good, the bad and the unmissable, check out the brand spanking new heat magazine.