Itsu Vegetable Fusion Gyoza, 300g, £3.50…

Itsu Vegetable Fusion Gyoza, 300g, £3.50… Well it’s about time! I absolutely love vegetable gyoza, I frequently go out of my way to walk to Itsu on my lunch break to get their dumplings melt (a miso broth with vegetable dumplings and melted parmesan cheese) but what about when I’m at home? I mean lets be honest, life’s too short to make your own Japanese dumplings. I have occasionally walked to China Town to see if I can pick up some pre-made
veggie ones, but I always leave empty handed and bamboozled by all the Japanese labels. Finding vegetable gyoza is never the problem, finding vegetable gyoza that’s genuinely vegetarian is. But then Itsu came along and now I can buy a pack of 20 genuinely vegetarian gyoza for £3.50, yes Itsu!

Soba noodle miso bowl with ramen egg and vegetable gyoza

They now live in my freezer ready to throw into one of my many noodle soup creations, click here for a bit of bento inspo. I buy my dumplings from Waitrose but I think Tesco do them as well. Itsu Vegetable Fusion Gyoza, 300g, £3.50
(This is not an advert. All products featured in the section are products I genuinely use and like. No money has exchanged hands (unfortunately for me). 

Coconut dhal with homemade flatbreads

Coconut Dhal with Homemade Flatbreads
Coconut Dhal with Homemade Flatbreads

Have you ever microwaved a Mini Babybel? I bet you haven’t but it’s amazing. Remarkably though, I’m not a fan of a chilled Babybel which could explain my mad teenage invention in the first place. Five to seven seconds is all it takes to turn a seemingly regular mini cheese, into something wonderful and before I know it, I’m savagely ripping open the second net of cheeses like an animal.
It’s not just me that has an appreciation for this method of eating Baybel’s, my best friend Philippa also shares my dirty cheesy secret. She reminded me last weekend.
“Hey, remember microwaved mini Babybel?”
“OH MY GOD YES! Microwaved BabyBel!… Have you got any?”
“No. Forgot to buy some”
“What the hell?! Don’t tempt if you haven’t got any!” I rage, downing my fifth prosecco and heading for the fridge to stare at the empty cheese tray.
“Soz” she says, rather unapologetically. She taps her phone and puts on Sir Mixalot’s ‘Baby Got Back’. We swiftly forget all about Babybel’s and start vigorously thrusting and dancing around the kitchen.
Anyway, we can’t live off microwaved Baybels can we… Can we? No, no we can’t, we need to eat sensible dinners like this rather delightful dhal recipe. Although with all this talk of Babybel’s, I wouldn’t’ be surprised if I found you all submerging mini cheeses into your dhal. The heart wants what it wants, just remember to peel the wax off first.


Coconut dhal with homemade flatbreads
Serves 4 / Hands on time 50 mins / Total time 50 mins / V Vn Df 
1 tsp rapeseed oil
2 onions, finely chopped
½ tsp sea salt flakes
3 large garlic cloves or 4 small, crushed
Knob of ginger, grated
4 cardamon pods
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp turmeric
Pinch of chilli flakes
1 litre of vegetable stock, I use 1 Knorr stock pot
300g red lentils
Can of coconut milk
Topping
200g bag of spinach
2 corn on the cobs
Flatbreads
170g wholemeal flour + extra for dusting
½ tsp salt
½ tsp mustard seeds
Handful chopped coriander
125ml water
1 tbs sunflower oil


Dahl
1. Start the dahl by peeling and chopping your onions nice and small. Heat the oil in a large pot with a lid over a medium heat. Add the onions along with the salt and cook with the lid until soft (around 8-10 mins). If the onions start to catch, add a dash of water to prevent them from burning, this will help them steam.
2. Meanwhile in a pestle and mortar, bash the cardamon pods until the seeds spill out. Discard the shells and grind the seeds until you have a powder. Put to one side.
3. Once the onions are soft, add the crushed garlic, grated ginger and all the spices. Give it a good stir and cook for a few minutes to allow the spices to release their fragrance and flavour.
4. Add the vegetable stock, coconut milk and the lentils before giving it a good stir. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 25-30 mins, stirring regularly to prevent the lentils sticking to the bottom of your pot.



Homemade flatbreads
Measure 170g of wholemeal flour in a mixing bowl. Add the salt, mustard seeds and a handful of freshly chopped coriander and give it a good stir with a wooden spoon. Once incorporated, add the water and the oil. Stir again until you have a smooth dough, (it will be a little wet). Put to one side and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Once rested, dust a surface down with a bit of flour and divide your dough into four balls. Roll each individual ball into a thin disk – remembering to flour your surface between each flatbread. Heat a dry, non-stick pan on a medium to high heat and add one flatbread at a time and cook for a minute on each side until they have a bit of colour. Transfer to a plate and keep them warm in an oven at a low temperature (50°C).


Topping
1. Place your corn in a large saucepan and cover with boiling water. Simmer for 5 minutes, remove carefully and transfer to a clean tea towel to cool. Meanwhile wilt the spinach in a separate saucepan a couple of handfuls at a time in a bit of coconut oil, adding a little salt and pepper as you go. Do this on a low to medium heat. Once wilted, take off the heat and cover with a lid to keep warm. Put to one side and discard any excess water from the spinach.
2. By now your corn should be cool enough to handle so carefully impale the corn on the end of a fork and hold over an open flame on the hob, turning carefully (this will give your corn a lovely charred look and taste). Once charred, stand your corn upright, on a chopping board and slice carefully down the sides with a sharp knife removing the kernels. Serve the dhal topped with the charred corn and wilted spinach, along with warm flatbreads and rice.


Coconut Dhal with Homemade Flatbreads

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V– Vegetarian    Vn– Vegan    Df– Dairy free   – The dhal is suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.



Spring linguine with lemon & ricotta

Spring Green & Lemon Linguine
Spring Green Linguine with Lemon & Ricotta

‘The Sainsbury’s stone’, that’s what they call it and I fear it’s already started to creep on my face (why does fat always go to my face first? Everyone else gets arse and I get face?! What an unjust world.) Anyway, one week at Sainsbury’s Magazine and I’ve already chomped my way through a slice of cake a day, literally. And we’re not talking Mr Kipling, we’re talking maple syrup layered sponges, blueberry and lemon drizzle cup cakes, Victoria sandwiches topped with edible crystallised flowers. You get the idea, some seriously good cakes (unlike Mr Kipling’s which were not seriously good at all). I’m telling you, cakes just keep appearing and somehow making their way from the test kitchen into my mouth. It’s very curious.
So a stone, a whole stone, is what I’m set to put on if I continue to eat in this way, something must be done. But how can I have my cake and eat it, literally. There’s only one thing for it, I have to cut calories elsewhere so bring on my skinny linguine. Packed with spring greens and ricotta, this creamy dinner manages to taste indulgent without the calories. Yes I know, I really should have cook book. Speaking of cook books, how does Fearne Cotton have one and I don’t? The world really is a messed up place.


Spring linguine with lemon & ricotta
Serves 2 / Hands on time 25 mins / Total time 25 mins / V
1 tsp rapeseed oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ red chilli, de-seeded
1 lemon, juice and zest
4 handfuls spring greens
160g vegetarian ricotta*
140g linguine
Pomora extra virgin olive oil


Method
1. Put a kettle on to boil with enough water to cook your pasta. Place the linguine in a suitably sized saucepan and add a good sprinkle of salt. Whilst the kettle’s boiling, zest and squeeze the juice of a lemon in a bowl. Crush the garlic and chop and de-seed the chilli.
2. In a large frying pan on a medium heat, add the crushed garlic to the oil. Cook for a minute stirring continually to prevent burning. Add the chilli, chopped greens, lemon juice and zest and season well with salt and pepper. Give it a good stir and add a dash of water to help wilt the greens.
3. Pour the boiling water from the kettle over your pasta and cook according to the packet instructions.
4. Once the greens have softened, add the ricotta cheese and stir through, take off the heat. Drain the pasta and add to the frying pan stirring well to incorporate the greens. Serve immediately, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and a good crack of black pepper.

Spring Green Linguine with Lemon & Ricotta

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V– Vegetarian
*Ricotta is traditionally made with animal rennet but you can get vegetarian varieties. UK supermarket home brands tend to be, click here.



Soba noodle miso bowls

Soba Noodle Miso Bowls
Soba Noodle Miso Bowls
Soba Noodle Miso Bowls

Not much happened this week, oh apart from me getting A NEW JOB! Yes that’s right, you’re now looking at the new Art Editor of Sainsbury’s Magazine, boo-ya! Bring on type 2 diabetes and inevitable weight gain.
I’m very excited but a little sad to be leaving the world of celebrity, although I won’t miss Kim Kardashian – I know far too much about her lady parts than I care to… No, I wasn’t previously her surgeon, I was in fact Art and Food Editor of celebrity gossip magazine, heat. So I’ll be swapping celebrity shoots with the likes of (not Kim Kardashian) Charlotte Crosby and Olly Murs for food shoots and a life of eating. To say I’m excited doesn’t quite cover it. So let’s celebrate me becoming a proper grown up, with a grown up job and a financial adviser and everything, with this delightful bowl of noodles. Considering I made this very hungover, I think it turned out quite well.


Soba noodle miso bowls
Serves 2 / Takes 30 minutes /
V Vn* Df
700ml boiling water
1 vegetable stock pot or cube, I use 1 Knorr
1 tbs light soy sauce
1 tbs miso paste
100g button mushrooms or any other variety of mushroom you may have
2 handfuls cavolo nero or kale, roughly chopped
2 eggs, boiled (optional)
1 tsp of sesame oil
1 shallot or ½ a medium sized onion, finely sliced
1 knob of ginger, grated
2 nest of soba or fine egg noodles
Small handful of mint, chopped
1 lime
De-seeded red chilli, sliced (optional)
Black sesame seeds (optional)


*Vegan: The eggs in the soup are entirely optional. I make it frequently without and it’s just as delicious so if you’re vegan, leave them out.


Method
1. Boil a full kettle and put two eggs in a medium sized saucepan (you will also be using this saucepan to cook the noodles later). Cover with boiling water and simmer over a low to medium heat to hard boil them. 
2. Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the shallot and grate the ginger. Fry together in a small frying pan in a tsp of sesame oil until soft with the lid on. Once cooked, take off the heat and put to one side.
3. In a large saucepan, p
our 700ml boiling water over the vegetable stock pot, miso paste and soy sauce. Give it a good stir and bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Half the button mushrooms and roughly chop the cavolo nero and add to the simmering broth. 
4. Meanwhile chop a handful of fresh mint and put to one side. By now the eggs should be hard boiled. Remove from the simmering water with a slotted spoon but leave the water in the pan for the noodles. Pop the eggs in a bowl and leave under a running cold tap until cool. Put to one side.
5. In the same simmering water you cooked the eggs in, submerge the noodles and simmer according to the packet instructions. Drain and give them a blast of cold water to cool then down (this prevents them from continuing to cook). Divide the cold noodles into bowls.
6. Peel the eggs and cut them in half before p
ouring the mushroom and cavolo nero broth over the noodles. Submerge the eggs into soup and top with the ginger fried onions, freshly chopped mint and a sprinkling of black sesame seeds. Squeeze over the lime wedges and a chopped deseeded red chilli to serve
(optional).




Soba Noodle Miso Bowls
Soba Noodle Miso Bowls

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V– Vegetarian    Df– Dairy free


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Bulgarian bean soup

Bulgarian Bean Soup
Bulgarian Bean Soup
Bulgarian Bean Soup

“Why on earth are you buying those hideous bowls?” My friend Tom asked looking down at me in disgust.
“They’re not hideous, they’re rustic” I reply unperturbed, turning one over in my hands.
“They’re rancid, with any luck they’ll all smash in your luggage on the flight home”.
“Jamie’s luggage you mean, I can’t fit them in mine… Hey, maybe I could make that soup we had last night in them?”
“That soup tasted like shit.”
“Did it? Are you sure? The bean one?”
“What bean one?… Oh, maybe I didn’t have that one” Tom said looking increasingly concerned at the mugs I had just precariously placed on top of the two bowls, four plates and skillet I was holding. The shop assistant anxiously hovered behind us, I turned and smiled at her – she did not smile back.
“What’s her problem?” I whispered, ” I’m not gonna steal them for god sake, we’re not 13 in Superdrug anymore… But you know, if they will insist on charging £9 for a masacara then what’s a teenage girl to do, right?”
“Think it’s the fact you’re clumsely walking around her delicate shop, in your ski boots laden with her precious pottery. You’re literally an English bull in her Bulgarian China shop.”
“Oh… Shall we come back tomorrow then?”
“Absolutely not. Come on, lets go and get you so drunk you forget all about these vile bowls.”

I didn’t of course and managed to transport them all safely back to the UK the following day. Aha! In your face Tom (although thank you very much for organising such a marvellous holiday, I really appreciate it.)  I mean, was it bit smelly? Yes. Was the queue to the gondola long, arduous and potential life ruining? Perhaps. But seriously, what’s not to love about 30p cans of larger, open hot springs and processed cheese served with cornflakes and jam – simply excellent! So on that note, I will leave you with this rather delicious, traditional, Bulgarian soup, served in one of my ‘ugly’ bowls. Nasladi se! (means ‘enjoy’ in Bulgarian, obviously).


Bulgarian bean soup
Serves 4 / Hands on time 15 mins / Total time 50 mins / V Vn Gf Df 
1 tsp rapeseed oil
1 medium, white onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and diced
½ stick of celery, diced
½  de-seeded red pepper, diced
1 large tomato or 2 medium sized tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 cans cannellini beans, washed and drained
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 litre of vegetable stock, I use 2 Knorr stock pots
Pinch of black pepper
Pomora extra virgin olive oil to serve


Method
1. In a large pot, sweat down the chopped onion in a tsp of oil over a medium heat (add a dash of water to help the onions steam if they start to sizzle).
2. After a good five minutes the onion will have started to soften, add the finely diced carrot, celery, red pepper and chopped tomato. Season well with salt and pepper, give it a stir and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the strained cannelloni beans, a tsp of dried parsley, a tsp of dried oregano and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil.
3. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a high simmer for around 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally. (This may seem like a long time but the soup needs time to reduce down and thicken).
4. Once ready, take off the heat and ladle into bowls. Serve topped with freshly chopped parsley, a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil.

Bulgarian Bean Soup
Bulgarian Bean Soup

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


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


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Christmas leftover hash

Christmas Leftover Hash
Christmas Leftover Hash
Christmas Leftover Hash

Wait! Don’t bin those Christmas leftovers, have them for breakfast! Unlike turkey, I find a roast potato has no business being in a sandwich, neither does a parsnip or a sprout for that matter. It’s for this reason that I find veggie leftovers a bit tricky – I always tend to just eat them cold, slathered in brown sauce.
But this Boxing Day, I wasn’t hung over (for once), so bounced out of bed and straight into the wall… Just joking. I bounced out of bed and straight into the kitchen, where I mashed, mixed and fried, until I created the ultimate boxing day brekkie. Try him, you’ll like him – and by ‘him’ I mean ‘the hash’.


Christmas leftover hash
Serves 2 / hands on time 20 mins / total time 20 mins /
V Df Gf 
2 tsp cooking oil (I use rapeseed)
2-3 leftover roast potatoes
Handful of roasted veg and sprouts
1 egg
½ tsp of cumin
¼ tsp of smoked paprika
¼ tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of chilli flakes
½ sliced avocado and 2 poached eggs to serve (optional)


Method
1. In a bowl, roughly mash the cold roast potatoes with a fork and dice any leftover veg you want to use up such as roast carrots, parsnips and brussels.
2. Add the spices, a good pinch of salt and pepper and give it a good mix (you can use any spices you like or you can leave them out entirely). Beat in the egg and mix well until combined.
3. Heat up a large non-stick frying pan over a medium to high heat and add the oil. Move the oil around the pan until the bottom is well coated. Once hot, spoon the mixture carefully into the pan into 2 messy patties. Cook on one side for a few minutes before flipping (don’t panic if they break and fall apart – this is part of the charm).
4. Cook for another couple of minutes and then serve topped with poached or fried eggs, sliced avocado and a sprinkle of chilli flakes.

Christmas Leftover Hash
Christmas Leftover Hash

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


 V– Vegetarian    Gf– Gluten free    Df– Dairy free


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Jamie’s feta & cherry tomato rigatoni

Jamie's Feta & Cherry Tomato Rigatoni
Jamie's Feta & Cherry Tomato Rigatoni
Jamie’s Feta & Cherry Tomato Rigatoni

This is one of my favourite recipes and it’s not even mine damn it! It’s easy, full of flavour and has a sneaky little courgette in there. Grated, the courgette does an excellent job of soaking up flavour and bulking out the dish without stealing the limelight from the tomato. Although I’m not a huge fan of the courgette really, I think of them as the slimy wet brother of the cucumber, nothing worse than an over cooked courgette, oh wait there is and it’s called Halloween.
Maybe I’d like Halloween a bit more if I actually got invited to some fun Halloween parties but saying that we all know Halloween parties, especially fancy dress ones, are full of wankers. Also, what would I even go as? These days you have to be all ‘cool’ and go as Kim Kardashian’s naked selfie or Eleven from Stranger Things. Can’t I just go as a slutty cat like I used to when I was 16? To be fair that may have been the only Halloween party I ever went to… I’m sensing I need to get out more.


Jamie’s feta & cherry tomato rigatoni
Serves 2 / Hands on time 25 mins / Total time 25 mins /
1 tsp olive oil
20 cherry tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
2 medium or 1 large courgette grated
3 tbs tomato purée
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Pinch chilli flakes
Small handful of basil, chopped
150g vegetarian feta cheese
150g rigatoni
Pomoro extra virgin olive oil to serve (optional)


Method
1. Half the cherry tomatoes and put in a large saucepan with the olive oil and 1 tsp of oregano. Cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes until softened.
2. Add the tomato purée, chilli, garlic, grated courgette and season with salt and pepper. Cook on a medium to low heat with the lid on for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Meanwhile, cook the rigatoni in a large pot of salted boiling water (follow packet instructions).
4. Drain the pasta and pour straight into the sauce. Stir well before adding the chopped basil and the crumbled feta cheese. Stir again until combined and the cheese starts to melt. Serve topped with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a good crack of pepper.

Jamie's Cherry Tomato Rigatoni


If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V– Vegetarian


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Melitzanosalata & tzatziki with lemon chickpeas

Melitzanosalata & Tzatziki

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Not sure why I decided to make something I can’t even pronounce this week ‘mel-it-zano-salata’… Can’t I just call it baba ganoush? Err not really because it isn’t baba ganoush. Baba ganoush is made with tahini and is more houmous like in texture you big idiot. Oh… Well can I call it aubergine dip then?… Err yeah okay.
So I bought a big old aubergine last week and had no idea what to do with it, not being a fan of baked aubergine or moussaka I was a bit stuck for ideas so decided to ignore it. I couldn’t though because it was too big and taking up all the room in my fridge so what did I decide to do? Buy two more aubergines of course and make melonitozansolsalastaaahhh (still can’t say it) aubergine dip. I recently bought some freshly made melitzantosasalata (Oh I give up) from a Greek Deli in Kentish town and liked it so much I ended up eating it with a spoon like a yogurt. So I thought I’d try my hand at making it myself which I’ve never done before. But I can’t just make aubergine dip can I? Surely I need to make something to go with it? How about tzatziki? Yes I love tzatziki!… But that’s just more dip, you can’t have dip to go with your dip. Hmm, what about chickpeas? Yes houmous! No not houmous, that would make three dips! Oh I see… What about hot lemon chickpeas? Now you’re talking!


Melitzanosalata
Hands on time 15 mins / Total time 1 hr + cooling time / V Vn Gf Df 
4 medium aubergines
2 crushed garlic cloves
2 tbs Pomoro extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs lemon juice
Salt and pepper
Small handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
Olive oil for brushing
Flat breads to serve (optional) 

Method
1. Preheat an oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6. Cut the aubergines lengthways, brush each side with olive oil and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper face down.
2. Roast for 25 minutes before turning and roasting for a further 25 minutes. Once cooked leave to Cool for 10 minutes. Scrape out the flesh of each aubergine using a fork and a spoon and pop the flesh in a bowl.
3. Add the crushed garlic, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Season well with sat and pepper and blitz briefly with a hand blender. Mix in the chopped parsley and refrigerate for 30 mins to cool. 
4. Serve topped with a sprinkle of chopped parsley, a drizzle extra virgin olive oil and a crack of salt and pepper.




Tzatziki
Hands on time 15 mins / Total time 45 mins / V Gf  
½ grated cucumber
250g of Greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp of lemon juice
1 tbs Pomoro extra virgin olive oil
Small handful of freshly chopped mint
Salt and pepper
A few black olive to garnish (optional)

Method
1. Grate half a cucumber and put it in a colander with a sprinkle of salt. Give it a mix and leave to drain for 30 mins.
2. Meanwhile crush the garlic cloves and mix with the extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice in a small bowl. Finely chop the mint leaves and discard the stalks.
3. Once the cucumber has drained, give it and extra squeeze with your hand to get rid of as much moisture as possible. In a separate bowl combine the cucumber with the yogurt, the garlic mixture and the fresh mint. Mix and season to taste.
4. Serve topped with an olive and good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.



Warm lemon chickpeas
Serves 4 / Hands on time 30 mins / V Vn Gf Df
1 tsp olive oil
2 cans of chickpeas
1 celery stick, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled and cubed
3 garlic cloves, crushed 
1 white onion, finely chopped 
Juice of 3 lemons
Zest of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
3 Tbs Pomoro extra virgin olive oil
Small handful finely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper 

Method
1. Cook the onion, celery and carrot on a medium to low heat in the olive oil. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to help the vegetables steam and add the garlic and the 2 cans of drained chickpeas. Season well with salt and pepper and continue to cook for about 10 minutes with the lid on a jar to aid steaming.
2. Meanwhile, zest one of your lemons and then juice it into a bowl along with the other two lemons. Finely chop your handful of parsley and put to one side.
3. Once the chickpeas are soft, take off the heat and add the lemon juice, lemon zest, three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and the freshly chopped parsley. Season to taste and serve.
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If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


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Bara brith

Bara Brith
Bara Brith
Bara Brith

“Listen Zara, I don’t care what you say, I am not a bloody large” I panted angrily as I struggled to pull what can only be described as a worm coloured dress over my head. I don’t even like the colour ‘worm’ only Kim Kardashian can pull off ‘worm’ everyone knows that. Anyway, in an attempt to dodge the humongous queue I opted to try the dress on over my clothes on the shop floor, big mistake. So here I was, in the middle of Zara’s heaving Covent Garden store trapped inside the offending worm dress.
‘This can’t possibly be a large” I spat as my face turned an alarming shade of puce. I ducked down behind a rail of jackets and gave it another tug but just couldn’t get the damn thing over my boobs.
“Excuse me, can I get to the mirror?” I wildly spun around on my knees and looked up at Gigi Hadid. Okay so it wasn’t actually Gigi Hadid but it might as well have been, the skinny blonde thing had already pushed pass me and was now holding a top up to her delicate little chest admiring herself. At least she doesn’t have any boobs I thought to myself and grinned but then realised it was my ample bosoms that had got me into this mess in the first place. I gave the dress one final big pull and whipped it off over my head.
“YEEEESS!” I roared (a little too loudly) in the mirror at Gigi Hadid but Gigi had gone, in her place was a scary old Italian lady who stared back at me with disgust. Whatever.
I hung the now disheveled dress on a hanger and glanced at the capital ‘L’ on the label, since when was being a size 12 a large? Fuck you Zara and fuck your ugly worm dress I thought as I swept out of the shop.
When I got home I was still rather cross so decided to take my frustration out on a cake. Angrily beating eggs and creaming butter together can be very therapeutic after an upsetting shopping trip.
I decided to make Bara Brith, a kind of Welsh fruit loaf infused with tea. Traditionally you soak the dried fruit in the tea over night but I’m too greedy and too impatient for this so I created a quick version. Six hours and three Bara Brith’s later (one burnt, one sunk, one too dry) I finally got the recipe right. Serve with lashings of butter and a cup of tea, mwynhau!


Bara brith
Makes one loaf / Hands on time 25 mins / Takes 1 hour 30 mins + cooling / V
You’ll need:
21cm x 12cm loaf tin
180g sultanas
300ml boiling water
2 black tea bags
2 tbs orange juice or milk 
1 tbs honey
2 medium eggs
140g soft brown sugar
125g unsalted butter
1 tsp mixed spice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ ground ginger
260g self raising flour
¼ tsp salt


Method
1. Preheat an oven to 170°C/150°C fan/300°F/gas mark 4 and grease a loaf tin with butter. In a large saucepan, add the 
sultanas, tea bags and 300ml of boiling water. Give it a stir to allow the tea to infuse and bring to the boil. Reduce and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
2. Meanwhile measure out the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and add 2 tbs of the tea liquid. Drain the sultanas, discard the rest of the liquid and the tea bags and add to the butter and sugar. Stir well until the butter has melted. Add the orange juice and the honey and mix well.
3. In a separate small bowl, beat the eggs with a fork before adding to the mixture. Stir until combined before putting to one side. 
4. In a medium sized bowl, measure out the dry ingredients and mix together. Add to the wet mixture a bit at a time and stir until fully incorporated. Once combined, pour into the greased loaf tin.
5. Bake for 30 mins before carefully (and quickly), covering the cake LOOSELY with a large sheet of tin foil in the oven, by draping over the cake and securing it by crunching the sides (do this quickly to avoid the temperature dropping in the oven and to prevent the cake from colouring too much) – you want it to stay a nice golden colour. Bake for a further 25 mins before removing the foil and baking for an additional 10 mins uncovered. This gives the cake a lovely chewy crust.
6. Insert a skewer into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, your cake is cooked. If not, return to the oven uncovered for 5 mins before checking and repeating if necessary.
7. Once baked, remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins before turning out onto a cooling rack. Cool fully before slicing and serving spread with salty butter.
8. Store in tin or airtight container lined with kitchen paper for up to 5 days. 


TIP: If the cake seems a little dry, wrap in clingfilm whilst still warm (not hot).




 

Bara Brith
Bara Brith

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V– Vegetarian
– Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Wrap in a few layers of clingfilm and freeze for up to 3 months.


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Salty olive brunch eggs

Salty Olive Brunch Eggs
Salty Olive Brunch Eggs
Salty Olive Brunch Eggs

We eat a lot of olives in my house, by the end of the month our fridge is packed with a combination of half empty antipasti pots and jars. So instead of chuckin em all in the bin why not chop em up together and plonk em on toast? Lurvely… Not sure why I’ve started talking like Gregg Wallace but there you go. Oh and speak of the devil, listen Gregg Wallace, I like your smiley round ‘Vitalite‘ face and common chat but lay off Mary Berry. She is the queen of everything and you’re a stupid fat idiot. For those of you who may not know, ex green grocer and Master Chef judge Greg Wallace recently criticised Queen Mary for her views on deep fat fryers in the home. It was officially the lamest celebrity feud ever so pipe down Wallace and go and enjoy your buttery biscuit base somewhere else.
Anyway where was I? Oh yeah, Flea Bag… Now I know I wasn’t talking about Flea Bag but there isn’t much to say about this recipe apart from that I didn’t used to like olives blah blah blah but I really really REALLY want talk about Flea Bag! It is hands down the best TV series I’ve seen all year. Finally, a brilliantly dark, raw, but real and incredibly funny account of what it’s really like to be a single woman in London today. I laughed so much I dropped my cup of tea in the bath… Yes I watch TV in bath… Anyway, bravo Phoebe-Waller Bridge, I salute you and will you be my friend please? Thanks.


Salty olive brunch eggs
Serves 2 / Hands on 15 mins / Total time 15 mins /
V Df
16 pitted black olives in brine, chopped
4 mini gherkins, chopped
6 green queen olives, chopped
1 garlic clove, whole but peeled
2 slices of sourdough
1 tomato, sliced
4 eggs
Black pepper


Method
1. Roughly chop the olives and the gherkins together and mix together on the chopping board. Slice the tomato and  peel the garlic clove. Put to one side (avoid seasoning the tomatoes as it will make the dish air to salty).
2. Fill a small frying pan about three quarters of the way full and bring to a simmer. Crack an egg into a tea cup and slowly pour the egg into the simmering water (this prevents the egg white spreading too far in the pan).  Repeat with the other 3 eggs and cook for 2-3 minutes.
4. Meanwhile toast the bread and rub the surface with a raw garlic clove. Top each slice with the olive mixture and slices of tomato.
5. Remove the poached eggs one at a time with a slotted spoon. Allow to drain for a seconds over the pan and place over the tomatoes. Season with a good crack of black pepper and serve.

Salty Olive Brunch Eggs
Salty Olive Brunch Eggs

If you’ve had a go at making any of my recipes, I’d love to hear from you. Follow me now @corrieheale and tag your recipe pictures using #corriesrabbitfood.


V– Vegetarian    Df– Dairy free


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