recipe friday

Recipe Friday: Savoury Cheesecake with Roasted Pickled Shallots

We've had a fair few healthy options lately for Recipe Friday and now that our polo necks and opaque black tights are back out of the wardrobe, it's time for something truly hearty, extra tasty and somehow warming whether you eat it hot or cold. 

Everyone loves cheesecake. But do you know what's even better? Cheese-y cheesecake. A really herby, cheddar-y, savoury version with an oatcake crust. Essentially, a cheese pie. You'll want those roasted pickled shallots, or a spicy chutney, to cut through the creaminess. It's also worth making this a few hours in advance as it will set and let the flavours develop nicely if you leave time to chill it after baking. This keeps for a good four days in the fridge if it isn't gobbled up in the first sitting. 

savoury cheesecake.jpg

You will need:

200g fine-milled oatcakes, crushed up
125g butter, melted
350g cream cheese
150g double cream
2 eggs
100g cheddar cheese, cut into tiny squares
a handful of finely chopped chives
a sprinkling of thyme
a few pickled shallots
olive oil

1 Pre-heat your oven to 170 degrees C.

2 Give the oatcakes a good whack in a freezer bag with a rolling pin until they're finely crushed, pop them in a bowl and then pour over your melted butter. Give it a good stir.

3 Press the oatcake mixture into a small non-stick bread tin and shape it up the sides with a teaspoon. Chill for 30 minutes.

4 While that's chilling, make your filling. Whisk the cream cheese, double cream and eggs together until silky and add a third of your diced cheese and chives, a sprinkle of thyme and a good twist of salt and pepper.

5 Scatter your remaining cheese cubes on top and place in the oven for 40 minutes.

6 Take the savoury cheesecake out of the oven when it's still a bit wobbly in the middle, but browned on top.

7 Leave to cool. Once cool, chill in the fridge.

8 When you're ready to eat a slice, roast some pickled shallots in the oven first for around half an hour. Place them in a greaseproof tin with olive oil and remove when they've started to caramelise and go crisp at the edges.

9 Serve a generous slab of cheesecake hot or cold with the roasted shallots and a green salad with traffic-light tomatoes. 

Recipe Friday: Cornbread with Chipotle Butter

We like to find you some unusual treats to share with friends at the weekend and our pals at Caravan, London have suggested this slightly spicy American-inspired snack. 

Caravan's Cornbread and Chipotle Butter

Caravan's Cornbread and Chipotle Butter

Serves 4

For the cornbread:

400ml milk
3 eggs
60g melted butter
200g corn
½ bunch of spring onions (chopped)
1tsp baking powder
1tsp caster sugar
1tsp table salt
1 cup polenta
½ cup bread flour

Preheat oven to 200c.

Mix all wet ingredients including the corn and the spring onions in a large bowl.

Mix all the dry ingredients together in another bowl.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients and promptly pour into a paper-lined loaf tin and place immediately in the oven. Bake for 30mins. Cool for 5 minutes then turn out of the tin onto a cooling rack.

Once the loaf is cool, trim the ends and slice the loaf into 8 equal sized slices (2 slices each).

The cornbread is now ready for the next step.

For the chipotle butter:

250g soft butter
pinch salt
½tsp minced chipotle
juice of ½ a lime
¼ cup chopped coriander

Mix all ingredients together.

Serve while soft. The excess will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Next steps

Heat a large pan with a dash of vegetable oil.

Carefully place the slices of cornbread in the pan and fry until golden brown.

Flip the slices and fry till brown on both sides, repeat process until all slices are cooked.

To Serve

Place the fried slices of corn bread on a plate and top with a generous dollop of chipotle butter.

Finally, garnish with some picked coriander leaves, a wedge of lime and some slice spring onions.

Thanks to Miles Kirby, Executive Head Chef and Co-founder of Caravan restaurants.

Recipe Friday: Gluten-free banana bread

We're all for eating whatever you like, but if you are sensitive to gluten, or fancy mixing the classic banana-rescue recipe up a bit, this one's just for you. This foodie twist comes from the kitchen of our fashion ed, Charlotte Melling. 

You'll need:

2 bananas
210g coconut oil
240g ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
a pinch of salt
maple syrup (or other sweet drizzle like Agar, Honey or Syrup) 

Preheat your oven to 200C and line a square baking tray with greaseproof paper.

Peel the bananas and whizz in a blender with the eggs.

In a separate bowl mix all the dry ingredients. 

Over a low heat, gently melt the coconut oil before adding to the dry mix.

Combine both mixtures.

Bake for 20 minutes or so (depending on the thickness of your cake)

Once baked, prick some holes in the cake and pour over the maple syrup – as much or as little as you like. 

Bake in the oven for five more minutes.

Leave to cool, then cut up and serve.

This recipe originally appeared in our Bananarama round-up in Oh Comely issue 31, available to buy here.

Recipe Friday: Gujarati Dal with Peanuts and Star Anise

In our second instalment of flavourful recipes from Meera Sodha, who features in issue 31, we bring you Gujarati Dal, a weekend dish you can take your time over.

Meera says: "This dal is my and every other Gujarati’s taste of home. One spoonful and I am transported. It has a more complex taste than most dals due to the subtle jabs of star anise, curry leaves and lemon, all rounded off with the sweetness of honey. Because of the time it takes to soak and cook toor lentils, this is more of a weekend dish in our house, although a daily staple across Gujarat."

Serves 4 as part of a main course 

300g yellow toor lentils
2 star anise
Rapeseed oil
½ teaspoon mustard seeds

¾ teaspoon cumin seeds
4 whole cloves
1 green finger chilli, slit lengthways
2 sprigs of fresh curry leaves
3 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1⅓ teaspoons salt
2½ teaspoons runny honey
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
30g red-skinned peanuts, crushed

Soak the toor lentils in cold water overnight, or in warm water for an hour before cooking. When soaked, wash the lentils in a few changes of cold water until the water runs clear, then place in a saucepan and cover with 4cm of cold water. Add the star anise and set to boil over a medium heat. The lentils will take around an hour to become tender (so you can crush them easily with the back of a spoon), and you may need to remove the scum that forms, using a large spoon. While the lentils cook, you can prepare the tempering. 

Put 2 tablespoons of oil into a frying pan over a medium heat. When hot, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, green chilli and 6 curry leaves. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until you can smell the spices, then add the tomatoes. Cook for around 5 minutes, until the tomatoes become soft and paste-like, then add the turmeric, salt, honey and lemon juice. Cook for a couple of minutes, then turn off the heat. 

When the lentils are cooked, whisk them to thicken, then add the tempering. The mixture will be quite thick, and Gujarati Dal is normally thin, so add at least 200ml of hot water (or as you prefer), then simmer for a further 15 minutes. Check that the salt, lemon, chilli and honey are to your liking, then take off the heat. 

Put another tablespoon of oil into a separate frying pan and, when hot, add a sprig of curry leaves and the crushed nuts. Fry until the curry leaves crisp up and the peanuts brown, then take off the heat. Transfer the dal to a serving dish and scatter over the curry leaves and the peanuts. Serve with steamed basmati rice, a green leafy vegetable curry like the savoy cabbage and a side of yoghurt and pickles. 

Meera's book, Fresh India, is out now.

Recipe Friday: Rainbow Chard Sag Aloo

Rainbows: hope and pride and promises, a symbol of all good things. We're pleased to share a few recipes from issue 31's 'Things and People' subject, Meera Sodha (flick to page 48 of your issue) on Recipe Friday over the next few weeks, starting with this beauty. 

We hope you'll enjoy cooking it, take pride in your flavoursome dinner and we promise it's tasty. Let's go.

Meera Sodha's rainbow chard sag aloo, making the Oh Comely office hungry.

Meera Sodha's rainbow chard sag aloo, making the Oh Comely office hungry.

Meera says: "I’ll never forget my mum’s head-turning squeal when she saw a bag of Desiree potatoes marked ‘grown in Lincolnshire’ in the aisle of a London supermarket. She’s evangelical about their butteriness, and proud of the fact they’re grown near our family home, so this dish, which uses a classic Gujarati spicing of cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli, appears regularly on the Sodha family table."

Serves 2 to 3 as a main course 

400g rainbow or Swiss chard
3 tablespoons rapeseed oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
2 medium brown onions, sliced
600g Desiree potatoes
3cm ginger, peeled and grated
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
400g ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
1⅓ teaspoons chilli powder
⅓ teaspoon ground cumin
⅓ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1¼ teaspoons salt

To prepare the chard, cut the stems from the leaves. Cut the stems into 4cm pieces and slice the leaves into 4cm strips. 

Put the oil into a large lidded frying pan and, when hot, add the mustard seeds. When they pop, add the onions and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until soft and golden brown. In the meantime, peel the potatoes and cut into 2cm cubes. When the onions are ready, add the ginger and garlic to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the potatoes and 200ml of water. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. 

Add the tomatoes and the chard stalks, cover and cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the chard stalks are soft. Add the chilli, cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt and stir gently. Finally, add the chard leaves, coat with the mixture and pop the lid back on for a final 2 to 3 minutes, until the leaves have wilted. 

Serve with hot chapattis or rice, yoghurt and a little pickle. 

Meera's new book, Fresh India, is out now.