I’ll be honest: I didn’t know that something like a savoury cheesecake even existed! But when I received a link to this recipe earlier this week, I knew that I had to try it. They had me at cheese, tomato and basil. That has to be one of my all-time favourite combinations of ingredients: on a sandwich, in an omelette, on a pizza, with pasta, and of course on its own. You can’t go wrong! AND this recipe is low-carb!
I didn’t plan to modify this recipe at all, but when I went to buy the ingredients and they didn’t have ricotta, I could for the life of me not figure what to substitute it with. In my defense, it was early in the morning and I’d had only 1 cup of coffee by then, so even Mr Google was not able to help me. I ended up substituting the ricotta with cream cheese. In hindsight, cottage cheese would have been a better choice. None the less, it worked out well and produced a deliciously silky, creamy, super rich savoury cheesecake. Oh, and I find it really hard to justify the cost of pine nuts, so I used my go-to in this situation: toasted sunflower seeds.
You will need
For the Cheesecake:
450 g ricotta (or if you’re like me, 450g of cream cheese)
1 cup plain cream cheese – at room temperature
1 Tbs wholegrain mustard
1 Tbs garlic – finely chopped
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 small green chilli, finely chopped
1 large egg
¾ tsp salt
pinch white pepper
For the Topping:
500g rosa tomatoes
1 tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbs spoon of toasted sunflower seeds and basil to serve
Seriously, this could not be easier!
For the Cheesecake:
Preheat the oven to 170°C.
Prepare a springform cake tin by lining the base with baking paper and greasing.
Mix all the cheesecake ingredients thoroughly using an electric mixer. Then spoon into the prepared cake tin. Bake for 30 minutes.
Allow to cool in the tin, and refrigerate until you’re ready for the next step!
For the Topping:
Preheat the grill to 200°C.
Toss the tomatoes in some oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place them under the grill until they have caramelized – around 10-15 minutes. Then allow to cool.
Once you’re ready to serve, remove the cake from the springform tin and arrange the tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with basil leaves and roasted sunflower seeds.
In an attempt to try and up our culinary craftiness while eating healthy, we’ve been keeping to themed menus for the past few weeks. Each week we select a different country to learn from – but due to popular demand (read – because the other half said so) Thailand is featuring for the second time in one month! But I’m out of some of the essential Thai ingredients so I decided to make a “Thai-inspired” dish instead, a fusion if you will.
Immune Booster Thai Chicken Corn Soup
This healthy and wholesome soup is a classic with a twist – chicken corn soup done the Thai green curry way.
For the Soup
2 cooked chicken breasts – shredded*
Corn from 2 corn cobs/1.5 cups frozen corn or 1 can sweetcorn
Green curry paste **
400ml Coconut Milk (or cream)
750ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp soy sauce
Juice of 1 lemon
Shallots or other onions
10ml olive oil
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
Salt & pepper
*Fry the chicken breasts until just cooked then shred by using two forks. Or, leave out the chicken altogether if you’re vegetarian.
**I made my own salsa-like green curry mixture, but you can use store bought paste – scroll to the bottom of the page for my home-made version.
The great thing about this soup is that you can add pretty much any vegetable you like. This is what I used:
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 cup asparagus
2 cups broccoli
1 cup carrots
1 small cabbage – shredded (Bok Choy is a lovely alternative)
1-2 raw scrambled eggs
Chopped spring onion
Chopped raw carrot
Heat oil in a large pot then fry the shallots until translucent.
Add the green curry mixture and sweat for 3-5 minutes until fragrant (the part where you feel the chilli and garlic tickle your nose) 😉.
If you’re using carrots or starchy vegetables add them first (the other veggies will be added later).
Mix in the rice vinegar, and let it reduce for a few minutes before adding the stock, water and soy sauce.
Add the corn and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Swirl the soup mixture with a spoon then add the raw egg slowly. Watch it do its magic and move on to the next step.
Now you can add the softer veggies, mushroom, asparagus, broccoli, and the chicken to the soup.
Simmer for 5 minutes.
Place the cabbage on top of the soup, close the lid and let it sit for 3 minutes.
Turn off the stove and mix in the coconut milk/cream.
Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Pour the hearty mix into soup bowls, garnish with coriander leaves, carrots and spring onion. Drizzle with lemon juice and dig in!
Sit back and enjoy the sizzle of a strengthening immune-system!
Optional: Thai Green Curry Salsa/Paste
The reason behind salsa is that I use a food blender and not a food processor, which is still do-able because the flavour is spot-on! But! A food processor is better, because it’ll create a paste that will add a lovely pastel green tint to the soup.
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
4 chillies of your choice – the smaller they are, the hotter the curry (feel free to add more)
1-2 inch ginger, peeled
2 lemongrass sticks
4 sprigs of spring onion
2 tablespoons fish sauce
Bunch of coriander/cilantro leaves
Clean and peel the ingredients, chop off the woody bits of the lemongrass and spring onion.
Add all ingredients (including fish paste) to a food processor and blend. Fine chopping will also do.