A Bit of Spring Cleaning

Get ready! Because you’re about to be hit by a blizzard , no it’s not winter anymore, I mean, explosion of recipes, all of which are vegan, super vibrant, fresh, and absolutely delicious! For those of you who are staying in touch via instagram (it’s on the right-hand-side, just click and follow to stay up-to-plate with everything I’m whipping up), you’ve probably been wondering why I haven’t put up the recipes to those pictures and I apologize!! Sorry, I truly am because sometimes I click on something that looks totally yum hoping to find its recipe but then it just turns out to be foodporn, and that makes me really disappointed.

I get that. So here’s a treat: a collage of recipes to kickstart spring!

Here I wanted to feature some of those under-acknowledged ingredients such as beet greens, parsley stems, green peas, and grainy mustard. Beet greens and parsley stems tend to just get trimmed off and thrown into the garbage which I find to be such a waste. Beet greens are actually loaded with all the great nutrients its roots has, but with more fibre and less sugar while parsley stems have even more flavour than the leaves, not to mention the nice texture it gives to the green falafel mash (recipe below!). Green peas and grainy mustard, on the other hand are like ugly christmas sweaters – you have them lying around not because they’re a kitchen staple, but because there was this one day when some magazine or trend convinced you to buy a bag/jar of the stuff (like how your friends convinced you of the sweater at Value Village). Then ever since that day it’s just been a shameful lump stuck in your pantry or fridge door.

It’s okay, it’s all good, literally. And I encourage you to really take this as a new starting point, see what poor miserable thing is your fridge or pantry that you’ve been wanting to get rid of, and cook dat thang!

For those who exalt themselves will be humbled,

and those who humble themselves

will be exalted.

Luke 14:11

Collage

Rice with Beet Greens (Top Left):

1 tbsp avocado oil

1 medium brown onion, finely diced

1 bunch beet greens, stem portion diced, leaf portion shredded

2 cups cold, cooked red and brown basmati or jasmine rice

sea salt

white pepper

pinch of cinnamon

To make the rice with beet greens, heat the oil on medium in a skillet or wok. Add the onions and let it sweat until translucent and fragrant. Turn up the heat to high and add the chopped beet greens, continue stirring until tender, then add the rice and season well to taste. Stir until the liquid is fully absorbed and mixture is heated through.

Serve immediately, with an earthy wild mushroom or nutty pureed squash soup.

 

Garlic Coconut Butter Grilled Naan

with Green Falafel Mash, Parsley Mango Slaw, and Sriracha Aioli (Top Right):

for the garlic coconut butter grilled naan:

2 fat cloves of garlic, minced

2 tbsp coconut oil

4 pieces whole wheat naan bread

To make the coconut butter, put combine garlic and coconut oil in a small bowl and microwave for 30-45 seconds until fragrant. Brush the mixture onto one side of the naan and put that side down on a hot grill pan (it’s still pretty cold where I am, but if it’s summer wherever you are and you have the luxury of using a grill, by all means fire it up!). Lift up a corner to see if it’s nicely charred, once it is, brush the oil on the upper side and flip it over to get it grill-marked.

for the green falafel mash:

2 cups flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped (throw the stems in there!)

1 can (540 ml) chickpeas, drained

1 generous tbsp madras curry powder

3 tbsp tahini

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

sea salt, to taste

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until a coarse puree forms. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with some more EVOO and set aside.

for the parsley mango slaw:

1 large mango, ripe but firm, thinly sliced

1 cup finely shredded flat leaf parsley

Stir together the mango and parsley in a bowl and set aside.

for the sriracha aioli:

2 heaping tbsp good quality mayonnaise, feel free to use your favourite vegan mayo or cashew cream!

1 tbsp sriracha hot sauce (don’t tone it down, go beyond if it’s your thing!)

1 tbsp lime juice

In a small bowl stir together the mayo, sriracha, and lime juice, adding a bit more sriracha or lime juice to get a nice drizzling consistency. To assemble, spread the falafel mash onto the grilled naan, top with the mango slaw, and drizzle with the sriracha aioli.

Serve immediately with a minty cooler : blend together frozen yellow watermelon cubes + fresh mint + lime + coconut water!

 

Roasted Aloo Gobi (Bottom Right):

1 head cauliflower separated into bite-sized florets

1 large baking potato, diced into 1-inch pieces, boiled for 12 minutes

8 cremini mushrooms, sliced

1 cup shelled green peas, frozen is fine

3 tbsp madras curry powder

2 heaping tbsp grainy mustard

1 cup crushed tomatoes

2 tbsp melted coconut oil

sea salt, to taste

2 tbsp honey or agave

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Combine all ingredients besides the honey and place into two large baking trays. Bake for 1 hr, stirring every 10~15 minutes. Drizzle with honey and bake for another 10~15 minutes until vegetables are tender and caramelized.

Serve with coconut steamed basmati rice or garlic coconut butter grilled naan (above).

 

Lemon Butter Bean Tartines  with Spring Sugar Peas, Butter Lettuce, and Radishes (Bottom Left):

for the Lemon Butter Beans:

1 can (540 ml) white or butter beans, rinsed and drained

1 heaping tbsp grainy mustard

zest and juice of 1 small lemon

2 tsp honey or agave

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

sea salt

black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth, you might need to scrape down the sides of the bowl a couple of times. Set aside.

for the tartine assemby:

few slices toasted baguette or spelt or dark rye bread, really anything goes

1 head Boston or butter lettuce, leaves washed and patted dry

1 cup shelled sweet peas, frozen ones are fine, just let them sit at room temperature for 20 minutes

2 scallions, thinly sliced

4~5 radishes, thinly sliced

Spread a bit of the bean puree onto the toasted bread, then put the lettuce on (that way the lettuce will actually stay on the tartine). Fill the lettuce with more of the puree and garnish with the peas, scallions, and radish rounds.

Serve  with a strawberry almond milkshake: blend together frozen strawberries + almond milk + agave + vanilla extract

Happy spring cleaning your body, mind, and pantry!

 

Plain Lucky

Perks of knowing how to cook:

a. eating $100 meals for under $16

b. grocery shopping is a piece of cake

c. making fun of boneless-skinless chicken breasts

d. good food magically happens

e. people love you

f.  you love life

g. afjsdk;oiveoih09/@””!!~

Perks of not knowing how to cook:

a. all of the above**

**if you do the following:

Sprinkle their blood on the altar,

and burn their fat as a special gift,

a pleasing aroma to the Lord.

Numbers 18:17

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Ingredients for the 72-hour beef ribs:

2 tbsp ground thyme

2 tsp rosemary leaves

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

4 fat cloves garlic, mashed to a fine puree

1 tbsp sea salt

2~3 tbsp olive oil, enough to form a rough paste with the spices

1/2 rack beef ribs (4 full-size ribs, preferably free range)

To make the 72-hour beef ribs, stir together the thyme, rosemary, pepper, garlic puree, salt, and olive oil until a thick paste forms. Rub this mixture all over the beef ribs (on all sides, emphasizing the top-side). Place the ribs in a roasting tin and cover tightly with foil. Refrigerate for 3 nights (2 days).

On the third day, 3~4 hours before mealtime, preheat the oven to 315 degrees F, with the rack placed in the middle of the oven. Take the roasting tin with the ribs straight from the fridge into the oven, you don’t even have to wait for the oven to reach its temperature. Bake for 3~ 3 1/2 hours until the meat literally falls off the bone and your house smells better than any steakhouse you know.

Serve immediately. I highly recommend serving this with mashed potatoes and a generous drizzle of the beef drippings. I’m sorry I don’t have photos of the finished product, but that just goes to testify for its deliciousness.

Enjoy! (Oh, boy you will…ahh..)

because pie is irrational

It’s a thin line, really, between oblivion and being on the fence. Neither allows you to adequately make a decision, and neither engages you enough in the consequences of a potential decision, should you make one.

So here’s a great question: meringue or not meringue?

While traditionally in France the tarte au citron is made with a lightly torched, sublimely delicate and shiny meringue, modern purists are leading a sort of revolution to overthrow the fluff of it all.

I made this tart about a week ago (and it was demolished right about then as well), and to be honest, I had no idea whether or not I wanted to pipe that meringue on. Even after finishing the pie I still had mixed feelings about it – not that its deliciousness was debatable, for it was by a modest margin at the top of my list of lemon-things-consumed – but somewhere in the back of my head was the question: what if I hadn’t put meringue on it?

Today, walking to class, watching the snow melt. Boom. Brain parfumation happened.

Like the snow, the meringue is not there to make everyone fall in love with it (you can tell I’ve had enough with this winter thing). Instead, it’s there to conceal what’s underneath, again, not because it’s anything to hide, but because it will add that much more ooh, aah, and sexiness to the lush underneath. That’s pretty romantic and french, and witty, I think.

Oh, yeah, and how does that have to do with snow? Well, if you haven’t set foot on solid ground that is not compacted snow for 5 months, you’d understand the thrills of finally seeing the black pavement again. Sure, it’s just pavement, but that’s the beauty of snow – not itself, but it makes everything underneath more beautiful when it melts.

He is a voice

shouting in the wilderness,

‘Prepare the way

for the LORD’s coming!

Clear the road for him’

Matthew 3:3

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Ingredients for the lazy pate sablee:

1 1/2 cups AP flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

1/4 cup icing sugar

1/2 cup cold butter, cubed

75 ml half-and-half or heavy cream

To make the pate sablee, put the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar in the the food processor and pulse until blended. Add the chunks of culd butter, and continue pulsing until the mixture becomes a very pale yellow and looks a bit grainy. While pulsing, stream in the cream until the mixture just begins to clump together.

Cover a flat working surface with a film of plastic wrap, then dump the contents of the food processor onto the surface. Gather and press the mixture into a tight mound and flatten into an inch-thick round. Lift up the corners of the plastic wrap to wrap the dough snugly, then chill in the freezer for 20-30 minutes.

Lightly flour your working surface. Unwrap your chilled dough and roll it out using a rolling pin to about 0.75cm thick, or with large enough area to cover a 9-inch fluted tart pan. Slide the removable bottom of the pan underneath the dough (be gentle as the dough is quite delicate), lift it up, then place it into the tart ring. Press the dough  into the corner of the tart pan, and up the sides. Trim off any extra bits and use them to fill any areas that are not sufficiently covered. Chill in the freezer for another 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and feel free to do any cleanup to save time. Once the dough is finished chilling, dock it all over with a fork and bake, uncovered, for 18-20 minutes, or until pale golden. If the bottom’s puffed up, just pat it down gently with the back of a spoon while it’s still hot. Cool completely and chill until needed.

Ingredients for the lemon cream:

1 cup icing sugar

4 medium or 3 large lemons, zest and juice

4 large free range eggs

1/3 cup heavy cream

2/3 cup unsalted butter, placed in a large mixing bowl (preferably glass)

To make the lemon cream, combine the sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and eggs in a saucepan. Cook on medium, whisking contents constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken. Stream in the cream, still whisking, until the mixture is well-tightened.

Pass the lemon curd through a sieve placed over the butter, and stir until the butter is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Pour into the baked tart shell and chill in the fridge overnight to set completely.

Ingredients for the french meringue:

2 egg whites

1/2 cup white sugar

To make the french meringue, place the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (you can use your go-to mixing bowl if you have a hand-held) over a pot of barely simmering water. Beat with a whisk by hand until the sugar is fully dissolved, and the contents are quite warm to the touch. Attach the bowl to the stand mixer and whisk on medium-high for 8-10 minutes, or until the meringue is very glossy and quite firm (the tip should stand when you hold up the beater).

Spoon the meringue into a star-tipped piping bag and pipe onto the chilled lemon tart. Torch it to make it pretty, then chill until ready to serve.

Totally redundant, but enjoy!

Nuts over Butter

I remember one late night, I was curled up on the couch with a blanket and a mug of fennel tea, just chatting with Kevin. It was one of those moments. Totally out of the blue, did not see it coming, but like I’ve said before, one of the best.

Yes, the context was much more complex than I’m giving here, and I may or may not have murdered a half-box of kleenex in the process, but who wouldn’t trade a half-box of kleenex for a healthy dose of catharsis?

That night, I walked away with a mixture of new-found admiration, helplessness, and also sadness towards my brother. It’s always hard when someone you love tells you that he’d rather lay down his own priorities, his own freedoms, and his own happiness if it means giving the people around him what they need. Some hero, I thought. One who apparently lives by the philosophy of self-sacrifice. And then there’s me, not knowing what to say and do, because his decision ultimately takes a toll on me since I would do anything to try and make his life easier. Like if everyone was like Kevin, then it’d be all good.

But here’s the truth walking up, and now spitting in your eye: that’s rubbish – it does not exist. But it doesn’t mean we should all be stingy and favour-hungry and out to hoard as much as possible like chipmunks going through pre-winter crisis. It just means that  we need to come to peace with our choices. There is no set of rules that will help us play the game of life right. Following rules itself fails, ask anyone. Just live. Isn’t that what we’re here for? Living life to the fullest, as they say?

So if you think your life will be most productive the more people you help, you’re probably right. If you think your life is defined by how much you latch onto goods and services, then congratulations you’re as heavy a burden as a 3-foot leech . Or maybe if you over-exert yourself to please people, then end up shrivelled and small and needing everyone else to nurse you, yeah, totally, go for it.

But please, please remember there’s always someone near or far whose smile wait for yours, and whose tears wash clean your wounds.

Every time I think of you,

I give thanks to my God.

I always pray for you,

And I make my requests

with a heart full of joy.

~Philippians 1:3-4

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Buttercup Penne with  Caramelized Onions, Spiced Candied Pecans,                                                                                          

Toasted Walnut Oil, and Shaved Grana Padano

Ingredients for the buttercup cream:

1/4 small buttercup, kabocha, or butternut squash, cut into 1-inch pieces, with seeds

2 cloves garlic, smashed

100 ml coconut cream, heavy cream or half-and-half

175 ml water, divided

To make the buttercup cream, steam the squash with the garlic until the squash is very tender. Transfer to a blender, and add the cream and 100 ml water. Blend until completely smooth, then add the remaining water and blend to incorporate. If your blender is not very strong, then pass this puree through a sieve. Set aside.

Ingredients for the caramelized onions:

1 1/2 cups brown rice penne (or whichever you have on hand)

1 small brown onion, thinly sliced

1 tbsp olive oil

sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary (dried will work fine as well)

few splashes of water

50 ml heavy cream or half-and half

To make the buttercup penne, bring a pot of water to the boil. Salt the water, and add the pasta. Cook for 8~9 minutes or as directed on the package for al dente. Drain, but don’t rinse.

Meanwhile, to make the caramelized onions, heat the oil in a saute pan and add the onions. Add a big pinch of salt to help the onions soften. Season with pepper and rosemary, and cook over medium heat, covered, stirring every 2 minutes until the onions begin to smell sweet and and turn into a caramel color.

Add a small splash of water to deglaze if the onions start to stick to the pan. Once the onions are a rich amber color, turn the heat to high, and add the 50 ml cream. Let it boil and once it thickens, dump in the pasta and stir to coat. Add the buttercup cream and stir, check the seasoning, and cook until thick and heated through.

To garnish:

1 tsp toasted walnut oil, divided

6 spiced candied pecans, roughly chopped

Grana Padano, shaved with a vegetable peeler, or coarsely grated pine nuts if vegan

Spoon the buttercup penne onto warmed plates, drizzle with walnut oil, top with chopped pecans and shaved cheese. Finish with some extra black pepper if desired.

Enjoy!

It just creped into my mind

“Even shit sounds sexier in french.”

I totally abide that. No shame either.

I don’t know if it’s the fact that the french language just forces out the sexy voice of whoever speaks it, or is it just the fact that the language is inherently elegant. My point is, it’s sad, but most of us will voluntaritly listen to farts spewing out of someone else’s mouth if that person has even so much as a great smile, bright eyes, or a really attractive voice.

Nah, are we really that shallow? That a heart-to-heart conversation is not as high on our bucket list as being seen with a pretty-face? Perhaps we kid ourselves as we plow through the garbage that’s up to our eyes, trying to find some evidence of worth, some evidence that tells us that we are not so merely-skin-deep and that see? this dump is worth preserving because look what I found! A dime!

You are not a dump site, so stop setting yourself up as one.

And believe me when I say this, if you would just slow down a bit, and just stop looking for the most eye-catching person in the room, the conversation will find you. It will be when you least expect it, and it will be a surprise. It will be completely new, and it will be familiar at the same time. You don’t have to try to make an impression, because it wasn’t of your doing that it started in the first place. Just relax, because that’s when you are most lovely.

Humble yourselves, therefore,

under the mighty hand of God

so that at the proper time

he may exalt you.

~1 Peter 5:6

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Savoury Crepes with Kale Bechamel and White Button Mushrooms

Ingredients for the kale bechamel:

2 tsp olive oil

1 clove garlic, thinly sliced

4 cups loosely packed torn kale leaves (stem removed)

1/4 cup water, divided

1 1/2 tbsp corn starch

3-4 tbsp heavy cream or half-and-half

pinch nutmeg

sea salt and black pepper to taste

To make the kale bechamel, heat the oil in a pan. Add the garlic and fry until fragrant, then add the kale leaves. Stir and add a splash of water and cover to steam the kale. Stir the cornstarch into the remaining water. Once the kale is completely wilted, pour in the corn starch mixture and stir until the mixture tightens. Transfer to a tall container, season with sea salt, black pepper, and nutmeg. With a hand-held blender, blend the kale with the cream until a thick puree forms.

Ingredients for the rice crepes:

45 g fine rice flour

20 g tapioca or potato starch

1 free range egg

125 ml almond milk (soy, rice, or cow’s will all work)

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp sea salt

pinch nutmeg

To make the crepes, heat a heavy non-stick skillet or seasoned crepe pan on medium-high heat. Meanwhile in a bowl, whisk together all ingredients until very smooth. ( I like to whisk everything together in my beaker which has a handle, this makes the actual cooking part very clean and easy.)

For the crepe filling you will also need 1 cup sliced mushrooms and 3 tbsp god quality mayonnaise.

Once the pan is hot, dampen a piece of kitchen paper towel with oil or butter and wipe the pan all over with it. Pour in the batter and swirl it around the pan to form a thin layer. Place mushroom slices on one half of the crepe, spoon over the kale bechamel, then dot with the mayonnaise. Put the lid on to let the mushrooms soften a little, about 1~2 minutes. Lift up the untopped half of the crepe and fold it over to enclose the filling. Slide onto a hot plate, and serve. Do the same until you use up all the ingredients. You should be able to get 6 small crepes or 4 medium crepes.

Enjoy!

They were white, then yellow, and finally brown

Winter is forcing me into a corner slowly. But it’s not annoying or boring – almost as if it’s challenging me. Its eyes, with the shimmer of an icicle dangling from the edge of a roof and its tip catching a bursting ray of sun shooting past, catches mine. In a sort of playful intimidation it draws me in. I’m reluctant to get too close, but a part of me tells me to brave the cold and step outside the door instead of admiring the rolling white mounds piled cheerfully on the other side of the window.

Why don’t I lace up my boots? Why don’t I put on my mitts?

Why, am I afraid? Afraid that after I’ve made up my mind, the snow would melt when I touch it? Am I afraid, that as soon as I wake up to it, winter would retrieve into its deep slumber? Perhaps I am afraid, that the sun tricks me, and the bird’s sing mockery. Or maybe my heart tells me that winter’s coldness will defeat me, and my pride will not allow for that.

Winter, what are you doing?

I’ll figure you out, you just watch me.

Such love has no fear,

because perfect love expels all fear.

If we are afraid,

it is for fear of punishment,

and this shows that we have not fully

experienced his perfect love.

~1 John 4:18

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Ingredients for the roasted cauliflower and broccoli:

1 big head of cauliflower, cut into florets, with the very big ones quartered

1 head broccoli, cut into florets

2 tbsp madras curry powder

1 tsp fine sea salt

3 tbsp avocado or grape seed oil

To roast the vegetables, preheat the oven to 435 degrees F, with the rack place in the top third of the oven. Line two large baking sheets with foil.

In a large bowl, toss together all ingredients until all the vegetables are evenly coated. Spread them out on the baking sheets without crowding. Turn each piece so the cut side faces down – this allows the “blooming” top to get really crispy and golden brown. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly charred on the bottom and caramelized on top. Let cool slightly.

Ingredients for the lemon tahini vinaigrette:

4 tbsp tahini

1 large lemon, zest and juice

1 generous tbsp liquid honey or agave

pinch salt, to taste

To make the vinaigrette, whisk together all ingredients in a large bowl.

Ingredients for the assembly:

1 can chickpeas, drained

1/3 cups sultana raisins (regular is fine too)

2 cups torn flat leaf parsley

To assemble the salad, stir the chickpeas and raisins into the big bowl of the  vinaigrette, then add the roasted vegetables; mix them in gently as they are quite tender.  You can now chill this overnight or up to 2 days if you’re making this ahead, and simply stir in the parsley just before serving.

Why taste her cherry chapstick?

To those of you who are not the 0.0000001% of drop-dead gorgeous women (or men) who override the effects of traffic lights in New York City’s bustling streets, cheers. Cheers because your friends are not jealous of you. Cheers because you have weaknesses that you can boast about. Cheers because even though you don’t stop every car that passes you by, you really only need to stop one person in the midst of their life who knows from first sight how special you are.

Oh, and did I mention you’d also get to eat cheesecake without everyone around you turning heads whispering “I can’t believe she’s eating cheesecake!” No I’m not saying go pig out on cheesecake tomorrow in front of your girl or guy friend. I mean, they’ll still love you for who you are, but mind your health. There’s no point in trying to make yourself feel loved by stuffing yourself.

Have cheesecake if you’re feeling down.

But don’t have too much for that’ll weigh you down.

Plus, you never know – maybe this is actually how somebody sees you, actually, someone does see you like this:

“You are beautiful, my darling,

        beautiful beyond words.

Your eyes are like doves beyond your veil.

Your hair falls in waves, like a flock of goats

        winding down the slopes of Gilead.

Your teeth are as white as sheep,

        recently shorn and freshly washed.

Your smile is flawless,

        each tooth matched to its twin.

Your lips are like scarlet ribbon;

        your mouth is inviting.

Your cheeks are like rosy pomegranates behind your veil.

Your neck is as beautiful as the tower of David…

You are altogether beautiful, my darling,

beautiful in every way.

~Song of Songs 4:1-7

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Ingredients for the nutty crust (this is such an amazing crust, you must try it!)

1 c oats

1/2 c raw pecan halves (walnuts, almonds, cashews or even roasted mixed salted nuts will do)

2 tbsp cornstarch

1/4 c brown sugar

3/4 tsp fine sea salt (use 1/2 tsp if using salted nuts)

a pinch of cinnamon, optional

3 tbsp coconut oil

To make the nutty crust, put the oats, nuts, cornstarch, brown sugar, and salt in a food processor or blender. Whiz together until the mixture resembles graham cracker crumbs. Add the coconut oil and pulse until the mixture begins to moisten and clump up.

Line the bottom of four 4-inch springform pans or one 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Press the oat and nut mixture evenly, and firmly into the pan with a measuring cup with a flat bottom or your fingertips. Place in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, with the rack placed in the middle of the oven. Take the crust from the freezer straight into the oven and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden and slightly puffed. Use the back of a spoon to gently press down on the crust then let cool completely before chilling until needed.

Ingredients for the cheesecake batter:

1 kg 2% cottage cheese, strained, at room temperature

250 g full fat cream cheese, cut into cubes, at room temperature

3/4 c sugar

zest and juice of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp vanilla paste (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

3 free range eggs, at room temperature

To make the cheesecake, preheat the oven to 325 degree F, with a rack placed in the center of the oven, and another rack below it. Fill a pan with water and put it on the bottom rack – this will create the bain marie without risking a water-soaked crust.

Put the cottage cheese in the blender and whiz until smooth. Add the cream cheese, a cube at a time until the mixture is thick and creamy without any lumps. Add the sugar, lemon zest and juice, vanilla, and sea salt and continue blending until smooth. On low, pulse in the eggs just until evenly incorporated.

Pour the cheese batter into the chilled baked crust and bake in the top rack for 30-40 minutes if using small springform pans or 60-75 minutes if using a large springform pan. The middle should jiggle a little bit when you remove it from the oven, but don’t worry the residual heat is sufficient to cook it through.

Cool it completely before covering and chilling overnight to set.

When ready to serve, simply run a thin-bladed knife around the side of the pan to release the cake.

I actually like to sprinkle a generous layer of sugar on top then torching it to make it a creme brulee cheesecake, just sayin’.

But honestly, you really can’t do much to top a cheesecake, perhaps some cherry compote, but really, I mean, it’s cheesecake.

Enjoy, but don’t pig out.

(At least don’t blame me if you do, I provided fair warning)