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Celebrity Maltese Chefs

RECIPE OF THE DAYAubergines with Maltese Style Panzanella Salad

Cut the aubergine in half lengthwise. Cut the flesh, criss-cross with a sharp knife and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil and bake or grill until soft. Meanwhile, cut the ftiras in half, spread with the tomato paste, drizzle generously with the olive oil and cut into neat dice. Season with salt and pepper and place on a baking tray and toast in the oven at 150°C. Bake until crunchy on the outside and slightly soft inside. Cut the tomato into cubes, halve the cherry tomatoes and place into a bowl. Add in the cucumber and onion and mix well before adding in the tuna, gardiniera’ and basil leaves. Mix in the crusty bread pieces before serving. Place the aubergines onto serving plates, top up with the tuna-bread mixture. Serve with the peppered gbejniet crumbled on top and a good drizzle of olive oil.

 

Tomato with Aubergine Lasagna with ...

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Drizzle the Aubergines with oil, grill from both sides on a hot grill and once browned place them on a kitchen towel to absorb the extra oil. Sauté the onion, garlic and then simmer the tomato salsa in. Layer the vegetables like a lasagna, starting with the tomato sauce, aubergines, mixed goat cheese, mint leaves and tomato than repeat again. Finish the top with tomato sauce and parmesan, bake on high temperature until browned and then allow to set for 2 hrs in the fridge and serve topped with rocket leaves, parmesan shavings and olive oil.

Grilled Halloumi Salad

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Start this recipe by placing the fennel, onion and cooked barley into a large bowl and mix together. In a smaller bowl mix together the dressing using the vinegar, olive oil, orange juice and zest and season well with salt and pepper. Pour over the salad and mix together. Next, toss over the orange segments, watermelon and rocket leaves. Place into the fridge. Remove the halloumi from its packet and slice into 4. Season with salt, pepper and a dusting of flour and quickly brown on a hot plate or pan with a little oil till golden for 1 minute on each side. To serve, mix the salad together, spoon onto large deep salad bowls and top with the grilled halloumi and drizzle over any remaining salad dressing juices.

Lamb & Pancetta Brouchette on ...

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Cook the couscous as per instructions, then mix well in a bowl with the coriander, paprika and Lamb Mince. Form 40g balls, roll the bacon around them tightly and put them on the kebab stick. Grill on the BBQ until cooked through. Slice the pineapple, halloumi, and grill until browned on from both sides, season and sprinkle the thyme leaves on while warm. Zest the lime and squeeze the juice, mix well with the yoghurt, and serve on the side. Mix the mint and rocket leaves, serve on the grilled halloumi and pineapple and top with the skewers.

Naan Bread Gozitan Pizza

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Spread the tomato sauce on the naan bread and sprinkle the shredded mozzarella. Add your favourite ingredients and finish off with fresh rosemary and chopped Peppered Cheeselet. Drizzle with olive oil and bake in a preheated 220°C oven for about 15 minutes or until is well baked. Add fresh basil and serve.

Cauliflower Pasta

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In a large saucepan, melt the margarine and add the onion and garlic and cook until golden brown in colour. Add the cauliflower and cook for about 15 mins. Pour in the tomatoes, Irkotta, lentils, balsamic vinegar, herbs and seasoning and mix well until combined. Bring to a gentle boil and then simmer for 30 mins, until sauce is thick. Meanwhile cook the pasta according to packet instructions. Mix with the sauce and garnish with grated Hanini gibna and fresh basil.

Maltese Kusksu

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Prepare the beans by removing the outer pod and exterior coating. Toss the chopped onions & diced potatoes in butter heated over medium heat. When vegetables are well coated, add the prepared beans & toss once or twice. Then add the Kunserva & stir well. Add water to cover & the Vegetable Stock Pots. Continue to cook until the beans are soft approx 20 mins. Add the pasta beads, stir well & continue cooking, until these are transparent (another 20 mins). Finally add the peas & cook a few minutes longer until all the vegetables & the pasta beads are tender. Serve this soup with a sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, & possibly a fresh sheep’s cheese (ġbejna) per person

Stuffed Fresh Calamari

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Blend the perch, egg, Cream, mint and season, mix together with the antipasto. Clean well the calamari and cut the tip of the calamari. Use a piping bag to fill the calamari with the fish mousse, use a toothpick to close the end part of the calamari. Grill on a preheated griddle pan than finish in the oven until cooked through. Slice the leek and zucchini, sauté the until browned season and mix with the baby rocket.

Aubergine, Prawn and Ricotta Timbal...

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Split the mozzarella in halves, pass through flour, dip in egg and roll in breadcrumbs. Coat twice. Grease 2 timballo moulds with extra virgin olive oil, dust with breadcrumbs and line with the aubergine slices. Mix the ricotta with the remaining egg, parsley, cheese, chopped prawns and garlic. Place a spoonful of cherry tomato sauce and top with the ricotta. Cover with a

layer of aubergine. Repeat the process and finish with the aubergine. Bake for 15 minutes on low moderate heat until the ricotta is set. Flip the aubergine timballo on a serving plate, accompanied with salad leaves, crispy fried mozzarella and the grilled king prawns.

Grilled Tuna on a Mango, Coriander ...

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In a small bowl mix well the soy sauce and honey, brush the tuna with and roll into the sesame seeds. Drain well the spelt and in a large bowl mix well with the spring onions, tomatoes, onions, baby spinach, almonds and coriander, toss with olive oil. Seal the tuna on a preheated sauté pan and serve on the salad

Spiced bacon and 3 bean casserole w...

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Start this recipe by frying the bacon in a pan to brown all over. Add in the onion and garlic and cook together for 2 minutes. Add in the spices and diced peppers and continue to cook for 3 minutes. Add in the tomato concentrate, cook for 1 minute then splash in the red wine to evaporate. Mix in the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, polpa and stock and cook together for 10 – 15 minutes. When ready, add in the baked beans with their sauce, the 2 types of drained beans and mix together well. Make up the flavoured couscous and warm the whole meal pittas. Serve the bean casserole with the couscous and the pitta cut into wedges.

Lampuki Pie

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Chop the lampuki fillets into small squares. Chop the onions, garlic cloves, mint, and basil leaves into small pieces. Fry the onions and garlic in olive oil. Add the mint and basil and keep frying until onions turn golden. Lower the heat and add the fish without cooking completely. In the meantime, mix the mashed cauliflowers and cooked spinach well and chop the black olives and anchovies into small pieces. Add the spinach and cauliflower mix, olives, capers, and anchovies to the fish. Cook for a few minutes and then add the tomato puree, some salt and pepper and the lemon zest. Remove from the heat and add one lightly beaten egg. Mix well. Roll out the pastry and line over a greaseproof paper in a pie dish. Fill in with the lampuki mixture and use the other pastry to cover the pie. Brush with the lightly beaten egg and sprinkle with some sesame seeds. Make a few slits in the top of the pie and bake for around 50-60 minutes in a hot oven.

Avocado with shrimps

The very best version of this is made with prawns (either fresh or frozen in their shells) that you have cooked yourself. Failing that, buy the large cooked prawns in their shells, or if you can only get shelled prawns cut the amount to 1 lb (450 g). To prepare them: if frozen put them in a colander and allow to defrost thoroughly at room temperature for about 1 hour. After that, if using uncooked prawns, heat a large solid frying pan or wok and dry-fry the prawns for 4-5 minutes until the grey turns a vibrant pink. As soon as they’re cool, reserve 6 in their shells for a garnish and peel the remainder. Then take a small sharp knife, make a cut along the back of each peeled prawn and remove any black thread. Place them in a bowl, cover with clingfilm and keep in the fridge until needed. To make the cocktail sauce, prepare the mayonnaise and add it to the rest of the sauce ingredients. Stir and taste to check the seasoning, then keep the sauce covered with clingfilm in the fridge until needed. When you are ready to serve, shred the lettuce and rocket fairly finely and divide them between 6 stemmed glasses, then peel and chop the avocado into small dice and scatter this in each glass amongst the lettuce. Top with the prawns and the sauce, sprinkle a dusting of cayenne pepper on top and garnish with 1 section of lime and 1 unpeeled prawn per glass. Serve with brown bread and butter.

Liver Pate

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Heat 1 tbsp of the butter in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add the chicken livers and fry for 2 mins each side. Stir the crushed garlic, some of the thyme and Madeira into the pan with the livers. Fry for 2 mins, letting the marsala wine simmer. Transfer the mixture to a food processor, reserve 200g of the butter and add the rest to the processor. Blend everything to a smooth paste. Season to taste, then spoon into 4 x 70ml clip-top jars. Melt the reserved butter in a medium frying pan and add the sliced garlic. Turn the garlic in the butter until slightly golden. Pour into the 4 jars of pâté, ensuring a few slices of garlic and the remaining thyme leaves go in each jar, and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hrs, or until set. Can be made up to 2 days in advance. Before serving, toast the brioche, then cut into triangular quarters for serving. Stir the diced apple through the chutney. Serve the pâté on small wooden boards with the toasted brioche and chutney.

Torta Ricotta Cannolo

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Crush the cannoli shells, reserving 2 for garnishing later on. Mix in the melted butter and press the cannoli mix into the bottom of an 8 inch spring form pan lined with cling film using the back of a spoon to flatten. Chill for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, soak the gelatin leaves into the juice of an orange and heat up in a saucepan or microwave to dissolve. Whisk ricotta till smooth and creamy then stir in the icing sugar, orange zest, chocolate chips and melted gelatin mixture. Next, whip the cream and gently fold in. Spread the mixture evenly on the cannoli base and allow to set and chill for at least 2 hours. When ready, remove from the cake tin and place onto a serving dish. Decorate the top with the reserved 2 crushed cannoli, orange zest, chocolate chips and pistachios.

Aubergines with Maltese Style Panza...

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Cut the aubergine in half lengthwise. Cut the flesh, criss-cross with a sharp knife and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the olive oil and bake or grill until soft. Meanwhile, cut the ftiras in half, spread with the tomato paste, drizzle generously with the olive oil and cut into neat dice. Season with salt and pepper and place on a baking tray and toast in the oven at 150°C. Bake until crunchy on the outside and slightly soft inside. Cut the tomato into cubes, halve the cherry tomatoes and place into a bowl. Add in the cucumber and onion and mix well before adding in the tuna, gardiniera’ and basil leaves. Mix in the crusty bread pieces before serving. Place the aubergines onto serving plates, top up with the tuna-bread mixture. Serve with the peppered gbejniet crumbled on top and a good drizzle of olive oil.

Spiced bacon and 3 bean casserole w...

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Start this recipe by frying the bacon in a pan to brown all over. Add in the onion and garlic and cook together for 2 minutes. Add in the spices and diced peppers and continue to cook for 3 minutes. Add in the tomato concentrate, cook for 1 minute then splash in the red wine to evaporate. Mix in the Worcestershire sauce, mustard, polpa and stock and cook together for 10 – 15 minutes. When ready, add in the baked beans with their sauce, the 2 types of drained beans and mix together well. Make up the flavoured couscous and warm the whole meal pittas. Serve the bean casserole with the couscous and the pitta cut into wedges.

Beef stew in red wine

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In a deep pan, heat the margarine and olive oil. Add the Mayor Diced Onions and the minced garlic and gently pan fry whilst stirring constantly. Coat the meat pieces in flour and fry them in the pan with the onions and garlic. Add the smoked paprika, carrots and Mayor Sliced Mushrooms.Stir well and continue cooking for a few mminutes. Add the wine and water. Place all the contents of the pan into a casserole and cook in a warm oven (180C) for around 45 minutes.When the meat is tender, serve garnished with marjoram.

In a deep pan, heat the margarine and olive oil. Add the Mayor Diced Onions and the minced garlic and gently pan fry whilst stirring constantly. Coat the meat pieces in flour and fry them in the pan with the onions and garlic. Add the smoked paprika, carrots and Mayor Sliced Mushrooms.Stir well and continue cooking for a few mminutes. Add the wine and water. Place all the contents of the pan into a casserole and cook in a warm oven (180C) for around 45 minutes.When the meat is tender, serve garnished with marjoram.

Oxtail

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In a deep pan, heat the olive oil and gently pan fry the Mayor Diced Onions and garlic. Add the flour. In an oven dish place the oxtail and cook in the oven until it slightly browns but not cooked completely. In the meantime, add the Mayor Polpa, beer, cloves, mixed spice and paprika to the onion mixture and stir well. Add the Spoon Stock and stir again. Allow to cook on a very low flame. Pour the sauce into an oven-proof casserole. Add the meat and cook in the oven for around 100 minutes at 170oc.

Beef Curry

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In a deep pan, melt the butter together with the olive oil. Add the Mayor Diced Onions and carrots and gently pan-fry them. Add the curry powder and Three Hills Kunserva. Stir and cook for a few minutes until the curry amalgamates with the sauce. Add the beef and brown in the mixture, on a low flame. While the meat is cooking add the flour and mix well. Cook for a few minutes stirring constantly. Add the Spoon Stock and cover. Allow to simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the apple pieces, stir and continue simmering for a further 20 minutes until meat is tender. Serve with cooked rice.

Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

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In a pan, gently fry the Mayor Diced Onions and garlic in margarine and olive oil. Add some chopped sage and a couple of bay leaves. When the onions soften, around 1-2 minutes, add the wine and Provista Sugu and stir. Cook on medium heat for around 5-7 minutes. In a large bowl, put the minced beef and bacon. Add the parsley, eggs, Hanini Gibniet and season. Stir the mixture thoroughly, making sure that all the ingredients are well integrated together. Take a spoonful of the mixture and form into small balls between the palms of your hands. Keep doing this until all the mixture is used. In the meantime, prepare a pot of boiling water on the hob. Coat the meatballs with semolina and place in the boiling water, Cook for around 20 minutes. Scoop out the meatballs from the water and add them to the tomato sauce. Continue cooking on a low flame for around 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Chicken and Leek Pie

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Cut the chicken into bite size chunks, season with salt and pepper. Shallow fry the chicken pieces in a spoon of hot melted butter until browned. Next stir in the bacon, leeks and mushrooms, sprinkle with rosemary and nutmeg. Splash with white wine, allow simmering, mix in the spinach and bind with enough white sauce. Transfer the mixture into an ovenproof casserole dish. Mix the mashed potatoes with the butter, cheeses and parsley, season to taste, beat in the yolks. Spread the mash potatoes over the chicken mixture and bake in a moderately hot oven until the mash is golden.

Chocolate Gateaux

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Heat the oven at a temperature of between 160 and 180 degree. Grease 2 cake dishes of around 20cm diameter. Mix all ingredients excluding the water, the double cream and the chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Mix well together by a hand blender till consistency is mixed well. Start adding the boiling water a bit by bit until consistency is well mixed and is runny. Add the mixture in the bowls and bake in oven for around 25-35 minutes till well cooked. Let cool down completely. For the icing, melt the chocolate bar in a small pot on low flame and add the double cream. When chocolate is melted remove from the heat and mix with a blender under consistency is slightly thicker. Let cool down completely for around 1 to 2 hours until well thick. Add a thick layer between the 2 cakes and cover the outside of both cakes with the mixture.

Colourful Bruschetta

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Slice the bread in thick slices. Drizzle some olive oil and grill on a pan or in oven. In a separate bowl, drain the Mayor Cherry Tomatoes and add the mozzarella balls and roughly cut basil leaves. When bread is done and still warm, top with the tomato mixture and drizzle some more olive oil.

Bacon Wrapped Chicken Drumsticks wi...

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Place the onion in a thick bottom saucepan together with the vinegar, chili flakes, brown sugar and the spices. Pour over the tinned fruit cocktail mix including the syrup and the raisins and bring to the boil. Lower to a simmer and continue to cook until mixture is thick and syrupy. Stir in the cashew nuts and sesame seeds. Trim excess fat from the chicken drumsticks and cut deep slit in the flesh through to the bone. Marinade with smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, rosemary, honey and a spoon of olive oil. Roll with the bacon slices and allow to marinate, preferably overnight. When ready to cook, bake the drumsticks covered for 20 minutes in a hot oven at 200°C, remove the foil and continue cooking until the chicken is crispy and cooked through. Serve with the Fruit chutney and the side.

Maltese Sausage and pumpkin risotto

Sauté the onion, celery, garlic, and sausage in butter until softened without browning. Add the rice still for 2 minutes on low heat then pour in the wine and bring to the boil. Add the warm stock and simmer until liquid is almost absorbed and rice is almost cooked. Add the pumpkin and rosemary and mix well, continue cooking until rice is cooked through. Add the tomato cream and simmer for a few more minutes, adjust seasoning and serve with mascarpone on top.

Ricotta Ravioli with Lemon and Oliv...

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Heat a knob of butter in a pan and sauté the onion and garlic until lightly browned. Add in the olives, thyme and tomatoes and sauté for 2 more minutes. Splash in the white wine, stock and simmer by half. Add in the cream, lemon zest, juice and simmer again by half. Meanwhile, cook the ravioli in salted boiling later. Finish off the sauce by whisking in the remaining butter, season and toss in the ravioli.

Marmurat Tart

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Put the almonds in a heavy bottomed frying pan. Place over medium heat and stir often until the almonds turn golden brown. You can also roast the almonds in the oven. Preheat oven to 1800C, gas mark 4. Spread the almonds in one layer in a shallow baking dish. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they turn golden. Leave the almonds to cool completely before chopping them in medium sized pieces. Preheat the oven 1900C, gas mark 5. Put all the dry ingredients required for the filling into a bowl and stir them together. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry thinly and line a 24cm diameter, non-stick baking dish with it. If possible, use a loose bottomed tin. This will make it easier to remove the baked tart later on. Press the pastry lightly and firmly all over the base and sides of the tin, easing any overlapping pastry back down the sides, as it is important not to stretch this bit too much. Trim the edges, leaving a small edge of pastry sticking over the edge of the baking dish to allow for shrinkage in the oven. Prick the base all over with a fork and spread some jam over the pastry. Spoon the filling into the pastry case and flat it with a palette knife or the back of a spoon. Bake for about 45 minutes and leave the tart to cool completely before removing it from the tin. Decorate with melted chocolate, almond or sugar paste, royal icing and candied cherries.

Roasted Leg of Lamb

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Cover the lamb with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and roughtly chopped sage. Add the water and the oil in the pan and place the meat. Cover with foil and cook in moderate oven for around 1 hour and 30 minutes. Uncover the lamb and cook for some more time until golden. Switch off oven and let set for at least 25minutes. Serve with potatoes, vegetables, gravy and some ready made mint sauce.

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganac...

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First will prepare the jelly. Grease a round cake dish of round 20cm and cover with cling film. Squeeze the 4 oranges and keep the rind for afterwards. Put the liquid in a medium sized pan and add the sugar. Place on low flame for sugar to dissolve. Meanwhile put the gelatine in some cold water for some time until it softens. After remove from the water, squeeze, and add to the orange juice. Mix well until it dissolves. Pour mixure into the dish pan and let set for at least 4 hours or overnight. Heat the oven on 140 – 160 degree celcium and cover a cake dish of diameter of 23cm with some cartaforn. Place butter, sugar, eggs, yogurt, flour and baking powder in a large bowl and mix well with an electric blender until you get a smooth consistency. Place mixture in pan and make sure the top is even. Bake in over for around 55 minutes or untill well cooked. When ready, wait for 15 minutes before removing the cake and let cool on cooling rack. For the ganache warm the cream in a small pan until hot. Add the milk and dark chocolate pieces until chocolate melts. Let cool completly. To complete the cake, place it on a cake stand and make sure to have smooth even surface. Warm the jam in the micorowave for a few seconds until consistency is liquidy. Use a basing brush to paste the top of the cake with the jam and afterwards spread the chocolate ganache with a palette. Let some of the chocolate to drizzle with the edges of the cake for a more professional look. Decorate with some grated orange peel and serve immediately.

Pulled Beef and Tomato Soup with To...

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Simmer the beef in 5 litres of water for 3 hours until soft. Remove the beef from the stock and add the tomatoes, tomato paste, carrots, celery, leek and simmer for 10 minutes. Pull the beef using 2 forks and add back into the stock. Bring to the boil then add in the tortellini and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove off the heat, add in the beans and kale, season with salt and pepper and allow to cook for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the baguette on a diagonal as thin as possible, spread with butter, sprinkle with oregano and grill until golden brown and serve on the side with the soup.

Salt Cod Salad

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The balance of salt cod, potatoes, onions, and fresh parsley makes this salad extremely tasty. Rinse any excess salt off the cod. Place the cod into a large bowl and cover it with cold water. Leave it to soak in the fridge for at least 24 hours, changing the water three to four times. If, upon tasting a small piece after allotted time has lapsed, the cod is still salty, soak it for a bit longer. Put the cod into a pan with the bay leaf and cover it with fresh, cold water. Bring it to just below boiling point over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and leave it to stand for about 10 minutes. Remove the cod from the water and leave it to cool, setting the water aside. Once cooled, remove the cod’s skin and any bones and flake the flesh with a fork. Place it in a large bowl. Peel and quarter the potatoes and cook them, over medium-high heat in the poaching water previously put aside, for about 15 minutes or until tender. DON’T OVERCOOK THEM. Drain, allow to cool slightly and then add them to the cod. Wash, peel and finely chop the leeks. Add them to the cod and potatoes. Add the sliced tomato and mix gently together. Wash and trim the parsley, discarding the stems. Dry and finely chop the leaves. Add the chopped parsley leaves to the potatoes and cod. Combine the oil, vinegar, garlic and pepper in a bowl. Whisk the vinaigrette until the ingredients are thoroughly blended. Toss the salad with the vinaigrette until all the ingredients are coated. Transfer the salad to a platter and garnish the edges with olives and wedges of hard boiled egg. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate until serving.

Whitebait Patties

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Roughly cut the fish. Peel and crush the garlic. Mix well together the egg yolk, crushed garlic, coriander and chopped parsley in a bowl. Add some flour, seasoning and the whitebait to this mixture. Mix until all the ingredients are well combined. Using your hands, shape the mixture into small, round patties. Put some semolina on a large, flat plate and pass these patties in it. Heat a frying pan on medium-high heat, and once heated, add the oil. Gently drop the raw patty into the hot oil. Fry the patties until they are a deep, golden colour, turning them to ensure that each side is done. Keep them in a warm place until they are ready to serve. Serve hot with lemon wedges, tartar sauce and a crisp, green salad.

Roughly cut the fish. Peel and crush the garlic. Mix well together the egg yolk, crushed garlic, coriander and chopped parsley in a bowl. Add some flour, seasoning and the whitebait to this mixture. Mix until all the ingredients are well combined. Using your hands, s

hape the mixture into small, round patties. Put some semolina on a large, flat plate and pass these patties in it. Heat a frying pan on medium-high heat, and once heated, add the oil. Gently drop the raw patty into the hot oil. Fry the patties until they are a deep, golden colour, turning them to ensure that each side is done. Keep them in a warm place until they are ready to serve. Serve hot with lemon wedges, tartar sauce and a crisp, green salad.

Marinated Beef Flank Steak with Chi...

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Prepare a marinade by whisking together the olive oil, orange juice, juice of 2 limes, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar and garlic cloves. Sprinkle the steak with salt and pepper and dip in the prepared marinade and allow to sit for 2 hours. Meanwhile, prepare the chimichurri salsa by mixing all of the ingredients together and put aside. When ready, grill the steak to your liking and serve topped with chimichurri salsa, jacket potatoes and sautéed mushrooms.

Stuffed Calamari

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Clean the calamari. Holding the body firmly, grasp the head and pull gently, twisting, if necessary, to pull the head away from the body without breaking the ink sac. The internal body and tentacles will come out with it. Cut the tentacles from the head just below the eyes. At the centre of the tentacles is a small beak. Squeeze to remove it and discard. Set aside the tentacles. If the recipe calls for ink, reserve it; otherwise, discard the head and ink sac. At the top of the body, there is a clear piece of cartilage. Pull it out and discard as well. If the squid has an outer, spotted, membrane-type skin, pull it off and discard too. Wash the tube carefully, inside and out, together with the tentacles under cold running water. Set the calamari aside to drain. Finely chop the tentacles and set them aside. Pit the olives, slice them into thin slivers and set them aside. Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic. Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan, add the onions and garlic and fry them gently until soft and golden. Preheat the oven 1790C, gas mark 3. Add the reserved squid tentacles and fry for a further 5 minutes, stirring often. Stuff the calamari with the mixture, allowing a little room for the stuffing to expand during cooking. Seal the ends with cocktail sticks. Lightly grease a baking dish with olive oil and place the stuffed calamari in it. Cook in the oven for about 45 minutes. Serve hot with tomato sauce.

Creamy Curried Chicken Pie

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To make the filling, heat the oil in a pan and sauté the sliced leeks, garlic and carrots together for 4 minutes. Add in the chicken breast, curry, thyme and season well with salt and pepper and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes to brown the chicken. Add in the gammon, mango chutney, curry sauce and cooking cream and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Remove off the heat, stir in the peas and transfer the mixture into a large buttered ovenproof dish. Roll out the puff pastry, cut into various sized strips and cover the pie in a lattice design, weaving the strips together. Brush with beaten egg, sprinkle over the cumin seeds and sesame seeds and bake in the oven at 200°C for 30 minutes or until the pastry is cooked and golden.

Rabbit Pie

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Chop the rabbit meat into 2 cm cubes. Heat a pan and brown the chicken in hot olive oil. Remove from the pan and add in the carrot, onions, celery and garlic to the same pan and cook till slightly browned. Stir in the herbs and spices and mix in the tomato paste, cooking for a further minute. Return the rabbit meat to the pan, pour in the wine and allow evaporation. Stir in the stock, 1 glass water, tomatoes and potatoes and simmer for 15 minutes. When ready, remove off the heat and stir in drained marrow fat peas. Meanwhile, line a 20cm pie dish with puff pastry, pour in the rabbit filling and cover again with puff pastry. Brush the top with beaten egg and bake in the oven at 175°C for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Octopus Stew

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For a really tender octopus, ask your fishmonger to prepare the octopus in a way that it’s ready for cooking. Once home, place it in the freezer for at least 3 weeks before cooking. Defrost the octopus and rinse it thoroughly, then chop it into bite-sized pieces.  Fill a saucepan with water and bring it to a boil.  Cook the octopus for about 20 minutes. Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan and quickly fry the onions and garlic until they are golden. Lower the heat and add the tomatoes, olives, capers, tomato paste and lemon zest.  Mix well.  Add some water and leave to simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the octopus pieces from water and add them to the tomato mixture.  Add the marjoram and basil and half of the wine.  Cover the pan and leave to simmer over low heat for at least 1 hour. Add the potatoes, peas and the rest of the wine. Continue cooking, always on low heat, for another ½ hour. Check the octopus for tenderness and keep on cooking until it is done.  Take care that the stew doesn’t boil dry.  Add some hot water should this be the case. Check for seasoning before serving. Serve with fresh, Maltese, crusty bread.

Maltese Trifle

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Begin by preparing the custard. Put ¾ of the milk and sugar in a casserole. Put it on a moderate heat until it starts to boil. Dilute the custard in the remaining milk and add it to the boiled milk. Cook for a few minutes, stirring all the time. Remove from heat and leave it to cool. Slice the sponge cake thickly and cover the bottom of a large serving dish with the cut slices. Prepare the strawberry jelly, following the instructions on the packet, using only 2/3 of the amount of water indicated. Pour the jelly mixture over the sponge slices and let them soak. Either add the custard immediately, or else wait until the sponges are well soaked with the jelly. Put the trifle aside until the custard settles. Cream together the fresh cream and the ricotta in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and liqueur and mix well. Spread the ricotta mixture over the custard. Decorate with cherries, halved walnuts or roasted almonds.

Lenten Almond Sweet Kwareżimal

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Lightly toast or roast the almonds. Leave them to cool completely and grind them coarsely.  Put some aside for sprinkling on top of the kwareżimal. Sift the flour in a large mixing bowl. Add the almonds, sugar, grated orange rind, orange flower water, ground cloves and egg whites. Knead lightly until the ingredients form a soft dough. Add some water if the dough is very stiff.  Be careful about the dosage as the dough should not be soft;  otherwise, it will flatten during baking. Preheat the oven 1900C, gas mark 5. Lightly wet your hands and start forming the dough into ovals.  Each piece should be approximately 16cm long, 5cm wide and about 2cm thick. Lightly grease a baking tray, or line it with baking paper. Place the kwareżimal on the baking tray and make a criss-cross pattern on each surface with a sharp pointed knife. Bake for about 20-25 minutes

 The kwareżimal slabs should still be soft once they are removed from the oven but will harden up on cooling.  Do not make the mistake of leaving them in the oven until they harden. 

Eventually, they will become as hard as marble and are inedible! 

While still hot, spread the kwareżimal with Maltese honey and press bits of chopped, roasted almonds on top of it.

Upside Down Fruit Cocktail Cake

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Beat eggs with the caster sugar and salt until fluffy. Sift the flour and baking powder and stir in the mixture. Open the tin of fruit cocktail and pour the fruit and the syrup into the cake batter. Pour into a greased 9 inch square cake tin, sprinkle with the walnuts and the extra 2 tbsp. brown sugar and bake at 175°C for approximately 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre of the cake. Allow cooling and serve with whipped cream.

Mexican Style Tranche

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Cut the puff pastry in a rectangle shape and prick the pastry by using a fork, utilize the extra pastry to make a border on the edges. Add a little milk or cream to the egg yolk so you can use it to brush the pastry. Bake the pastry in a preheated oven at 190°C until the pastry is browned, then remove from the oven and allow to cool. Meanwhile, heat a pan with a little oil and brown the onion, ginger, and spices. Add in the mince, season well with salt and pepper and toss until cooked through. Finally add the beans, herbs and caponata, mix well and remove from heat. Fill the tranche and sprinkle the cheese on, bake at 180 until browned and serve.

Artichoke and Goat Cheese Tortallac...

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To make the pasta dough, mix together the dry ingredients then add the eggs and olive oil, adjust with warm water and mix together well to get the right consistency. Allow to rest covered with cling film while you prepare the filling. Heat the salted butter in a pan and sauté the onion, garlic, fennel and lemon pepper until softened. Add in the chopped artichokes, thyme, season with salt and pepper and continue to cook on very low heat for 10 minutes. Allow to cool down slightly then blend the artichoke mixture into a paste in a food processor. Allow to cool down completely the mix with the ricotta cheese and goat cheese, adjust seasoning and place into a piping bag. Roll out the ravioli dough with a pasta machine, cut the dough in large circles and pipe the mixture just off the middle, brush the edges of the dough and close to form the tortellaci. Keep the tortellacl on a small dish dusted with semolina, cover and keep in the fridge. On very low heat sauté the garlic and walnuts together with a knob of butter until the butter is lightly browned. Pour in the wine and simmer, then add the cooking cream and reduce by half. Cook the tortellaci in boiling salted water, drain and serve immediately drizzled with the walnut sauce.

Stuffed Paccheri

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Wash and stud the aubergine with a fork, brush with olive oil and brush with olive oil, roast until the aubergine is soft. Allow cooling slightly, cut in half and scoop out the pulp, mash the pulp and allow cooling completely. Mix together with the ricotta, egg, chopped herbs, prawns, salt and pepper. Cook paccheri in boiling salted water according to packet instructions. Refresh under cold running water and drizzle with some oil in order not to stick. Fill the paccheri with the aubergine filling and place on a baking tray, brush with melted butter and sprinkle liberally with bread crumbs and grated cheese. Bake in a hot oven until breadcrumbs are golden. Serve on warmed tomato and cream sauce.

Fillet of Beef with Coffee and Mapl...

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Season the meat with salt and pepper and seal well from both sides in butter and olive oil with 1 clove of crushed garlic. Transfer the beef to an oven dish and finish off in the oven at 100°C to a core temperature of 55°C (use probe to guide you) In the same pan, caramelize the maple syrup then pour in the coffee, Worcestershire sauce and simmer by half. Boil the potatoes until soft then mash together with the cream, horseradish and a knob of butter. Season well with salt and pepper. Blanch the mange tout in salted water, toss in butter and season well. Allow the beef to rest for 2-3 minutes before serving on top of the mash with the mange tout and coffee reduction.

Veal Scallopini

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Prepare the meat. Place the milk and the eggs in a bowl and mix well together. Add some salt and pepper. Prepare 2 large flat plates. Place the flour on one of the plates and the breadcrumbs on the other one. Cover the veal with flour first and then dunk in the milk mixture. After pass from the breadcrumbs. Make sure the meat is well covered. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pan and add the vegetable oil. Fry the veal for around 2 minutes on each side. Serve immediately with some lemon slices and a salad.  

Tortellini with Cherry Tomato Sauce

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Peel the garlic and finely chop. Wash the tomatoes and slice in half. Leave some tomatoes for decoration. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and cook the garlic together with the Mayor Diced onions for a couple of minutes. Lower the flame and add the tomatoes and the basil leaves. Add some salt and pepper and slowly cook for around 25 minutes while stirring every now and then. Meanwhile cook the tortellini according to the instructions on the packet. Drain. Add the cooked tortellini with the sauce and mix. Serve and decorate with some more cherry tomatoes and fresh basil.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

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 Place the cornflour in a deep bowl. Cube the chicken breast and mix with the cornflour. Eliminate any extra cornflour. In a large pan, heat the olive oil and lightly fry the chicken breasts from both sides. When the chicken is cooked place on a plate with some napkins to absorb extra oils. Meanwhile, mix the pinapple pieces with the cubes, the wine vinegar, Kunserva and water in a small pan and cook for a couple of minutes on low flame. In a new pan, add the cooked chicken and the sauce, add some salt and pepper and cook together for another further 15 minutes. Serve the sauce on the cooked rice.

Beef wraps with Colored Peppers

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Peel the onions and slice. Warm the oil in a large skillet and lightly cook the onion. Add the minced beef and cook while stirring continuously. Cook thoughouly until well cooked. Add the Kunserva and the red kidney beans, paprika and some salt and pepper. Mix and cook for some more time. Slice the colored peppers and add to the pan. Cook for forthe 5 minutes on low flame. Warm the tortilla wraps in a microwave or on a non stick pan for a couple of seconds. Top each wrap with the mixtre and roll. Serve immediately with some salad and chips.