Celebrity Maltese Chefs
Renowned Maltese Chef Anton B Dougall has been on the culinary scene since the early 70’s. He was one of the first pioneers in the local scene to create a cooking club “Klabb tat-Tisjir”, which is still very active till today. With his monthly recipe cards, numerous cooking books and television exposure, Mr Dougall has revolutionized Malta’s cooking by documenting both traditional recipes and also creating innovative ones using quality local ingredients.
Anton B. Dougall has been an avid chef for over 50 years and his contributions to the Malta’s cooking culture should be highly merited.
Pilot fish in tomato sauce
In a large flat plate or container put some flour and coat the fish with the flour all over. In a large frying pan fry the fish, turning occasionally, until they turn golden all over. Remove the fish and place on a plate with kitchen paper so that it absorbs the oil. Add the Mayor Polpa. Wipe the frying pan you used to cook the fish and add some more olive oil. Pan fry the garlic and onions until the garlic starts to brown and the onions turn translucent. Add the Three Hills Kunserva and mix together with the onion mixture. Add the tomatoes and mix well. Reduce the heat and continue cooking for around 30 minutes, occasionally stirring. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas mark 4. Add the capers to the sauce and stir in. Season to taste. Place the fish in an oven proof dish and cover with the tomato sauce. Place in the oven and cook for around 40 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges and vegetables of your choice.
Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5. Line a large baking sheet with parchement paper. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the bicaronate of soda, cocoa powder and ginger and mix well together. Add the margarine and work it well into the flour mixture until you achieve bread crumb consistency. Add the brown sugar and mix well.
Add the beaten egg and golden syrup and knead the mixture until you form a dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and seal it properly and allow to rest for around 20-30 minutes. If more convenient you may prepare the dough a day before and place it in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. To prepare the cookies, dust your work surface with flour and roll out your dough with a rolling pin to around 3mm all-over thickness. Use cookie shapes to cut out shapes in the dough and place them on the lined baking sheet. Cook in the oven for around 15-20 minutes. The dough should be still soft and pliable when taken out of the oven. Allow to cool completely before removing from the baking tray. You may decorate the cookies to your liking or just enjoy them as they are.
Chicken and Vegetable Risotto
In a large, deep frying pan heat up the oil and gently fry the onions and garlic while stirring constantly. Lower the heat and add the peppers and mushroom and fry for a few minutes. Add the chicken pieces and continue cooking the mixture together untill the chicken is cooked all over.
Add the rice and mix well with the ingredients, on low heat, stir well and continue cooking for around 6 minutes until the rice is coated all over and turns transluscent. Add the Pinto’s Pride Chicken Spoon Stock a little bit at a time. Stir constantly. When the stock is absorbed add more stock, always a little at a time. Keep on adding stock until the rice is done. You might not need to use all the stock or you might need more liquid for the rice to be ready – if you need to add more liquid add some hot water, not cold water, as this will otherwise effect the rice. Towards the end of the cooking, add the Mayor Peas.
When the rice is cooked and the mixture is well amalgamated, season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Homemade Chicken Pie
Clean the leeks and chop into medium sized pieces. Remove the rind of the bacon and chop into small to medium sized pieces. Cut the chicken breast into small to medium sized pieces too. Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5. In a frying pan melt the margarine and gently fry the bacon and the leeks together, making sure that the leeks do not burn. When the bacon is cooked through, add the chicken and continue frying, stirring continuously, until the chicken is browned all over. Reduce the heat to a very low flame and add the flour, mixing the mixture well. Gradually add the Pinto’s Pride Chicken Spoon Stock whilst stirring. Season to taste. Give the mixture one last stir and remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
In the meantime grease, a round oven-proof dish of diameter 23cm, with a little bit of oil and dust it with flour or more conveniently use baking paper to line the dish. If using baking paper, lightly wet the paper and squeeze off any excess water, before placing it on the dish so that it remains in place.
Lightly dust your kitchen top with flour and roll out half of the pastry in a circular shape. Line the bottom of your oven dish with the pastry. Fill the pastry with the cold chicken mixture.
Roll out the second half of your pastry and place over the pie filling. Gently press the top pastry to the bottom pastry with the end of a fork to seal your pie. Trim off any excess pastry on the outside of your oven dish. Baste the pastry with the beaten egg and sprinkle the pastry with sesame seeds (if using). Prick the top of the pastry with the fork so that any excess steam can escape from inside the pie, allowing the pastry to crisp up. Bake in the oven for around 30-40 minutes or until you see that the top of the pastry has turned golden all over. Allow to cool before removing the pastry from the dish. Serve with vegetables or salad.
Note: you may add 200g chopped mushrooms to the chicken mixture if you like.
Sweet Cannoli Shells
Sieve the flour and add rub in margarine until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add the red wine a bit by bit and enough water to form a dough. Working the dough using your hands until soft. Cover with stretch and seal and set aside to rest. On a flat surface, add some flour and spread the dough as thin as it can be. Cut out circular shapes and roll around the cannoli rollers. Before closing the edges together add some water to make sure the dough does not open while cooking. Heat the oil in a deep pan and bring oil to a boil. Gently fry the dough a roll after each other. Cook until dough is nicely golden. When ready, place on some tissue paper to remove excess oils. In the meantime, in an electric mixture, beat the ricotta with the icing sugar until consistency is smooth. Add the chocolate chips and fill the cannoli shells. Decorate with the cherries and almonds at the side and some extra chocolate chips.
Recipe by Anton B. Dougall
Sweet Apricot Tart
Heat the oven at 180°C or gas number 4. Grease a flat dish with some margarine or else line with a piece of baking paper. In a mixing bowl, mix the margarine with the sugar. You can use a mixer or else a regular bowl and use a hand blender. Beat well until mixture is creamy and the sugar has blended well. Slowly, add the eggs. Add the ground almonds, the lemon grind, flour and the roughly chopped almonds. Beat well together. After, add the candied fruit and mix gently with a wooden spoon. Divide the pasty into two parts. Roll 1 half and carefully layer it on the dish. Spread a layer of jam on the pastry making sure to have an even layer of jam. Sprinkle some almonds. Roll the remaining part of the pasty and place on top. Close well from the edges. You are free to shape and decorate the pie with any left over pasty. Cook in over from around 45-55 minutes. When be cooled down, take out from dish.
Traditional Almond Biscuits
Switch on the oven to 1800 C or gas number 4. In a bowl sieve the the flour with the baking powder . Add the whole almonds, the vanilla essense and the lemon grind and mix well. Beat 2 of the egg yolks with the eggs together with the sugar. Mix the two mixtures together and form a dough. Divide the mixture into 2 and form 2 flat rolls of around 5cm long and 1cm of height. Place a piece of baking paper on an oven proof dish and bake the rolls for around 10 to 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and gently slice into small pieces to form the biscuits. Bake again in oven for a further 10 minutes.