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.
Pilaf is a rice dish whose recipe usually involves cooking in stock or broth, adding spices, and other ingredients such as onions, vegetables or meat, and employing some technique for achieving cooked rice grains that do not adhere to each other.
Wash the asparagus thoroughly taking care not to bruise the tips. Dry between layers of kitchen paper so that it absorbs all the water. In a large pan, lightly pan fry the Mayor Diced onions and minced garlic cloves in the butter. Add the dry rice to the onions and coat with the butter. Stir continuously for around 2 minutes on medium heat. Lower the heat add the Spoon Stock and mix well. Allow to cook for 20 minutes. Add the asparagus, season and mix well. Continue cooking on low heat until the rice is cooked and tender. If you notice that the liquid is evaporated and the rice is still not tender enough, you may add some hot water so that it continues to steam. Add a tablespoon of butter and the lemon juice to the cooked rice and mix well. Sprinkle the Hanini grated Gibniet over the rice and serve. This dish may be garnished with lemon slices and spinach leaves.
Boil the water and add to the Chicken Spoon Stock and mix well to make a stock. Pour into a large frying pan and keep it on a low heat so that the stock gently boils. In another thick-bottom frying pan, melt the butter together with the olive oil. Add the Mayor Diced Onions and sliced mushrooms and cook for around 4-5 minutes on low heat. Add the rice and coat with the oil and butter until the rice grains are all glistening. Cook for around 1 minute and add a ladleful of Spoon Stock. When the stock evaporates add another ladle of stock while stirring constantly. Keep on adding the stock and stirring constantly until all the stock is used and the rice is cooked. If the rice is not fully cooked by the time the stock finishes you may add a ladle of hot water to make sure the rice is fully ready. Risotto dishes need constant attention while cooking and will take around 25-30 minutes to cook. It is important to keep the heat constant so that the rice does not overcook and becomes mushy (on very low heat) or cooks on the outside but remains hard on the inside (too high heat). After 20 minutes of cooking, add the liquid in smaller amounts so that you do not use too much liquid unnecessarily. It is important to keep stirring throughout the cooking time. The rice is cooked when the grains remain firm but not adhered to each other. The result will resemble rice cooked in a creamy sauce. Add the remaining butter and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Bones of the Dead
Put the ground almonds, sugar, egg whites, essences and grated rind of a lemon in a large mixing bowl. Do not add too much almond essence because it will give the filling a bitter taste. Mix the ingredients well together until you obtain a fairly dry paste. Preheat the oven 1900C, gas mark 5. Put the pastry on a lightly floured tabletop, roll it out and cut it into oblongs. Put some almond paste in the centre of each oblong. Wrap the pastry around the filling and mould it into the traditional bone shape. Tuck it neatly around, trimming off extra bits. Put the ‘bones’ on a baking tray that has been lined with baking paper. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the pastry turns golden brown. Remove the ‘bones’ from the baking tray and leave them to cool. Cover them with white royal icing when they are completely cold.
In a large frying pan, gently pan fry the Mayor Onion in olive oil stirring constantly. Add the dried rice to the mixture just as the onion Is turning golden. Mix well and add a little turmeric (this will give colour to the risotto). Lower the heat and cook for around 7 minutes. Add the Spoon Stock to the mixture and stir well. If the liquid evaporates you may add some more hot water to the recipe. After cooking the rice for around 25 minutes add the Mayor Garden Peas, bell pepper and the shellfish. Season to taste and serve hot.
Preheat the oven 2000C, gas mark 6. Lightly grease and dust with flour a baking dish having a 23cm diameter. Combine the eggs, sugar and vanilla essence in a large mixing bowl. Beat for about 10 minutes on the highest speed, until the mixture is white and thick. Use either an electric hand beater or else an electric mixer in order to have a really light sponge. If you beat the eggs and sugar using a hand whisk, you will never have the same result. Sift the flour and, using a large metal spoon, lightly fold HALF of it into the mixture.Using a metal spoon, add the rest of the flour, half at a time, folding gently, in a figure of eight movement. Pour the mixture in the baking dish.Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the sponge is well-risen and feels firm to the touch.Allow the sponge to stand for 5 minutes before turning it on to a wire rack to cool.
Bring some water to the boil in a large saucepan and, once it’s boiling, add the eggs, one by one, into the pan and bring back to the boil. Boil for 1 minute, then turn the heat off and leave the eggs to stand in the pan for 12 minutes. While you’re waiting for the eggs to cook, fill a large bowl with very cold water, and throw in a handful of ice cubes if you have them. As soon as the eggs have had their 12 minutes, spoon them into the cold water and leave for 15 minutes – no longer – before peeling patiently and carefully. Halve the eggs lengthways and gently prise the yolk out of each half and pop them into a mixing bowl. Place the neatest looking 18 halved whites on a plate or two. Add the mayonnaise, a teaspoon of English mustard, the salt and paprika to the egg yolks, and shake a few drops of Hot Pepper Sauce on top. Stir and mash with a fork, then blend with a stick blender or in a food processor. Add the oil and blend again until smooth. It will be very thick. Check for seasoning and also taste to see if you want this hotter. I generally go up to 2 teaspoons of mustard and quite a bit more Tabasco, but it’s best to proceed slowly. Now, by hand, stir in as much of the water as you need to help form a piping consistency. Spoon the golden mixture into a piping bag with a star icing nozzle, making sure it is densely packed at the bottom of the bag. Then pipe away, filling the hollowed-out whites with golden rosettes. Or you can mound the yolk mixture using a pair of teaspoons. Sprinkle with paprika and chopped chives and serve with a flourish.
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
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.