Celebrity Maltese Chefs and Recipe Enthusiasts

Hot Honey-Glazed Gammon

Put the gammon and all the other ingredients, except those for the glaze, in your largest, deepest pot. Cover completely with cold water. Bring to the boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer with the lid slightly ajar and cook for 1 hr. Turn off the heat and leave in the liquid for 1 hr with the lid on.

Remove the gammon from the stock and set aside to cool a little (keep the stock and freeze it to use as a base for soup). Meanwhile, tip the honey, Pinto’s Pride hot sauce and chilli flakes into a small pan. Put over a medium heat and stir until it is all mixed and gently bubbling. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Once the gammon has cooled but still slightly warm, peel away the layer of skin on the top of the gammon joint leaving the fat remaining. Score the fat with a sharp knife in a criss-cross pattern. Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and line a large roasting tin that fits the gammon comfortably.

Put the gammon in the roasting tin and cover with the glaze all over, reserving some to glaze during cooking and at the end. Roast for 25 mins, glazing halfway through. Once cooked, it should be golden, slightly charred and sticky. Remove from the oven and glaze for a final time, then leave to rest for 20 mins. Serve with all the trimmings. Will keep well wrapped in the fridge for up to four days.

The Best Spaghetti Bolognese

Put a large saucepan on a medium heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil.

Add 4 finely chopped bacon rashers and fry for 10 mins until golden and crisp.

Reduce the heat and add Mayor Diced Onions, 2 carrots, 2 celery sticks, 2 garlic cloves and the leaves from 2-3 sprigs rosemary, all finely chopped, then fry for 10 mins. Stir the veg often until it softens.

Increase the heat to medium-high, add 500g beef mince and cook stirring for 3-4 mins until the meat is browned all over.

Add 2 cans of Mayor Pelati tomatoes, the finely chopped leaves from ¾ small pack basil, 1 tsp dried oregano, 2 bay leaves, 2 tbsp Three Hills Kunserva, 1 beef stock cube, 1 deseeded and finely chopped red chilli (if using), 125ml red wine and 6 halved cherry tomatoes. Stir with a wooden spoon, breaking up the plum tomatoes.

Bring to the boil, reduce to a gentle simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for 1 hr 15 mins stirring occasionally, until you have a rich, thick sauce.

Add the 75g grated Hanini Pekorin cheese , check the seasoning and stir.

When the bolognese is nearly finished, cook 400g spaghetti following the pack instructions.

Drain the spaghetti and either stir into the bolognese sauce, or serve the sauce on top. Serve with more grated cheese, the remaining basil leaves and crusty bread, if you like.

Roast Leg of Lamb with Basil &...

First, make the pesto. Put all the ingredients (except the olive oil and lemon juice) and a pinch of salt into the small bowl of a food processor. Pulse until very finely chopped. While the processor is on, drizzle the olive oil in to make a paste. Tip the pesto into a small bowl and stir in the lemon juice.

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Put the scored lamb leg in a large roasting tin and use half the pesto to generously coat the skin and flesh, pressing it between all the cracks for extra juiciness. Put the rest of the pesto in the fridge, covered with cling film, and remove just before serving.

Roast the lamb for 1 hr 45 mins. Check during cooking that it’s not drying out – if the base of the roasting tin starts to look dry, spread a little more pesto over the top of the lamb.

Remove the lamb from the tin, cover with foil and leave to rest for 30-40 mins before serving on lemon slices and fresh garden herbs, if you like. Carve at the table and serve with the remaining pesto to drizzle over.

Stuffed Pasta with Irkotta and Spin...

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Heat the oven to a temperature of 1800C, gas number 4. In a bowl, mix well the Irkotta until very creamy. Add the grated cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper and mix well together. Roughtly cut the cooked spinach leaves and add to the irkotta mixture. Add the beaten eggs and mix. Fill each pasta shell and set aside. Bring 1 large pot to a boil. Cover the sides of all pasta shells with the semolina and very gently add the past shells. The semolina is done in order to prevent the cheese mixture from coming out of the pasta shells. Leave the pasta ‘al dente’, it must not be fully cooked. In a separate oven dish, add the tomato sauce and gently add the pasta shells next to each other making sure the cheese area is looking upwards. Sprinkle the grated cheese, some salt and pepper and let cook for around 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Octopus Tagine

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Sautee the octopus in olive oil for a minute or two. Stir in the vegetables and spices, cook for further 2 minutes. Peel the orange and add to the octopus, squeeze in the juice, stir in tomato paste. Add in the sweet potatoes, cover with the stock and bring to the boil. Cover and set to simmer over a low heat or on in a tagine in a hot oven for approx. 35 min. Stir in the chickpeas and peas, chopped coriander to taste and a lime juice. Serve with extra lime wedges, coriander and crusty bread.

Black Pepper Chicken & Lemon Y...

Crush the peppercorns using a pestle and mortar. Add the grated garlic and ½ tsp salt, and mash to a thick paste. Stir in the turmeric and lemon juice, then set aside.

Sit the chicken in a dish, skin-side up, and evenly slash the skin all over. Rub the marinade all over the chicken so it’s completely coated, then cover and chill for at least 1 hr, or ideally overnight.

Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Transfer the chicken to a shallow roasting tray, skin-side up, and sit the garlic bulb alongside it. Drizzle the oil mostly over the chicken and a little over the garlic. Roast for 30 mins, then remove the garlic bulb from the tray and set aside. Continue to roast the chicken for 10-15 mins more, or until crisp-skinned and cooked all the way through. If you have a cooking thermometer, it should read at least 65C when inserted into the breast, and 70C in the thigh. Leave the chicken to rest, uncovered, for 10-15 mins in the tray.

Meanwhile, peel and squeeze the garlic from the roasted bulb into a bowl, then mix in Hanini yogurt. When the chicken has rested, lift it onto a board and stir all the resting pan juices into the yogurt. Taste the yogurt for seasoning, adding a bit more lemon juice if needed. Slice the chicken into pieces and serve scattered with coriander, if using, alongside the yogurt sauce, peppered yellow rice (see recipe, below) and lemon wedges on the side, if you like.

Healthy Halloween Stuffed Peppers

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Cut the tops off the peppers (keeping the tops to one side) and remove the seeds and any white flesh from inside. Use a small sharp knife to carve spooky Halloween faces into the sides. Chop any offcuts into small pieces and set aside. Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan for a few mins until golden and set aside. Heat the oil in the pan and heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cook Mayor Diced Onions in the oil for 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic, pepper offcuts and aubergine and cook for another 10 mins, until the veggies are soft. Add a splash of water if the pan looks dry. Season. Empty can of quinoa and separate with a fork. Mix the Il-Helwa with some hot water and add to the quinoa to worm up. Drain and add the lemon zest, basil and pine nuts. Fill each pepper with the grain mixture. Replace the lids, using cocktail sticks to secure them in place, and put the peppers in a deep roasting tin with the carved faces facing upwards. Cover with foil and bake for 35 mins, uncovered for the final 10. The peppers should be soft and the filling piping hot.

Roast Pumpkin with Cream

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Heat oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Cut lid off pumpkin and scoop out seeds and strands. Put the pumpkin on a baking tray. Meanwhile, heat the cream, milk, garlic and most of the thyme, with plenty of seasoning. When hot, pour into the pumpkin and stir in 50g of Hanini Pekorin cheese. Put on the lid.

Bake for 1½ hrs, take from the oven, then turn up the heat to 200C/180C fan/ gas 6. Remove the lid, sprinkle with pepper and the rest of the cheese, then bake for 15 mins more until golden. Scatter over the remaining thyme leaves. Scoop the pumpkin flesh into bowls with the cheesy cream and serve with crusty bread as a starter.