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Celebrity Maltese Chefs

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.

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.

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.

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.

Squid Ink Crespelle with sea bass a...

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To prepare the pancake batter, mix the egg and the Nero di sepia together in a small bowl. Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl, make a well in the center and pour in the egg mixture and milk. Whisk until smooth before whisking in the melted butter. Cook the pancakes in a greased non-stick pan and put aside. Meanwhile, chop the sea bass and prawns and quickly cook in a pan with a few drops of olive oil together with the onion. Season with salt and pepper then add in the grated zucchini, splash with the wine and finish off with the chopped parsley. Use this stuffing to fill the pancakes and fold into 4 to seal. Place into a large ovenproof dish, cover with foil and place into the oven at 100’c to keep warm. To make the sauce, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a pan and fry the garlic, chili and clams together. Swirl in the white wine and cook till the clams pop open. Remove the shellfish from the pan, stir in the sauce and bring to the boil. Serve the warm crespelle with the creamy sauce garnished with the clams.

Recipe by Aceline Limited

Spaghetti with Tomatoes & Aube...

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Wash the aubergine. Discarding the top part, cut it into small cubes and pan fry it in a frying pan with some olive oil. Remove the aubergine from the oil and place on kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil. In a medium-sized pot, gently fry the garlic in a little olive oil. Stir whilst cooking so that the garlic does not brown too much and does not stick to the pot.