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Celebrity Maltese Chefs

Bones of the Dead

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.