Kawlata

Ricetta bil-Malti

Ingredjenti

  • xikel tal-majjal
  • zalzett tal-malti
  • 1 basla, imqaxxra u imqatta
  • 2 qarabaghli, imqattghin
  • bicca qargha hamra, imqaxxra u imqatta
  • 1 patata kbira, imqaxxra u imqatta
  • 2 karrotti
  • nofs kabocca, imqatta
  • 1 cube tal-haxix
  • mgharfa kunserva
  • ftit zejt taz-zebbuga

Metodu

  1. Sahhan borma kemmxejn kbira fuq nar medju w zid ftit zejt. Waddab il-basla, il- qarabaghli, il-qargha hamra, il-karrotti, il-patata u il-kabocca w hawwad sew. Poggi l-ghatu fuq il-borma u hallihom isiru ghal madwar 10 minuti.
  2. Imla il-borma bl-ilma kiesah, daqs nofsha. Zid ix-xikel u z-zalzett tal-malti u wara kompli imla il-borma bl-ilma kiesah sakemm jitghatta kollox. Hawwad mgharfa kunserva gol-borma stess u zid il-cube tal-haxix.
  3. Erga ghatti il-borma bl-ghatu u sajjar sa ma jibda jbaqbaq. Nehhi l-ghatu u naqqas in-nar ghal l-iktar fjamma baxxa u halli kollox itektek ghal madwar siegha u nofs/saghtejn. Jekk tara li l-likwidu qed jonqos, tista izzid iktar ilma kemm tixtieq.

Suggeriment: Met tigi biex isservi, ahna nhobbu inzidulha ftit melh u bzar kif ukoll naqra parmeggjan mahkuk.

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Coconut Balls

A very simple and easy to do treat enjoyable throughout the year but we love doing these at Christmas time so kids can help and it will be a fun and not-so-messy-family-day in the kitchen!

Ingredients

  • 500g plain disgestive biscuits
  • 400g condensed milk
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • some desiccated coconut
  • a handful of walnuts, crushed
  • 1 shot of Brandy or Vermouth

 

Method

  1. Using an electric blender, crush the biscuits until the are almost fine crumbs.
  2. Add cocoa, shot brandy and condensed milk. Give it a good mix so everything is combined well.
  3. Scoop up a spoonful of the mixture and roll it into a ball between the palms of your hands. Mixture will be sticky but don’t worry keep on rolling until you get the desired ball shape. Roll them into the coconut and serve!

Kawlata – A Traditional Maltese Soup

This traditional Maltese vegetable soup is very popular especially when winter is approaching. It is a mouthful and deliciously combined with pork and sausage. It MUST go on your weekly winter menu!

Ingredients

  • pork shank (xikel)
  • maltese sausage
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 courgettes, diced
  • a wedge of pumpkin, peeled and diced
  • 1 large potato, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1/2 a small white cabbage, cut into squares
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • dash of olive oil

Equipment

  • Large pot
  • Wooden spoon

Method

  1. Heat up a large pot on medium heat and add some olive oil. Add the onion, courgettes, pumpkin, carrots, potato and cabbage and give them a good stir. Cover the pot and leave vegetables to sweat for about 10 minutes.
  2. Fill up the pot half way with cold water, add the shank and sausage and continue to fill up the pot with water until it covers everything. Stir in a tbsp of tomato puree and add the vegetable stock cube. Give all a gentle stir.
  3. Cover the pot again and bring to the boil. Once boiling, uncover the pot, lower the heat and let it simmer for about 1.5 – 2 hrs. You can add water along the way if you think it is reducing a lot and you prefer it more watery.

Top tip: When serving, we like to give it some seasoning with sea salt and crushed black pepper corns plus some grated Parmesan cheese, oh yes please!

 

 

 

 

Fresh Fig and Avocado Salad with a Manuka Honey Dressing

Even though the weather is getting cooler, there is always an appetite for a healthy colourful salad. Being it the main dish or a side salad, it can be enjoyed at anytime of the day!

Ingredients

  • a bunch of fresh mixed lettuce leaves, we used a mix of rocket and purple leaf lettuce
  • half an avocado, stoned and sliced
  • 1 fresh fig, peeled and quartered
  • 1 fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese, drained well and sliced
  • drizzle of manuka honey dressing (see below for recipe)
  • some pomegranate seeds

Equipment

  • Salad bowl
  • Small bowl for dressing
  • Colander
  • Spoon

Method

Simply set the base of the salad with your lettuce and spread the other ingredients all over, finishing with a drizzle of the manuka honey dressing and scattered pomegranate seeds. You can also add some sunflower seeds for more nutritional value.

Top Tip: The easiest way to clean a pomegranate is to half it and with the back of a spoon, tap its outer shell so seeds will fall easily.
Manuka Honey Dressing 
Mix all together the following ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons manuka honey
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 tsp lemon juice
  • 14 tsp dried mustard
  • salt and pepper

 

Easy Homemade Christmas Pudding

Already?! Yes!!!

It’s that time of the year when we start preparing our delicious Christmas Pudding. The earlier you do this, the better, so the flavours of all the dried fruits baked together with the spices, eggs, flour, and butter have time to mature.

Ingredients

  • 150g currants
  • 150g sultanas
  • 150g prunes
  • 175ml sherry
  • 100g plain flour
  • 125g bread crumbs
  • 150g vegetable suet
  • 150g dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 medium cooking apple (grated)
  • 2 tbsp honey

Equipment

  • Steamer
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Heat-proof basin
  • Spoon

Other

  • Cling film
  • Foil
  • Baking paper

Method

  1. Mix currants, sultanas and prunes in a bowl. Add sherry, cover with cling film and leave to soak for a week. Give them a stir every now and then.
  2. After a week, butter a heat-proof basin and mix remaining ingredients. Add soaked fruits and press it down. Cover with foil and steam for 5 hrs. When ready and cooled, remove foil and replace with a baking paper and cling film on top. Leave on the side (we place it inside a kitchen cupboard or on top of the fridge) until Christmas day. In the meantime you can uncover every now and then to pour in more sherry if you wish and cover again. christmas pudding
  3. On Christmas day, steam for another 3 hrs and serve.24129529_2129969667230555_9011306729294495_n

 

Veal Osso Buco

We cannot praise highly enough this easy Osso Buco recipe. If you have guests coming around or you are celebrating a special occasion or maybe you want to wow somebody, this recipe is a total winner! Being a very easy dish to make, we promise that you will be hyping for several days after as it is as succulent as it can get.
The veal is firstly given a nice brown colour whilst preparing some mirepoix which are then tossed into the dish together with the veal. We then add white wine, tomato puree, beef stock and let it braise in the oven for 1.5 hours.
For a better result we suggest that the juice released from the veal is passed trough a colander, then reduced and thickened with a bit of cornflour. Finally DO NOT FORGET TO EAT THE BONE MARROW INSIDE THE BONE, best bit of the whole dish!
Osso Buco – translated to literally “bone with a hole”.
Ok, so this really reminds me of my good old childhood food fun. We used to love eating its bone marrow (mudullun in Maltese) but not before blowing it out of the bone hole and seeing it splashed onto the plate, or elsewhere really!
Veal might not be the cheapest option for a budget meal and this particular recipe might take longer than what you want to do on a regular evening, however it really comes together nicely for that special occasion it would be a great treat for all the family.
Just a nicely cooked, delicate piece of meat which literally falls off the bone before you even dig into it!

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Ingredients – Serves 6

IMG_E3258[1].

  • 6 veal shanks with bone and marrow, about 250g each
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and roughly cut
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 medium carrots, washed and roughly cut
  • 3 celery stalks, washed and roughly cut
  • 1 medium leek, washed and roughly cut
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Few sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 142g tomato puree
  • 300ml white wine
  • 450ml hot water
  • 2 beef stock cubes
  • dash of oil
  • salt

Equipment

Other

  • Foil

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven on gas mark 3-4.
  2. Start making a few cuts along the fat lining of the veal by sliding the knife in gently. This is to prevent the veal from twisting upwards when cooking.
  3. Prepare a large frying pan on high heat, add some oil and salt.
  4. By the time the pan is getting hot, we can start preparing the mirepoix; roughly chop the carrots, onion, leek and celery. Add the bay leaf, thyme, rosemary and garlic as whole. Put all vegetables in a container and leave them on the side for now.
  5. Place the veal in the pan and leave to seal until it gets a nice brown colour. Turn the veal around and do the same for this side.
  6. Transfer the veal onto an oven proof dish and put it on the side for now. Leave the frying pan on the heat and add the mirepoix to cook for about 2-4 minutes.
  7. Give the vegetables a stir and add the tomato puree. Stir again and leave to cook as long as you can; the longer you cook it the more you reduce its acidity.
  8. Add the white wine and leave it to reduce by half.
  9. In the meantime prepare a deep oven proof dish and a large piece of foil, ready for later on.
  10. Once the wine is reduced, add the stock cubes and the hot water. Give everything another gentle stir.
  11. Transfer the mirepoix to your prepared dish and start placing the veal on top of it. Cover the whole dish with foil and make sure it is covered tightly so no vapour can escape. Place dish in oven and leave to cook for 1.5 – 2hrs.
  12. After 2hrs you can remove the dish from oven, place the veal in another dish and strain the gravy so you’ll get a smooth jus out of your mirepoix.IMG_E3254[1]
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Beer Butt Chicken

Probably the most tender roasted chicken you’ll ever get!

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 can of lager
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds or ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • olive oil

Equipment

  • Small bowl
  • Spoon
  • Large roasting tray

Method

  1. Preheat the oven on gas mark 6.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the fennel, cumin seeds and paprika, brown sugar and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
  3. Stir in 3 tbsp of oil until you get a paste, then drizzle all over the chicken, inside and out, using your hands to make sure it gets all over.
  4. Crack open the beer and pour half of it into a roasting tray (where you would have already prepared some sliced potatoes, carrots and onions and I also add some Maltese sausage), then lower the chicken’s cavity on to the top of the can so it looks as though the chicken is sitting on the can.
  5. Carefully sit the chicken in the roasting tray together with the vegetables.
    Drizzle some olive oil all over and add some water to the dish so you’ll have some nice gravy. You can also add some bacon on its ‘shoulders’ to give an extra taste.
  6. Place on the very bottom shelf of the oven and cook for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, or until the meat pulls away from the bone and the juices run clear. 26195713_2149005958660259_2754374630378818510_n

Homemade Lego Birthday Cake

We have recently celebrated our son’s 4th birthday and this went down a real treat!

You can use any cake design you’d like, you can leave it as a simple rectangular or circle shape or you can be more creative and do something like this. To create this numbered cake, I used 4 foil containers and split the batter equally. Once coloured and baked, I split the sponge in half and placed one of each colour on top of each other with some frosting in  between to create a two colour effect. Then I cut the sponge accordingly to create a number 4. It was then decorated with ready to roll white icing, a printed lego edible wafer paper and some edible sugar paste lego blocks.

Check out the full recipe below 👇 IMG_3194

Ingredients for Sponge Cake

  • 350g self raising flour, sifted
  • 3tsp baking powder, sifted
  • 350g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 350g light brown sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 40ml milk

Ingredients for Frosting – do this a day in advance and store in fridge overnight

  • 100g butter, softened
  • 250g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 600g icing sugar, sifted

Ingredients for Piping Gel – do this a day in advance and store in fridge overnight

  • 68g sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 57g lemon juice
  • 59g water

Piping Gel is used to glue wafer paper to the cake tray, or to the cake’s frosting.

Equipment

  • 4 foil containers 8″x 5″
  • Large mixing bowl for cake batter
  • Small mixing bowl for frosting
  • Saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Spoon
  • Cooling wire rack
  • Small bowl
  • Glass jar/porcelain bowl

Other

  • Muslin cloth
  • Cling film
  • Cake board 12″
  • Your chosen decorations

Method for Sponge Cake

  1. Pre-heat oven on gas mark 4.
  2. Brush 4 foil containers with melted butter (I used 8″ x 5″ rectangular containers).
  3. Add butter and sugar to a large bowl. Use a wooden spoon to cream butter and sugar until combined well and are light and fluffy.IMG_3201
  4. Add eggs one at a time followed by some flour and mix well before adding remaining flour, baking powder and vanilla extract.
  5. Divide mix into the 4 containers and add a tip of your chosen colour. Mix well until colour is evened out in all batter.
  6. Tap the batter with the back of a spoon so it is spread out evenly.IMG_3112
  7. Place in oven and leave for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when you prick the centre. Make sure you rotate and move containers from one oven shelve to the other whilst baking to prevent having a dome shape.
  8. When ready, leave to cool completely, wrap up in cling film and freeze for 1 hr. This will make it easier when applying frosting.
  9. Take out from freezer and leave to tow for about 1 hr before decorating.IMG_3200

 

Method for Frosting

If the cream cheese is watery,  you HAVE TO drain it. This is a very important step because otherwise the frosting will not come nice and thick! To do this, place cream cheese on a muslin cloth and squeeze gently until most of the water has come out. Set the ball down on a kitchen towel to dry further.

  1. Heat 100g of butter in a saucepan until it becomes incredibly soft but not completely melted. Whisk it until there is only smooth liquid butter.
  2. Unrap muslin and scoop cream into the butter mixture. Whisk the two together until completely mixed. Now switch to a wooden spoon.
  3. Add in icing sugar, little by little (around 150g each time) and fold in very gently.
  4. Place in fridge and leave overnight for a better consistency. Then on the day you are decorating the cake, remove from fridge and leave it at room temperature before applying to cake.IMG_3198

 

Method for Piping Gel

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve corn flour in half of the water.
  2. Place sugar and remaining water in a saucepan and put on low heat, stir until sugar has dissolved. Add lemon juice and corn flour mixture. Stir until thick and opaque. Cornflour should cook until it becomes opaque.
  3. Switch off flame, leave to cool and store in a glass jar or porcelain bowl in fridge overnight.IMG_3113