The Perfect Roast Potatoes

Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Even first timers will be able to get it right with this foolproof recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1kg roasting potatoes (we use Maris Piper), peeled and cut into quarters
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 2 tsp flour
  • fresh thyme
  • salt to serve

Equipment

  • large roasting tray
  • large pot
  • colander

Method

  1. Put a large roasting tray in the oven and heat on gas mark 6.
  2. Drop potatoes into a large pot and pour enough water to barely cover them. Add salt, then wait for the water to boil, lower the heat and leave to simmer uncovered for 2 minutes.
  3. Put 100 ml olive oil into the hot roasting tray and heat int the oven for a few minutes.
  4. Drain the potatoes in a colander then sake the colander back and forth a few times to fluff up the outsides. Sprinkle with 2 tsp flour and give another shake so they are evenly and thinly coated.
  5. Carefully put the potatoes into the hot oil – they will sizzle as they go in – then turn and roll them around so they are coated all over. Sprinkle thyme on top of your potatoes.
  6. Spread them in a single layer making sure they have plenty of room. Leave to roast for 15 minutes and turn them over for another 15 minutes.
  7. Put them back in the oven for another 10-20 minutes or until they get really golden and crisp.
  8. Scatter some salt and serve.

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Homemade Cranberry Sauce

Now we have sorted out the turkey, the stuffing, the bread sauce and what about the cranberry sauce? This easy peasy recipe compliments the bread sauce so nicely leaving your taste buds yearning for more, really!

Ingredients

  • 100g muscovado sugar
  • 10ml fresh orange juice
  • 250g frozen cranberries

Equipment

  • saucepan
  • orange juicer
  • sauce bowl
  • cling film

Method

  1. In a saucepan, add the sugar and orange juice, stir and bring it to the boil.
  2. Stir in the cranberries and simmer until tender. It will not be a thick sauce a this stage.15622109_1948746332019557_8876550164159860232_n
  3. Transfer the sauce into a bowl and let it cool completely. Sauce thickens as it cools.
  4. Once cooled, cover bowl with cling film and put it in the fridge.

Homemade Bread Sauce

We never have enough of this sauce! The more the merrier, bring it on!!

Ingredients

  • 25g butter
  • small shallot, quartered
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 600ml milk
  • 100g brown bread, cut into squares
  • 150ml double cream
  • half a tsp nutmeg

Equipment

  • saucepan
  • wooden spoon

Method

  1. In a saucepan melt the butter, add shallots, cloves and bay leaves.
  2. Pour milk and partially cover the saucepan let it simmer for 10 mins on low heat.bread sauce 2
  3. Remove the cloves, shallots and bay leaves.  Add the bread and cream and stir well.
  4. Add nutmeg and let it cook for 5 mins or until all bread is ‘melted’ and forms a nice thick sauce.

 

Homemade Pork, Sage and Onion Stuffing

What is a traditional Christmas Dinner without your stuffing?! It’s very easy to make so don’t even bother buying it ready, just make your own!

Ingredients

  • 300g pork mince
  • large handful of breadcrumbs
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • a few sprigs of fresh sage, roughly chopped
  • half a tsp nutmeg
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • black pepper

Equipment

  • non-stick frying pan
  • small mixing bowl
  • cling film
  • loaf tin (if you are cooking the stuffing in the oven separate from the turkey)

Method

  1. Add some olive oil to a non-stick pan and fry the onions for 10 minutes.
  2. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and sage. Stir well until everything is combined together. Put the mixture into a small bowl and let it cool completely. Add the pork mince and breadcrumbs, scrunch all together with your hands and shape into a ball.
  3. Place the stuffing onto a large piece of cling film. Roll it tightly by covering the stuffing all over with cling film, then grab the ends of the cling film and and make rolling movement on your kitchen top until the cling film gets really tight and forms the shape of a big sausage.
  4. Chill overnight.

On the day you can either:

Unwrap it and use to stuff the neck end of the turkey (if you’re cooking whole turkey), then roll any leftovers into balls and cook with the turkey.

OR

Pack the whole mixture into a loaf tin, top with extra sage leaves and cook it in the oven for about 30-40 minutes. Drain off any fat and serve sliced.

OR

Leave it sealed in clingfilm and steam it for about 20 minutes. Unwrap and serve sliced.

 

 

 

 

Preparing a Traditional Christmas Dinner – Cooking Turkey and Gravy

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This is an easy recipe for cooking a juicy and tender Turkey and a tasty gravy to go with it. Have a look also at our homemade pork, onion and sage stuffing recipe, homemade bread sauce recipe, homemade cranberry sauce recipe and the ultimate roast potato recipe! You cannot do without these on your plate on Christmas day!

Ingredients for Turkey – serves 6-7 persons

  • 1 whole turkey (about 6kg) or a turkey crown (about 4-5kg)
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme leaves
  • 50g butter, softened
  • 2 small oranges, 1 thinly sliced and 1 cut in half
  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil

Ingredients for Gravy

  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 6 tbsp port or sherry
  • 450ml chicken stock
  • splash of worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • salt & pepper

Equipment

  • large oven proof dish
  • small mixing bowl
  • large serving tray
  • jug
  • saucepan
  • whisk

Method for Turkey

  1. Preheat oven on gas mark 3 for a whole turkey, for a turkey crown preheat oven on gas mark 6.
  2. Place the turkey on a large oven proof dish and start loosen its skin by pushing it gently until it is not attached to the meat anymore. In a small mixing bowl mix the thyme with the butter and smear the mixture underneath the skin, place the orange slices underneath the skin too.
  3. Rub all over with oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Roast for 3 hrs if it is a whole turkey and 1.5-2hrs for a crown. If you see that it is getting too brown, cover it with a piece of tinfoil.
  5. Halfway through cooking, squeeze the orange all over the turkey and leave to cook.
  6. Before serving, leave it covered for 30 mins so it settles down and will be easier to carve.

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Method for Gravy

  1. Transfer the ready cooked turkey onto a large serving tray. Pour juices from roasting tray into a jug and allow to settle. Skim off 4 tbsp of fat then transfer remaining juices into a saucepan and heat over a medium-high heat until just simmering.
  2. Whisk in the flour until smooth. Pour in the port and chicken stock, and whisk again. Continue to simmer until it starts to thicken then add few drops of Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce.
  3. Bring it to the boil, add any juices released from turkey while resting, season and serve.

gravy

 

Homemade Mulled Wine

Ingredients

  • 750ml bottle of dry red wine
  • 1 orange, sliced into rounds
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 2-4 tbsp sugar, honey or maple syrup

Equipment

  • Medium sized pan
  • Strainer

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium sized pan and heat just barely to a simmer over medium-high heat. Be careful not to boil the wine as you don’t want to boil off the alcohol.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let the wine simmer for at least 15 mins or up to 3 hrs.
  3. Strain and serve warm!IMG_3621

 

Christmas Logs – traditional Maltese style!

Ingredients – makes 1 log

  • 450g plain biscuits/digestive, crushed
  • 397g condensed milk
  • 100g glace cherries, chopped
  • 100g walnuts, roasted and chopped
  • 100g candied peel
  • 150g a mix of hazelnuts and almonds. roasted and chopped
  • 100g cooking milk chocolate, melted bain-marie
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • icing sugar for decorating, sifted
  • brandy, as much as you wish but a shot or two will normally be fine

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Small heat proof bowl
  • Saucepan
  • Spoon
  • Christmas toppers for decorating

Method

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients using your hands. Start with the dry ingredients and finish with the condensed milk. Combine everything well together. The mixture will be sticky at first but carry on mixing until you finally shape into a log.

  2. Wrap the log in grease proof paper and put it in the fridge for 12hrs to harden.IMG_3753
  3. After 12hrs, take it out of the fridge and remove it from grease proof paper.
  4. Start melting your chocolate by cutting the bar into pieces and place them in a heat proof bowl. Boil some water in a saucepan (see that the bowl you use will fit into the saucepan) and place the bowl with chocolate pieces into the saucepan whilst stirring until all chocolate has melted. This is called bain-marie method.
  5. Paste chocolate all over the log and before it dries, use a fork and drag it from one side to the other lengthwise so to form a ‘real log’ impression. Continue to decorate as you wish with sifted icing sugar and your chosen toppers.
  6. Leave to dry completely before you store it in an airtight container or wrapped up in cling film.

Chicken Breast with Classic Diane Sauce – Flambe

In this chicken recipe we are cutting the chicken breast lengthwise which in a professional kitchen we call butterfly, so the chicken breast will cook quicker. We are also using the classical Diane sauce recipe where we add English mustard after reducing the Brandy and we finish the Diane sauce with double cream.

 

Ingredients – Serves 4

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  • 4 chicken breasts, skin off
  • 200g mushrooms (we used a mix of oyster and button mushrooms), sliced
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 4 bay leaves
  • few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 200ml double cream
  • 400ml hot water
  • 200ml cooking brandy (for non-alcoholic, substitute with white grape juice)
  • dash of oil
  • salt
  • 20g english mustard
  • 2 chicken cubes

Equipment

  • large non-stick frying pan
  • baking tray
  • whisk
  • 2 containers, 1 for peelings and 1 for the preparation of onion, garlic and mushrooms
  • pair of tongs
  • wooden spoon
  • 2 chopping boards

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven on gas mark 4/180c.
  2. Prepare a large frying pan and put it on high heat. Add some oil and salt. 

     

     

     

  3. Start slicing through the chicken breast to open it up ‘as a butterfly’ (watch the video from 1:26 to see how). This will quicken the cooking process. Once chicken is sliced, make sure you wash the knife properly and change the chopping board so we prevent cross contamination.
  4. Place the chicken onto the hot pan and leave it to cook until it gets a nice golden colour. 

     

     

     

  5. Wash your hands and start preparing the onions, garlic and mushrooms. Put everything into a small bowl, add bay leaf and thyme and leave on the side for now.
  6. In the meantime, keep checking the chicken. Once it’s ready, use a pair of tongs to turn it onto the other side.
  7. Transfer the chicken on a baking tray with all the juices and put it straight into the oven. 

     

     

     

  8. Put the pan back on the hob and add the garlic, onions and mushroom mix. Give it a gentle stir and leave to cook for about 3-4 minutes. 

     

     

     

  9. Now make sure that you have got the rest of the ingredients ready i.e 200ml brandy, 2 chicken cubes, 400ml hot water, 20g english mustard, 200ml double cream.
  10. Add the brandy and let it cook to be reduced by 3/4. You can also flame it up if you wish (watch video from 12:00 to see how). This will burn up the alcohol and makes a very tasty palate. 

     

     

     

  11. Add the chicken cubes and the hot water, give it a stir with a whisk so the cubes can dissolve and let it cook to be reduced by half. This will give the sauce a nice consistency. 

     

     

     

  12. Add the mustard and give it a gentle stir.IMG_E3601[1]
  13. Add the double cream and give it another stir with a wooden spoon, let the sauce come to a boil. 

     

     

     

  14. Chicken should be done by now, if not just give it a few more minutes in the oven or finish off cooking it in the sauce. 

     

     

     

Cod and Sweetcorn Soup

It is that time of the year when most of us want that hearty warm bowl of soup for lunch or dinner and this easy recipe meets exactly that demand.

Also known as chowder, this fish soup has a nice creamy texture and is a real homemade delight when it comes to these colder days. Without any doubt it always goes down a treat!

Ingredients

  • 25g butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 200g baby new potatoes, halved
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 400ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 300g sweetcorn
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 400g cod fillets, skinless and boneless (merluzz in Maltese) You can also use smoked haddock for a richer taste (bakkaljaw affumikat in Maltese)
  • Some parsley, leaves only, chopped

Equipment

  • Large saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Soup bowl

Method

  1. Heat the butter in a large saucepan until melted. Add onion, celery and potatoes and cook gently for 10 minutes until the onion is really soft.
  2. Pour chicken stock followed by the milk and stir well. Bring to a simmer and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sweetcorn and place the cod fillets on top. Let it simmer very gently for 5 minutes or until cod just starts to break up. Stir in half of the parsley, serve and garnish each bowl with some more parsley.

 

Figolli

Il-figolla hija tip ta helwa tal-lewz tradizzjonali Maltija li tissajjar u tittiekel fil-festi ta l-Ghid. Il-figolla tikkonsisti billi l-ewwel tghamel l-ghagina helwa (ghafas hawn taht ghar-ricetta) umbaghad tghamel il-mili ta l-intrita, taqta l-ghagina bil-forma li tixtieq, timla bl-intrita u issajjar ghal madwar 30 minuta. Dan il-process l-ahjar li jitlesta minn gurnata qabel. Meta il-figolla tkun keshet kompletament tista izzejjen bil-gelu jew bic-cikkulata imdewwba kif tixtieq inti.

Ricetta tal-ghagina helwa ghafas hawn

Ingredjenti ghall-mili

  • 250g lewz pur
  • 200g zokkor
  • abjad ta bajda wahda
  • ftit essenza tal-lewz
  • qoxra mahkuka ta nofs lumija
  • il-meraq ta nofs lumija

Ghandek bzonn

  • Bowl kbir
  • Mgharfa ta l-injam
  • Lembuba
  • Forom
  • Pinzell
  • Karta forno

Metodu

  1. Sahhan il-forn fuq gas marka 4-5
  2. Go bowl kbir, hallat flimkien il-lewz u z-zokkor. Habbat sew l-abjad tal-bajda u zidha mat-tahlita tal-lewz u z-zokkor. Hawwad sew kollox flimkien.
  3. Zid l-essenza tal-lewz u ftit zghira ilma jekk tara li t-tahlita giet kemmxejn iebsa.
  4. Ferrex ftit dqiq fuq il-bank tal-kcina u l-lembuba sabiex meta tigi biex tiftah l-ghagina ma tehillekx. Iftah l-ghagina, tghamiliex la irqieqa u lanqas hoxna hafna.
  5. Lest il-forom li tixtieq u aqta mill-ghagina darbtejn bl-istess forma.
  6. Ibda itfa it-tahlita tal-lewz fuq l-ghagina, timlihomx sax-xifer halli spazju bizzejjed biex tkun tista tghalaq. Ghamel ftit ilma max-xifer tal-ghagina ta fejn hemm il-mili, aqbad il-forma l-ohra li qtajt u poggiha fuqha. Ghafas bil-moghod ix-xifer bil-ponot ta subghajk sakemm tara li z-zewg forom wehlu flimkien. Importanti li jehlu sew halli mas-sajran ma johroglokx il-mili. Kompli b’dan il-metodi sakemm timla il-forom kollha li qtajt.
  7. Poggi fil-forn u ahmi ghal madwar 30 minuta jew sakemm tara li hadu kulur hamrani sabih.
  8. Meta jlestu, ohroghom mill-forn u hallihom ha jikshu kompletament.
  9. Zejjen kif tixtieq inti, jew bic-cikkulata mdewwba inkella bil-gelu. Nissuggerixxu li t-tizjin isir il-gurnata ta wara halli l-figolli jkunu qaghadu sew.

Jekk jifdallek mill-mili, tista tghamel ftit pastini tal-lewz. Ifforma il-mili fi blalen zghar u poggi lewza jew xi cirasa fuq kull pastina. Ahmi ghal madwar 15 -il minuta go forn marka 170C. Thallihomx isiru hafna ghax jibbiesu!

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