Pastini tal-Lewz

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Ricetta semplici hafna u tiehu ftit hin biex titlesta. Dawn il-pastini huma il-favoriti ta hafna minnha u bla dubju ta xejn li jinzlu tajjeb jekk ghandek xi mistednin jew inkella ghal ma bela te! 

Ingredjenti (tohrog xi 15 -il pastina)

  • 300g lewz pur
  • 240g icing sugar
  • 2 abjad tal-bajd, imhabbtin mhux xkumati
  • ftit essenza tal-lewz, nofs tapp jekk lewz pur
  • lewz shih jew cirasa biex izzejjen

Metodu

  1. Hallat l-ingredjenti kollha f’daqqa. Ara li t-tahlita ma tigikx immerqa, dan tghamlu billi titfa l-abjad tal-bajd ftit ftit u hawwad sakemm tara li ghaqad bollox u tifforma qisha ghagina. Jekk tara li t-tahlita ghada xotta hafna, zid iktar abjad tal-bajd bil-moghod.
  2. Ifforma blalen zaghar u ixhethom fuq karta tal-ostja inkella fuq ‘baking paper’. Itfa lewza jew xi cirasa fil-wicc, kemm kemm tghafasha l-isfel.
  3. Ahmi ghal madwar 15 -il minuta gas 170C. Importanti li ma thallihomx isiru hafna ghax jibbisulek!
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Sweetcorn & Potato Chowder

This hearty American chowder soup recipe is rich in both fibre and flavour. It is wonderfully served with crusty bread and topped with cheddar cheese. It is an easy to do recipe, VEGAN FRIENDLY and very fullfilling. Perfect for any occasion as a starter if  you have guests arriving for dinner!

Ingredients – Serves 8 

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  • 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced into small cubes
  • 4 celery sticks, chopped
  • 2 small green peppers, sliced
  • 60 ml oil
  • 1200 ml water
  • 4 vegetable cubes
  • 600 ml milk (for vegans substitute with soya milk)
  • 400g canned butter beans
  • 600g sweet corn kernels
  • a good pinch of dried sage
  • salt & pepper

Equipment

  • 1 large soup pot
  • wooden spoon
  • cutting knife
  • 2 large containers, 1 for peelings and 1 for vegetables
  • serving ladle
  • small knife
  • peeler
  • chopping board

Method

  1. Start by chopping and slicing your vegetables, put all of them on the side in a large container.
  2. Put the pot an a high heat and add some oil. Add all vegetables to the pot and give them a good stir. Leave to cook for about 2-3 minutes uncovered.
  3. At this stage make sure you have got all of the other ingredients ready.
  4. Give the vegetables another stir, turn the heat down, cover the pot and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Turn the heat up again and add the water and vegetable cubes. Give it a good stir and bring it to the boil. Turn the heat down, cover the pot and let the chowder simmer for about 15-20 minutes.IMG_E3819[1]
  6. Turn the heat up again and add the milk, beans, sweet corn and the dried sage. Give it  all a good stir and bring it to the boil. Season and serve.

A Very Merry Christmas to all of you 💖

“Those who give you their food, give you their heart”

I really like this quote and it fits quite easily throughout this festive period when all I can think of is food, food and even more food! (That basically sums up my mind being pregnant again!) I’d like to think that Christmas is all about giving and we literally do give our heart out when we cook and share it with all of you.

Since having kids, this time of the year has given us a totally different meaning of what it is all about. I cannot wait to be at home, preparing that special meal for all of us, opening crackers, putting our crappy colourful paper hats on and dig into our favourite meal of the year! Then I would be eagerly waiting for that moment to hear “more mummy please” or the silent 15 minutes when Jason is munching through and then a delicate lip lick followed by “wow Rob that was delicious” is what fills my heart with even more love, if that exists!

I must say that previous years had thought me to make sure not to spend the entire time in the kitchen preparing and cleaning. It is so easy to get caught in there while the rest are giving this valuable time to each other and I would always want to be a part of that. So this year, planning right is what’s going to make this happen.

Preparation of the vegetables, stuffing, sauces, mulled wine and pudding‘s final 3hr steaming will be done the evening before, just after kids are put in bed (easier said than done but it HAS to be done) Then on the day we bake the turkey, cook the gravy and roast potatoes, and heat up the rest.

Promise: As soon as I scoop away my last trace of cranberry sauce on my plate, I’m determined to close my eyes, forget all about the dishes and head out of the kitchen.

Deal?

DEAL!

FROM OURS TO YOURS - WITH LOVE

 

 

Penne Al Salmone – How to Flambé a Pasta Sauce

Ingredients – serves 2

IMG_E3690[1]

  • 300g penne pasta (between 120g-150g per portion and between 50g-80g per portion)
  • 120g smoked salmon
  • 150ml double cream
  • 100ml vodka (substitute with white grape juice for non alcoholic, but it won’t flambe)
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • dash of oil
  • salt and black pepper
  • 20g caviar (optional)

Equipment

  • large frying pan
  • medium sized pot
  • colander
  • 2 containers, 1 for peelings and one for vegetables
  • serving spoon
  • 2 wooden spoons
  • 2 chopping boards

Method

  1. Prepare a medium sized pot full of water and turn it on a high heat. Add some oil and salt and leave it covered so we bring it to the boil quicker. Once it’s boiling, add the pasta and cover again the pot immediately. Give it a stir half way through cooking. For cooking guidelines always read the instructions on the packet.
  2. Prepare a large frying pan on a medium to high heat and add some oil.
  3. Start slicing the salmon into long strips and put it in a container on the side for now. Change your chopping board and wash the knife properly.
  4. Add the onion, garlic and salmon to the hot frying pan and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Give it a stir.
  5. Add vodka to the pan and to make it flambe,  tilt the pan slightly forward so the alcohol touches the burner and fires up the pan. Watch it on video from 7:12 for a better explanation. Please be very careful if you are trying to do this and make sure you feel confident enough! Let it reduce by ¾ and let the flames go out by themselves, that’s the alcohol burning out and giving flavour to the dish.
  6. Once the vodka is reduced, add the double cream and give all a gentle stir.
  7. Check that the pasta is cooked to your liking. For a nice al dente bite, it should only take about 5 minutes to be cooked. Drain the pasta and add some oil to it so it won’t stick together.IMG_E3706[1]
  8. Add the pasta to the sauce and season lightly.
  9. As an option you can garnish with caviar which gives the whole dish an additional texture and a very tasty palate.

     

     

     

 

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.

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

IMG_3623

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.

crown2

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