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.

 

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Homemade Pizza – how to make pizza dough

Ingredients – Makes 4 Pizzas

IMG_E3433[1]

  • 312g + 250g strong white flour
  • 312ml water, room temperature
  • 62ml tepid water (no more than 37c)
  • 31ml oil
  • 10g salt
  • 62g semolina
  • 1g dried yeast

Toppings

IMG_E3432[1]

  • 800g chopped tomatoes
  • 40g peas
  • pinch of oregano
  • a handful of rocket lettuce leaves
  • a handful of fresh basil
  • buffalo mozzarella, completely drained

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Small container
  • Large tray

Other

  • Cling film
  • Foil

Method for the pizza dough

  1. In a mixing bowl, pour 312ml of water, 31ml oil and 10g salt. Using a wooden spoon, stir everything together.
  2. Add 312g flour and 62g semolina. Again, stir well until everything is combined.
  3. In a separate container, add dry yeast into the tepid water and stir until dissolved.
  4. Add the other 250g flour into the mixing bowl then add the yeast mixture. Still with a wooden spoon, give everything a good stir. When the mixture gets tough to continue stirring with the wooden spoon, switch to your hands. Continue to knead the dough in the bowl until you get a clean bowl then switch to your kitchen work top. If you think the dough is still a bit sticky to knead, add some flour on top of the dough and onto the work top. Continue kneading until your hands are clean of any bits of dough (watch video at 4:50 to see how the dough is knead) and shape it into a big ball. Cut the dough into 4 pieces and start rolling each piece into a smaller ball (watch video at 7:38).
  5. Dust a large tray with some flour and place the four balls of dough onto it. Prepare a piece of cling film with some oil spread onto it and place it on top of the dough (oily side touches the dough) Make sure that cling film covers all the dough so it will not dry. Leave dough on the side to proof until it rises to another half of its size, this takes 3hrs approximately.
  6. In the meantime you can start preparing your chosen toppings. In this recipe we used a base of chopped tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella (make sure this is drained properly – you do not want any liquid running on top of your pizza base!) peas and oregano.
  7. Pre-heat the oven on the highest heat.
  8. Prepare your oven shelves covered with foil so you can use these as your pizza tray (watch video at 11:40 to see how we do it) We found this method to be the best for cooking the pizza.
  9. After the dough has risen, dust your work top with some flour as well as your fingers. Take one portion of pizza base then with the fingers start tapping the dough from the inside to the outside to form the crust. Continue to open the dough with the palms of your hands by moving and turning them slowly all around the base (watch video from 13:00 to see exactly how it’s done) Do not over stretch the dough.
  10. Place the pizza dough on the covered oven shelves and add your toppings, starting with the chopped tomatoes. Once ready, place into the oven and leave to cook for about 30 minutes but the last 5-10 minutes swap the pizzas around from bottom shelve to upper shelve.
  11. Once pizza is out of the oven we topped it up with some fresh basil and rocket leaves.

Our personal favourite is to drizzle some olive oil on top of the rocket, add some sea salt and cracked black pepper corns, and some balsamic vinegar glaze. You can use any other toppings that you fancy such as the below.

 

 

 

Galletti

Ingredjenti

  • 226g dqiq plain
  • 226g semolina
  • ilma fietel
  • kuccarina hmira niexfa
  • ponta melh

Ghandek bzonn

  • Gharbiel
  • 2 bowls kbar
  • Bowl zghir
  • Lembuba
  • Forma ta cirku
  • Dixx catt biex tahmi
  • Sarvetta niedja
  • Cling film
  • kebab stick/sulfarina/furketta

Metodu

  1. Gharbel flimkien id-dqid u l-melh go bowl kbir.
  2. Holl il-hmira go bowl zghir fi ftit ilma fietel (importanti li la jkun jahraq u lanqas kiesah ghax inkella l-hmira ma tahdimx) u zidha mad-dqiq. Hawwad u kompli itfa ilma fietel ftit ftit sakemm tara li qed tifforma ghagina. L-ghagina ma tridx tkun niedja hafna. Kompli ghagen sakemm tara li l-ghagina giet lixxa.
  3. Kif tlesti, itfa l-ghagina go skutella u ghattiha b’sarvetta niedja jew bil cling film u halliha x’imkien ghas shana ghal madwar saghtejn sakemm tirdoppja fid-daqs.
  4. Roxx ftit dqiq fuq il-bank ta fejn ser tiftah l-ghagina. Aqsam l-ghagina fi tlett bicciet u ibda iftaghha sakemm tigi irqieqa kemm tista. Hafna juzaw il-magna li tghamel l-ghagin pero ahna ftahniha b’idejna bla problemi ta xejn.
  5. Uza forma ta cirku id-daqs li tixtieq inti u aqta kemm trid forom. Ghamel erba toqbiet fin nofs ta kull forma, ahna uzajna kebab stick minn naha ta wara, tista tuza ukoll il-wara ta sulfarina jew xi furketta.
  6. Prepara id-dixx li se tahmi fih billi troxx ftit semolina qabel ma titfa il-forom fuqu.
  7. Dahhal f’forn b’temperatura gholja u ahmi sakemm tara li hadu kulur sabih miz-zewg nahat. Thallihomx jihmaru hafna ghax ikunu wisq iebsin biex jittieklu.
  8. Servi ma ricetta tajba tal-bigilla jew uzaghhom bhala snacks ma xi appetisers ohra.

Pastizzi tal-Pizelli

Ricetta verament hafifa u ma tiehux hafna hin! Ideali ghal xi parties tat-tfal inkella xi okkazjonijiet ohra fejn tridu tinkludu ikel tradizzjonali Malti. M’hawnx isbah milli dak li sservi lill-mistednin, tkun sajjartu inti stess!

Ingredjenti

  • 640g puff pastry (mixtrija lesta biex tintuza)
  • 2 basal, imqaxxrin u imqattghin zghar
  • 3 sinniet tewm
  • kuccarina curry
  • 2 bottijiet pizelli
  • 60g ilma kiesah
  • Mgharfa zejt taz-zebbuga
  • ftit abjad tal-bajd (bajda wahda)
  • bzar u melh
  • gunglien

Ghandek bzonn

  • Borma
  • Dixx baxx tal-forn
  • Mgharfa
  • Mgharfa ta l-injam
  • Forma ta cirku
  • Bowl zghir
  • Pinzell biex tidlek l-abjad tal-bajd

Metodu

  1. Ilhaq sahhan il-forn temperatura 180c.
  2. Go borma, sahhan mgharfa zejt taz-zebbuga fuq temperatura gholja u zid il-basal u t-tewm. Sajjar ghal madwar 5 minuti jew sakemm jirtabu.
  3. Zid il-curry u sajjar billi thawwad il-hin kollu sakemm il-curry tibda tinxtamm l-aroma tieghu.
  4. Zid il-pizelli u l-ilma kiesah, ponta bzar u melh u sajjar sakemm il-likwidu jevapora kollu. Kif issir, itfa it-tahlita f’genb u halliha ha tiksah kompletament.IMG_3383
  5. Aqbad l-ghagina u b’forma ta cirku imdaqqas kemm tixtieq, ohrog kemm tista crieki. B’folja ta 320g ghagina ghandek tohrog 10/11 -il pastizz, skond kemm hi kbira il-forma. Prepara dixx biex tahmi u iksih bil-karta forno halli kif ikollok ic-crieki lesti, tista tpoggihom mill-ewwel fuqu.
  6. Biex timla, igbor mgharfa mit-tahlita tal-pizelli u poggiha fin-nofs tac-cirku. Idlek it-tarf tac-cirku bl-abjad tal bajd u itwi l-ghagina min-nofs biex tifforma nofs qamar. Ghafas kemmxejn it-truf tal-ghagina ma xulxin halli jehlu sew. Tinkwetax jekk johroglok xi ftit il-mili.     IMG_3389
  7. Kif tghalaqhom kollha, ghatihom dilka abjad tal-bajd u roxx ftit gunglien.
  8. Dahhal fil-forn u sajjar ghal madwar 25 minuta jew sakemm jgholew sbieh u jihmaru.

 

 

 

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