Ftira with pulled pork

Delicious Maltese #ftira with traditional kunserva, giardinera and pulled pork as seen on TV

Delicious Maltese #ftira with traditional kunserva, giardinera and pulled pork as seen on TV

We have here what is probably one of the best sourdough breads in the world. The small old fashioned bakeries are still active and alive in the hub of every village and town.

Old village bakery in the heart of a Mediterranean village

Old village bakery in the heart of a Mediterranean village

Fermented slowly the bread is crunchy and crusty with the inside, moist, light and an overall flavor that is unique.

Crusty and crunchy with the softest of interiors, Maltese bread, freshly baked a few times a day

Crusty and crunchy with the softest of interiors, Maltese bread, freshly baked a few times a day

For my recipe I use ftira flat loaf topped with sesame seed. Traditionally these loaves are dipped in olive oil and lightly spread with tomato paste and an optional addition is tuna.

Traditionally #ftira with tuna

Traditionally #ftira with tuna

I replaced tuna with slow cooked pulled pork during our tv programme with a very delicious result.

Ftira with pulled pork as seen on ONE TV

Ftira with pulled pork as seen on ONE TV

You will need:

1 ftira
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons tomato puree
100g giardinera
100g cherry tomatoes, halved and I use a mix of red and yellow ones
a few mint leaves
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
20g olives, sliced
150g pulled pork which I prepared in my crockpot and I will share the recipe with you this week

Place the olive oil in a flat plate. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cut the ftira in half and dip the cut surface into the olive oil. Spread with tomato puree. Top with pulled pork, then the giardinera, fresh tomatoes, olives and finally mint leaves. Serve.

Follow me on facebook and Twitter

#ftira with pulled pork

#ftira with pulled pork


Photography Ian Noel Pace

Chocolate Coconut cake with reduced sugar and no butter

All in one chocolate coconut cake with reduced sugar

All in one chocolate coconut cake with reduced sugar

Some of my readers tell me that they are not able to get used to the taste of Stevia. Of course Stevia is not processed sugar and our tastebuds need to adjust. This chocolate coconut cake which I made during our show this week has equal quantities of sugar and stevia, with the idea of gradually eliminating sugar.

For the chocolate coconut cake you will need:

2 cups self raising flour
1 cup coconut
1 cup stevia
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup olive oil
half a cup plain yoghurt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
a few drops vanilla
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee
3 eggs
1 cup water

In a saucepan gently heat the yoghurt, olive oil, water, coffee powder, vanilla and sugar. Stir and do not allow to boil. Remove from heat and stir.

In a separate bowl sieve and mix together the self raising flour, coconut and stevia.

Sieve the flour

Sieve the flour

Prepare a 23 cm tin lightly greased with butter and then dusted with flour. Remove excess flour.

Mix the liquid ingredients with the dry ingredients and fold in.

Adding eggs :)

Adding eggs :)


Stir in the eggs. Pour the batter into the prepared cake dish. Sprinkle coconut on the surface.

Chocolate Coconut cake prior to baking

Chocolate Coconut cake prior to baking

Bake at 160C for 35 minutes.

While it was still hot, i brushed mine with warm honey and dusted more coconut powder. The keep will keep moist for around 10 days if kept well in a air tight container.

I wish you a peaceful Sunday from a very special island x

I wish you a peaceful Sunday from a very special place on an island blessed with so much x


Follow me on facebook and Twitter

Photography Ian Noel Pace

Pissaladière , no yeast deep pan style

Pissaladière as seen on ONE TV this week

Pissaladière as seen on ONE TV this week

My programme this week is a celebration of summer on the most glorious island. The vivid colours of natural produce, the blueness of the sea and the unique light that I have not encountered elsewhere still leave me mesmerized.

The prickly pears you see are freshly cut by the farmer, literally under an hour before we went on air. And more to come here via this blog as we proceed on this journey together.

And this week I adopt and adapt a classic from Southern France, a dish that looks and tastes Mediterranean.

For a change, French style pizza

For a change, French style pizza

For my easy version of Pissaladière made with a yeastless dough you will need:

500g self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate
1/4 teaspoon salt
250ml yoghurt

(You will also need a baking sheet of around 8 x 5 inches or similar greased with olive oil)

Simply sieve the flour into a large bowl. Add the other ingredients together. Pour in the yoghurt.

Adding yoghurt to make the dough as seen on ONE TV

Adding yoghurt to make the dough as seen on ONE TV

With your hand stiff and your fingers spread out like a claw, start mixing the flour into yoghurt using a circular motion or simply use a spoon until the dough comes together. Keep adding yoghurt until you have soft dough. Do not knead it but work it very gently to bring it together.
Sit on the oiled baking tray and spread out to cover the tray.


Follow me on facebook and Twitter

For the topping you will need:
Black olives, I like them whole for this dish

whole black olives

whole black olives

anchovies, a small tin is more than enough, if you want to reduce the intake of salt use half a tin and cut the anchovies into pieces

Anchovies

Anchovies


Lots of onions, I used 500g chopped up and sauteed until they caramelize but not burn and half a teaspoon of Provence herbs.

Caramelized onions, lots of them

Caramelized onions, lots of them

Place the caramelized onions on the surface of the dough on the baking tray and sprinkle some provence herbs. Spread the black olives evenly and then criss cross the anchobies. Pour a few drops of olive oil all over, season with balck pepper and bake in a hot oven for about 30 minutes at 200C until the pissaladière is nice and golden.

Arrange the onions, olives and anchovies

Arrange the onions, olives and anchovies

Photography Ian Noel Pace

I love Ricotta Gnudi

Ricotta Gnudi as seen on ONE TV

Ricotta Gnudi featured on ONE TV


Light, made so very quickly, gnudi are a firm favorite of mine at the moment. They are light balls of ricotta coated with a thin layer of semolina and this is the type of dish that makes you look like you have spent ages preparing, yet nothing could be easier.

You will need:

750g ricotta
75g grated hard cheese
freshly ground pepper
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
freshly ground pepper


Follow me on facebook and Twitter

Place the ricotta in a bowl with all the other ingredients. Mash everything up and then cover your work surface with baking paper. Prepare a large dish or tray also lined with baking paper.

Take a teaspoon of the ricotta mix and roll it in the semolina on the work surface. Place each ball gently on the dish or tray. Repeat the process until you have used the mixture up. Place the gnudi in the fridge for at least an hour. I have made these on tv and cooked them after 20 minutes of preparation and they still hold together however best to refrigerate them for a longer period of time.

Boil a large pot with plenty salted water. Shake the extra semolina off the balls and drop into the boiling water. When they float to the top they are ready and lift them up gently one by one and place in a colander over a large pot. They are ready in 3 to 4 minutes. Do not overcook, as soon as they float to the top, remove them from the hot water.

Simple gnudi recipe as seen on ONE TV

Simple gnudi recipe as seen on ONE TV

In the meantime prepare the sauce of your choice. Here I used an onion, two cloves garlic, 12 fresh tomatoes, a spoon of tomato paste, half a glass of red wine, some dried oregano and seasoned with salt and pepper. A traditional fresh tomato sauce although I have made them using a different variety of sauces and you can find another recipe here with sage and walnut. For this tomato sauce, I place everything in a pan all together, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool slightly. Whizz with a hand blender. Add more tomato paste if you prefer.

Plate the gnudi and cover with tomato sauce. Garnish with fresh flat leaf parsley

Photography Ian Noel Pace

For the recipe in Maltese click here

Tim Byres from Smoke in Dallas on ONE TV

Tim's BBQ rub on local pork

Tim’s BBQ rub on local pork

Anton and I cooked with Tim Byres at the residence of the USA Ambassador and to watch Tim making the rub click here . This was aired on ONE TV.

Thank you Tim

Thank you Tim

Tim’s special coffee and smoked paprika rub heightens the flavor of bbq meats. It is a winner and we enjoyed tasting various rubs sprinkled on slices of mozzarella and fresh vegetables.

With Anton and Tim, ONE TV

With Anton and Tim, as seen on ONE TV

For the rub you will need:

1\4 cup finely ground dark roast coffee
1\4 cup dark chili powder
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 tablespoons salt
1\4 cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cumin

To make the spice mix, measure out all the ingredients into a medium sized mixing bowl. Break down any clumps of paprika or brown sugar with gloved or clean dry hands and thoroughly incorporate all the ingredients into an even, well mixed blend.

Completely rub your steaks (enough for 4 large steaks) with the spice mix and leave some to season the plate before serving. Grill the seasoned steaks over an open flame until rare to medium rare, then remove from grill and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Kitchen of the residence of USA Ambassador, as seen on ONE TV

Kitchen of the residence of USA Ambassador, as seen on ONE TV

Photography Gino Galea

No knead Date and Apple Bundt

There is something I find so therapeutic about working with yeast and this week’s bake is worth trying out.

You simply need to mix the ingredients with a spoon for the dough before you go to bed, and the next morning you will wake up to a very springy, airy dough that feels so light to touch. Its amazing.

As much as I try to avoid processed sugar in most of my recipes, I find the best medium for making the most of your yeast is sugar. I know that there are alternatives but nothing achieves the same result.

No knead Date and Apple Bundt as seen on ONE TV

No knead Date and Apple Bundt as seen on ONE TV

For the Date and Apple bundt you will need:

200g dates
250g strong flour
6g instant dried yeast (around half a sached)
pinch of salt
100g sugar (and it also works well with 50g sugar and equivalent of 50g stevia)
3 tablespoons apple jam (I used local wild apples, homemade)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon cinnamon
125ml plain yoghurt
2 drops good vanilla extract
grated zest of 1 lemon

Chop the dates, add the flour, instant dry yeast, salt, sugar, eggs, cinnamon, yoghurt and vanilla. Stir with a wooden spoon, then bring together to form a loose dough. Lightly oil a large plastic or glass container. Place the dough inside the container and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Leave to prove overnight.

In the morning you will find that the dough has risen and more than doubled in size. Place on a lightly covered surface and bring together. Cut in half.

Grease a bundt tin and dust some flour in it.

Take half the dough and stretch it into a long cylinder. Bring the two ends together, join and drop into the bundt tin. On top of the dough add the apple jam and then with the other half of the dough repeat the process, pull to a long shape, join up the ends together and drop into the bundt tin on top of the apple jam. This means that you will have the apple jam as a layer between the two pieces of dough. Cover again with a clean dish cloth and allow to prove for an hour or until it doubles up in size.

In the meantime preheat the oven to 160C and bake for 25 minutes. Allow to cool. I topped my bundt with a light coating of warm honey using a pastry brush and sprinkled pistachios on top.

And with the absence of our two photographers this week during the show, Gino on holiday and Ian covering a news story, I took my bundt home to photograph at leisure. Too days later with the photos out of the way, I cut myself a piece and toasted it. Surprisingly the flavors were even better than when it was freshly baked!

Teatime by the sea, no knead Date Bundt

Teatime by the sea, no knead Date Bundt

Follow me on facebook and Twitter

Anton’s Ricotta and Almond Tart

As seen on TV, a ricotta and almond tart I made on the show with Anton

As seen on TV, Anton’s ricotta and almond tart we made during the show

I adapted Anton’s‘s recipe with no added butter and no sugar and for the crust you will need:

250g plain flour
50g ricotta
25ml olive oil
1 egg
a few drops vanilla
grated rind of half a lemon

I use an loose bottomed tart dish of 23cm, for a larger dish, double the ingredients.

Make the pastry by rubbing in the ricotta and olive oil into the flour, as you would with butter. Add the vanilla and grated lemon zest. Add the egg and if necessary add a few drops of water until you form a dough. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for an hour. Roll out on a floured surface. Wrap the pastry around the rolling pin and gentle drop it as you unfold it onto the greased tart dish. With the tips of your fingers, gently tap on the pastry to ease it into the mould. Take a fork and pierce the pastry all over. Bake blind and allow to cool.

For the filling you will need:

300g ricotta
50ml yoghurt
100g ground almonds
60g Stevia
50g candid peel
60g glace cherries
50g chopped almonds
2 eggs
grated zest of half a lemon
grated zest of half an orange
flaked almonds and some cherries to decorate the surface of the tart after baking

Preheat the oven to 160 C.

Place the ricotta and yoghurt in a large bowl. Mix until they bind together and you have a creamy consistency. Add the stevia, ground almonds and citrus zest, the candid peel and chopped glace cherries. Finally add the eggs.

Pour the filling into the pre baked crust. Top with cherries and flaked almonds. Allow to cook slowly if possible. On tv we had to increase the temperature to speed the cooking time and this resulted in a few overly browned flaked almonds. Allow to cook before serving. This pie is just delicious, thank you Anton for sharing

Follow me on facebook and Twitter

Cooking with Lea, ONE TV with Anton B Dougall

Cooking with Lea, ONE TV with Anton B Dougall

Photography Gino Galea

A good pot of Chili, a taste of Texas in the Med

Follow me on facebook and Twitter
I met Chef Tim Byres a few weeks ago and I followed his Texan tip and added espresso to my chili. You have to try it. The depth of flavor that the espresso adds to the chili is incredible. I use cannellini beans instead of kidney to blend in with the pale colour of pork.

pork #chili

pork #chili

You will need:

75g bacon, finely chopped
500g minced lean pork
1/2 spoon good vegetable oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 to 2 fresh chili peppers, finely chopped, depending on how hot you like your chili
4 cloves garlic, grated
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon chili powder
a pinch of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 stock cube
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
500ml tinned tomatoes
500g canellini beans
1 glass white wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Salt if desired

To serve: on tv we served our chili with rice, with a baked potato, tacos and Angry Birds Gluten Free Crisps topped with mature cheddar and with guacamole and yoghurt

Chili in a baked potato as seen on ONE TV

Chili in a baked potato as seen on ONE TV

Simply use a slow cooker to make your chilli so effortlessly or

chili pot

Saute the onion and garlic and add the bacon. Cook it for a few minutes and then add all the spices and espresso coffee. Stir and cook on moderate heat for a minute. Add the minced pork and cook well. Finally add the tomatoes, stock cube and wine and cook for 45 minutes on moderate heat. Finally add the canellini beans. Cook for 5 minutes and turn off the heat. Allow to rest for 10 minutes cover on before serving.

For the recipe in Maltese click here

Texan Chili on ONE TV

Texan Chili on ONE TV

Photography Ian Noel Pace

Gluten Free Banana Frangipan Tart topped with succulent dried fruits

Follow me on facebook and Twitter

Banana Frangipan #recipe

Banana Frangipan #recipe

I have a weakness for dried fruits and I topped this tart with succulent dried mangoes and figs, then glazed it with warm honey. The combination with the banana filling laced with almonds is heavenly, you must try it as it is an all-in-one mixture, no need to use an electric mixer and you can also leave the crust out and use a cake tin instead. It holds well and the cake (tart filling) is moist and so soft.

For the tart filling or cake if you are making without a crust you will need:
2 mashed bananas
300g ground almonds
a few drops vanilla
3 eggs
150g golden raisins, soaked and ground to a pulp using an electric hand blender
125ml natural yoghurt
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 spoons cornflour
2 drops vanilla essence
1\2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

To decorate
A selection of dried fruits of your choice
Warm honey and a brush

Mix all the ingredients together, no need for a mixer, just fold in gently and put the tart or cake into the over immediately. 160C for 20 minutes for a tart with a pre baked crust and 35 to 40 minutes for the cake, depending on your oven. Do not open the oven for the first 25 minutes of cooking time.

For the gluten free crust if you are making a tart you will need:

200g gluten free flour
100g butter
1 spoon stevia or sugar
few drops vanilla essence
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
4 to 8 tablespoons cold water, depending on the humidity and temperature of where you happen to live, add a spoonful at a time

Put the flour and butter into a large bowl.
Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the other ingredients and mix in.
Stir in the water and quickly bring dough together. Wrap the dough in cling film and put the in the fridge for at least an hour.

Roll out the pastry and press it into your baking dish using your fingers.
Cut away any pastry that hangs over the edge, pierce all over using a fork and bake at 160C for 20 minutes. Allow to cool before spooning in the filling.

Decorating the top: I used mango and fig dried fruits and after arranging them on the tart while it was still warm, I brushed the surface with a thin film of warm honey. Allow the tart to cool before serving it.

For the recipe in Maltese click here

#lea oliver frendo With Dr Oliver Frendo on ONE TV making pork chili and gluten free tarts !

Photography Ian Noel Pace

Bright skies, blue seas and Anton’s ricotta flan

Follow me on Twitter x

Bright skies and blue seas, this is where so many visitors come to bask in the glory for a few days. But for some lucky ones, this is life every day, breathtaking and nearly unreal …

Anton’s recipe for this ricotta flan is delicious and he was my guest during our show last week. I adapted it and used Stevia instead of sugar.

You will need:

1 ready made Sponge and I found a sugar free one
800g ricotta
100ml yoghurt
100g Stevia
300g candid peel and chopped dark chocolate (ratio according to your preference)
A handful of almonds and hazelnuts, chopped up and dry roasted in a pan
Grated zest of a lemon
Liquor of your choice, a couple of teaspoons to moisten the flan
A pinch of nutmeg
Glace cherries and grated chocolate to decorate the flan

Prepare the filling by placing the ricotta and yoghurt in a large bowl. Mash it up and then use a hand blender to whizz it to a smooth consistency. Add the candid peel, grated chocolate and dark grated chocoate as well as some chopped up cherries and nuts.

Mix and then add the grated lemon zest and nutmeg. Mix well until the consistency is smooth and even.

Place the flan on a large plate and drizzle the liquor to moisten it. Fill the flan with the ricotta mixture. Do not pipe it, Anton tells me that it must look causal and informal. Decorate the top with more nuts, cherries and grated chocolate. Place in the fridge for a few hours before serving

For the recipe in Maltese, click here :)

Follow follow follow me on facebook x