Xandira Specjali fl ahhar tas sena minghand L Onorevoli Roderick Galdes

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Ghafas hawn biex tisma ix Xandira specjali ta l ahhar tas sena minghand l Onorevoli Roderick Galdes

Il prodotti Lokali, il Marka tal kwalita, il esportazjoni tal majjal, progress fil Pitkali u id Dipartiment tieghu….

U minghandi u Dorian Cassar, ix xewqat Tajba ghas sena l gdida !

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New Year’s Eve, temperatures plunge and Twice-baked butternut squash with gbejna

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At 3C this is the coldest day recorded in the last 26 years and a dusting of snow appeared this morning in various spots around the island. From where I sit right now though the bluest sea glitters as the sun makes its presence on an island blessed with sunshine nearly every day of the year.

My recipe today is one I featured on TV last week. I just love the taste of caramelized butternut squash as the natural sweetness roasts the edges. This recipe is gluten free and vegetarian. I use local gbejna but you can substitute with a semi-hard goats cheese of you are not here with us .

You will need :

One butternut squash
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to season
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
2 small Fresh sage leaves
2 spoons Fresh parsley
100g grated gbejna or alternative white semi hard cheese
1 spoon gluten free oats
100g ricotta
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Cut the squash lengthwise into halves, scoop out the seeds and drizzle with Olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and fresh nutmeg and roast skin on until just tender for half an hour. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

Mash the ricotta, add half the cheese or gbejna, the chopped Add the sage leaves, half the chopped parsley. Mix and season. Add the oats, mix.

Fill the cavity of butternut squash halves with the mixture, top with a sprinkle of the remaining Cheese or gbejna and bake for around 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and browns. Garnish with the rest of the chopped parsley and a drizzle of olive oil if desired.

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Happy New Year Midge Ure!

Click here to see Midge Ure’s greetings to Malta
We look forward to seeing him this summer 🙂

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In case you missed it, you can listen to my chat with Midge Ure earlier this month by clicking here …

Apple yoghurt tray cake with no butter

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This is a traybake, so quick and easy, an all-in-one that is soft, moist and fluffy. It contains no butter but I have used olive oil instead.

You will need:

2 cups yogurt
1 1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups sugar
5 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder

Grated rind of an orange

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

3 apples, thinly sliced with skin on, soaked in the juice of the orange.

Extra cinnamon to sprinkle on top pre-baking.

1 tablespoon warmed up honey for garnish

Heat the oven to 160°C. Grease large rectangular sheet tray with oil, and line the bottom with baking paper.

Whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until frothy and consistent. Add the sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, orange rind and spices into the liquid mixture and stir with a metal spoon. Do not over mix.

Pour the batter into the cake pan. Top with apple slices neatly arranged. Lightly sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake for 45 minutes. Cover with foil at the end if the surface is browning. Before it cools down, brush lightly with honey.

Serve the cake warm or at room temperature. When well-wrapped, this keeps very well for several days.

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Leftovers: a salad of bulgur and Brussels sprout

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With the Brussels Sprouts that were left over, we made a salad today and it is a pleasure to eat something that tastes healthy after all the rich food of the last few days.

You will need:

200g bulgar wheat (medium)
100 to 200g Brussels sprouts, depending on how much is left over
50g pistachios, dry roasted and chopped
100g cherry tomatoes, halved
Grated rind of half a lemon
Salt and Pepper to season
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 spoon lemon juice
1 spoon roughly chopped parsley

Soak the bulgur wheat in cold water and leave for a few hours. Drain well. half the cooked Brussels sprouts and add to the bulgur. Add the pistachios, lemon rind, cherry tomatoes, parsley and mix gently not to break the sprouts up. Season and finally add the olive oil and lemon juice. Just delicious 🙂

I use Bulgur wheat by St Georges Brand, olive oil by Costa D’Oro at J Calleja and fresh vegetables and herbs by Big Fresh in Mosta.

All-in-one quick Almond Cake

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We love almonds on this island, in every shape and form, but especially in sweets and this is one of my favorite easy and straighforward almond cakes.  The result is soft and moist and it is a good way to use up left over ground almonds  You can make it in advance and freeze the cake until you need it.

  • 100 g butter, room temperature
  • 50 g soft brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 100 g self raising flour
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 50 g flaked almonds to coat the top pre-bakingPreheat oven to 160 C. Grease a 20 cm cake tin. Mix together the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, ground almonds baking powder, milk and honey in a large mixing bowl.  When the ingredients are mixed well together, spoon into a prepared tin and level the surface with the back of a spoon.  Sprinkle with almonds and bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

 

Mild weather, sunshine and warmth, nearly every day of the year.  How much better can it be ?

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Borscht Mediterranean Style

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We live on an island with clear skies and calm waters in the middle of winter and this is Christmas Eve on an island blessed with so many good things in life.

I have eaten Borscht both as a clear soup and thick purée and during my last trip to Poland recently with potato dumplings. Here is my Mediterranean version with very little cooking time to retain that lovely colour. You will need:

3 peeled beetroots, chopped
100g shredded cabbage
1/2 peeled onion, chopped
2 peeled and cooked potatoes
1 garlic clove, grated
1 carrot chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and Pepper for seasoning
125 ml yoghurt, or more as desired
Chopped flat leaf parsley for garnish
2 spoons olive oil
1 organic all natural stock cube

Place all the first 7 ingredients in a large pot and immerse with water. Use a hand blender to make it into a purée, pulse the blender until the mixture is consistent.

Cook on high heat until it comes to a boil. Add water to make it into the thickness of your choice. When it boils, add the olive oil, mix and turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Season to taste and serve immediately with plain yoghurt and freshly chopped parsley.

It tastes so fresh because the vegetables have been just barely cooked, the colour is vibrant and taste and texture are great. Try it because it is perfect for this time of the year.

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Apple Cinnamon Pies

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Apple Cinnamon Pie as an alternative to mince pies

I love apples, they are so versatile. This apple pie is ideal for those who do not enjoy mince pies or do not like dried fruit. Do make your own pastry as it makes a difference and this is a foolproof recipe; the elasticity of the consistency does not tear, is easy to manipulate and sticks together without an egg wash.

For a Cinnamon Pie Crust will need:

4 cups sifted plain flour
1 cup margarine
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
Pinch salt
2 spoons sugar
Cold Water

Rub the butter into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs. Add the spices, sugar and salt. Add cold water. As you can see I did not put a measurement as readers here come from all over the world and the water content required depends very much on the weather and environment of where you live. You start by adding three spoons, working into the dough and then add a spoon at a time until you get a perfectly formed dough. Do not over-knead. Bring the dough together and cover. Place in the fridge for at least half an hour.

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In the meantime, make the filling.

6 to 10 apples thinly sliced, skin on, depending on how deep you want the pie
1/2 cup soft brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
(you can also reduce the sugar content and increase the honey)
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl

Cut the dough into two and roll out the first piece.
Grease a pie dish and line it with the rolled out dough.
Roll out the second piece and place on top of the filling .
Trim the edges then tuck in top edge of pastry under the lower piece. Press and flute.
bake in a preheated oven at 150 C for around 45 minutes but do check it from time to time.

Remove from oven. Dip a pastry brush into some melted butter and brush the surface very lightly. Dust with sifted icing sugar.

Serve alone, hot or cold or accompanied with cream or custard. This is simple home made food at it’s very best 🙂

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Brussels Sprouts Soup garnished with local tal-Malti Sausage

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It seems you either like them or you don’t. But Brussels Sprouts are so traditionally Christmassy that it is nearly a must to include them with a meal at this time of the year. Do try this soup, it has a lovely flavor and you can also make it with any left over Brussels sprouts.

You will need:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion
500g Brussels Sprouts
100g potatoes
One clove garlic
1 liter organic vegetable stock
50 ml single cream, optional, I leave it out
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
Two spoons chopped parsley
One local sausage for garnish and if you do not live on the island use a Continental Style Sausage such as Toulouse

Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Add all the other ingredients expect for the sausage.
Bring to boil and simmer for 45 minutes.
In the meantime, mash up the sausage meat and cook it unti it becomes crispy in a non stick pan. Keep aside for garnish.
Remove the soup from the heat and allow to cool down slightly.
use a hand blender to bring to a very smooth consistency,
Garnish with the sausage meat and more parsley if you like.
Serve.

Good Food Everyday airs in English every Friday on Smash TV.

No-churn Melon Sorbet

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This works, we made it live on TV last week and the result! a refreshing sorbet with no crystals and without the need of an ice cream machine. You will need:

500g melon
1 spoon Egg White Substitute
1 spoon glucose syrup

Chop up the melon, put into a plastic bag and freeze.
Whisk a spoon of egg substitute as per instructions on the packet.
Use a hand blender to break down the frozen melon and keep beating until it is smooth and consistent.
Add the glucose syrup and blend in and finally the mixed egg substitute.
Pour into a container and freeze for at least half an hour.
Use a piping bag or ice cream scoop to serve.

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Join me and Karl for more Christmas recipes this afternoon live on The F Living Show.