#recipeoftheday Chicken Cacciatore

chicken cacciatore 2

I served my chicken cacciatore with tagliatelle topped with salsa verde, photography Felix Cesare

‘You will find my recipe for this classic Italian braised chicken dish on timesofmalta.com.   Add a touch of Rinatura Apple Vinegar and prepare this dish the day before as the flavors improve and it makes it worth rushing home to after a day’s work….

Source: Recipe: Chicken Cacciatore


Fish on Fridays

Sunday times big

You will find my fish recipes in today’s Sunday Times

‘Eating fish during lent is associated with the Greek word for fish, ichthys, which is an acronym for Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter, meaning Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour. There are many interpretations of why Catholic tradition favours eating fish on Fridays…  Source: Fish on Fridays

Renato’s Kwarezimal

For the recipe of Renato’s mini kwarezimal click here , in Maltese click here and for the recipe in English click here

kwarezimal credit ian noel pace 9g

Kwarezimal, photography Ian Noel Pace

‘Each family seems to have their own Kwarezimal recipe and although I use Helen and Anne Caruana Galizia’s recipe as this is the one that mum  used, I love Renato’s version, passed to him by his father who owned a confectionery in Old Mint Street, Valletta in the 50s. You can watch Renato making Kwarezimal by clicking here.  These are my favorite Maltese sweets’

Preparing our ingredients

Lightly kneaded, the Kwarezimal is an all-in-one easy recipe

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Ready for the oven

In no time at all, they are ready to eat. Can’t think of anything better with a cup of coffee.

Buckwheat Risotto with mushrooms

buckwheat risotto credit illumina

Buckwheat risotto with Burrata, photography Illumina Media

Click here for my #recipeoftheday.  Simply delicious and top with burrata or fresh local gbejnas from the Farmers Markets

Very Easy Healthy Brownies (Gluten Free and Lactose Free)

easy-brownies‘I made gluten free and lactose free brownies  and they are also without processed sugar, contain no butter or added oils.  The consistency is amazing, exactly how a brownie should be and there is nothing quicker you can bake’

You will need:

2 cups dates, soaked in just enough water
150g sugar free chocolate and I use Valor
250g cocoa powder
avocado, peeled and chopped
banana, peeled and chopped
apple, peeled and chopped
4 eggs, beaten
seeds of a vanilla pod
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup pure ground alomds
1 cup coconut
1 tablespoon organic apple vinegar
a pinch of cinnamon
a pinch of instant coffee powder

Soak the dates in a large bowl until they are barley covered in water.  Leave for at least an hour or overnight if desired.

In a separate bowl place the banana, avocado and apple.   Add the vanilla, coffee powder and cinnamon powder.  Add the apple organic vinegar and use a hand blender to make a smooth puree.  Mix and in the meantime melt the chocolate and stir.

In another large bowl mix together the pure ground almonds, cocoa powder, coconut, baking powder and salt.

Use a large metal spoon to mix the date puree into the almond and coconut mixture.  Add the fruit mix and stir in.  Then the melted chocolate and stir in.  Finally add the eggs, fold in until the mixture appears consistent.

Cover a dish with baking paper.  Bake in a preheated oven for 40 minutes.  The surface should be cooked with a crust and they should be very moist and just cooked inside.

Cool down very well until you slice into brownie portions.

These brownies are delicious stored in the freezer and keep very well up to a month.

I use Chocolate by Valor, vanilla and cinnamon by Schwartz, coconut and dried from from St Georges Brand

Date and Ricotta Mini Muffins

‘I use ricotta instead of butter or oil to make these delicious date muffins. They are unbelievably quick to make and I use the rub in method. There is nothing more  welcoming that the smell of fresh baking.   These bakes are so delicious and these Juicy Jumbo dates from Tunisia are available locally from Deyma.  The way to store dates is in the freezer as they retain their moistness and don’t dry out.  You can keep them in the freezer for up to a year’

date muffins felix cesare
For the date and ricotta muffins you will need:
250g self raising flour
125g ricotta
1 tablespoon cornflour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
juice of half an orange or whole tangerine
150g dates
3 eggs
2 tablespoon stevia or 2 tablespoons honey or agave
the seeds of a a vanilla pod
grated zest of a tangerine or orange
a pinch of salt
a pinch of cinnamon

Line a muffin dish  with paper cases. I use small ones to make mini muffins.
Preheat the oven to 170C.

Sift the flour, baking powder and cornflour. Add the cinnamon, vanilla and grated citrus zest. Mix with a large metal spoon.

Add the chopped ricotta. Use your fingertips to rub the ricotta into the flour (rub in method, as you would butter)

Chop up the dates into small pieces. Add to the flour mixture and make sure that the date pieces are evenly covered in.

Beat the eggs with a fork Add the citrus juice. Pour into the flour mix and stir with a large metal spoon. Do not overmix and immediately pour the batter into papercases prepared in a muffin tin .

(I topped my mini muffins with a giant date, nearly as big as the mini muffin, for photography purposes but I suggest finishing them off with some chopped dates pre-baking.)

Bake in a preheated oven at 170C for 20 minutes.

My ingredients are available at GS Superstore Naxxar

Quick no yeast hot cross buns

hot cross buns basket 2

‘based on Irish Soda bread recipe, I use yoghurt to bind these hot cross style buns with no yeast, no butter, no processed sugar and no eggs.   They are delicious fresh served as they are, buttered up or with a favorite jam.  You can make them in 5 minutes with a cooking time of 20 minutes.  Fresh bakes in half an hour and I cannot think of anything more welcoming on a Sunday…’

hot cross buns 2

Egg free, yeast free, sugar free,  butter and oil free hot cross style buns

You will need:

400g self raising flour
1 tablespoon honey or agave
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
a pinch of salt
300ml yoghurt
100g dried mixed fruit
zest of half a lemon, grated
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
the seeds from 1/2 pod vanilla


Simply sieve the flour into a large bowl. Add the bicarbonate of soda and the other ingredients. Mix. Use a spoon and stir while you mix in the yoghurt. Bind together with your hands into a dough. There is no need to knead the dough and I find that the less you do, the better as the buns will be light and airy. Form buns and place on a flat oven dish covered baking paper.  Use a knife and cut a cross on the surface of each bu.  Bake in a preheated oven at 190C for 15 to 20 minutes.

Use a brush to coat very lightly with honey if you wish.

hot cross buns 4

Quick no yeast hot cross style buns

Lea’s Good Food Everyday airs on Smash TV and you can follow the facebook page


Trade Enquiries:  Doves Farm Range of Gluten Free Products is available via Good Earth

Kale parcels of pork

kale meat balls felix cesare

Served on brown rice these kale parcels are steamed in an infusion of fresh turmeric  and delicate aromatic spices

‘I make parcels of kale stuffed with very lean ground pork and steam them in an infusion of  fresh turmeric and delicate aromatic spices.  What can I add?  just expect amazing textures and flavors…’

You will need:

250g pork mince
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 onion, finely chopped and cooked
1 tablespoon fresh herbs, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon provence herbs
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
a pinch of ground cloves
30g oats
a pinch of lemon zest
1 egg
salt and pepper
1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Kale leaves
Brown rice to serve

Mix the pork, lemon zest, onion, garlic, herbs, egg, herbs, oats and all the ingredients together to make a consistent mixture.  Leave to rest for an hour if you can in the fridge so that the oats absorb all the liquid.  Roll into small balls.

Remove the center stalk from the kale and cut the leaves into long strips.  Steam for a few minutes in a steamer until they are barely soft.  Do not over do it.

Immediately wrap the balls into the kale leaves making small parcels and tuck in the loose end underneath.  Prepare a steamer with water and add pieces of fresh turmeric, 2 whole cloves, a few leaves of fresh marjoram, a cinnamon stick and a garlic clove and allow the steam from this infusion to cook the kale parcels for 20 minutes.

I served my kale parcels on a bed of brown rice.  Drizzle with some olive oil before serving.
kale meat balls felix cesare 2
My ingredients are available from maltasupermarket.com