Quick frozen desserts in today’s Sunday Times

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You will find recipes for my easy summer frozen desserts in today’s Sunday Times of Malta.  This photo was taken by Stefan Stafrace during a live tv show.

‘Food gives us enjoyment when we prepare it, share it and eat it. During our hot summer days, there is nothing more welcoming than a frozen dessert. Preparing desserts should be fun, but so many people seem to get overwhelmed..

Source: Sunday Times: Quick frozen desserts

 

My ice cream comes from Carrefour at GS Superstore, fresh fruit by Big Fresh,  spices by Schwartz, icing sugar by St Georges Brand and kitchenware by Tescoma.

Meagre (Gurbell) with sweet potato, fresh turmeric and kale

meagre 3 andrea sb

Meagre (Gurbell) lightly cooked with sweet potato and kale .  Photo taken by Andrea Sacco Baldacchino during a live tv show.

‘Gurbell (meagre) is one of the most delicious fish available locally, fleshy texture with a mild taste that will please both fish lovers and those who are not regular fish eaters’

You will need:

1 large meagre fish (gurbell), filleted and skin removed
1/2 large sweet potato, grated
1/2 fresh turmeric root, grated
4 fresh tarragon leaves, finely chopped
6 kale leaves, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes, stem removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon red pepper pesto (I used ready made)
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 200 C.
Lightly brush an ovenproof dish with olive oil.
Lay a fillet of meagre (gurbell) on the dish.
Mix the red pesto with 2 tablespoons of water.
Brush the fish fillet lightly with the red pesto mix.
Neatly spread the grated sweet potato on top of the fillet.
Add the grated turmeric then the chopped tarragon leaves, salt and pepper.
Brush the second fillet with the red pesto mix.
Place the fillet pesto side down on top of the sweet potato mix.
Brush the top with olive oil and place in a hot oven for 10 minutes.
Prepare the kale by placing it in hot water for 5 minutes.
Trim it to remove the tough stem.
Lay the strips of kale across the fish fillets leaving gaps between one strip and the other.
Tuck the strips under the first fillet if they are not long enough.  If they are long enough tuck them under the bottom fillet of fish.
Brush the exposed kale leaves with olive oil and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top of the kale.
Return to the hot oven for another 15 minutes.
Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.  Cut portions of the fish and serve individually.

Tip: Cool down, cover and refrigerate for a few hours and slice to serve cold with a salad.

My fish comes from Adam’s Gourmet Fish Shop and fresh vegetables from Big Fresh both in Mosta.  I use spices and dried herbs by Schwartz.

Very easy sweet potato and kale muffins

Sweet potato and kale muffins goodfoodeveryday

Good Food Everyday as seen on tv.  Easy Sweet Potato and Kale Muffins with photography by George Aquilina during a live show.

‘A recipe that could not be easier and never fails.  The kale leaves were roasted with some olive oil, sea salt and sesame seeds and added to the muffin mix just before baking’

This recipe makes 12 regular size muffins or 6 giant muffins.

You will need:400g self raising flour (you can also use gluten free flour)

100g teff flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs
250g mascarpone
1 tablespoon apple organic vinegar
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and grated
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon dukkah
4 kale leaves, chopped and roasted with some olive oil and sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 180C.

Wash and peel the sweet potato.  Grate it coarsely.

Sieve the self raising flour, the teff flour and the baking powder.  Add the smoked paprika, dukkah and sea salt.  Add the grated sweet potato and mix gently so that the flour coats all the pieces.

In a separate bowl mix the mascarpone, apple organic vinegar and eggs by using a hand blender.

Prepare the muffin tray with muffin cases.

Mix the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Check to see if you have a dropping consistency.  If necessary, add some water [a few spoonfuls at a time] until you have a dropping consistency.

Cut up the roasted kale leaves by pulling the pieces apart with your hands.  Add to the mixture and keep some for sprinkling on top.

Pour the batter into the muffin cases.  Sprinkle the rest of the kale leaves on top of the muffins.  Bake for 20 minutes for the regular muffins and 30 minutes for the giant ones.

Tip: Serve as they are or with a touch of butter.  Serve with a soup to make it a full meal and they are also great to accompany a salad

My self raising flour is by St Georges Brand, teff flour by Peak’s Free From, mascarpone by Zappala, spices by Schwartz, organic apple vinegar by Fiorentini, sweet potato, kale and vegetables by Big Fresh and Farmers Markets, muffin cases and muffin tray by Tescoma

Dukkah fortified with Aronia and flavours from Egypt

dukkah fortified with powdered Aronia concentrate 2

Dukkah fortified with Aronia powder.  This photo was taken by George Aquilina during a live tv show

Most of us find the preparation of home-made food satisfying and, in Egypt, I observed that many families find enjoyment in spending time together preparing abundant meals. Egyptian cuisine is not as widespread as Lebanese, but offers great vegan and vegetarian dishes that are reliant on beans…

Source: Sunday Times Flavours from Egypt

 

I use Aronia concentrate in powder and liquid form from Aroniada Agro, spices and herbs by Schwartz, nuts, beans and grains by Good Earth, Maltese Bread and ice cream by Carrefour from GS Superstore, kitchenware by Tescoma

Cooking with sweet potatoes

sweet potato with gbejna and bacon bits credit george aquilina

Cooking with Sweet Potato in today’s Sunday Times.  Roasted Potato Wedges with Paprika.  This photo was taken by George Aquilina during a live tv show.

 

Sweet potato comes in a variety of colours and textures and, in Malta, there are two varieties which are now grown locally: the classic sweet potato with a light purplish skin and an off-white interior, and the sweeter and creamier variety with a copper skin and bright orange flesh known as the ‘jewel’.

Sweet potato was commonly used in the cuisines of Africa and the Caribbean, but it is one of the most popular ingredients used in every country today. Sweet potatoes are a great source for Vitamins A and C and they are a great ingredient for quick, economical meals.

It is easy to under-roast a sweet potato as, although the flesh may appear soft and is indeed perfectly edible, a few extra minutes of cooking increases the sweet caramelised taste that you do not get from an ordinary potato.

All-in-one Pork Meatball and Sweet Potato Tray-bake

For the pork meatballs you will need:
300g pork mince
25g bacon, finely chopped
60g oats
1/4 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tsp mustard
A light grating of nutmeg
1 egg
salt and pepper

For the rest of the traybake, you will need:
6 slices of Maltese bread
1 sweet potato, skin on and diced
6 tomatoes, skin on and diced
1 eggplant, diced half a butternut squash, cooked, peeled, roughly chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 orange bell pepper chopped
2 potatoes, skin on and finely sliced
4 sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon capers
fresh chives, finely chopped
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 tablespoon pink pepper corns
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

For the pork meatballs: Mix all the ingredients together, form small balls and place on a plate covered with baking paper. If you have time, refrigerate for half an hour. If you do not have time, they will still retain their shape.

For the rest of the traybake: Preheat the oven to 200°C. Prepare a large ovenproof dish (I use 43cm x 27cm) by brushing it with olive oil.

Lightly brush the Maltese bread slices with olive oil on both sides.

Line the dish with the slices of Maltese bread.

Then arrange the vegetables on top of the bread, starting with the cooked sweet potato, then the onion, tomatoes, coloured peppers, butternut squash, eggplant. Place the meatballs on top of the vegetables. Finish off with a sprinkle of sundried tomatoes, capers, crushed peppercorns, coriander and salt and pepper.

Brush the slices of potato with olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Line the sides of the dish with the sliced potatoes. Bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for 50 minutes.

Lightly drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Lea’s tip: If you do not like the taste of pink peppercorns use crushed fennel seeds instead.

Raw chocolate brownie batter dip

You will need:
1 cup tofu (use ricotta for non-vegan and lactose inclusive diets)
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp agave (you can use honey for non-vegan and lactose inclusive diets)
1/2 sweet potato
1 tbsp finely chopped almonds
Vanilla
150g sugar-free dark chocolate

This is a perfect addition to ice creams, or it can simply be used as a dip. It is vegan, lactose-free and gluten-free.

Place the sweet potato in the microwave and cook it. Timing depends on the microwave and the size of the potato, but it should take approximately 7 minutes. Allow to cool and peel.

Place the tofu (or ricotta), cocoa powder, agave (or honey), sweet potato, almonds and vanilla in a large bowl and use a hand held blender to bind and form a consistent mixture. Melt the chocolate in the microwave and add it to the sweet potato mixture. Mix until it is smooth and consistent. The mixture should be soft enough to have a spreadable consistency.

Pipe into bowls and garnish with cherries and your favourite nibbles. Serve with ice cream or simply as a dip.

Lea’s tip: If you have a very sweet tooth, add a tablespoon of stevia.

Sweet potato, kale and tuna burgers

You will need:
2 sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled and chopped
2 cans tuna fish
1 spring onion, chopped
1 cup breadcrumbs, or use gluten-free oatmeal for a gluten-free burger
2 eggs
1/4 tsp garlic powder
4 large kale leaves
½ root turmeric, grated
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

Roasted sweet potato wedges with paprika

You will need:
2 sweet potatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp smoked paprika
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 200°C. Line an ovenproof dish with baking paper and brush with olive oil. Wash the sweet potatoes well. Cut them into wedges, lengthwise. Toss the potato wedges in a mix of olive oil and paprika. Sprinkle some sea salt.

Lay the sweet potato wedges in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake them for 50 minutes in a hot oven. Turn them over after 35 minutes. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Lea’s tip: Leave the wedges long; they are great for dipping. For an extra special treat, add a grated mature plain cheeselet and 50g of bacon when you turn them over to cook for the last 35 minutes.

I use sweet potato, fruit and vegetables from Big Fresh, olive oil by Costa d’Oro, chocolate by Valor, nuts, grains, spices, herbs and dried fruit by Good Earth.

Umm Ali with Maltese Bread

umm ali high res charles vassallo

Umm Ali with Maltese bread, as seen on tv.  This photo was taken by Charles Vassallo during a live show.

‘this Egyptian dessert must be, I think, my most favorite sweet.  I still remember the first time I tasted it and although I have replaced the condensed milk in mine, it is still very good.  I use stale Maltese bread and serve it with some vanilla ice cream.  mmmm.’

You will need:

1/2 Maltese small loaf
800ml milk
half a cup on chopped apricots
half a cup of chopped dates
half a cup of chopeed mixed almonds and pistachios
1/4 cup coconut
150g sugar or the equivalent in stevia (check the label for conversion)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
a few drops of vanilla essence
1/2 cup mascarpone mixed with 6 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Cut the Maltese bread into small cubes and place in a large bowl. Add the nuts, dried fruit, vanilla, cinnamon and coconut.
Prepare an ovenproof dish with oven spray. Place the bread mix into the ovenproof dish.
Heat the milk and sugar or stevia and bring it to a boil. Remove from the heat and pour the milk on top of the bread, nut and dried fruit mix. Allow to rest for 15 minutes if you have time. Pour the mascarpone mixed with water and then sprinkle the icing sugar. Cook for 30 minutes. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Tip: Serve hot or cold with vanilla ice cream or a runny custard and scatter some flaked almonds.

I use dried fruit and nuts by Good Earth, spices by Schwartz, mascarpone by Zappala, stevia by Tate and Lyle, kitchenware by Tescoma

Summer salads and dressings

Escape salads and dressings Tuna Sweetcorn Salad Marconia Schembri

Sweetcorn and Tuna Salad.  This photo was taken during a live tv show by Marconia Schembri

Salads enable us to provide substantial meals in the summer months without spending too much time in a hot kitchen. Make use of the large variety of leaves in the market to add balance and add different textures and flavors.  The combination of sweet corn and tuna is a classic salad choice and the addition of sweet potato, coriander and lime make ….

Source: Sunday Times Summer salads and dressings

I use sweetcorn and tuna by 3 leaves, fresh vegetables by Big Fresh, potted herbs by Callus Gardens, rice by Better Than, beans and pulses by Good Earth, dried herbs and spices by Schwartz.  

Pork Meatball Traybake

pork meatball traybake goodfoodeveryday

Quick pork meatball traybake, photo taken during a live tv show by Debbie Farmer

‘an ideal all-in-one supper or to feed a large crowd  for Sunday lunch.’

For the pork meatballs you will need:

300g pork mince
25g finely chopped bacon
60g gluten free oats
1/4 teaspoon dried mixed spice
1 teaspoon mustard
1 egg
salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients together, form small balls and place on a plate covered with baking paper.  If you have time refrigerate for half an hour.  If you do not have time, they will still retain their shape.

For the rest of the traybake, you will  need:
6 slices of Maltese Bread (or similar sourdough)
1 sweet potato, skin on and diced
6 tomatoes, skin on and diced
1 eggplant, diced
half a butternut squash, cooked, peeled,roughly chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 orange bell pepper chopped
fresh chives, finely chopped
2 potatoes, skin on and finely sliced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 sundried tomatoes
1 tablespoon capers
1/4 tablespoon pink pepper corns
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Prepare an ovenproof dish by brushing it with olive oil.
Brush the Maltese bread with olive oil on both sides.
Line the dish with the slices of Maltese bread.
Then arrange the vegetables on top of the bread, starting with the cooked sweet potato tomatoes, coloured peppers, butternut squash, eggplant and finishing off with the meatballs.  Sprinkle crushed peppercorns, coriander, capers and salt and pepper.

Brush the slices of potato with olive oil and sprinkle some sesame seeds.  Line the sides of the dish with sliced potatoes.

Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 50 minutes.
Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Tip: If you do not like the taste of pink peppercorns used crushed fennel instead

I use local pork (Majjal ta Malta), gluten free oats by Nutrifree, vegetables by Big Fresh and Farmers Markets, spices by Schwartz, capers by Belazu, olive oil by Costa d’Oro