What to eat on Boxing Day

We are often exhausted after the celebrations but still need to make use of all the bits and pieces from Christmas Day. Today’s recipes turn leftovers into another meal enabling us to serve food again without appearing too dry or recycled. Seared brussels sprouts couscous with cranberries and…

Source Sunday Times: What to eat on Boxing Day


Tunisian Brik: Wafer Thin with peppered gbejna and crispy organic sage


Tunisian Brik with crispy organic sage.  Photos taken during a live tv show by CJ Baldacchino

‘Organic sage came in abundance in my organic box from Sicily by Barbuto this week.  The sage in this recipe has been left whole and fried in olive oil, then it is placed on each ‘brik’ and baked for 10 minutes.  Fried then roasted sage leaves are amazingly delicious’

You will need:

2 sheets of filo pastry
1 gbejna, sliced
50g nuts of your choice [I used home made dukkah]
If you are using plain nuts add 1/8 teaspoon coriander
a handful of fresh parsley, very finely cut
8 basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 220C.

Cut the peppered gbejna into thin slices.

Chop the fresh parsley finely.

Add to the crushed nuts.  Then add the spices.


In a pan heat some olive oil and cook the basil leaves on both sides.  Remove from heat then place on a kitchen towel to absorb the access oil.

Lay a sheet of filo on a clean dry surface.  Brush the filo with olive oil and place a teaspoon of filling  leaving a space of around 6 cm between each teaspoon of filling

Cover with another sheet of filo.  Use a rolling pin to gently press down on the filo and flatten the filling to get wafer think brik.

Use a sharp knife to cut the sheets into squares with the filling in the centre of each square.  Fold the squares into 2.

Prepare a baking tray by brushing it with olive oil.  Place the triangle pastries on top of the baking sheet.

Bake in a very hot oven for 10 minutes.  Serve hot or cold appetizers with drinks.


Tunisian style Brik, wafer thin and ideal finger food.  Photos taken during a live tv show by CJ Baldacchino

My organic sage comes from Barbuto, olive oil by Costa d’Oro, peppered gbejna by Big Fresh.

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Handmade sweets from Tunisia, with thanks to Deyma Shop Gzira for the display during our live show

Curried Butternut Squash Soup with homemade coconut milk


Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Homemade coconut milk.   Photo taken during today’s live tv show by Marconia Schembri

‘Perfect for winter, with lots of fresh ginger, this is such a delicious soup.’

You will need:

1/2 onion
1 large clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
a pinch of ground cumin
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
1/2 butternut squash, skin on and chopped
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
1/2 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 heaped teaspoon curry powder
1 all natural stock cube with enough water to cook the vegetables
250ml home made coconut milk
salt and pepper to season


Ttoday’s fresh homemade coconut milk as seen on tv, photgraphy during the live show by Marconia Schembri      For the home made coconut milk you will need: 100g coconut, 5 cups of filtered or bottled water, a pinch of salt [1 date, optional].  Soak the coconut in water overnight.  Place in a blender or food processor.  Add the filtered or bottled water and blend on high speed for 4 minutes until the mixture is milky and consistenty.  Pour the mixture into a sieve covered with a clean dishcloth or use a nut milk bag.  Squeeze the rest of the coconut milk but wringing the dishtowel until you have extracted as much coconut milk as possible.

Making the soup:

Place the oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the onions and stir.  Then add the curry powder, the coriander seeds, the cumin powder, the grated fresh ginger and cook for a minute.

Add the roughly chopped vegetables.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and allow the vegetables to cook for about 20 minutes.  Do not overcook.

Use a blender or food processor to blend until the mixture is very smooth.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add the homemade coconut milk and blend again.  Serve hot or cold.

With thanks to our lovely viewer Grace for her Maltese qaghaq and baci cake and to Deyma Shop Gzira for the display of Tunisian Sweets and hand made tablecloths

My organic vegetables come from Barbuto, coconut from St Georges Brand, olive oil from Costa D’Oro, spices by Schwartz at PJ Sutters

Gluten-free & lactose-free Christmas treats [with Vegan Baci] in today’s Sunday Times


Vegan Baci.  Photo taken during a live tv show by George Aquilina

Gluten-free, lactose-free and reduced sugar diets are hot topics these days. The drive for ingredients to suit a large number of food intolerances comes from consumers and with such a large choice in the market, guests no longer have to feel they are a burden to their hosts and be apologetic…

Source: Sunday Times Gluten-free & lactose-free Christmas treats


Gluten free and lactose free Christmas Cake with no added refined sugar.  Photo taken by George Aquilina during a live tv show


Tunisian Lablabi Soup

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Tunisian Lablabi Soup.  This photo was taken during a live tv show by Marconia Schembri

‘Exploring other Mediterranean cuisines opens up the experience of new flavours, not necessarily with new ingredients, but by mixing ordinary ingredients in a different way.  On tv yesterday I used canned chickpeas because of time limitations.  If you have time to cook dried chickpeas the flavor is even more amazing.  Finish off the soup by topping with a poached egg and garnish with ingredients of your choice such as capers, more parsley and fresh coriander, lemon wedges, a tablespoon of yoghurt, tuna fish, stale bread chunks, chopped olives, fresh or sun dried tomatoes and nuts’

You will need:

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1/2 teaspoon fresh turmeric, grated
1 tablespoon harissa paste [optional, leave it out if you do not like spicy food]
2 litres stock made with all natural, no additive stock cubes
800g cooked chickpeas
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tablespoon apple organic vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 bayleaf
1 tablespoon fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper to season

If you are using dried chickpeas, cook them and keep the water to add instead of stock.
In a large pot cook the onion and garlic.  Add the crushed coriander seeds and cumin and cook on low heat.  Add the grated turmeric, then the cooked chickpeas and stock followed by all the other ingredients.
Poach eggs in a separate pan, allowing one per person.  Simmer the soup for 30 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to rest covered for 10 minutes before serving in individual soup bowls.  Place a poached egg in each bowl of soup and add the garnishes of your choice.


Tunisian sweets and other hand made merchandize is available at Deyma Shop, Gzira

I use olive oil by Costa D’Oro, herbs and spices by Schwartz, fresh vegetables from Big Fresh in Mosta , Oscar’s Fruit and Vegetables Paola and Barbuto [organic]

How to cook pork cheeks

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How to cook pork cheeks in today’s Sunday Times. All photos taken during a live tv show by Marconia Schembri and CJ Baldacchino

Pork cheeks used to be an affordable and inexpensive cut of meat but during the last eight to 10 years, they have been popularised by many top chefs and today they are a fashionable ingredient. Cheeks are particularly flavourful, but they are not readily available and need to be ordered from a…

Source: Cooking pork cheeks

‘My pork cheeks come from Stephanie at Ta’ Cancu Butcher in Zejtun ‘