How to cook meagre in today’s Sunday Times

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My fresh meagre and seafood comes from Adam’s Gourmet Fish Shop

Meagre (gurbell) is one of the most delicious fish that is available locally. It has a fleshy texture, with a mild taste that will please both fish lovers and those who are not regular fish eaters. When cooked, it almost melts in your mouth. Surprisingly, chicken stock is a great base for cooking…

Source: Sunday Times: How to cook meagre

Good Food Every Day is aired in English every Friday at 4.10pm and 9pm.

My fish comes from Adam’s Gourmet Fish Shop, Fresh Vegetables and herbs by Big Fresh, spices and dried herbs by Schwartz and olive oil by Costa D’Oro,  kitchenware by Tescoma.

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

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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.

Going Irish in this week’s Sunday Times

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‘Look out for an Irish food in tomorrow’s Sunday Times with multi-award winner Conor Bofin’s preparation for St Patrick’s. 

During our tv show this week, I prepared one of Conor’s recipes and served oat crusted fish fillets on fresh broad beans instead of the peas in his recipe. I baked instead of frying them, just 20 minutes in a very very hot oven. What a treat it was…’

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A taste of Ireland in this week’s Sunday Times

Catch of the week: Roasted Skate

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Catch of the week: Roasted Skate

‘Another great advantage of living on a small island is fresh fish and skate (‘Hamiema’) is very underrated.  

It needs very little cooking time and for those that do not like the idea of picking bones this is ideal.  Succulent, soft and moist flesh literally slides off the cartilage; a delicate flavor and to retain its natural moistness, it is best cooked at a high temperature for as little time as possible.’

skate seabream and bass

Catch of the week available at Farmers Market

And for my roasted skate you will need:

1 skate wing
100g cherry tomatoes (I use yellow and red)
5 tablespoons olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon capers
5 black olives chopped
some chopped basil for garnish

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Toss the cherry tomatoes in some olive oil. Season the skate with salt and pepper and place on the roasting dish. Top with half the tomatoes, half the capers and half the olives. Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil.

Roast for 10 to 15 minutes in a very hot oven.

Garnish with the rest of the fresh tomatoes, capers and olives, more freshly ground pepper and some chopped fresh basil.

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Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving

It is delicious as it is or you can also make a light dressing of 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard, juice of half a lemon, 2 tablespoons olive oil and some more capers. Whisk them all together and pour over the skate just before serving.

‘We are so lucky here, fruit in our kitchen bowls and vegetables on our dinner plates on the same day of harvest and fish available to us on the same day of the catch.

It cannot get much fresher than this.’

Simply grilled rosy red mullet with orange zest

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I was advised to clean the fish, cook it whole and serve it on the bone. It was so fresh cooked the day after the catch when we featured it on TV.

You will need:

4 red mullet, allowing one per person. Mine weighed around 250g each
1 spoon dried bread crumbs
1 spoon capers
1 spoon olives
1 orange, juice and zest
1 spoon chopped parsley
1 spoon chopped mint
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper if required to season

Clean out the fish and remove the scales. Rinse it and keep it in the fridge while you prepare the other ingredients.

Prepare the dressing: Place the capers, parsley, olives. Mint, orange juice and half the zest and use a hand blender to break it down to a smoothies consistency. Taste and season if required.
Keep in the fridge until you need it.

Take out prepared fish from the fridge. Mix the breadcrumbs with a spoon of the dressing. Place a small amount of the mixture in the cavity of each fish. brush the fish on both sides with olive oil. Sprinkle some orange zest.
Grill on both sides.
Serve immediately with some of the dressing and more orange zest garnish.

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Featured on Favourite Channel and I News

Legendary seas and a Mediterranean fish supper

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The Mediterranean is made up of a variety of cultures integrated into one region which is defined by the Sea of so many legends and tales.

And a diverse cuisine that is sought after all around the world has been created from this integration based on the freshness of the produce in the region. See how the sun shines here nearly every day of the year and the long extended summers produce the best flavors that need very little cooking to keep the taste of freshness alive.

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And this month brings a fish that is very much part of the island’s heritage and the season opened with a blessing of fishing boats by the parish priest of a Southern fishing village.

Lampuki are more commonly known abroad as mahi mahi and dophinfish but nowadays the word mahi mahi is preferred to avoid confusion with dolphins (mammals) as they are not associated in any way. Here they are lampuki. The blueish outer skin glistens when they are fresh and on the bottom they are flecked with pale yellow. The flesh is firm and dense and can cope with stromger herbs and flavors.

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There are various ways of cooking them but we are having them simply fried today and serving them with the lovely variety of lettuces that come in all sorts of fancy shapes and sizes this month.

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For the fried lampuki you will need:

1 kg lampuki
a fresh lemon
Flour
Fresh Marjoram
Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper
Oil
Vinegar
Some olive oil to drizzle on top

Yoi can ask your fishmonger to clean your fish.
Start by removing thr head and tail.
Rinse the fish and cut it into portions.
Cover a flat dish with a layer of sifted flour
Add the salt and pepper and fresh marjoram
Heat the oil in a heavy pan.
Shallow fry the fish on both sides using low heat so that it cooks inside,
Sever with a slice of lemon. Drizzle a few drops of olive oil and vinegar.
Garnish with olives and capers.
Serve immediately.

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Thanks to Benny Scerri for some of the photos.

Flying to the Mediterranean… March issue

This is from the February issue of the island’s airline magazine …

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