Borage Flower Ice Cubes

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Borage ice cubes in citrus flavoured water, photo during a live tv show by CJ Baldacchino

‘having used organic borage very recently for some new recipes, I was given a box of fresh borage flowers by my friend Antida this week.  Borage flowers are usually bright blue but you can find creamy white ones and pink ones too.  Borage is also known as starflower because of the 5 pointed petals.   A few years ago I went through a phase of using edible flowers in ice cubes but could not resist making them on tv this week’

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Borage flowers from Antida’s garden, photo by CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show

Once you have picked the flowers and while they are very fresh, gently remove the stem.  Be careful not to damage them.  Place them in a bowl of water to make sure there are no insects.  Fill up an ice cube tray with bottled or filtered water.  I found that the best method is to place the flowers on top and push them down gently with your finger.

There are other methods to freeze half of the ice cubes and top with water once the flower freezes but doing it in one go produces more crystal clear ice cubes and is much quicker.  When the ice cubes are completely frozen, add them to your drinks.  The flowers are edible.

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Borage flowers in ice cubes,  photos taken during a live tv show

Lea’s new book  Good Food Everyday is available via Midsea Books.

I use organic borage from Barbuto.  With thanks to Antida at Big Fresh Mosta for the borage flowers.  

 

Win a weekend break

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The Maritim Antonine Hotel & Spa is an ideal place for a weekend retreat with breathtaking panoramic views  of the north of the island.

For a chance to win a weekend break, simply  LIKE the facebook page of Goodfoodeveryday and leave a message here to say what you like about Malta.

The winner will be announced during our tv programme on 19 October at 4.10pm local time and on this blog later on in the evening.  This opportunity is open to Maltese and non-Maltese nationals in collaboration with the management of Maritim Antonine Hotel & Spa

Burrata from Puglia sealed in Dark Chocolate

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Simplicity is always best.  Authentic Burrata from Puglia is shipped to Malta weekly.

strawberries and burrata

Slice some strawberries and arrange them in a circle on a plate

strawberries and burrata 2

Place a burrata cheese in the centre

burrata dark chocolate goodfoodeveryday

Top with dark melted chocolate until the strawberries are partially covered to seal the burrata and strawberries together

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Garnish with rosemary flowers before the chocolate completely sets

burrata encased in dark chococlate 5

As the chocolate sets, gaze at it and admire the beautiful colours as you wait in suspense and curiosity of what is yet to come…

Burrata encased in dark chocolate 6

Time to dig in.  Tell me what you think?  Did you like it?

Goodfoodeveryday is aired everyday on Smash TV

I use Burrata by Murgella available from P J Sutters

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup As seen on #TVM2

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup
As seen on #TVM2

Jerusalem artichokes are at their peak right now and a visit to the farmers market ended up with soup making and some other new recipes to be aired over the next few weeks. For this nutty soup, do not overcook the Jerusalem artichokes.

You will need:

2 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1/2 an onion, roughly chopped
a pinch of nutmeg
Salt and Pepper
500g Jerusalem Artichokes (washed, sliced 1/4-inch thick)
2 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons mascarpone, one to add to the soup and the other one to finish off before serving
Fresh Parsley, chopped

Place the olive oil in a medium-size saucepan over low heat and add the garlic and onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Scrub the Jerusalem artichokes to remove the other layer, chop and sauté in the saucepan for about 2 minutes. Add the stock and the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for around 40 minutes until the Jerusalem Artichokes are tender. Add a tablespoon of mascarpone. Season with salt and pepper. Purée until smooth by using a hand blender. Keep warm. Sprinkle with the chive parsley and finish off with the rest of the mascarpone mixed with 4 tablespoons of water. My favorite winter warmer. Serve.

An island steeped in history

An island steeped in history

Kamut with quince

Kamut with musrooms, quince and crispy parma ham As seen on TV Photography Stefab Stafrace

Kamut with mushrooms, quince and crispy parma ham
As seen on TV
Photography Stefan Stafrace

Kamut is the most delicious grain, its texture and nutty rich flavor is unique. I would be pleased to hear suggestions and tips about its use as it is a new ingredient for me. This dish has amazing flavors and I was lucky enough to acquire some fresh quince this week. You can use any variety of firm apple instead.

You will need:

1/2 cup Kamut
1 quince fruit or firm apple, skin on cut into very thin slices
50g mushrooms, chopped
1 small garlic clove
1/4 onion finely chopped
50g walnuts
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to season
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon butter

Soak the kamut in water overnight.
Rinse and place in a saucepan completely immersed in water. Bring to boil, lower the heat and simmer for an hour. Drain well.

In a pan, heat the olive oil and butter on very low heat. When it starts to foam add the garlic and onion. Allow to cook slowly until they soften completely and are translucent. Then add the mushrooms and sliced quince or apple and cook until they start to caramelize at the edges. Remove from heat.

Place the kamut in a serving dish. Top with the mushroom and quince mix including the buttery residue. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with walnut pieces and fresh flat leaf parsley. Serve immediately.

Kamut and quince Photography Stefan Stafrace

Kamut and quince
Photography Stefan Stafrace

St Martin’s Loaf

Our larger than usual version of St Martin's loaf TVM2 Lifestyle & Co Lea's styling by Rodianne Borg, Lea's clothes by Punt Roma, Hair by Inglot

Our larger than usual version of St Martin’s loaf
TVM2 Lifestyle & Co
Lea’s styling by Rodianne Borg, Lea’s clothes by Punt Roma, Hair by Inglot
Photography Stefan Stafrace

This coming Sunday the feast of St Martin is celebrated and sweet yeast loaves together with nuts, clementines, figs and more are given to children in bags brimming at the seams to signify the abundance and bounty of this glorious land.

St Martin's extra large loaf as seen on TV #Malta

St Martin’s extra large loaf as seen on TV #Malta

Rather than the small loaves, we made one big one and Brian decorated it with liqorish sweets.

You will need:

400g plain flour
a pinch of salt
1 sachet dry yeast (11g)
50ml olive oil
35g sugar
35g stevia
half a pod vanilla
250ml lukewarm milk
a sprinkle of sesame seeds for the top pre-baking
1 tablespooon warm honey to glaze after baking
a handful of multi-colored liqorish sweets

Sift the flour and add the salt. Add the olive oil, dry yeast, sugar, stevia, vanilla and mix. Then add the luke warm milk and combine using a wooden spoon to make a sticky dough. Cover and leave to rise for 2 hours or leave overnight and you will find you will not need to knead the dough at all.

Then turn the dough out on to clean work surface (you shouldn’t need any flour) and punch out the air.

Now divide the mixture into the number of loaves that you would like. We made one large one instead of small ones.

Take each piece of dough and shape it into a round then roll it to form a smoothish round ball.

Arrange the loaf or loaves on a greased baking sheet. Leave to rise once more for an hour. The loaf should double in size again.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 20 minutes.
You can glaze the surface with some warm honey by using a brush.
When the loaf cools slightly, place the liquorish sweets neatly on the surface by poking them into the surface of the loaf.

You can watch us on demand via streaming online from anywhere in the world !

You can watch us on demand via streaming online from anywhere in the world !#TVM2

Rock Cakes with no butter and no sugar

rock cakes goodfoodeveryday july

Rock cakes as seen on tv, photo taken by George during a live show

Reducing butter is one of the principals of the Mediterranean Diet. Rock Cakes were the first home economics lesson for most of us. Their simplicity makes them a bake that anyone can make very easily. There is nothing better than home made; fresh, quick and delicious.

For my rock cakes with no butter and no sugar you will need:

350g self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Stevia, the equivalent of 100g in sugar of stevia
3 tablespoons honey for mixture plus one spoon for glazing the surface after baking
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
200g ricotta
150g mixed fruit of your choice (on tv I used glace cherries and pistachios for a change)
3 eggs

Enough water to achieve a dropping consistency

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Rub the ricotta into the sifted flour, bicarbonate and baking powder as you would with butter. Add a pinch of salt.
Add the spices and stevia.
Mix the honey with the eggs and fold it into the flour mixture. Add a few spoons of water if needed to achieve dropping consistency.
Use a baking spray lightly on a baking dish. Use 2 forks to form irregular heaps on the baking sheet.

Bake near the centre of the oven for 18 minutes or until golden. Before they cool coat the surface with some warmed up honey using a baking brush.

rock cakes goodfoodeveryday july 2

Quick rock cakes as seen on tv, photos taken during a live show by George Aquilina

I use flour and glace cherries by St Georges Brand, nutmeg and spices by Schwartz, baking spray by Pam, eggs by Big Fresh Mosta, stevia by Tate and Lyle, disposable kitchenware by AMC, ricotta by Zappala, kitchenware by Tescoma, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda by Doves Farm at Good Earth

Casarecce with Turnip Leaves and Burrata

#Casarecche with Turnip Tops and Burrata Photo Ian Noel Pace

#Casarecche with Turnip Tops and Burrata
Photo Ian Noel Pace

I met Michele Palazzo last week and we spoke about traditional recipes of Puglia. He certainly inspired me to try out some new dishes and here is the first of many to come.

We do not use the leaves of turnips (kohl rabi) here. They are simply discarded or used to feed domestic rabbits. And out of these scraps we made a most delicious pasta.

You will need:

500g Pasta, traditionally in Puglia you would use Oriechette, I used Casareccge. I love the way they hold their shape when cooked
leaves of 2 kohlrabi stems removed
6 cloves garlic
1/2 onion finely chopped
6 fillets of anchovy
3 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino
a pinch of chili flakes and if you do not like chili leave out or use sweet paprika
1 tablespoon fresh breadrumbs
4 pan roasted walnuts, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 fresh burrata

Nearly ready, an inspiration from #Puglia Photo Ian Noel Pace

Nearly ready, an inspiration from #Puglia
Photo Ian Noel Pace

Cook the pasta following instructions on the packet.
For the sauce, saute the onion and minced garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil on low to moderate heat. Add the chopped up turnip tops and anchovies. Add half a glass of white wine and half a glass of water. Turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chili flakes or sweet paprika, stir and season with salt and pepper if desired.

Drain the pasta well. Add the sauce and stir gently until it is covers the pasta consistently. Serve and top with fresh breadcrumbs, grated pecorino cheese and walnuts and half a burratina per person.

Amazing flavors

I use Pasta Rummo, fresh vegetables by Big Fresh, spices by Schwartz, cheeses at Experia The Deli, olive oil by Costa D’Oro, nuts by Good Earth and of course Burrata by Murghella.

Chicken Bake with Spinach and Jerusalem Artichokes

Chicken bake with spinach and jerusalem artichokes  Photo Felix Cesare

Chicken bake with spinach and jerusalem artichokes Photo Felix Cesare

There is nothing more delicious than this quick chicken bake. I am making use of the fresh spinach and Jerusalem Artichokes available at the Farmers Market this week.

250g spinach, barely cooked
250g jerusalem artichokes, peeled, chopped and poached in water with a few drops of lemon juice
2 chicken breasts, sprinkle some Provence Herbs chopped and cooked in the oven at 180 C for half an hour
2 tablespoons Gran Padano
1/2 cup grated Mozzarella
1/2 cup grated cheddar
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup yoghurt
a grating of nutmeg
1 clove garlic or use minced garlic
1 onion, finely chopped and sautéed in a touch of olive oil or use freeze dried onions if you are in a rush
Salt and Pepper

Heat oven to 180 C.
Chop the cooked chicken into bite size pieces.
Use Non stick baking spray. Lay chicken neatly on the dish. Cook at 180 C for half an hour. Allow to cool.

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients together but do not over mix. Keep a spoon of each cheese to sprinkle over the top of the dish.

Bake in a preheated oven for half an hour.

Take out of oven and let it stand for at least 10 minutes before serving to allow the ingredients to firm up.

Quick, fresh and Delicious !

Photography FelixCesare

Photography FelixCesare

Macaroni Amatriciana

Macaroni #Amatriciana

Macaroni #Amatriciana

I love traditional Italian pasta dishes and for Amatriciana you will need:

Macaroni or pasta of your choice, allow 75g -120 per portion, depending on appetites

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
120 g guanciale
A pinch of chili
1/4 cup white wine
1 can (450 g) tomatoes and juice, crushed
Pinch of sugar or stevia
freshly grated pecorino
A salt and freshly ground pepper
I use fresh basil for garnish

Add the pasta to a large pot of salted water and cook until still slightly firm to bite. This usually takes about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain when cooked.

Saute the finely chopped onion and garlic on medium heat in the olive oil. Stir continuously so that it does not brown. Cut up the pancetta or guanciale into small cubes and add together with a pinch of chili.. If you like it very spicy add more if you wish but traditionally it should only have a hint of heat !
Add the chopped tomatoes and pinch of sugar and wine and leave the sauce to thicken on a low to medium heat for 15 minutes.
Season with a very little sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Pour over cooked drained pasta and garnish with fresh basil leaves and freshly grated pecorino cheese. If you do not have this, use Parmesan.

Serve immediately.

Beautiful Xghajra   Photo Benny Scerri

Beautiful Xghajra Photo Benny Scerri