Borage, Mushroom and Potato Omelette

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Borage, Mushroom and Potato Omelette.  This photo was taken during a live tv show by Marconia Schembri

I used borage [in Maltese fidloqqom] during the show for the first time today.  It was brought to me with my organic box that arrives from Barbuto in Sicily every week.  I was curious and very pleasantly surprised because it is delicious.  The raw leaves are hairy and I cooked them in the same way you would cook spinach.  

I added no salt or seasoning as I wanted to taste the natural flavour.  I drained the leaves in a colander.  The cooked leaves remained whole and intact.  The colour intensified to a more vibrant green and the texture was smooth and satiny, the hairy surface and stem smoothed out.  And the taste?  Just delicious, and I am nearly sure I prefer it to kale, spinach or chard.  

Borage is a big thumbs up from me and if you can get your hands on some, do try it.  I see it becoming as popular as kale very soon’

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Cooked borage on the plate with the raw leaves at the side.  This photo was taken during a live tv show by Marconia Schembri

For my omelet you will need:

about 4 large cooked borage leaves, chopped
2 eggs
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons cooked fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon cooked onion, chopped
1 medium cooked potato, peeled and chopped
salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Add the cooked onions, mushrooms and potatoes. Add the chopped borage leaves Season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat. Beat the eggs and season. Pour the eggs over the vegetables and potatoes. Reduce the heat and cook until the bottom starts to brown. Invert the omelet or fold it in half. Serve immediately.

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Raw borage leaves, as seen on tv today

 

Organic borage is available from Barbuto, Sicily with deliveries to Malta every Thursday.

Boneless Nose-to-Tail Roasted Stuffed Rabbit

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Nose-to-tail boneless stuffed rabbit.  This photo was taken by Marconia Schembri during a live tv show.

‘this is a meal to feed many people and more economical than buying 2 rabbits.  It is a show stopper when it is brought and sliced at the table.  If you use very thin evenly cut bacon you can roast the boneless saddle of rabbit without tying it with string.  No need of skewers or toothpicks.  If you are organised and prepare your ingredients it can be done in under 10 minutes as seen on tv’

You will need:

1 boneless nose-to-tail rabbit
32 slices of very thin pancetta
50g parsley
1 red bell pepper
1 orange bell pepper
1 egg
2 hard boiled eggs
175g minced pork
175g minced beef
Salt and pepper

Ask your butcher to prepare a boneless rabbit.
Cut the bell peppers into strips.
Chop the hard boiled eggs
Mix the minced pork and minced beef.  Finely chop the parsley and add it to the meat.  Add the egg and season with salt and pepper.
Use half the pancetta slices and overlap them on a large chopping board.
Spread out the boneless rabbit on to the pancetta slices
The spread the minced meat on lengthwise on one side of the rabbit meat
Place the strips of red bell peppers in a line along one side of the minced meat.
Place the strips of orange bell peppers along the other side of the mince meat
Top the minced meat with the chopped hard boiled eggs.
Use the rest of the pancetta slices to neatly top the whole piece of meat.  Overlap them and tap the meat all over gently with your fingertips.
Start to roll the rabbit taking a good grip of the pancetta at the bottom and carry on rolling the meat until it forms a neat roll
Wrap in foil then in baking paper.
At this stage you can refrigerate it or freeze it and for later use.
Preheat the oven to 200C.  To cook the stuffed boneless rabbit, weigh the whole piece of meat after stuffing it and allow 1 hour per kilo of uncooked weight.
Allow to rest after it is cooked for 15 minutes, then cut in slices and serve.

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Nose-to-tail boneless stuffed rabbit ready for roasting.  This photo was taken during a live tv show by Marconia Schembri

Lea’s Tip:  Slices of the stuffed rabbit are also delicious served cold the day after it is cooked.  Flavours improve and it cuts very well.  Use very thin and even slices of bacon to roll and stuff your rabbit and you will find that you do not need to tie the meat nor use any skewers or toothpicks.

saddle-of-rabbit-cj

Ready to serve, thinly sliced stuffed boneless rabbit.  This photo was taken during a live tv show by CJ Baldacchino.

My boneless rabbit and other meats come from Ta Cancu Butcher in Zejtun, bacon by Campofrio at PJ Sutters, herbs and spices by Schwartz, organic vegetables by Barbuto, kitchenware by Tescoma

Lemon Ricotta Linguine with Lamb’s Lettuce

22. Quick Lemon Ricotta Linguine LGFE (Illumina Media)

Linguine with ricotta, lambs lettuce and lemon [This photo was taken during a live tv show by Illumina Media]

‘This is a perfect light pasta dish for the summer prepared in the same amount of time it takes to cook the pasta’

500g linguine
salt for pasta water

For the sauce:
1 cup reserved pasta water
150g lambs lettuce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
200g ricotta
75g parmesan
Lemon Pepper to season
To Serve: Freshly grated parmesan

Follow the instructions on the packet to cook the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water.

Reserve a cup of the pasta water when you drain the pasta.

Place the ricotta, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, half the pasta water and parmesan in a container. Add some lemon pepper. Use a hand blender to combine all the ingredients together until it forms a smooth paste.

Heat the rest of the olive oil on medium heat in a large flat saucepan. Add the blended ricotta mix. Add the linguine and stir gently then the pasta water little by little until the consistency of the sauce is creamy and coats the pasta. Add the lambs lettuce and garnish with more parmesan, lemon pepper and lemon segments. Serve immediately.

‘Lea’s tip: the starch contained in the pasta water produces a thick creamy consistency when added to the sauce without the addition of cream or butter. Omit adding salt to the sauce as the saltiness from the pasta water is usually sufficient.’

I use linguine by Pasta Rummo, ricotta by Zappala, lemon pepper by Schwartz, fresh vegetables by Big Fresh and parmesan and other cheeses by Experia the Deli.

Coming soon on tv

lea kitchen aid

Coming soon on tv Lea’s Good Food Everyday, a live broadcast daily available on demand if you live abroad.  Every Friday the program will be in English.    Lea’s Good Food Everyday is sponsored by KitchenAid.

kitchenaid

Lea’s Good Food Everyday is sponsored by KitchenAid

Sheep’s Milk Ravioli Bake

fresh sheep's milk ravioli bake 1

A good and very quick alternative to lasagne is a ravioli bake.  I use fresh sheep’s milk ravioli from the Farmers Market [Photos: Illumina Media & Mad Promotions, Accessories by Cabouxon]


For the sauce you will need:
1 medium onion
1 close garlic
a few fresh basil leaves
a pinch of dried basil
1 Kallo Natural Stock Cube
1 glass red wine
1 tablespoon tomato puree
500g fresh very ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil

and

500g sheep’s milk ravioli
1 eggplant, cut into slices lengthways and cooked or 200g sliced ham
100 g grated cheddar cheese
2 peppered gbejna cheeses
salt and pepper
100 ml mascarpone mixed with 100 ml yoghurt

fresh sheeps milk ravioli bake recipe

Incredibly quick to make, a fresh meal prepared in minutes (plus the baking time of course!)

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Prepare the tomato sauce by placing the olive oil in a large pan on low heat. Add the onion, garlic, fresh tomatoes, wine, seasoning, fresh and dried basil and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, add the tomato puree and cook for another 5 minutes, uncovered so that it reduces and thickens.

Prepare an ovenproof dish with a non stick baking spray.

Start layering your ingredients but covering the bottom of the dish with either cooked eggplant or if you prefer slices of ham to prevent the ravioli from sticking to the bottom.

Then cover with a layer of uncooked ravioli.  Next cover with tomato sauce, sprinkle lightly with a mix of chedder and peppered gbejna cheese and start layering again with the ham, then the ravioli, the sauce, the cheese.  Spoon over the mixture of mascarpone and yoghurt.  Top again with a mix of the cheddar and peppered cheese.

Bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes.  Allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes and garnish with extra basil before serving.

Happy Easter: Torta Pasqualina

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Torta Pasqualina, table accessories by Cabouxon

‘After the fast comes the feast and this Ligurian pie busts with eggs, hard cooked and also as a binder for the filling and I use a mix of kale, fresh herbs and spinach.  The pie is baked in a bundt tin using filo pastry and I sprinkled it with sesame seeds.
I love Easter, as just like Spring, it is all about new beginnings and looking forward’

‘I thank you dear readers for stopping by every day.  I know I have reached you in many parts of the world where I still dream to go one day.  I appreciate that you read my posts,  look at my pictures and cook my food.  

A writer is not fulfilled without readers and therefore I am truly blessed.  

From an island with all the good things in life, I wish you a happy easter.’

For the Torta Pasqualina you will need:

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 kilo of mixed kale and spinach leaves
a handful of flat leaf parsley
a handful of fresh herbs of your choice
a pinch of allspice
a grating of nutmeg
250g sheeps milk ricotta
100g grated fresh mature gbejna
100g grated goats cheese cheddar
9 eggs (5 of them being hard boiled)
salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon Dried Oregano
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 packet filo pastry

In a pan cook the chopped onion in a few drops of olive oil. Clean and trip the spinach and kale leaves, roughly chop and place them in a large bowl. Scald them with boiling water and leave them to soak for 5 minutes.

Drain the water by passing the leaves through a sieve. Place the leaves in a clean kitchen towel, wrap it up and squeeze the water out but wringing the kitchen towel tightly. Do this several times. This process helps to retain a better colour and freshness to the leaves.

Place the leaves in a large bowl. Add the flat leaf parsley and the fresh herbs, the rest of the olive oil and the eggs (4) and use a hand blender to get a smooth consistency.

Add the cooked onion, grated gbejna, the cheddar, the organic apple vinegar, allspice, nutmeg, ricotta and mix using a large metal spoon. I do not like to blend the ricotta to give the filling a more interesting texture. Season with salt and pepper.

Use a brush to lightly coat the bundt tin with olive oil. Line with a layer of filo pastry leaving the edges hanging over the edge, brush with olive oil, then layer another sheet of filo pastry and repeat with a third sheet.

Spoon the filling neatly into the pie dish.

Place the whole hard cooked eggs inside the filling and push down.
Bring together the overlapping pastry and cover up the top of the pie. If necessary use another sheet of filo pastry to cover up the top by scrunching it up lightly and then brushing with olive oil. Scatter some sesame seeds on top.

Cook in a preheated oven at 150C for 45 minutes. I then turn off the oven and place the pie in the bottom of the oven to carry on cooking the bottom of the pastry and avoid it from being soggy.
I like to allow this pie to cool completely before cutting. It is delicious cold but can also be cut and then reheat the slices to expose the hard cooked eggs.

Kiwi Loaf, lactose free, no added fats

kiwi avocado muffins 2

Dried Kiwi by Good Earth, kitchenware by Tescoma and AMC [photo Illumina Media]

‘I prepare food that reflects Spring this month.  The season is all about new beginnings even more so than New Year and this loaf is another of my quick mixes, made in no time at all. I use avocado and completely omit butter and oil.  I also add Chia Seeds as they complement the consistency and appearance of the kiwi seeds.  This cake is not too sweet and some of those around me felt it was not sweet enough but they changed their mind when I spread a thin film of honey on their slice’


You will need:
250g self raising flour
70ml coconut milk
ripe avocado
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon bicarbonate of soda
chia seeds
juice and zest of a tangerine
1 tablespoon apple organic vinegar
4 eggs
8 tablespoons stevia
2 tablespoons agave
100g dried kiwi
seeds of a vanilla pod
250g fresh kiwi

Preheat the oven to 160C.
Soak the chia seeds in the coconut milk.
Mix all the dried ingredients together by sifting the flour, adding the bicarbonate of soda and stevia.  Chop the dried kiwi and add half of it to the flour mixture.
In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, avocado, apple, tangerine juice, apple organic vinegar, agave, vanilla, citrus zest and half the fresh kiwi.  Use a hand held blender and mix until the mixture is consistent.
Prepare a loaf tin of 21 cm with a non stick baking spray and I cover mine with baking paper.
Use a large metal spoon to fold in the egg mix with the dry ingredients.  inal gently fold in the chia seeds soaked in coconut milk.  Do not overmix.
Pour the batter into the loaf tin and decorate the surface with the remainder of the chopped up fresh and dry kiwi.
Bake for 40 minutes  Allow to cool before removing from the loaf tin.
koala 9

Carrot and Date Bars

carrot cereal bars 1 daniel balzan

Carrot and Date Cereal Bars, quick, delicious and fresh.  Ingredients by Good Earth and tableware by C & H Bartoli

‘I like making my own cereal bars as i know exactly what has gone into them.  This is a quick recipe and the result is amazing.  Once they are completely cool, preferably the day after, I cut them up, pack them individually and freeze them’

You will need:

1 large carrot, grated
a pod of vanilla
2 cups oats
1/2 cup dates
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup mixed chopped almonds and pistachios
a pinch of cinnamon
a grating of fresh nutmeg
a pinch of mixed spice
grated zest of a tangerine
water

Preheat the oven to 180C.

In a saucepan placed the dates and grated carrot. Add 1/4 cup of water, the spices and grated citrus zest and allow the dates to break down on low heat. Add more water, a few tablespoons at a time if necessary and do not allow the mixture to dry up. When the dates are soft and mushy turn off the heat, mix and allow to cool

In a large bowl place the oats, add the vanilla then add the cooled down date and carrot mixture. Mix until the consistency is even.

Line a loaf tin with baking paper. Press down the mixture and use a spoon dipped in water to press it down until it is compact. Top with chopped nuts and press down again using the wet spoon.

Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.

Leave in the fridge overnight.

The next day remove the bake from the loaf tin by pulling the baking paper out gently.

Use a sharp knife to cut into bars. They can be stored in the freezer for up to a month. If you are using them for kids lunch boxes or parties, leave the nuts out.


And you can use the same recipe without baking by shaping the mixture into balls and rolling them in coconut to produce these delicious Carrot and Coconut balls.

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

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Place a burrata cheese in the centre

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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

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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

Socca

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Socca or Farinata Flat breads made out of Chick pea flour #glutenfree

‘I have taken to using gram flour (chick pea flour) as often as I can and I promise that you will be hooked. I first came across Socca in Nice, but I am told that in Italy they are known as farinata. The trick: if you do not have a cast iron pan, you can use any non-stick pan or pancake pan and,…

Source: Savoury Flatbreads