Today ISSUE NUMBER 16 • july 2012
€2.00 where sold
Taiana makes Brazilian treats Pippa Mattei prepares a fishy feast Cool down with ice-cream sundaze OVER
3 Get barbequing this summer with the homecooks 11 Hot Brazilian fare 17 Whip up some ice-cream sundaes on hot summer afternoons 24 Vintage wine traveller takes a trip across the waters to Sicily 27 Dine in a fairytale at Quadro 35 Pippa Mattei makes succulent sicc 41 A feast of figs 51 Fine dining without the fuss at The Kitchen 56 Brilliant basil icecream recipes 59 Michael Diacono makes a colourful and tasty mille foglie of aubergines
Vjal ir-Riħan, San Ġwann SGN 9016 Malta Tel: +356 382741 Fax: +356 21381992 www.maltatoday.com.mt
As summer is hotting up we exchange long lazy afternoons wining and dining for beaches, bikinis and other such summer fun. Rather than giving up on food we simply make a few changes Out go the heavy stews, sauces and pies and in come the lighter fish meals and colourful salads. Barbeques are synonymous with summer time. However they don’t necessarily need to be simply boring burgers and sausages. Our homecooks create a fabulous fishy feast on the barbeque with grilled calamari and prawns for starters and a whole white fish cooked al cartoccio on the grill – simple, easy recipes that don’t require hours of slaving in the kitchen. If you’re bored of cooking the same old recipes day in day out, try some of Taiana’s Brazilian recipes. Traditional feijoada – black beans with different cuts of pork all washed down with caipiroskas – perfectly refreshing on a hot evening. The fig season is relatively short with just a couple of months of luscious, juicy figs. Make the most of them with some of Pippa Mattei’s delicious recipes. On a hot afternoon cool yourself off with ice-cream sundaes. Rather than going out to find one, make them yourselves with your kids – an exercise they will find just as fun as indulging in them when they are ready. And if you’re feeling really adventurous make your own ice-creams too. We hope you enjoy this issue of GOURMET Today and look forward to receiving your comments and suggestions. Bon appétit!
Managing Editor: Saviour Balzan Editor: Rachel Zammit Cutajar firstname.lastname@example.org
Design: Kevin Grech Photography: Ray Attard Head of sales: Adriana Farrugia Contact for advertising: Chris Sacco – 21382741 ext: 121
Cover: Taiana Andrades Grech Cover photo by Ray Attard Printed at: Print It Printing Services
As days get hotter and nights get warmer, make the most of your outdoor space with some great barbeque meals. Barbeques need not be simply burgers and sausages but can include a vast array of gourmet dishes. Fish is fantastic on the barbeque and can be cooked in a variety of ways. Gaby Holland makes some perfect barbeque prawn and calamari skewers served on a bed of watermelon and avocado salsa and Ann Gatt makes a simple, no-mess, whole fish cooked al cartoccio on the barbeque, with salads and potatoes that are as beautifully coloured as the summer months. Sandra Dimech goes exotic with a refreshing pineapple and mango pie.
photography by ray attard
E CO 5 OKS
Barbequed calamari and prawns with sweet chilli, ginger and lime glaze Ingredients Serves 6 as a starter
• 2 tbsp ginger, grated
Glaze • 1 tbsp sesame oil • Large knob of butter • 2 tbsp honey • 2 limes, juice and zest • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Avocado and watermelon salsa • 1 large ripe avocado, peeled and cubed • 2 large slices watermelon, seeded and cubed • 2 spring onions, finely chopped • Bunch or fresh coriander or basil leaves, finely chopped • Juice of 1 lemon • Olive oil • Salt and pepper
• 12 wooden skewers soaked for a couple of hours • 12 small calamari (cleaned) • 6 large prawns or 12 medium sized
For the glaze 1. In a small saucepan place the oil and butter over low heat. 2. Add the lime juice and the zest, the ginger and chopped chilli. 3. Stir in the honey and cook gently for around 5 minutes, taking care that the honey does not burn. Set aside. For the salsa 4. Add all the ingredients in a bowl and mix in the lemon juice and olive oil, 5. Season with freshly ground pepper and sea salt. You can prepare the salsa up to an hour before otherwise the avocado might discolour. For the calamari skewers 6. Thread 2 calamari on each skewer (1 per person) and 1 large prawn on another skewer (one per person). 7. Place on a hot barbecue for 1 minute and turn over for and other minute. 8. Brush on glaze and repeat on each side for a minute or less on each side. 9. When serving place one of each on plate with some salsa and drizzle glaze over fish.
Mojito Ingredients • • • • • •
1 shot Clement Canne Bleue 2010 rum 1 lime 8 mint leaves 1 tbsp brown sugar Club soda Crushed ice
1. Cut the lime into quarters and put into a glass. 2. Add the mint leaves and the sugar and muddle together. 3. Stir in the rum. 4. Add crushed ice. 5. Top up with soda water. 6. Garnish with a slice of lime.
Peter Lehmann Chardonnay Weighbridge This South Australian chardonnay is not oakmatured giving it a soft fruity generous middle palate, balanced by a delightfully crisp acidity and finishing long with lingering peach flavours. Delicious as an aperitif, it is also a delightful accompaniment to roast chicken, creamy pasta dishes, or pan-fried and grilled fish.
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Barbequed white fish al cartoccio
Ingredients Serve 4
• 1kg whole fish (Sea bream – Pagru or any other whole white fish) • 4 cloves garlic • Marjoram • Mint • Basil
• • • • • • • •
2 lemons Olive oil ½ glass white wine Parsley A few cherry tomatoes Salt/pepper Clams Mussels
Method 1. Place the fish onto the foil. Make sure you have enough foil to envelope the entire fish. 2. Place 3 slices of lemon over the fish. 3. Leave 2 garlic cloves in their skins and place them inside the fish. 4. Put the cherry tomatoes, clams and mussels on both sides of the fish. 5. Chop the parsley together with a clove of garlic and spread them over the fish.
Barbequed potatoes Serves 4
Ingredients • • • • • • •
500g potatoes 1 spring onion 1 clove garlic 1 whole lemon Juice of ½ a lemon Olive oil Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Parboil potatoes in water with a lemon sliced in half. Drain. 2. Chop the spring onion, garlic and parsley. 3. Place all the ingredients in a bowl add the olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and the lemon juice and coat the potatoes. 4. Put the potatoes on a skewer and place on the barbie to char-grill, basting with the remaining oil mixture.
6. Add the herbs. 7. Sprinkle the sea salt and pepper. 8. Begin to fold and secure the 2 sides of the foil tightly leaving one open. 9. Pour the white wine, the olive oil and lemon juice into the pocket you created. 10. Now secure this side tightly. 11. Place over the Barbie to cook about 20 mins depending on the size of your fish.
Baby spinach and strawberry salad Ingredients • • • • •
Baby Spinach leaves Strawberries Goat cheese Almonds Black olives
Vinegrette • • • •
2 1 1 1
tbsp olive oil tbsp cider vinegar tbsp pomegranate juice chilli, chopped
1. Whisk the ingredients in the vinegrette and reserve. 2. Lay the spinach leaves on a flat plate. 3. Top with chopped strawberries, almonds and olives. 4. Crumble the goats cheese over the top. 5. Top with vinegrette just before serving.
Suggested wine: Sutter Home Pinot Grigio
The wine has a bright acidity that makes it crisp and refreshing. Sweet flavours and aromas of white peach, melon, citrus, and tropical fruits accented with a pleasant, floral note. Light-to-medium bodied on the palate, and round in texture. A versatile pairing to many cuisines, including Mediterranean, Italian, seafood, cheeses, and spicy Latin and Asian fare.
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Tropical pineapple & mango pie Ingredients Biscuit Crust
• 300g gingernut biscuits • 125g butter, melted
• 350ml sweetened condensed milk
• 250ml fresh cream • ½ cup fresh lime juice • 240g crushed pineapple, drained • 1 ripe mango, peeled, seeded and finely chopped • ½ cup toasted desiccated coconut
Method 1. Place biscuits into a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. 2. Transfer to a mixing bowl, add melted butter and mix until well combined. 3. Spoon into a 23cm cake tin and press down and around into an even layer. 4. Beat sweetened condensed milk and lime juice on medium speed for 2 minutes. 5. Whip cream till thick and fold into sweetened condensed milk mixture.
6. Add pineapple and mango and fold in. 7. Pour into prepared biscuit crust, level and sprinkle the top with toasted coconut. 8. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight before serving. Mango can be replaced by 120g more pineapple or 2 small chopped bananas. Only canned pineapple is suitable for this recipe as fresh pineapple will not let it set.
Suggested wine: Viña San Pedro Late Harvest Riesling Hailing from Chile, this inexpensive late harvest Riesling delivers with aromas and flavours of honey, apricot, fresh peach and caramel. Though perfect on its own, a fruit tart, apple pie or gingerbread will make this wine even more enjoyable. This Viña San Pedro Late Harvest Riesling will also pair nicely with an aged cheddar.
For further information contact the agent in Malta, Ann Gatt on 9923 1907. Exclusively available at Gaba Décor.
Mouton Cadet becomes the Official Supplier to the European Golf Tour
The (PGA) European Tour, the organizer of 48 tournaments in 27 countries every year, and the US PGA, are the most powerful Golf organizations that made Golf and Wine become connected in this partnership. Being the official Wine Supplier to The European Tour, Mouton Cadet will be offered in the first-class hospitality of six of the most important Golf championships of the European Tour this year. This is an estimated 200,000 glasses of Mouton Cadet being yearly offered for tasting to the VIP audience of those tournaments, giving Mouton Cadet an unprecedented customer exposure. The Bordeaux leading AOC wine, Mouton Cadet achieves sales of 12 million bottles in 150 countries around the globe, including Malta. Mouton Cadet was created in 1930 and by remaining to its origins it has become the worldwide reference for Bordeaux Appellation Control. Imported and distributed by Charles Grech, Valley Road, B’ Kara TEL: 2144 4400
“Dolce vita” is back For the third year in a row S.Pellegrino was the official water of the Festival de Cannes the famous event in France for the International film industry. This year people enjoyed the sparkling taste of S.Pellegrino in our stands as the celebrities did during the press conferences. S.Pellegrino dedicated a special edition bottle to the event, an Hommage à la dolce vita that will be for either Horeca and Retail channels in France, Belgium and Russia. Imported by Charles Grech & Co. Ltd, Valley Road, B’ Kara TEL 2144 4400
The summer is hot and entertaining is a-plenty. But impressing your guests with new dishes gets harder and harder the more you entertain. Why not seek out recipes from outside of our shores and go for something completely different. In Brazil the eating and drinking culture is hot as ever. Taiana Andrades Grech, originally from Brazil, came to Malta to learn English where she fell in love, got married and is now here to stay. She brings some of Brazilâ€™s favourite recipes to our tables.
photography by ray attard
Bolinho de bacalhau – Cod fish croquettes Bolinho de bacalhau are one of Brazil’s favourite bar snacks that also double as a great starter. The light cod and potato croquettes have a golden crispy outside with a light creamy inside and are almost always served with an ice-cold beer – a perfect midsummer snack, starter or light meal.
• 400g codfish • 2 large potatoes • 1 tbsp plain flour (have a little more on the side just in case the mixture is too wet) • 2 egg yolks • Handful parsley, chopped • Knob of salted butter • 1 clove garlic, crushed • Breadcrumbs • Salt and pepper • Sunflower oil for frying
1. If the cod is salted, leave to soak in water in the fridge for a few hours or overnight to remove some of the salt. You can always add salt to the mixture but you cannot remove it if it is too salty. 2. Boil the potatoes until tender. 3. Mash the potatoes with a knob of butter 4. Add the fish, egg yolks, garlic, parsley, flour, salt and pepper and mix well. 5. Roll 1 tbsp of the mixture into a ball and coat in breadcrumbs. If the mixture is too wet and sticking to your fingers add a little extra flour. 6. Heat the oil until a small amount of mixture dropped into the pan sizzles vigorously. 7. Fry the balls for a few seconds on each side until golden. 8. Place cod fritters on a paper towel to absorb excess oil. 9. Serve warm or at room temperature with a squeeze of lime juice and some sliced fresh chilli. The best accompaniment for this dish is an icecold beer. For the Brazilians a beer can only be served ice-cold. Use smaller bottles of beer, or freeze a small glass, and get up to get a new one when it is finished rather than filling a pint glass which will get warm by the time you get to the end.
Feijoada – Black beans and pork Nothing says Brazil quite like Feijoada. Made from black beans and lots of different cuts of meat, Feijoada is the Brazilian national dish with Brazilians eating it all year round. Although the dish they eat daily is a lighter version of just beans, onions and herbs served with rice, a richer version allows for different cuts of meat to be thrown in. The original dish was came from the slaves, who used pigs’ trotters and the pig’s head to flavour the dish and though the traditional recipe still includes these cuts, many Brazilians leave out the strong tasting offal and replace it with better cuts of meat including the belly, bacon, pancetta and smoked sausages.
Ingredients • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
800g black beans 400g spare ribs (pork) 400g pork belly 200g pancetta 200g smoked sausage 200g bacon 5 tbsp sunflower oil 1 large onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, crushed 4 bay leaves Handful parsley 2 spring onions 1 orange 1 shot vodka Salt and pepper to taste
1. Soak the beans overnight and cook in a pressure cooker for 30 – 45 minutes until tender or in a normal pan for approximately 1 hour. 2. Rinse the meat and cut into bite-sized pieces. Do not trim to remove fat and rind as this adds flavour to the dish. 3. Fry the bacon and the pork belly for a few minutes until golden, then add these to the beans. 4. Fry the pancetta, sausages and spare ribs until golden and add to the beans. 5. Fry the onion and garlic until translucent and add to the beans. 6. Add the parsley, spring onions and bay leaves and cook for 30 – 45 minutes. 7. Squeeze half an orange into the mixture and add a shot of vodka and leave to simmer for another 20 minutes. 8. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 9. Serve with rice, fried cabbage and slices of fresh orange. This dish is best served with an ice cold Caipirinha, or if you can’t get hold of Cachaça, a Caipiroska which substitutes it with vodka.
Ingredients • • • • • •
1 small onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, crushed 2 cups rice 2 cups water Salt Oil
This dish is traditionally made with kale, though cabbage makes a good alternative if kale is difficult to find.
Ingredients • • • • •
1. Fry the onion and garlic in oil until translucent. 2. Add the rice and fry for a couple of minutes. 3. Add 1 ½ to 2 cups of water for every cup of rice. The more water you use the softer the rice becomes. Less water gives you firmer rice. 4. Add some salt, reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 20 minutes.
Large handful cabbage leaves ½ onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, crushed 3 slices bacon Salt and pepper to taste
1. Slice the cabbage or kale into thin strips. 2. Fry the onions and the garlic in oil until translucent. 3. Add the chopped bacon. 4. Add the strips of cabbage and cook until the greens are wilted. 5. Serve with a slice or orange to garnish.
Caipiroska Though the traditional Brazilian drink is a Caipirinha mixing Cachaça, lime juice and sugar, many Brazilians prefer the version with vodka due to Cachaça’s strong taste.
Makes one cocktail
Ingredients • • • •
1 1 2 4
lime shot vodka tbsp white sugar ice cubes
1. Cut the limes into quarters. 2. Add the sugar to the limes in a large bowl and muddle, releasing the juices from the limes. 3. Add the vodka and stir until the sugar has dissolved. 4. Pour into individual glasses and add the ice. 5. Serve immediately and keep them coming.
Lunches made simple and delicious bread and pasta. The specials menu is limited, though changes every day to keep the many regulars from getting tired of the same old same old. Whether you want to eat in and chill out in the colourful surroundings or sneak back into the office and enjoy you lunch at your desk, Goldie will accommodate and if you don’t have the time to get down there, you can just have your food delivered to most central areas of the island. When it comes time to pay the bill, prices are reasonable - perfect for the every day lunches that are a necessity if you are too busy - or lazy - to prepare your own food in the morning before work. Of course the cafe does not only cater for working lunches. If you fancy a light lunch with a group of friends then Cafe Goldie is a perfect spot. They also cater for events and private functions. If you are stuck for lunch ideas and haven’t yet been down to Cafe Goldie problem solved. Get down there and sample some simple dishes made delicious. Cafe Goldie is open from Monday to Saturday for breakfast, mid-morning snacks and lunch from 8:00 to 16:00. Find Cafe Goldie on Facebook to receive daily updates on the specials menu. Cafe Goldie Testaferrata Street, Gzira. Tel: 21320931
Roasted carrot and quinoa salad While quinoa is usually considered to be a whole grain it is actually a seed, but can be prepared like whole grains such as rice or barley. The high protein content makes it ideal for vegetarians and vegans. Quinoa provides all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein which is gluten and cholesterol-free. This roasted carrot quinoa salad recipe is high in protein, low in fat, with lots of sweet and spicy flavours. It is great as a main dish or a side salad. Bring this quinoa salad to a BBQ and impress your friends.
Ingredients • • • •
1kg white quinoa 500g red quinoa (cook according to packet instructions, red quinoa usually needs more cooking) 500g chopped carrots 1 can chickpeas
• • • • • • • • •
hand full mint and basil 4 spring onions, finely chopped 250g sultanas 250g toasted almond flakes 4 tsp Cajun spice 3 tbsp honey 3 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp balsamic glaze salt and pepper to taste
Method 1. Chop carrots and place in a baking tray. 2. Pour over honey, olive oil and balsamic glaze. 3. Mix well and roast for about 30mins on 180°C till carrots are cooked and caramelized. 4. Add carrots to the cooked quinoa as well as the rest of the ingredients, feel free to add more Cajun spice according to taste.
photography by Julian calabrese and nicky scicluna
afe Goldie is a fantastic little cafe in the busy Gzira area that offers office lunches to workers operating in the busy hub. Owner Cristina Dacoutros, better known as Goldie, has always had a flair for cooking and enjoyed entertaining, deriving great satisfaction from full and content friends sitting around the table. And so she set off on a journey to create a home away from home where people from all over the island could come and enjoy real and natural food in a relaxed and casual atmosphere. Stepping into Cafe Goldie is like stepping into a different world. The cool air-conditioning offers respite from the blistering heat outside and the brightly coloured furniture and paintings lift the atmosphere and make you feel instantly at home. Everything is prepared in-house, from the pastries, quiches, pies, salads, wraps, sandwiches and bagels to ensure you get the freshest, purest experience. Cafe Goldie has taken advantage of today’s health conscious and includes a variety of interesting vegetarian dishes that are also enjoyed by meat-lovers. The gluten intolerant and those watching their waistline will also be satisfied with a good selection of gluten-free and whole grain
The best way to keep cool on a hot summer afternoon is to whip up a great big ice-cream sundae. Rather than going out to find one, make them yourselves with your kids – an exercise they will find just as fun as indulging in it when they are ready. And if you’re feeling really adventurous make your own ice-creams too. There are no hard and fast rules to what goes in a sundae, just open the fridge, take a peek into the pantry to make your ice-creams so much more special. Maya, Kim and Theodora whip up a few muchloved sundaes, with the help of Cristina at Café Goldie to give them their own twist.
photography by ray attard
Cheeky Monkey Ingredients • • • • •
Vanilla ice-cream Caramel syrup Oreo cookies Banana Whipped cream
Method 1. Place some glasses in the freezer for 15 minutes to keep the sundae from melting too quickly. 2. Crush some cookies in a bowl with the bottom of a glass. 3. Swirl some caramel syrup around a tall glass. 4. Add the crushed biscuits to the glass.
5. Add a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. 6. Chop a banana and add a layer on top. 7. Add a dollop of syrup. 8. Continue to layer until you reach the top of the glass. 9. Top with whipped cream and some cookie crumbles.
Knickerbocker glory Ingredients • • • • • •
3 different flavours of ice-cream Chopped fruit Strawberry syrup Whipped cream Mini-marshmallows Sprinkles
Method 1. Place some glasses or an ice-cream bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes to keep the sundae from melting too quickly. 2. Chop some fruit and put it at the bottom of the bowl. 3. Add one flavour of ice-cream followed by a good dollop of syrup. 4. Add another layer of fruit and a different flavour of icecream until all the ice-cream has been used up. 5. Finish with whipped cream a handful of mini-marshmallows and sprinkles.
Chocolatey wafer sundae Ingredients • • • • • •
Strawberry ice-cream Wafer fingers Toasted cashew nuts Smarties Chocolate syrup Whipped cream
Method 1. Place an ice-cream bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes to keep the sundae from melting too quickly. 2. Place the wafer fingers in a circular shape around the bowl. 3. Add as many scoops of ice-cream as you can eat. 4. Throw over a handful of toasted cashew nuts. 5. Drizzle some chocolate syrup over the sundae. 6. Top with whipped cream and a handful of smarties.
The pleasure in cooking together Lecturers in food preparation and top executive chefs in workshop organised by P. Cutajar & Co Ltd Following on last year’s success, P. Cutajar together with OSI Europe Foodworks GmbH hosted another food service workshop hosted by food engineer Oliver Bertermann from Foodworks. A group of lecturers from the Institute of Tourism Studies were invited to participate and the invitation was also extended to top executive chefs and chef patrons from the kitchens of exclusive eateries on the Island. Lecturers and chefs at the food preparation training, called Let’s Cook Together discussed new food ideas with the help of experienced chef and expert for sensory tastings Oliver Bertermann. The handson sessions aimed at exchanging culinary ideas and sharing experiences focusing around the introduction of new products, complementary ingredients and ‘centre of plate’ ideas. “We are delighted to be able to leverage our relationships with exceptional
companies like OSI Europe Foodworks for the benefit of students and trades people in Malta,” said Alexander Arena Divisional Manager at P Cutajar & Co Ltd of San Gwann. “At P. Cutajar we embrace this philosophy and in fact by sharing the expertise and resources of our partners with the Institute of Tourism Studies lecturers, top executive chefs and chef patrons, it helps us strengthen our relationship and
presence in the market.” “Once again this collaboration with P. Cutajar and Foodworks provided us with the opportunity to offer an excellent staff development initiative,” said Adrian Mamo, Executive Director Institute of Tourism Studies. “It is through these events that the Institute of Tourism Studies will achieve its objective to improve its curriculum and bring it up to date with current trends happening in the hospitality field.” Foodworks offers high quality food products for food service and retail. In operation since 2002, the company sells to catering, retail and food-processing industries across Europe. The OSI Group employs over 14,000 people at 45 locations in 18 countries worldwide. The Foodservice Sessions were held at the Institute of Tourism Studies Pembroke Suite Restaurant.
Great wines under the vines Under a starry night and blossoming vines, wine lovers and aficionados sampled a selection of wines from various regions in the world at the annual P. Cutajar Wine Experience’ at Razzett l-Abjad. Wine Masters and oenologists from Italian estates Bersano, Pasqua and Martini, France’s Le Grand Chais de France, Laroche and Bouchard Aine et Fils, Misiones De Rengo from Chile and Malta’s own Maria Rosa Vineyards gave simultaneous wine tutorials and mingled with the crowd to chat passionately about their wines to interested patrons. Over 40 wines could be tasted throughout the two nights. This year also saw the introduction of the Martini Royale, a refreshingly light cocktail using Martini Prosecco DOCG mixed with Martini Rosato or Bianco which is perfect for hot summer evenings.
“Once again the P.Cutajar wine experience enjoyed a great turnout, with people flocking to the Razett to enjoy our vast variety of wines and to learn more about them by attending the highly acclaimed wine tutorials. We believe strongly in educating consumers about our products which is the best long term investment for our wines business” said Matthew Cuomo, wine manager for P.Cutajar & Co. Ltd.
Everything’s A-okay I
n the middle of a blistering hot day in the city, there are a huge number of places to stop for refreshment and refuelling. However if you’re looking for more than just a bite to eat A’s coffee and more is the spot for you. The concept at A’s is to grab the kind of food you would normally make at home while being in an environment that is not altogether that far away from the one at home. The free seating concept at A’s encourages a more familiar feel where patrons sit wherever they can find a free chair You might be at a table with a mother and her kids or with two elderly men stopping to catch their breath. Andrew Falzon, who runs the show with Gertrude, said “we want people to feel like they are sitting down to lunch with their extended family. In a world where we spend most of the day behind a screen, communicating through a computer or mobile phone it is important to spend time having quality face-to-face conversations.” Though the ideal was first met with some resistance, Andrew said people have really embraced this concept, which is new to Malta and you will often find people choosing to sit at a table with other people on it even if there are empty tables available. This philosophy extends to the food served at A’s too. “There is no such thing as flimsy ham and processed cheese or sliced bread offered as a sandwich at A’s. We take care to source the best quality ingredients – ftiras or seeded rolls, along with a range of ingredients you can choose from to build your own sandwich.” And what’s more is that you are charged according to how many ingredients
you put in your sandwich and not what the ingredients are so you can feel free to build exotic sandwiches with anything you like. The menu changes according to seasonal ingredients available with seasonal fruit being the star of many recipes. In May, it was strawberries, freshly picked from Mgarr, that took a leading role in the menu – from simple strawberries dipped in chocolate, to strawberry smoothies and pancakes with strawberries and mascarpone. As summer sets into full swing check out the melon recipes on offer. “Absolutely everything is made in-house. We had special requests for pastizzi from the Valletta crowd, however we could not bring ourselves to buy them in and sell them at a mark up so we decided to try our hand at making them ourselves. The results were fantastic – pastizzi with buffalo ricotta, ricotta and rucola, mixed gbejniet and prociutto cotto. “We make them twice a week and they are sold out pretty much as soon as they hit the shelves. You can, however call in to place an order to be sure you won’t be
disappointed.” In just a few months of opening A’s has become a necessary stop for anyone needing a coffee fix. Along with the usual espresso, A’s also make a proper double espresso – which is made from two espressos rather than just one with added water. You can also order a huge mug of coffee which is becoming more and more popular. Summer opening hours A’s is open from Monday - Friday from 6:15 to 17:30, Saturday from 7:30 - 18:00. Closed on Sundays. Summer opening hours apply from June to September. A’s coffee and more
Old Theatre Street, c/w Strait Street, Valletta Tel: 27667770 • Email: email@example.com
Dear Readers, In this issue we will be visiting Sicily and we shall talk about this islandâ€™s culture, food and its imposing wines. By John Bugeja
icily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea; along with surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana (Sicilian Autonomous Region). Its most renowned landmark is Mount Etna, which, at 3,320 metres, is the tallest active volcano in Europe and one of the most active in the world. Sicily has a plentiful and distinctive culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature, cuisine, architecture and language. It also holds importance for archaeological and ancient sites such as the Necropolis of Pantalica, the Valley of the Temples and Selinunte. The Sicilian economy is diversified with the agriculture sector being a considerable chunk of the economy with citrus fruits, olives and olive oil, grapes
and wine. Sicily became part of the Italian Republic in 1860, up until that point Sicily had, for the preceding 3000 years, been under the occupation of one foreign power after another. The Phoenicians were the first to arrive, 1000 BC and they were followed by the Greeks, Romans, Goths, Byzantines, Moors, Normans, Swabians, French and Spaniards. The majority of these occupations lasted at least 200 years. Therefore, the occupying powers had the time to establish agricultural systems and produce native to their homelands. As a result Sicilian cuisine is the most remarkable of all the Italian regions, since each new invasion added another layer to an increasingly affluent culinary tradition. Feasting is still an incredibly crucial part of Sicilian life. None of lifeâ€™s milestones, births, baptisms, first
communions, marriages, are considered properly marked without a substantial feast, accompanied by plenty of Sicilian wines. Luckily, Sicilyâ€™s produce is wonderfully abundant. The powerful sun and rich volcanic soil, combined with an irrigation system introduced by the Arabs, means that a wonderful variety of crops can be grown, all with a pure, intense flavour.
July 2012 Much of the main valley stretching west from Catania is now intensively farmed and Sicilian markets display an incredible wealth of produce. Since very little fruit or vegetables are imported, the markets also display only what is in season and can be grown locally and therefore Sicilian cuisine and Sicilian recipes change noticeably from season to season. Sicily is also home to more than 1/3 of Italy’s organic farms. There are 7000 organic farm estates in Sicily, making up the widest organic cultivation area in Italy. Sicilian organic wine is particularly successful in its production. All local produce can be found in the town and village shops supplying those who are experiencing Sicily in self catering accommodation. Many of the agriturismo on Sicily run their kitchens off the produce from their own farms as Sicilian food is always very fresh. The last 20 years have seen enormous changes to the island’s wine culture and, as the many international prizes won by Sicilian producers confirm, some of Italy’s finest wines are now being made in Sicily. A new generation of Sicilian producers are realising the full potential of the island’s enviable climate, its autochthonous grape varieties and its fertile soil. The Sicilian climate qualifies among those optimal viticultural climates of California and Australia with its rich soil and hot and arid conditions. Situated in the “sun belt,” Sicily’s climate is manipulated by African winds and the Mediterranean Sea. The passion of a young entrepreneur in love with his land gave life to the Firriato brand in the mid 1980’s in the heart of the marvellous scenario of Trapani countryside, which hears the signs of thousands of years of agricultural and winemaking culture while preserving a vibrant and wild nature. In just a few years Salvatore di Gaetano and Vinzia Novara, his wife and companion in this marvellous adventure, succeeded in leading the firm’s commitment to the rediscovery of autochthonous grape varieties and reinterpret international varieties. These are the guiding principles for Firriato’s entire world starting from the land, cultivated with love and skill, through the wine cellar, to distribution and relations with its partners and clients. The goal is to produce great Sicilian wines, such as the Quater Bianco 2009, produced from indigenous grapes Grillo, Cataratto, Carricante and Zibibbo. This vintage was awarded 90 points by wine Guru Robert Parker who wrote “the Quater Bianco offers up suggestions of mint, spices, vanilla, jasmine and white peaches, all of which meld together beautifully. The finish is long and impec-
cable. This is yet another attractive white from Firriato. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2014.” The Santagostino Baglio Soria Bianco 2010 which is a blend of 50% Catarratto and 50% Chardonnay, the blend is partially aged in French oak Barrel. The dialogue with the permanent staff, headed up by winemaker Peppe Pellegrino, enriched both sides and led to an explosion of innovation. Production rocketed from 400,000 bottles in 1994 to 4 million in 2002. At the same time, Firriato started to be showered with positive press and equally important the approval of the wine drinking public. Firriato’s prestige grew rapidly and almost overnight, reached the top layer of the Sicilian wine scene. Last year the Camelot 2008 I.G.T. which is a red blend of noble grape varieties 60% Cabernet Sauvignon –
40% Merlot was awarded Due Bicchieri on Gambero Rosso. This wine is dedicated to the most demanding wine lovers, those who love great wines and having tasted this great wine hold endless memory in their heart and minds. The Harmonium Nero d’Avola was a result of an act of love towards Sicily and its symbolic red grape. Firriato harvested the most beautiful bunches; those most kissed by the sun, and were carefully and passionately vinified. On the palate it is very concentrated, powerful and warm with vigorously caressing tannins. It is a work of balance and harmony that has captured us, as only a great musical composition could have done. Therefore, that is why Firriato have really hit the nail on the head with the name of this wine. This summer when your will be doing you entertaining with your friends keep in mind that our Sicilian cousins have a vast range of wines to impress even the most discerning wine lover. Ciao e buon fine settimana a tutti.... For any further information on Firriato wines contact us on: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org • email@example.com Tel: 25692203
Fishy flavours in fairytale surroundings
Quadro offers magnificent views of the Mediterranean, home to many of the spectacular specimen that make it onto their exciting menu.
photography by ray attard
Quadro Though the days are blisteringly hot, the evenings still offer a little rest from the heat and if you can get to a spot that offers a little bit of a sea breeze then the cool summer evenings are something to be savoured. Quadro at the Westin Dragonara Resort overlooks the Reef Club beach and, right at the waterâ€™s edge, offering stunning sea views. On warm evenings it is best to sit outdoors and enjoy the sea breeze and the magnificent views. But on cooler evenings the indoor areas are just as impressive with large windows offering the same views without the chilly winds. If youâ€™re looking for the ultimate in romantic dining you can book one of the two private rooms to make sure you are not disturbed during a special night out. The same goes for confidential business meetings that may take place over a meal that is sure to impress. So on one blistering hot day we headed down to Quadro with a new friend, fresh of the plane from Germany. As this was his first visit to the island we were looking for an impressive spot to show off what Malta has to offer. We were by no means disappointed. On walking into the restaurant we were greeted by friendly staff and shown to a beautiful table with a view of the sea - the setting sun, the flickering candlelight and the fine silver and glassware giving the impression we were in a fairytale. As soon as we were settled we were offered aperitifs to quench our thirst while we pondered over the menu and what we were going to order. The menu is mostly fish-dominated and despite being a non-fish eater himself, virtual vegetarian Jonathan Vella has created some spectacular dishes featuring a vast array of creatures from the sea just a few feet away. Scallops, oysters and mussels dominate the starter menu and lobster, and a variety of fresh fish featuring on the main menu. Soups and pasta dishes are also on offer and can be served as a starter main or in-between dish. For non-fish eaters there are a number of meat dishes in both the starter and main course menu with pepper crusted breast of Barbary duck marinated in oyster sauce, grilled fillet of beef with a mushroom and speck crust, twice cooked pork belly with chorizo sausage as well as a few vegetarian dishes.
The wine list features a good selection of wines from the new world and the old. As the menu has a little bit of a French slant we went for a French Sancerre, cool and crisp on a warm evening. If the devil is in the detail then Quadro is definitely a
winner. When we finally came to a decision about what we wanted to eat and the menus were cleared away we were presented with a complimentary appetizer consisting of a small bite of fresh salmon rolled in black and white sesame seeds served on a tiny salad of
green salad leaves, spring onion with a hint of fresh chilli. We eventually decided to share a number of dishes so we could taste as much on the menu as possible. For starters we went for a smooth and creamy caramelised foie gras with a bacon and mesclun salad, apricot and amaretto puree served with a bitter chocolate brioche. The large and fleshy scallops were served in a jar with a bloody mary salad consisting of tomatoes, celery, lime and cucumber salsa and a worchershire sauce dressing, adding a smoky flavour to the scallops. For mains we went for one of Quadro’s signature dishes, a Frech style seafood bouillabaisse featuring an artistic display of langostines, pink Mediterranean prawns, mussels and clams. The seafood is only half the fun. Once the fish is devoured, dip crunchy Maltese bread into the broth made with rich fish, saffron and fennel broth flavoured with the distinctly French pastis. We also went for an artichoke barigoule filled pasta with langostines and shellfish cream, rucola and lemon oil – delicate flavours that complimented each other perfectly. The fresh fish of the day was a beautifully presented rock fish (cipullazza), grilled to perfection with the red gills artistically laid out on the plate. By the time it came to dessert we had mostly had enough and the thought of more food was almost too much to bear… almost. We did manage to go for one dessert to share. A hot, chocolate pudding with a oozing creamy centre served with tobacco truffles and caramel ice-cream. The perfect ending to the meal. After a fantastic meal we sat outside enjoying the night air, the full moon shimmering on the sea in front of us and the music drifting from a party at Bedouin bar just below us while we sipped on averna and exchanged stories, and analysing the meal we had just had. The final verdict we came to is that if you are looking for a sport that captivates what the Maltese islands are about, Quadro is the perfect place. Enjoying fantastic Mediterranean cuisine, whilst overlooking the same waters that the fresh fish are caught from, is an ideal evening to impress friends, partners or business contacts, old or new.
Quadro is open daily from 19:00 to 22:30 Quadro, Westin Dragonara Resort, Dragonara Road, St Julians Tel: 21381000 • Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.quadrorestaurantmalta.com
naise rved with wasabi mayon se on lm sa d lle ro e m sa Se s. , let rest and refrigerate for 2 hour Ingredients
• 100g salmon loins • 15g grated ginger • Soy sauce s • Black and white sesame seed
Method 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
d ginger & just Marinate the salmon loin in the grate enough soy to cover it. Let it marinate for over 4 hours. Lift from the marinade and pat dry. well covered & wrap Roll it in the Sesame seeds until tightly in Aluminum foil ng the salmon slowly Pan fry gently over low heat turni until you have cooked all sides.
6. Remove from heat into thick slices. 7. Unwrap the Salmon and cut se nnai 8. Serve with wasabi mayo
Wasabi mayonnaise Ingredients • • • •
4 tbsp good mayonnaise 1tsp wasabi paste Zest and juice of 1 lime ½ tsp soy sauce
Method th. For an extra kick, add Combine all ingredients until smoo more wasabi
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Olive oil every day
Mediterranean people know all about the health benefits of olive oil, as well as the wonderful flavour, of a good dose of olive oil on salads, pasta, fish and almost anything else. Here is the perfect accompaniment to most summer meals. It can be made in advance and stored in a cool place.
Salsa Verde Ingredients
• 1 garlic clove • 4 anchovy fillets • 1 shallot, finely chopped • 1 lemon, zested and juiced • 2 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained, chopped if large • A bunch parsley • A bunch basil • A generous splash of Dante olive oil
1. Crush the garlic in a pestle and mortar, add the anchovy and crush again to a rough paste, then add the shallot and lemon zest and give it a good mix to release the flavours. 2. Stir in the capers and herbs and lemon juice, bruising the herbs a little. 3. Season and add enough olive oil to get the consistency you want.
Exclusively obtained from European olives collected at the right ripening stage to preserve the fruit’s fragrance and its anti oxidation substances, Dante Extra Virgin Olive Oil is the result of a careful selection so that only the best Italian tradition gets into the bottle. Dante Olive oil is imported and distributed by P.Cutajar & Co Ltd
The fishmonger at this time of year have counters overflowing with all types of seafood. Sometime the octopus is even crawling over all the other fish. However, don’t let this defer you from trying out dishes with octopus, klamar and sicc (cuttlefish). All exceptionally tasty and if you master the following recipes you will be persuaded to make them “favourites” for family and friends.
photography by ray attard
Succulent sicc and suchlike seafood
Stuffed squid (kalamar) Ingredients
1. Make the stuffing. Wet the breadcrumbs with water and squeeze • 4 squid dry OR prepare the rice. • 2 onions, chopped lengthwise 2. Mix in all the other chopped • 1 tin peeled tomatoes or 500g fresh ingredients. Having prepared one of the stuffings, stuff the squid bodies tomatoes, peeled and chopped and seal with some toothpicks. • 2 tbsp chopped herbs – mint, parsley and 3. Now put the olive oil into a deep pan. basil Heat and add chopped onions. • 6 olives 4. Cook until they are golden. Place the • 50g raisins stuffed squid and the tentacles into • 1 cooked carrot, chopped the pan and sauté them until they • A handful of fresh or frozen peas turn pink. • 4 tbsp olive oil 5. Add the herbs, salt and pepper and • Salt and pepper then the tomatoes (tinned or fresh). • 2 bay leaves 6. Sauté for 5 minutes, and then add the chopped olives. Simmer gently The fishmonger can clean these for you or until the sauce starts to thicken. otherwise just pull the head and tentacles away 7. Add the raisins, cooked and chopped from the rest of the body. Discard the intestines carrot and finally the peas. that come away and make sure that the body 8. Simmer altogether over a low heat for cavity is totally clear of any other matter. Cut about 1 hour. away the tentacles from the head, putting these 9. Serve the sauce and tentacles with aside and discarding the rest. Make sure you spaghetti and then serve stuffed squids as the next course with boiled remove the long transparent quill-like backbone potatoes sprinkled with parsley. that is lodged inside the squid body. Rinse well, 10. Otherwise serve the stuffed squid and set aside and prepare the stuffing. sauce with mashed potatoes.
Anchovy, caper and breadcrumb stuffing
Rice and anchovy stuffing
• 200g fresh breadcrumbs (remove the crusts from a few slices of bread and process or rub the bread between the palms of your hands. • 4 cloves garlic, chopped • 3 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp of good vinegar (like balsamic) • 2 tbsp chopped herbs – mint, parsley and basil • 2 tbsp capers • 8 olives, stoned and chopped • 4 anchovy fillets • Salt and pepper
• 200g cooked rice – cooled • 4 anchovy fillets, chopped • 2 tablespoons chopped herbs – mint, parsley and basil • 6 olives, chopped • Raw egg to bind • Salt and pepper
Spaghetti with cuttlefish (sicc) and black ink sauce Ingredients Serves 4
Ingredients • 1kg of cuttlefish – do not let the fishmonger clean these, as you will need to rescue the ink bags to make this recipe • 2 tbsp fresh garlic, chopped • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped • 2 onions, chopped lengthwise • 6 tbsp tomato purée (kunserva tat-tadam) • 2 tbsp capers • 6 black olives, chopped • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar • 80ml good olive oil
1. Remove the cuttlefish innards, cut off the tentacles (you cook these) carefully remove sliver/blue bag which you put into a small bowl. 2. Discard the rest of the insides and give the whole cuttlebone to your canary! 3. Wash the cuttlefish and slice it into rings. 4. Heat the oil in a deep pan, add the garlic and onions and fry. When golden, add the cuttlefish rings and tentacles and fry for another 5 minutes. 5. Add the chopped parsley, salt and pepper. Fry for another few minutes and add the tomato purée. 6. Pierce the ink bags very carefully into a cup of water and add this to the pan. Cook for a further 5 minutes adding the vinegar, olives and capers. 7. Add another cup of water, give it a good stir and continue cooking for 30 minutes on a very low heat until the cuttlefish is tender and the sauce is thick and black. 8. Serve this with freshly boiled spaghetti and a sprinkling of freshly chopped parsley. Wear an apron when preparing this, the ink bags sometimes burst before you want them to.
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Octopus salad (qarnit) Ingredients Serves 4
• 1 whole large octopus or several small ones, (about 1kg) • 3 tbsp chopped parsley • 6 cloves garlic, chopped • 4 tbsp olive oil • Salt and pepper
Method 1. Choose small octopus if possible. Freeze the larger ones for a few days – this tenderises them. 2. Put octopus into a large pot of water bring to the boil and simmer for about 1 hour. 3. When tender remove octopus and cut into bite sized pieces. 4. Combine with the chopped parsley, garlic and lots of freshly milled pepper and sea salt. 5. Mix in the oil until octopus is well coated. Set aside and leave to allow the octopus to absorb the flavours of the dressing. 6. Serve with lots of crusty Maltese bread and maybe a tomato or two.
A feast of figs With three seasons of figs during our summer, a couple of recipes using these delicious fruits will not go amiss. I have found these to be winners. Fig galette Ingredients Serves 6-8 Pastry dough • 175g plain flour • 1 tbsp sugar • ½ tsp salt • 60g cold unsalted butter, cut into 2cm pieces • 3 tbsp lard, cut into 2cm pieces • 3 tbsp very cold water For the filling • 625g ripe fresh figs, left unpeeled, stemmed and quartered lengthwise • 75g dark brown firmly packed sugar • 1 ½ tsp finely grated lemon zest • 1 tsp vanilla extract (essence) • 2 tbsp fresh cream • 30g flaked almonds
Method 1. 2. 3.
To make the dough in a processor combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl. Pulse to blend. Add the pieces of butter and lard and pulse until reduced to small pieces. Add the water a little at a time and pulse until the dough just begins to come together in a rough mass.
To make the dough by hand Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add the pieces of butter and lard and toss to coat with the flour. Using two knives cut the pieces of fat into the flour mixture till they are no larger than small peas. Dribble the water over the mixture and toss with a fork until the dough is
evenly moist and begins to come together in a rough mass. 4. Remove the dough to a work surface and shape into a round 13cm disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours. 5. When ready to make galette, take dough out of fridge. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment (baking) paper. 6. Lightly dust a work surface and a rolling pin with some flour. Roll out the chilled pastry dough into a round slightly larger then 33cm and about 3mm thick. 7. Lift and turn the dough several times as you roll to prevent sticking and dust the surface and rolling pin with additional flour if needed. 8. Trim off any ragged edges to make an even 33cm round. Cover with cling film and set aside. 9. In a large bowl, gently toss together the figs, brown sugar, zest and vanilla until all the ingredients are evenly distributed. 10. Uncover the dough and transfer it to the baking sheet. The edges of the dough round will hang over the pan edges. 11. Arrange the figs in a pile in the centre of the dough, leaving a 5cm border uncovered. 12. With cool hands and working quickly, fold the dough up and over the filling, pleating loosely all around the circle and leaving the galette open in the centre. 13. Brush the pleated dough with the cream. Sprinkle the almonds on top of the dough and press on them lightly to help them stick. 14. Bake until the crust is golden and the figs are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Figs in brandy Ingredients
• 8-12 figs, carefully peeled and left whole • 8 tbsp water • 100g sugar • 4 tbsp brandy
1. Dissolve sugar in water, bring to the boil and boil for 5 minutes. 2. Allow to cool slightly. Add figs to syrup. Heat to boiling point and simmer gently for 15 minutes. 3. Transfer to a serving dish and add the brandy while still warm. 4. Chill thoroughly before serving. 5. Serve with fresh, whipped cream.
Tradition at the hea
For Nenu Debono, owner of Maypole Group, Maltese bread is not only a source of income but it is our national heritage that needs to be protected. He talks about his new venture, a traditional bakery that doubles as a restaurant.
his week saw the fruition of a dream Debono has held close to his heart for a number of years, the opening of a showcase of traditional Maltese cuisine including his much loved bread. “We are in danger of losing our local cuisine as a result of imports of so many ingredients. “I’m not against progress and the introduction of new things however I think it is a shame to forget the past because of fancy vegetables like the cherry tomato.” Nenu’s in Valletta is a traditional style bakery that doubles as a restaurant serving traditional dishes from the past - particularly the Maltese ftira stuffed with a variety of ingredients, baked in the oven and served like a pizza. For Debono, sticking to the original recipe is what keeps dishes traditional, particularly so with bread, and bastardisation of bread recipes have led to a large number of substandard variations
of the Maltese loaf. As many good bakers are, Debono is from Qormi, from a family of generations of bakers. “When I first took over the bakery from my father in 1973, we used the traditional methods of making bread, where the most important equipment in the factory was our hands and a stone oven.” After a number of years Debono started to look into the purchase of new machinery to modernise the production process. Debono said that the use of modern machinery affecting the quality of the bread is a common misconception. “The secret to the Maltese loaf is time and sticking to the recipe. And by the recipe I do not mean only the ingredients that go into the bread but also the timing of the production process. “If it took an hour to bake the bread in a traditional oven it is important to make sure that the modern ovens are kept at the same temperature a stone oven would keep so that the bread cooks in the same amount of time. Like you wouldn’t remove a baby from its mother’s womb before its time, a Maltese loaf needs the right amount of time to develop flavours and aromas. “It is easy, and more efficient, to crank up the heat and reduce the baking time, however this affects the quality of the bread and it is the major cause for a lot of inferior bread on the market. “The stone oven use direct heat from fire while the deck ovens use indirect heat through pipes warmed up by gas, diesel or oil, however it is possible to get the same effect from modern ovens as with the traditional stone ones. “One other important aspect of Maltese bread is the sour dough that we keep from the last batch of bread
eart of Valletta July 2012
and then add to the next. This influences the aroma and the taste as well as increases the shelf-life of the bread.” While on a quest for the best machines on the market, Debono visited a number of exhibitions abroad, and this is where he started to appreciate how good Maltese bread really is. “It is not only the taste of the bread that, in my opinion, makes Maltese bread superior, but also the nutritional value. In a Maltese loaf the only ingredients are flour, water, salt, yeast and sour dough, while in a lot of other breads produced around the world there are also many other ingredients including sugar, margarine and other additives.” Ta’ Nenu is a showcase of the things we do well in Malta where bread is at the centre of everything.
“So many Maltese products go well with bread olive oil, tomatoes, honey. All the products we sell are strictly Maltese, including our extensive wine.” If you’re after a Coke then this not the right place to find it, with only Maltese Kinnie on the menu. The search for the ideal venue was a long and arduous one. Though Debono originally wanted to set the place up in his hometown of Qormi, the lack of ideal premises pushed Debono into going for an old bakery in the heart of Valletta. Both locals and tourists can get involved in the baking process and make their own ftiras at the bakery. Supplied with bread dough and other ingredients, patrons can decide on how best they like their bread and make it themselves. The baker will then bake the bread and serve it to patrons.
The Bakery, 143, St Dominic Street, Valletta, Malta • Tel: 22581535
En Borges llevamos desde 1896 elaborando los mejores aceites de oliva con aceitunas de gran calidad que permiten obtener un aceite de categoría superior.
Aceite de oliva Virgen Extra, de primera prensada elaborado sólo con aceitunas arbequinas de sabor muy suave, ligeramente almendrado y con toques de manzana ve verde.
Aceite de oliva Virgen Extra, de primera prensada elaborado sólo con aceitunas picual de sabor intenso y con cuerpo. Se caracteriza por una marcada personalidad.
Aceite de oliva Virgen Extra que se obtiene a partir de la mezcla de las mejores variedades de aceitunas. Busca un sabor suave y equilibrado para realzar el sabor de todos tus platos.
Selección de Ferran Adrià de las mejores variedades de aceitunas para obtener un aceite Coupage con un sabor deliciosamente suave y equilibrado.
Aceite de oliva Virgen Extra obtenido mediante cultivo ecológico de máxima calidad, y siempre respetando el medio ambiente.
Pan-seared chicken with Borges Crema Balsamica di Modena, strawberries and feta cheese
Ingredients • • • • • • • •
500g skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced 1 heaped cup strawberries, chopped 2 tbsp basil, chopped 1 tsp mint, chopped 3 tbsp feta cheese 1 tsp Borges Crema Balsamica di Modena 2 tsp Borges olive oil Salt and Pepper to taste
1. In a small bowl combine the strawberries and the balsamic glaze – Borges Crema Balsamica di Modena. 2. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan over high heat. 3. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper and then place in the pan. 4. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until the chicken is cooked through. 5. Stir herbs into the strawberry mix and spoon a couple of tablespoons over each chicken breast. 6. Top with feta cheese.
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The Farsons Great Beer Festival returns from 27 July to 5 August
he summer brings with it one of the most eagerly awaited events of the year: The Farsons Great Beer Festival – the largest and most diverse beer and music festivals organized in Malta. Enjoyed by people of all ages, the open-air festival caters for all tastes and preferences, making it a great family outing or night out with friends. Organised at Ta’ Qali Park for the last number of years, the festival has grown in size, attendance, number of performances, and variety of beers offered. However, one thing remains the same: entrance is always free. The festival attracts both Maltese and tourists who flock to Ta’ Qali Park to support local musicians and artists while appreciating a variety of local beer brands, from the award-winning Cisk range of beers: Cisk Lager, Cisk Export, Cisk Excel and Cisk XS, to the classic beers, Hopleaf and Blue Label – special ales brewed with passion since 1928. International beer brands such as Carlsberg, Budweiser, Guinness, Kilkenny, John Smith’s Extra Smooth, Beck’s and Corona Extra are also available at the festival, as well as cider brands Strongbow and Bulmer’s Original Cider. A food court offers a mix of dishes
from all over the world to complement the selection of beers. Beer takes the centre stage at The Farsons Great Beer Festival, however this hugely popular event is also an important showcase for top Maltese talent. A selection of popular and talented local artists and bands perform on two stages every night, and in fact, the festival is known to be a starting platform for the many up-and-coming
artists who are given the opportunity to perform to a large and appreciative audience. A limited edition official beer festival mug, collected by many year after year, is sold at the bars with the beer of choice or at the souvenir stall selling other branded merchandise. The festival opens from 8pm onwards each night.
Friday, 27 July to Sunday, 5 August 2012 FREE ENTRANCE AND FREE PARKING AREA Visit www.facebook.com/thefarsonsgreatbeerfestival for the latest news and information.
PROUD OF OUR HERITAGE
Our culture in a glass 0DOWD$WWDUG &R)RRGVWXIIV/WG7HO*R]R$EUDKDP·V6XSSOLHV&R/WG7HO
Meet the chefs
in collaboration with
Marinated fresh tuna in a jar Serves 1
Ingredients • • • • • • • • • • •
100g fresh tuna 2tbsp extra virgin oilive oil ½ tbsp lemon zest ½ tbsp lemon juice Pinch of chopped red chilllies 1 cherry tomato Salt and pepper Chopped parsley Chopped mint Knob of 100% spreadable butter 1 glass jar
3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
1. Cut tuna into cubes. 2. Combine with olive oil, lemon
zest, lemon juice, chillies, salt and pepper and parsley. Half the cherry tomato. Fill the jar with mixture and place the cherry tomato by the side of glass jar and press all. Melt the butter on low heat for a few seconds and mix in the chopped mint. Cover the tuna with the melted butter and seal. Put in the fridge and let it rest for 24 hrs. Serve with toasted focaccia slices. Spread the mint butter on the focaccia while enjoying the mouth watering tuna with a chilled glass of white wine.
Stuffed chicken Serves 4
Ingredients For the chicken • 4 chicken breast approx 250g each • 16 slices Fiorucci Parma ham • 50g Kalamata black olive deboned and sliced • 100g sundried tomatoes roughly sliced • 150g smoked cheese • Fresh rosemary • Salt and pepper For • • • • • • • •
the Sauce 20g butter 20g onion finely diced 5g diced garlic 50g dry porcini (soaked in water at least 8 hrs before) 20ml brandy 100ml red wine 600ml brown chicken stock Knob of butter to finish sauce
Method For the chicken 1. Place a pan with water and bring to boil. 2. Cut the pocket in each breast. 3. Start by laying the breasts skinside down on the cutting board. 4. Use a sharp knife to cut two
overlapping flaps in the bottom of the breast. Cut it so it resembles a threefold wallet, with two opposing flaps. The top flap should completely overlap the bottom one. Open the breast flat and place the smoked cheese, sundried tomatoes, olives and rosemary pieces on one end, roll the breast tight. Lay down 4 slices of Parma ham on cling film, on one end of the Parma ham put the rolled chicken breast and with cling film roll them tight like you`re closing a toffee. Lay down some cling film and roll the chicken again so you avoid the cheese melting and come out from the cling film. Place in the boiling pan and simmer for 30 to 40 min until the chicken hardens.
For sauce 10. Sauté the onion and garlic in butter until golden brown. 11. Add the porcini and flambe with brandy. 12. Add the red wine. 13. When boiling add the stock and leave to reduce by half. 14. Slowly add a knob of butter and stir continually and serve.
Chef Chris Gherxi from L’Agape 25, Triq San Kataldu, Rabat Tel: 99869444 • 79455438
Chef Martin Bartolo from Blue Creek Bar and Restaurant Ghar Lapsi, L/O Siggiewi Tel: 2146 2800 • 2146 2786
VWT Suggests to try out this recipe with a bottle of Michele Chiarlo Gavi
VWT Suggests to try out this recipe with a bottle of Seaglass
fresh & contemporary
The Kitchen, creating fabulous meals from fresh ingredients, served attentively in a relaxed, stress free ambience. The kitchen, will redeﬁne your interpretation of ﬁne dining. Simple, straight forward and scrumptious.
210 Tower Road, Sliema, Tel: 2131 1112 • Mob: 7732 3280 Dinner: Mon-Sun 7.00pm • Lunch: Wed-Sun 12.30pm
Fine dining without the fuss F
Home-made tortellini with prawns Serves 4
ine dining usually involves the formality of stiff linen tablecloths and more cutlery than you know what to with. However if you enjoy the food but not the atmosphere of a fine meal then The Kitchen is the perfect spot for an evening out. Darren Lapira took over The Kitchen and has been working tirelessly to keep up the reputation The Kitchen already has whilst putting his mark on the place. For Darren, fresh ingredients are the key to giving diners the best possible dining experience. And by fresh ingredients he does not mean simply fresh vegetables. All the meat as well as the fish at The Kitchen is fresh, and that includes exotic cuts such as venison and duck, though he freezes the fresh duck himself for two or three days to tenderise the meat and make it more juicy before cooking it. “I’m tweaking the menu slowly, however I do not want to make any huge changes. The restaurant has a great reputation, especially among patrons outside of Malta who book the restaurant before they even get to Malta. We have patrons from the UK, Sweden and Asia as well as
our local clientele. “However I would also like to add more dishes slowly like fresh pasta dishes and different kinds of sauces.” The concept at The Kitchen is that you can eat a great meal without the fuss of traditional fine dining – pretty much like you were enjoying the meal in your own kitchen. “There are no fancy white linen tablecloths, or even place settings on
Ingredients the tables as you walk in, which give the restaurant a more relaxed air. “Once you are seated and order your food we bring the best glassware and cutlery to table to suit your meal, rather remove a standard presentation which makes the table look cluttered and stiff.” Darren has always been into catering and after studying for three years in the Italian capital of food, Rome, he gained his experience working as head chef in a number of overseas kitchens in Italy, Libya, Aberdeen, Texas and the UK as well as spending an eight month stint working under the head chef of a luxury cruise liner. The long times spent away from home made him miss his family and his partner, so he decided to come back to the island and The Kitchen seemed like an ideal opportunity. He now runs the restaurant with his partner. The Kitchen is open daily for lunch between 12:30 and 15:30 and for dinner from Monday to Saturday from 19:00 till late. They also open for dinner on Sundays for special occasions or upon request.
• 250g home-made pasta dough Filling • 200g fresh peas, blanched and mashed • 30g butter • Pinch salt and pepper Sauce • 100g small fresh prawns • 75g butter • 10g chives • Pinch dill • 10g leeks • 10g spring onions • 50g crushed walnuts
Method 1. Put the prawns, dill, chives, leeks, spring onions and butter in a pan and heat very gently for 3 or 4 minutes. – be careful not to burn the butter. 2. Add some crushed walnuts just before cooking is finished. 3. Salt some boiling water and add the tortellini, cooking for 4 or 5 minutes so that the pasta remains al dente. 4. Toss the pasta in the sauce and serve immediately.
For further information Contact: 21 311112; 79323280 Web: www.thekitchenmalta.com Address: 210, Tower Road, Sliema
More than simple distribution F
or the last 21 years, Nectar has excelled in the distribution of food products to outlets all over the Maltese islands. The road has not been easy, with many obstacles along the way, but hard work and consistency have proven to be the recipe for success for a company that is growing steadily. In 1997 the Abela family bought over the full shareholding of a previous partnership with the aim to further develop and manage as a fully family owned company run by the director, the late Charles Abela and his sons. This move triggered further growth and enabled the company to embark on an expansion programme. Today the company has grown to employ over 100 employees, representing more than 40 brands, such as Pfanner, Pata, Golden Wonder and Orbit.
Director Roderick Abela says that Nectar is no ordinary distribution company for a number of reasons. “Distributing food products requires specialised handling and care due to its intention for human consumption. The idea of the company is not to buy products from foreign suppliers and simply sell them to our clients; we strive to provide our clients with consistency and reliable customer service. As a matter of fact, our reliable customer service was what kept our clients loyal to us, as they realised that cheaper prices are secondary to the consistency of the complete customer service that we deliver.” Human resources are at the heart of the company, and is regarded as one of the pillars that allowed business to thrive throughout the recent financial crisis, during which many businesses faced closure. Nectar Group’s investment in the careers of its employees to
ensure that clients receive the best possible service, was recognised during the Malta People Awards 2011 with the Learning and Development, the Performance and Reward, and the Excellence Through Technology awards being presented to the company. Earlier this year, Nectar Group has also been awarded the Equality Mark by the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality (NCPE). Innovation has also played a role in the success of Nectar, with an ambitious IT project implemented in 2010. The sales staff, today, operates remotely with an advanced system of 3G-enabled tablet computers that have made order-taking more efficient, requiring less frequent trips to the office, thus contributing to lowering Nectar’s carbon footprint. In this respect, Nectar has worked tirelessly - recently installing one of the largest solar panel systems on the island, not only reducing electricity costs for the company but making Nectar a greener and more socially responsible company. All these efforts head towards just one aim, that is to provide Nectar Group’s clients with excellent distribution of the products represented within its portfolio. Nectar Group of Companies Industrial Zone, Ta’ Qali. ATD4000. Tel: 2014 0000 Email: email@example.com
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Restaurant opening hours: Lunch 12:30 - 14:00 Dinner 18:30 till late Pretty Bay, Birzebbuga BBG 2063, Malta Tel: (356) 21 651256, 21 651499, 21 651493 'BY t&.BJMTFBIPUFM!NBMUBOFUOFU 8FCXXXTFBCSFF[FIPUFMNBMUBDPN
Specialising in Maltese cooking and Mediterranean Cuisine. Salads, fresh fish and daily specials are available. Taâ€™ Kris is located in a unique setting in one of Sliemaâ€™s oldest & most atmospheric bakeries. A host of original features add to the ambience of the place. Take away can be ordered. Taâ€™ Kris offers a unique Maltese experience at great value for money. 80 Fawwara Lane, Sliema, Malta. /iÂ?\ĂŠÂÂłĂŽxĂˆÂŽĂŠĂ“ÂŁĂŽĂŽĂŠĂ‡ĂŽĂˆĂ‡ĂŠUĂŠÂœL\ĂŠÂÂłĂŽxĂˆÂŽĂŠÂ™Â™nxĂŠĂ‡Ă‡ÂŁĂŽ 7iL\ĂŠÂ…ĂŒĂŒÂŤ\Ă‰Ă‰ĂŒ>Â‡ÂŽĂ€ÂˆĂƒÂ°Â“>Â?ĂŒ>Â‡iĂ•Ă€ÂœÂŤiÂ°VÂœÂ“
Basil and p ine nut (pesto) ice cream Ingredients
• 2 packed cu ps fresh basil lea ves • juice of 1 lem on • 1 cup casto r sugar • 2 tubs (300 ml) fresh cream • 500ml doub le cream • 200g pine nu ts
asil is a highly fragrant plant whose leaves are used as a seasoning herb for many different types of foods. Basil is native to India and other tropical region of Asia and has been cultivated for more than 5,000 years. It is related to the mint family. There are over 40 known varieties of this culinary herb of which Ocimum basilicum or Sweet Basil is most commonly known and grown. The word Ocimum drives from the Greek verb meaning “To be fragrant” since just brushing against its leaves relases its wonderful spicy fragrance. Sweet Basil is the most known variety ever since pesto (the mixture of basil, pine nuts and parmesan cheese) has become popular This fragrant plant is used extensively in other Italian and Mediterranean recipes whilst other varieties including the purple leaved herb are more often used in Asian cooking. Some varieties have a lemon, licorice or cinnamon scent and once more are especially popular in Asia recipes.
Traditionally, basil has been used as a medicinal plant in treatment of headaches, coughs, digestive complaints, warts, worms, and kidney malfunctions. It also wards off insects. In addition to the health benefits described above, basil is also a very good source of Vitamin A and K, magnesium, iron, and calcium, and a good source of potassium and vitamin C. Basil is surprisingly easy to grow and grows best in a sunny location in well-drained, rich soil. Basil also grows well in pots on a sunny window ledge. Fresh basil should be stored in the refrigerator wrapped in a slightly damp paper towel. It may also be frozen, either whole or chopped, in airtight containers. Alternatively, you can freeze the basil in ice cube trays covered with either water or stock that can be added when preparing soups or stews. Dried basil should be kept in a tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place. Once dried, however it loses much of its aromatic flavour. Since the oils in basil are highly volatile, it is best to add the herb near the
end of the cooking process, so it will retain its maximum essence and flavor. It is superb with, fish, poultry, beans, pasta, rice, tomatoes, cheese and eggs. It blends well with garlic, thyme and lemon. Adding basil to healthy stir-fries, especially those that include eggplant, cabbage, chili peppers, tofu and cashew nuts will give them a Thai flair. Purée basil, olive oil and onions in a food processor or blender and add to tomato soups. Enjoy a warm cup of invigorating basil tea (also en excellent digestivo) by infusing chopped basil leaves in boiling water for eight minutes. FUN FACTS
In Italy, it is a token of love, in Romania, if a girl gives a sprig to her boyfriend, they are engaged! A good Hindu goes to rest with a leaf of basil in his breast as a passport to Paradise.
Photography by Gaby Holland
By Gaby Holland
1. In a blender, process the basil leaves, sugar an tube of fresh cre d one am (150ml) tog ether with the pin nuts and lemon e juice (reserve a few for garnish). Whip up the doub 2. le cream and th e remaining tub fresh cream until of quite firm. 3. Fold the basil cream into the wh ipped cream un amalgamated. til well 4. Pour into an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions or oth erwise pour into a plastic contain er and freeze for a couple of hour then stir well sc s, raping and sides well and freeze again. You may repeat this proc es s ag to avoid the form ation of ice crysta ain in order ls and obtain a creamier ice-crea m. 5. Serve with sli ces of strawberri es or peaches an sprinkle with so d me extra pine nu ts.
Love Your Home
Junction 66 welcomes Salt & Pepper, a chic range of affordable homeware allowing you to express your own unique style.
66 Tower Road Sliema. T. 21334451 & Arkadia Gozo T. 22103000
Love Your Home Junction 66 welcomes Salt & Pepper, a chic range of affordable homeware allowing yout to express your own unique style. Classic good LOOKS. Stylishly retro, Salt & Pepper’s BARISTA collection will infuse your coffee, tea & treats with delicious decadence. Priced from €18.30. View the full collection exclusively available at Junction 66 Tower Road Sliema. T. 21334451 and Arkadia Gozo T. 22103000.
5 A set of b ag s for €99 You can buy by phoning directly on 2122 5321 / 2124 8240 / 2123 5415 or view at the Warehouse, Triq il-Burdnara, Qormi. (Near Reuben’s Cash & Carry) SOHO Salt & Pepper is a totally coordinated, professional standard range of essentials for the cooking enthusiast. With a design palette of black, white, red, and stainless steel, it brings fashion to the home and function to the kitchen a look that feels at home in the most stylish, contemporary kitchens. Price Euro 99.50. Exclusively available at Junction 66 Tower Road Sliema. T. 21 334451 and Arkadia Gozo T. 22103000
25 Years in the Maltese Kitchen
If the thought of Mediterranean cooking conjures up ideas of tasty colourful dishes, prepared and eaten in sun-drenched Bougainvillae-filled terraces accompanied by fruity wine, lively conversation and a relaxed atmosphere, then this book is for you. Bring this atmosphere into your own home by preparing Pippa’s easy to follow recipes. Discover the art of pasta-making using spinach, potatoes and semolina. Enjoy preparing dishes using the abundant tasty Mediterranean vegetables. Learn how to make the wonderful Maltese all-in-one meat dishes, and how to prepare fresh Mediterranean fish. Rediscover old fashioned desserts that will make your mouth water. For more information visit www.mirandabooks.com
Mille foglie of grilled aubergines
fter what was one of the longest and coldest winters on record, summer seems to arrived with a vengeance and it sure is making its presence felt. It’s as though summer does not want to be outdone by winter! One of the things most people do not like doing in summer is slaving away in the kitchen preparing elaborate and difficult dishes. Summer food should be light, colourful and full of fresh flavours. Pleasing to the eye and not to taxing for the stomach. Out go all the heavy sauces and stews, thick creamy soups and rich pies, to be replaced by grilled vegetables and fish, fragrant sauces with pasta and seared and barbequed meat dishes. The following two dishes are great examples of food that may be prepared should one be having guests home as they are easy to prepare, do not take too much time and yet look great and taste even better.
Michael Diacono is chef patron at Giuseppi’s Restaurant in Mellieha and at Rubino in Valletta. Contact: 99493579
1. First prepare the dressing by placing all the ingredients into a jar. 2. Seal tightly and shake well. Keep in the fridge. 3. Lightly oil the aubergine slices and grill till golden (about 4 minutes on each side) 4. To assemble the mille foglie simply form alternate layers of aubergine with the pesto, mozzarella, tomatoes, peppers and Parma ham. 5. Decorate with the rocket leaves and Parmesan shavings and serve with the dressing. Serves 4 Ingredients • 12 slices aubergines • 4 slices parma ham, cut in half • 2 fresh LATBRI mozzarella di buffalo, drained and sliced
Suggested wine Michele Chiarlo Gavi
Michele Chiarlo Gavi is an extremely elegant wine, pale gold with hints of green, and delicately scented in bouquet. It is a classic expression of the Cortese grape; delicate and refined, with lean, subtle pear and white fruit flavors and a fragrance of acacia blossoms offset by notes of almonds.
• Basil or rocket pesto • 2 tomatoes, sliced • 2 coloured peppers, grilled and peeled • Rocket leaves to garnish • Parmesan shavings • Parsley, chopped
Sea bass involtini To make this dish really easy get your fish monger to fillet the fish. 1. Lay the fillets out on a board and season well. 2. Place some pine nuts over each fillet and sprinkle with chopped mint. 3. Pour some lemon juice over and drizzle with a little olive oil. 4. Roll up tightly and place into a baking dish. 5. Drizzle a little olive oil over all the fish and simply bake in a hot oven at 200°C. 6. Serve hot or cold as part of a buffet.
Dressing • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil • 1tsp mustard powder • 1 tsp sugar • Salt and pepper • 1 tbsp water Serves 4 Ingredients • 4 Sea bass, filleted • Salt and pepper • 50g baked pine nuts • Some chopped mint • Juice of 1 lemon • Bianconi extra virgin olive oil
Suggested wine La Cala Vermentino di Sardegna
Pale yellow, elegant and supple, this single-vineyard wine couples fullness of flavour with an underlying acidity. The wine shows an exceptional affinity with seafood, thanks to the very subtle presence of a natural marine salinity in the wine.
gourmet today - events
Andreola prosecco party Andreola hosted a prosecco party at Madliena Cottage for their esteemed clients offering free flowing Dirupo and Rose prosecco and sushi enjoying live saxophone music in the background on a perfect Spring day. Andreola is a boutique vineyard in Valdobbiadene that specializes in different types of prosecco of the highest quality. It is available is all leading restaurants and wine bars on the island. For more information and home deliveries call Michelle Vella on 99805999. Represented by San Antonio Ltd.
Matthew Saliba, Neil Psaila, Lara Degiorgio, Alex Vella and Julia Demarco
Andrew Pulliciono on the sax
Dirupo and Rose prosecco by Andreola
Nathalie Fenech and Nadia Vella
The bar staff at Madliena Cottage enjoying an evening of Andreola prosecco
Gourmet Today recipe index Starters Calamari and prawns with sweet chilli......5 Bolinho de bacalhau......................................13 Sesame rolled salmon ..................................30 Spaghetti with black ink sauce...................37 Octopus salad..................................................39 Marinated tuna in a jar.................................49 Pepata di Cozze al limone............................54 Mille foglie of aubergines.............................59 Mains Barbequed whole white fish..........................7 Feijoada.............................................................14 Roasted carrot and quinoa salad................16 Stuffed squid....................................................36 Chicken with feta cheese ............................45 Stuffed chicken................................................49 Tortellini with prawns...................................51 Sea bass involtini............................................59
Dessert Pineapple and mango pie...............................9 Fig galette..........................................................41 Figs in brandy..................................................41 Cheeky monkey sundae...............................18 Kinckerbocker glory......................................18 Chocolatey wafer sundae.............................19 Pesto ice-cream...............................................56 Accompaniments Mojito .................................................................5 Caipiroska.........................................................15 Sauteed cabbage.............................................15 Fragrant rice.....................................................15 Salsa verde........................................................33 Anchovy, and breadcrumb stuffing..........36 Anchovy and rice stuffing............................36
"Intelligence is something we are born with. BBQâ€™ing is a skill that must be learned" - Edward de Bono
Gentle laughter, like a summer breeze, floats across the warm night air. The Aroma of fresh fish and sizzling Rib Eye Steaks gently grilled while the Pastry Chefâ€™s creations patiently await your dessert. Enjoying the diverse Cocktails or sipping on a chilled wine or champagne. For more detailed information and bookings contact us on 2125 0520 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tel: 21896290/1 E-mail: email@example.com