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Today ISSUE NUMBER 18 • October 2012

€2.00 where sold

Nicky Lanzon’s quick meal ideas Trick or treating with Pippa Mattei Healthy lunchbox treats Michael Diacono’s comfort food




!""#$%"$&'($)*+" 92 Points - Robert Parker!s Wine Advocate:


The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino Prime Donne is in theory a more important wine than the straight       

   better. Here the fruit shows notable vibrancy and freshness, along with       that convey brilliance      is pure, focused and very nicely articulated. This is one of the best wines I have ever tasted from Donatella Cinelli Colombini .


91 Points -Wine Enthusiast Magazine:


Brunello Prime Donne (made by an all-female winemaking team) opens with loads of ripe fruit and overtones of strawberry, blackberry and exotic spice. The wine is beautifully soft and smooth in the mouth with rich, dark extraction.

Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.



October 2012

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3 Homecooks get creative with lampuki 8 Vintage wine travellers take a trip to Chile 11 Pippa Mattei makes some scary Halloween treats 15 Carve your own Jack o’ Lantern 17 Create a nutritious meal quickly with Nicky Lanzon 27 Grab a cocktail at Charles Grech and unwind 30 Get strong with spinach 33 Check out Adrian Bonello’s recipes at The Xara Lodge 37 Get some ideas for school lunchboxes 41 Michael Diacono goes for some comforting autumn dishes 45 Marina Cvetic lets us in on her message in a bottle

Editor’s note

3 37


11 41

The end of the summer brings with it so many goodbyes. Goodbye to the seaside activities and the vivid colours of summer ingredients. On a more positive note, the kitchen has now become a more bearable place and instead of spending the day on the beach, it is cool enough to get back round the table and enjoy the more comforting ingredients the autumn brings with it, along with the company of our most treasured friends. Pilates instructor Nicky Lanzon is always hungry. She shares some recipes that will give you the energy to keep you going through a busy day without having to spend hours slaving over a hot stove. October means Halloween, a holiday being celebrated more and more in Malta with plenty of kids going out trick or treating or grown ups using it as an excuse to throw a spooky party. Whatever the reason, make your own Halloween treats with some of Pippa Mattei’s tried and tested recipes. And while you’re at it carve your own pumpkin and add to the scary feel that comes on All Hallows’ Eve. The end of the summer signals the beginning of lampuki season – Malta’s favourite fish. As it is abundant at this time of year, it is also very cheap, but how many times can you have lampuki pie or simple fried fish. Our homecooks make some interesting lampuki recipes, combining Eastern spices with this Mediterranean fish. So its time to say goodbye to the summer and hello to the kitchen. We hope that this issue of GOURMET Today will inspire you to re-embark on culinary adventures. We look forward to your comments and suggestions.

Bon appétit!

Published by:

Vjal ir-Riħan, San Ġwann SGN 9016 Malta Tel: +356 382741 Fax: +356 21381992

Managing Editor: Saviour Balzan Editor: Rachel Zammit Cutajar

Design: Kevin Grech Photography: Ray Attard, Marc Casolani and James Bianchi Head of sales: Adriana Farrugia Contact for advertising: Chris Sacco – 21382741 ext: 121

Cover: Nicky Lanzon Cover photo by Ray Attard Printed at: Print It Printing Services

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The end of the summer marks the beginning of the lampuki season. While these fish are widely available and great value for money, they are also very versatile and are easily adapted into a myriad of different recipes. Gaby Holland and Ann Gatt prepare a variety of raw and cooked dishes using lampuki and Sandra Dimech rounds off the meal with a delicious apple and cinnamon torte.



photography by MArc Casolani

October 2012


October 2012

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Lampuki tartar

Asian lampuki carpaccio



Serve 4

• 500g very fresh lampuki, filleted, skinned and diced into small pieces • 2 tbsp capers + some for garnish • 2 tbsp spring onions, chopped • 1 tbsp red pepper corns • 2 tbsp mint, finely chopped

• 2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped • Pinch of cayenne pepper • Juice and rind of 1 large lemon • Extra virgin olive oil • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper • 4 thick slices Maltese bread

Serves 6 • • • •

1 1 1 1

chilli, chopped finely tsp ginger, grated to 2 tsp soy sauce tsp sesame oil

• • • • •

Juice of 1 lemon 1 tsp fish sauce Coriander, roughly chopped 1 tsp honey Salt & pepper

Method 1. Using a sharp knife skin the lampuki and begin to slice thinly the fillets. 2. Place in a dish.

3. Put all the remaining ingredients in a bowl stir and pour over the carpaccio.

Method 1. In a pestle and mortar crush the peppercorns and capers and place in a mixing bowl. 2. Add the herbs, spring onions, cayenne pepper, lemon rind and juice. Give it a good stir and adjust seasoning. 3. Refrigerate until serving time. 4. To serve, cut the bread using a ring mould and toast on both sides. 5. Place ring mould onto your serving plate and fit the

toast back into the mould. 6. Top with a quarter of the fish mixture and gently lift off mould. 7. Scatter some capers and chopped spring onions, drizzle olive oil and garnish with a sprig of mint.

Asian lampuki tartar in cucumber cups Ingredients Serve 6

• 2 lampuki fillets, rinsed and patted dry • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil • ½ tsp fish sauce • 1 tsp lemon zest • 1 tsp lemon juice • 1 tsp soy sauce • 1 tbsp mayonnaise • 1 tbsp ginger, finely grated • 2 spring onions, white and

green parts, very thinly sliced • 1 tsp sesame seeds • 3 large cucumbers, washed, dried and sliced into even 1 ½-inch thick rounds • Extra sliced spring onions and sesame seeds, to garnish

Method 1. Using a small, sharp knife skin lampuki, then, chop lampuki fillets into tiny cubes place into a large bowl. 2. Add sesame oil, fish sauce, lemon juice and mayonnaise to the bowl and stir gently to coat thoroughly. 3. Grate ginger and add to bowl mixture. 4. Fold in spring onions and

sesame seeds, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 5. While in the refrigerator, carefully scoop the seeds and flesh from each cucumber slice, leaving the bottoms intact. 6. Fill each cucumber bowl with about a tablespoon of tartar, garnish with extra spring onions and sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Suggested wine: Tal Latini - Vermentino

This Gozitan Vermentino offers a lean, bright nose of citrus, fresh pear, and hints of herb and spice. The finish is particularly clean, flavourful, and balanced.

October 2012



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Asian fried lampuki fillets

Stuffed lampuki rolls Ingredients Serves 4

• • • • • • •

Lemon sauce • Juice and zest of 2 lemons • Glass white wine • 2 cups chicken stock

Garnish • 1 red bell pepper cut into 8 strips roasted and cut into diamond shapes


9. Pour liquid back into the pan add the finely grated zest, turmeric and butter. 10. Whisk in the cream until all is well amalgamated. 11. To serve pour some of the sauce and top with 2 halves of fish rolls, garnish with roasted red pepper

• 2 medium sized lampuki, filleted and skinned • 4 slices smoked salmon • Large bunch of fresh spinach • Olive oil • 4 sheets foil cut approx 30cm x 20cm

1. Wash the spinach thoroughly and trim off most of the stalks. 2. Blanch for a minute, drain and squeeze dry. 3. Grease one side of the foil with some olive oil, place a fish fillet and lay a slice of smoked salmon the cover most of the fish. 4. Spread some of the spinach and roll the fish starting from the wide end. Wrap each fish roll in aluminum foil, twisting the ends securely. 5. Place foil parcels in an oven pan and bake in hot oven for approx 20 mins. 6. Before serving, remove foil and carefully cut each fillet into 2 on a slant. For the sauce 7. Place saucepan over a low heat and add the stock, lemon juice, garlic, onion and bay leaves. Simmer for around 10 mins. 8. Sieve the liquid over a bowl and discard the rest.

Couple of bay leaves 1 onion roughly chopped 1 whole clove garlic 1 tsp turmeric 100g butter, cubed Dash of fresh cream Salt

Ingredients • • • • • • • • •

1 bunch coriander 1 lime 2 cups jasmine rice 2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus 1 teaspoon 4 lampuki fillets 2 tbsp freshly grated ginger 2 cloves garlic, crushed 1 cup vegetable stock 1 or 2 tsp honey


1. To make the rice, cut root end of coriander and wash thoroughly. 2. Slice 2 long strips of lime zest. 3. Place rice into a pot, along with the coriander root and lime zest and add 3 cups water. 4. Cover and cook. 5. Juice the lime and reserve for later. 6. Coat Lampuki with bread crumbs and grated lemon rind. 7. While the rice is cooking, heat oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium high heat. 8. Cook fillets 3-4 minutes each side or until almost cooked through. 9. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fish. Remove fish from pan and cover with foil. 10. Add remaining oil to the same pan and reduce heat to low.

• Salt, to taste • 1 long red chilli, very finely sliced into strips • 2 shallots, finely sliced into strips • 2 tbsp coriander, coarsely chopped • 2 tbsp mint, coarsely chopped • Bread crumbs • Lemon zest

11. Stir in ginger and garlic and cook a few minutes, being careful not to burn it. 12. Cook, stirring, until softened and fragrant and add stock and sugar; simmer until reduced to a thick paste. Adjust seasoning. 13. Remove the lime zest and coriander from the rice. 14. Add lime juice and fluff rice with a fork. 15. To serve, divide rice amongst four plates and top with fish fillet. Spoon ginger paste over fish and top with combined chili, green onion, coriander and mint garnish.

Suggested wine: Enchor This barrique-fermented wine is produced from hand-picked grapes, harvested from the Ta’ Mena Vineyards in the Ramla Valley. It is fermented and matured for six months in new French Oak Barrels to produce a full-bodied Chardonnay with hints of tropical fruit and vanilla. The soft oak taste character renders it to be considered as a white wine with a red wine structure.


October 2012


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OKS Apple and cinnamon torte Ingredients 175g ground almonds 175g butter, softened 175g caster sugar 175g self – raising flour 1 full tsp ground cinnamon 1 egg, plus 1egg yolk 4 apples, peeled cored and thinly sliced Icing sugar for dusting Vanilla ice cream or crème fraîche, to serve


1. Preheat oven to 180ºC. 2. Butter and line the base of a loose bottomed 23cm/9in cake tin. 3. Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, add the egg and egg yolk and beat in. 4. Add the ground almonds, flour and cinnamon. Beat lightly until evenly mixed. 5. Tip half the mixture in the tin and smooth.

For further information contact the agent in Malta, Ann Gatt on 9923 1907. Exclusively available at Gaba Décor.

6. Spread the apples on top. 7. Top with the remaining cake mixture, spread and smooth. 8. Bake for 1 hour – 1 hour 10 minutes or until it is slightly risen and golden brown. 9. Cool slightly, and then remove from tin. 10. Slide on to a plate and dust with icing sugar. 11. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or crème fraîche.


October 2012

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The Chilean Wine Experience By John Bugeja Chile’s distinctive combination of diverse geographical areas and Mediterranean climate make it ideal for eco-friendly winegrowing and for producing a wide variety of wine styles. Whether it’s coastal cool, altitude with attitude, or just cruising down the centre, Chile’s wine regions have it all! Chile has just the right conditions for a very broad range of grape varieties, from crisp Sauvignon Blanc, lush Chardonnay, zippy Riesling or fragrant Viognier to vibrant Pinot Noir, juicy Merlot, spicy Syrah, classic Cabernet Sauvignon, its very own Carmenere, and so much more. In 16th century residents of the burgeoning capital city of Santiago mostly sons and daughters of the earliest Spanish immigrants clamoured for more wine to quench their thirst and sharpen their appetites as well as to satisfy their spiritual needs. The sur-

rounding Maipo Valley proved to be a sensational source of red wine, and Chile’s first wine boom began in earnest. With time improvements in maritime transportation made cross-Atlantic travel possible for the upper classes. Chile, freshly emancipated from Spain in 1810, yearned for knowledge of its wider European roots, and members of the country’s wealthy families embarked upon intercontinental pilgrimages that would profoundly change Chilean life, culture, and wine forever. France was a favorite destination, and soon French customs, from food to clothing to architecture and fine wine consumption, flourished in Santiago. It did not take long for the first new French-style wineries to appear on the outskirts of the city. Viña San Pedro was founded in 1865; it is one of the leading wineries in the country, being present

in more than 80 markets along all five continents with its brands Cabo de Hornos, Kankana del Elqui, Tierras Moradas, 1865 Single Vineyard and Limited Edition, Castillo de Molina, 35°South and Gato Negro. The winery, main vineyards and centenary underground cellar are located in Molina, at the Curicó Valley, 200km south of Santiago, where San Pedro owns one of the largest continuous areas of vineyards in South America, at over 1,200 hectares.

October 2012 Carolina Rivera is the Wine Ambassador of Viña San Pedro. She has 14 years experience in the world of wine. With 14 years experience in the world of wine, she began her career in 1995 in the first House of Wine in Chile. Later she worked in different wineries and later, in 2000, she joined Wine Group, where she works today. In 2006 she moved to the US as Wine Ambassador to work with importer of Viña Tarapacá and Bodega Tamarí, Terlato Wines International, where she acted as a consultant in wine, wine tastings and while collaborating with the sales force. She returned to Chile as Wine Ambassador, carrying out wine tastings and general training for clients, distributors and social events. The current Viña San Pedro Wine Ambassador took part in a radio program presented by Iván Núñez, “Palabras sacan Palabras” (Words Breed Words), advising consumers on wine consumption and services in general. The same initiative was produced set up on Tiempo Radio, on Jorge Aedo’s program, “El placer de volver a casa” (The pleasure of returning home), giving brief advice for wine lovers. Chile’s own signature grape the Carmenere disappeared from European vineyards in the mid-19th century and reappeared among Chile’s Merlot vines a hundred years later. Castillo de Molina produced a very interesting Carmenere this wine has been made with the best Carménère vines Viña San Pedro owns in Maule Valley. The vineyard is planted in a soft slopy zone with moderately deep franc-clay sandy to clayey soils, with the presence of middle superficial stoniness. Conduction system of the vines is vertical trellis with drip irrigation. All the above conditions contribute to producing a dark purple coloured wine, which is expressive and intense in nose, full of black fruits of blueberry and blackberry, mixed with notes of vanilla, Virginia tobacco and sweet spices. This wine is an ideal accompaniment for grilled salmon or trout, but also may be paired to cold pasta such as fusilli with pancetta and grilled vegetables. Another grape variety which is thriving in Chile


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is the Sauvignon Blanc. Zesty is the key word for this varietal, and nothing makes a better aperitif than a glass of fresh Sauvignon Blanc. Highly aromatic and recalling citrus fruits, green apple, crisp pear, and/or zingy pineapple with a refreshing green-grassy aroma and perhaps a stony, steely mineral edge, this is a wine to be sipped nicely chilled all summer long or paired with shrimp, white fish, salads, or blue cheese at any time of year. Castillo de Molina Sauvignon Blanc comes from the best vineyards Viña San Pedro currently has in Elqui Valley, which present silt clay loam soils with the presence of angular stones in all of their profile. The vineyard holds strong marine influence, since it is located approximately 20 kilometers from the ocean in as the crow flies. Every morning, clouds come from the sea up Elqui River´s basin, placing themselves over the vineyards until approximately midday, thus favoring cool climate and good ventilation due to wind in the area. The vines are conducted by a vertical trellis system with drip irrigation. This wine may be drunk on its own as an aperitif or may be paired with sea bass ceviche. Next time you’re planning your wine holiday keep in mind Chile and of course Viña San Pedro until then...Hasta Luego.

October 2012

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Ghouls and goblins on All Hallowsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Eve


photography by ray attard

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Halloween once again and time to put ones artistic skills together with culinary competence. As trick or treating is becoming more and more popular in Malta, make some delicious treats yourself to scare the little ones. Here are some ideas that you and maybe your children or grandchildren will have lots of fun trying out.


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Spooky spider ca


Ingredients Makes 12

°C • Pre-heat oven to 180 temperature m roo at ter, but g • 200 ar sug • 200g caster r • 200g self-raising flou ten bea • 4 eggs, • ½ tsp baking powder • 1 tsp vanilla extract ps or chopped • 6 tbsp chocolate chi chocolate • milk To decorate • 12 tbsp Nutella Catherine Wheels • 2 packets Liquorice orts Alls ice • Liquor g • Tube black writing icin e tlac boo red gth len • 1

kes Halloween cupca Ingredients es Makes 18 good sized cupcak soft

very • 250g unsalted butter, by putting ter but ten sof (you can it into lukewarm water) • 250g caster sugar • 4 large eggs, beaten r • 250g self-raising flou • 1 tsp vanilla extract • 4-6 tbsp milk


1. Pre-heat oven 180°C ffin tins 2. You will need two mu or muffin lined with 18 cup case liners e into a 3. Measure flour and siev vanilla add and s egg t Bea l. bow m extract to the l, cream 4. In a large mixing bow light till ar sug and ter the but c hand and fluffy with an electri use or ed, spe h hig on ter bea h wit Now on. a wooden spo ed, the beater at a lower spe a very or mixing by hand, add to the little of the egg mixture er with eth tog ter but and ar sug tinue a tablespoon of flour. Con r each like this, beating well afte has egg the all il unt n, additio

h 12 paper cases, 1. Line a muffin tin wit preferably brown ones. ing powder and 2. Measure flour and bak a smaller bowl, In l. bow e sieve into larg extract to them illa beat eggs and add van butter and the am cre l, bow r 3. In anothe n adding a the fy fluf sugar till light and ten eggs with bea the add e tim at e littl r mixture mixing a tablespoon of the flou incorporated, all in well. Once eggs are Now add the r. flou ing ain rem fold in the mixture is too If l. wel in chocolate and stir s milk. oon lesp tab two add f, stif ture evenly into cases 4. Spoon the cake mix utes until golden and bake for 20-25 min e out of oven Tak ch. tou the to and firm and cool on a tin ffin mu and remove from wire rack. es, unravel the 5. To decorate the cak into lengths with liquorice wheels and cut legs. gly dan the ke ma to scissors of each cake, top the o ont 6. Stick 8 of these of a sharp tip the making small cuts with ly. ure sec in h pus y knife so the top and spread 7. Spoon the Nutella on e legs to make a oric liqu the hin wit lightly cut the allsorts Now y. round spider’s bod bootlaces to red the and s eye ke ma to m onto the k stic n the s, make mouth g to make icin the the cakes and dot on ls. eyebal

e this been incorporated. Onc aining is done, fold in the rem flour. on by 5. Now add the milk spo have you il unt ing mix on, spo y. enc sist con ng a soft droppi n the Divide the mixture betwee e in 18 cupcake cases and bak 20 15for n a pre-heated ove es are minutes until the cupcak . top on den gol cooked and w to cool 6. Take out of oven. Allo n slightly in the tin, and the e rack transfer the cakes to a wir icing. ore bef l coo tely ple com to

October 2012

October 2012


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Ghoulsome cook



5. On a floured surfac e, roll out dough quite thickly. No w cut out your Halloween shapes and place onto a large baking tray and bake in pre-heated oven till golden, approx 20 mins. 6. Take out of oven, allo w to cool slightly then put onto wire rack and cool completely bef ore decorating.

• 350 g plain flour • 175g sugar • 2 tsp baking powder • Rind of one lemon • 1 tsp vanilla extract • 200g butter or marga rine • 2 egg yolks


1. Pre-heat oven to 18 0°C. 2. You will need a larg e baking tray lightly greased. You will also need some Halloween cut outs 3. Sift flour and baking powder into processor, add fat in pieces and blend to make a mixture of breadcrumb consistency. 4. To this, add the lemon rind, vanilla and the egg yolks. Blend to bind and form a dough.

Maltese “bones” The Maltese “bone” bis cuits are traditional for the feast of all souls, and are made and sold in the month of the dead – No vember. Why not have a go at ma king them yourself?

Ingredients • 356g plain flour • 175 sugar • 175 margarine or but ter • Grated rind of one lem on • 2 egg yolks (keep one white for the almond filling) For the filling • 175g blanched almond s ground in a processor • 80g sugar • A little fresh lemon juic e • 1 egg white • 1 teaspoon orange blo ssom water (ilma zahar)


1. Mix flour and sugar in a bowl, add the margarine or but ter cut up into pieces and mix altogether until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. 2. Add the grated rind and the egg

yolks. Mix well until it bec omes a fairly firm dough. Onl y add a little water if necessary. Set aside. 3. To make the filling, mix the ground almonds with the sugar, lemon juice, egg white and blossom water. Mix very well by hand or in a processor. Set aside. To make the bones 1. Pre-heat oven to 180 °C. 2. On a floured surface roll out the dough very thickly. 3. With a sharp knife cut out shapes of half a bone, put som e almond filling on top of these sha pes. 4. Cut similar bone sha pes and put on top on shapes with alm ond filling. 5. Press two halves of the bones together till all filling is concealed and bone is the right shape. 6. Carefully place on a lightly greased oven tray and bak e in a pre-heated oven for abo ut 30 minutes until golden bro wn. 7. Remove from oven and allow to cool before placing on wir e racks to get completely cold bef ore icing.

See icing recipes on page 15


October 2012

The icings Glacé icing

Use glacé icing to coat the ghoulsome cookies and the Maltese “Bones”

Ingredients • •


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Jack o’ Lantern To keep to the scary Halloween theme, decorate your house with a Jack o’Lantern

450g icing sugar 75ml hot water


1. Slowly add water to the sieved icing sugar mixing well till you have a thick coating icing. 2. Divide into bowls and very carefully add drops of food colouring of your choice. 3. Now with the white icing, coat the bones and the ghosts. 4. Smooth the icing as you go along with a palette knife dipped into a glass of hot water – this will give a smooth finish. 5. Colour one bowl icing orange (red and yellow mixed) for the pumpkins, and colour the other black for the witches and bats. 6. Leave to set and when dry, decorate with your tubes of writing icing (shop bought –optional)

Fondant icing

Use fondant icing for modelling covering and shapes for Halloween cupcakes either use a store-bought packet of fondant icing or make your own Ingredients • 1 x 500g packet fondant icing sugar • 5-6 tablespoons water


1. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and gradually mix in the water till a ball is formed. 2. Turn onto a work surface dusted with a little more icing sugar and knead till smooth. 3. To make the required shapes either roll out on icing sugar or corn flour and use a cutter (the round covering on the cupcakes), or mould the required shapes (pumpkins, spiders, skulls, tombstones etc.) 4. To colour icing add tiny spots of food colouring.

For more Autumn recipes, see Pippa’s award winning book ‘Pippa’s Festa’ available at leading booksellers or online

How to carve your own pumpkin Step 1 Select and design that will best complement the shape of the pumpkin. Look for the pumpkin with a smooth skin without bruises, scratches or dents. Step 2 Prepare some newspapers, a large chopping board, a thick wax crayon, a small sharp kitchen knife (serrated) – or if possible a tiny saw, a scraper or ice-cream scoop. Step 3 Using the crayon, draw a line around the pumpkin stem including a notch at the back to serve as a guide for fitting the lid. Make sure the opening you draw in the top is large enough to allow your hand and cutting tool to pass through. Use the sharp knife or small saw to cut along the drawn line with its blade angled towards the centre of the pumpkin – this will prevent the lid from dropping inside. Using the scraper or ice-cream scoop thoroughly remove the pulp and seeds from the pumpkin cavity putting this on your newspaper. Now

continue scraping the interior walls to a 2cm thickness wherever you plan to carve the outer surface. Step 4 Draw your design with the wax crayon and keeping the pumpkin on your lap with the design facing you and with the knife (or saw held as you would hold a pencil), saw with a gentle motion following your design. When you reach a turn in the design, pull out the cutting tool and reposition before proceeding. When finished, use your finger (not the cutting tool) to carefully push the cut -out into the pumpkin. Step 5 To preserve the pumpkin spread Vaseline over the cut edges. Step 6 When all your pumpkin is carved out it is now ready to place and illuminate. Place a votive candle (candles in red plastic used for holy alters) inside and light up. To provide a vent for smoke and heat, allow smoke to blacken a spot on the top interior of the pumpkin lid and using your cutter make an opening at that spot. Now turn off your lights and watch your jack o’ lantern come to life! Never leave a burning candle unattended.

October 2012


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Nicky Lanzon is always hungry. Juggling life with her Pilates classes she needs to be fuelling her body with enough energy to keep her going but between classes there is precious little time for preparing elaborate meals. She shares some recipes for some tasty, quick and easy meals, made with ingredients you are likely to have in your cupboards, that you can enjoy at home or take to work to steer you clear of carb-loaded snacks that will help keep you trim throughout the winter along with a Pilates class or two.


photography by ray attard

Quick lunch fixes


October 2012

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Bulgar wheat salad Serves 6 Ingredients

• 2 cups bulgar wheat, cooked • 1 cup peas • 1 cup corn • ½ cup cooked gammon, cubed • ½ onion, diced • Handful pine nuts, toasted • Handful sunflower seeds • Handful pumpkin seeds • Handful linseed use • 2 chicken breasts (you can also beef or prawns) • 2 tbsp olive oil • 1 tsp Dijon mustard • ½ lemon, juiced • ½ orange, juiced • 1 tsp sugar • Salt and pepper


in a 1. Toast the pine nuts and seeds non-stick pan. 2. Rinse the bulgar wheat well and allow to soak for half an hour. the 3. Combine the bulgar wheat with onion, peas, corn, gammon and toasted nuts and seeds. ts 4. Whisk the dressing ingredien together and pour over the bulgar wheat mixture and combine. 5. Refrigerate whilst cooking the chicken. strips 6. Slice the chicken breast into and season. ed. 7. Cook on a hot grill pan until cook of 8. Place the chicken strips on top the salad and top with garnish with a few more toasted pine nuts.

Ricotta bake with salmon Ingredients

• 1 tub ricotta • 1 egg • Parmasan cheese • Salt and pepper • Little milk • Chives • Parsley • Nutmeg • Salmon


• Salmon • Rucola • Almonds • Pears • Avocado • 1 tsp honey • 2 tbsp oil • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar



1. Mix the ingredients of the ricotta bake together and place in an ovenproof bowl. 2. Bake for 40 minutes in a 180°C oven. 3. Combine the ingredients of the salad reserving the salmon and almonds. 4. Arrange the salmon on top and sprinkle the roasted almonds over the top. 5. Whisk the ingredients for the dressing together. 6. Remove the baked ricotta from the bowl and place in the centre of the salad. 7. Pour dressing over the salad and serve.

October 2012


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Courgette flan Ingredients

• 1 onion, grated • 2 courgettes, grated, • 200g cheddar cheese • 5eggs • 1 cup self-raising flour • Salt and pepper • Oil


1. Mix the grated vegetables and minced garlic. 2. Add the cheese. 3. Season to taste and add the beat en eggs. 4. Add the flour slowly, stirring all the time. 5. Add the olive oil. 6. Transfer to a baking dish and bake for 35 minutes at 180°C.

Green lentils with horseradish

Frozen yoghurt



• 1 packet green lentil • 1 small onion water • 500ml chicken broth (or 500ml and 1 chicken cube) • 2 tbsp horseradish cream, to taste • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar • Olive oil

• • • •


1. Place some berries, nuts or gran ola, or a mixture of the ingredients at the bottom of a bowl or cup. 2. Add a scoop of yoghurt ice-cream . 3. Add some more berries, nuts or granola. 4. Add another scoop of ice-cream and finish with berries.


allow 1. Rinse the lentil thoroughly and . hour an half for soak to 2. Fry the onion until softened. to fry for 3. Add the lentils and continue tes. a few minu 4. Add the broth slowly. cool. 5. Cook until tender and allow to mic 6. Add the horseradish cream, balsa vinegar and olive oil.

Yoghurt ice cream Berries of your choice Nuts of your choice Granola

Get in touch with Nicky and get on the right track to a fitter, healthier you. Contact 99623337 or email

You can leave these in the freezer until ready to serve.

Spicing up borin


October 2012

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Manuel Xuereb of One TV’s Aroma Kitchen has been in the limelight in the kitchen for a number of years, transforming plain old ingredients into wonderfully tasty dishes. In today’s fast-paced world when time is short, there is no excuse for dull and boring meals. He whips up some fabulous chicken recipes using Maggi ready recipe mixes.

Chilli chicken goujons with sweet chilli sauce Serves 4


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• • • •

For the stir-fry • 2 tbsp sesame oil • 1 carrot, cut into matchsticks • 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into matchsticks • 2 shallots, thinly sliced • 1 green chilli, shredded • 1cm piece ginger, cut into matchsticks • 2 clove garlic, finely chopped • 2 spring onions, shredded • 100g bean sprouts • 1 tbsp soy sauce • 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

aroma K I T C H E N


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4 chicken breasts, sliced into fingers 1 egg, beaten 1 sachet Maggi “So crispy chilli chicken” mix 4 tbsp sweet chilli dipping sauce


1. Start by heating the oven to 180°C. 2. Grease and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper and put aside. 3. To prepare the chicken goujons, dip the chicken pieces into the beaten egg, then into the Maggi “So crispy chilli chicken” crumb mix, carefully coating the chicken all over. 4. Place the chicken pieces onto the prepared baking tray and cook in the oven for approximately 30 minutes. 5. 5 minutes before the chicken ready, prepare the stirfry. 6. Heat the sesame oil in a wok until very hot but not smoking. Throw in the carrot, red pepper, shallots, chilli, ginger, garlic and spring onions. 7. Stir-fry for just a minute or two, and then add the bean sprouts, soy sauce and chilli sauce. Stir-fry for another minute. 8. Quickly serve the stir-fry on large plates with the “So crispy” chilli chicken coujons. 9. Place the remaining chilli sauce into small individual bowls and serve alongside the chicken.

ing old chicken October 2012

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Creamy herb & garlic chicken

Chicken and bacon pasta bake Serves 4

Serves 4



• 1 tbsp olive oil • 1 onion, chopped • 6 rashers smoked bacon, trimmed and sliced • 2 chicken breasts (approx 500g), cut into small pieces • 700ml milk • 2 heaped tbsp wholegrain mustard • 1 sachet Maggi “Cheesy chicken & bacon pasta bake” • 150g penne pasta • 80g mature Cheddar cheese, grated

• 3 tbsp olive oil • 1 onion, chopped • 4 chicken breasts or 8 small chicken thighs • 300ml milk • 100ml white wine • 1 sachet Maggi “Creamy herb & garlic chicken” • 4 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes • 1 tsp chopped rosemary • Fresh seasoning • Roasted vegetables for serving


1. Start this recipe by heating 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté the onion for 4 minutes. 2. If you are using chicken breasts, cut each one into 3 pieces. Add the chicken to the pan and brown all over for 5-6 minutes. 3. Meanwhile, place the milk, white wine and the contents of the Maggi “Creamy herb & garlic chicken” sachet and whisk together. 4. Pour over the browned chicken and gently bring to the boil, stirring regularly. 5. Lower the heat and continue to cook for 10-15


Method minutes, or until the chicken pieces are cooked. 6. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil in another pan and fry the potatoes cubes with the chopped rosemary for 10 minutes, or until soft and golden brown. 7. Season the cooked potato cubes well with salt and pepper before serving with the creamy herb and garlic chicken and roasted vegetables. If you love Manuel’s recipes check out his new book Aroma Kitchen out now in leading bookstores

1. Start by heating the oven to 170°C. 2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté the onion for 4 minutes until soft. 3. Add the bacon to the pan and fry for just 2 minutes. 4. Add in the chicken pieces to the pan and brown all over for 5 minutes. 5. Transfer the ingredients into an oven-proof dish.

6. In the same pan, whisk together the milk, wholegrain mustard and the contents of the Maggi “Cheesy chicken & bacon pasta bake” sachet. 7. Bring the mixture to the boil, whisking constantly till thickened. 8. Pour the sauce over the browned chicken and bacon and add the penne pasta. 9. Mix all the ingredients together well before sprinkling over grated Cheddar cheese. 10. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. 11. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Introducing a new range of exciting meal ideas. a collection of recipe mixes to be added to chicken, steak, mince and pasta for that extra inspiration for your family favourites.

6 recipes to choose from. Available from leading grocery stores & supermarkets.

Follow us on facebook for recipe inspirations:

Cheesy Bolognese Pasta Bake with mushrooms, mozzarella & Parmesan (Serves 4)



1 tbsp olive oil 1 onion, chopped 500g lean minced beef 200g mushrooms, sliced 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes 1 sachet ‘Cheesy Bolognese Pasta Bake’ 150g fusilli pasta 10 mini mozzarella balls 100g Parmesan cheese, grated

Start by heating the oven to 170`c, gas mark 5. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and sauté the onion for 4 minutes until soft. Add the minced beef and sliced mushrooms to the pan and cook for just 2 minutes to brown the meat. Remove off the heat and stir in the chopped tomatoes, 450ml water, the contents of the ‘Cheesy Bolognese Pasta Bake’ sachet, fusilli pasta, mozzarella balls and half of the grated cheese. Tip the mixture into an oven-proof dish and even out, making sure that the pasta is submerged into the juices. Sprinkle over the remaining grated cheese and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Competition PRIZE » Cookery Book – Aroma Kitchen by Manuel, Volume 2.

What meat is being used in the recipe above? o Chicken

o Rabbit

o Beef

Tick the correct box and send to: Nestlé Malta Limited, Pantar Road, Lija LJA 2023 together with your name, surname, address & telephone number or scan your answer and email to: Closing date: 15th November 2012.

Imported by Charles Grech & Co. Ltd, Valley Road, Bâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Kara TEL: 2144 4400

October 2012


gourmet today

Autumn brings with it long afternoons of nothing much to do but while away the hours with friends, sipping cocktails and enjoying a chin wag. Republic Street has seen the revival of Charles Grech Café and Cocktail bar, beautifully refurbished to bring back the grandeur of the Valletta of the past with all the modern comforts. After a busy week at work, Friday afternoons at Charles Grech are fast-becoming the release from the rat race everyone is looking forward to as early as Monday morning. Next time you’re in Valletta pop into the café and try one of these fabulous cocktails.


photography by ray attard

Classy cocktails at Charles Grech Café


Passionfruit mojito Ingredients

• 70ml Bacardi superior • 1 lime • 2 tsp brown sugar • 1 passionfruit • Mint • Soda water

Connoisseurs Treat Ingredients

• 16ml Gautier cognac • 15ml Grand Marnier liquor • 14ml Galliano liquor

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Breakfast bar Ingredients • • • •

30ml Bombay Sapphire gin Juice of 1 lime Dash Grenadine syrup Egg white or fresh cream

October 2012

October 2012

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Emerald Star



• 28ml Bacardi superio r • 21ml Midori melon liquor • 16ml Mari Bizard apr icot brandy • Dash of lime juice • 33ml passionfruit juic e

If you’re looking for something a little more exciting, try one of their signature cocktails. The cocktails are named after people that have a link with the company’s past. Sur Godwin and Sur Charles are both cocktails created using drinks that were favourites of third generation directors, Godwin and Charles Grech while Manuel E. is named after their very first bar tender.

Manuel E. Ingredients

• Jack Daniels • Cointreau • Grenadine syrup • Egg white

Charles Grech Café and Cocktail Bar • 10, Republic Street, Valletta • 21237581


October 2012

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‘Strong to the finish when I eats me spinach’ Sautéed sp inach with garlic , chilli and pine nu ts Ingredients

• 1kg spinach • 2 garlic clove s, peeled and fin ely sliced • Olive oil, for cooking
 • ½ red chili pepper, seeded and finely shred • 50g pine nu ded ts, • Juice of half a lemon • Sea salt and freshly ground bla ck pepper


By Gaby Holland


hilst saying goodbye to the summery sun, we begin to welcome some of winter’s more comforting foods. But comforting food need not be unhealthy. Spinach, which is at its best during the autumn and winter months has been ranked by WHFoods as one of the most healthy vegetables available. So much so that in the 1920s the US promoted the vegetable with the popular cartoon Popeye the Sailorman, with his popular catchphrase “I’m strong to the finish when I eats me spinach.” This leafy green is low in calories and is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium and

vitamin B6. It’s a very good source of protein, phosphorus, vitamin E, zinc, dietary fibre and copper. Plus, it’s a good source of selenium, niacin, and omega3 fatty acids. Spinach helps protect against inflammatory problems, cardiovascular problems, bone problems, and cancers. It is no wonder therefore that WHFoods places spinach at the top of their ranking list for nutrient richness. Because of its high vitamin K content, patients taking anti-coagulants such as “warfarin” are encouraged to avoid spinach in their food since it interferes with drug metabolism. Choose spinach that has vibrant deep green leaves and stems with no signs of yellowing. Although it can be stored inside the refrigerator for up to a week, fresh leaves should be eaten at the earliest in order to

1. Cut off the thick stems of th e spinach and dis 2. Clean the sp card. inach by filling up your sink with wa and soaking the ter sp ina ch to loosen soil. 3. Drain the sp inach and then repeat soaking an draining. d 4. Put the sp inach in a salad spinner to remov excess moisture. e any 5. Toast the pin e nuts in a pan un til they start to turn golden. Remov e from heat and 6. Heat 2 tbsp reserve. olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. 7. Add the ga rlic and chilli an d sauté for abou minute, until th t1 e garlic is just be 8. Add the sp ginning to brown. inach to the pan, packing it down you need to with a bit if your hand. Use a couple spatulas to lift the spinach and turn it over in the pan so th you coat more of at it with the olive 9. Squeeze th oil and garlic. e juice of lemon an d give another sti Cover the pan an r. d cook for 1 minu 10. Uncover an te. d turn the spina ch ov er cover again and cook for an addit ional minute. 11. After 2 minu tes of cooking th e spinach should completely wilte be d. 12. Remove fro m heat. Drain an y ex cess moisture fro the pan. Add a lit m tle more olive oil , sprinkle with sa to taste. lt 13. Stir in the toasted pine nu ts an d spring onions an serve immediately d .

get maximum nutrition benefits. Spinach should not be cooked beyond the point that it just wilts. Young tender leaves may be eaten raw, tossed in a salad or used instead of lettuce in a sandwich.

October 2012

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Escudo Rojo ‘Maipo’ – Rothschild, Chile


Escudo Rojo is a fine blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet France, this Chilean wine comes from a famous pedigree - the house of Mouton Rothschild. The nose is full of smoke, spice, meat and black fruit. On the palate, the same smoky meaty flavors come through, with plush tannins and a medium finish. So is it a Baby Almaviva? Well,tThis red shows all the power of the fine vintage as well as being the first vintage to reap the benefits of their new plantings in the Maipo Valley. The Escudo Rojo wine has plenty of ripe “new world” fruit tempered with “old world” style and elegance. I like this wine with a variety of grilled meats like lamb or beef. If you feel adventurous, try making the traditional Chilean “asado al disco”. Imported and distributed by Charles Grech & Co. Ltd., Valley Road, B’Kara. TEL 2144 4400

An enduring partnership A great champagne, like a great dandy, has a duty to be modest in its success. Firstly because its presence speaks for itself. It is merely the expression of the most exquisite taste. Secondly, and above all, because it is a great wine, in other words a work of patience and occasional doubt, the product of a complex, and often capricious terroir. The partnerships that endure are those with shared values. Aston Martin and Louis Roederer share not only exclusivity but the ethos that the best creations are those that take time and care to bring to life. Attention to detail, refinement and a heritage that echoes throughout history link two brands that are sure to share, not only a special relationship, but their future. Imported by Charles Grech & Co. Ltd., Valley Road, B’Kara

Tel: 2144 4400

Three palaces to enchant you. One standard of excellence. The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux is firmly established as Maltaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s finest, 5-star deluxe, privately owned boutique hotel set into the mighty bastions of Mdina, the silent, medieval city in Malta. Upon entering The Xara Lodge you will undoubtedly feel the opulence and uniqueness of this beautiful country house and be greeted by the warmth and hospitality of our staff. Alternatively, Palazzo de Piro is a multifunctional cultural centre located in the core of the silent city Palazzo de Piro is the venue for premier national artistic and heritage events and exhibitions. A grand staircase leads to light, airy rooms with high, hand painted ceilings and a beautiful rear terrace that looks out on the bastion walls and the sea beyond. For more information about these magnificent venues, call 2145 0560 or send an email to

The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux. Mdina, Malta | (+356) 21 450 560 | | Facebook: | Twitter:


October 2012

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Adrian Bonello at The Xara Lodge

The ultimate art form



f int




his older brother, Kevin Bonello, eventually became Chef de Cuisine of Infinitely Xara that includes both The Xara Palace in Mdina and The Xara Lodge. “I get along great with him and we don’t have the family feuds you might expect. Over the eight years we’ve worked together we’ve only had two minor arguments. Working with him has made us closer as family.” Adrian became Head Chef at The Xara Lodge when it opened last July in the heart of the Rabat countryside and makes the state-of-the-art kitchen his home, with Head Patissiere Otis Caruana working his magic with the sweeter side of The Xara Lodge. “It is fantastic to be able to work with such a great team among fantastic facilities. So far the largest event we have catered for was a seated dinner for 750 Italians. We went for broke and served pasta,

which they loved – if you can get Italians to compliment you on preparing pasta for such a large number of people then you know you are doing something right.” The venue is set up so that whether you are a big or small group there is always an area that suits your function. Split into different areas, smaller groups can enjoy each other’s company in the smaller areas of the terrace or by the poolside whilst larger groups can also be catered for. Whether it’s a wedding or a conference, a fashion show or an exhibition The Xara Lodge is equipped to offer both al fresco and indoor events. For more information contact The Xara Lodge at Sqaq tac-Cawla, Triq il-Belt, Limits of Rabat. Tel: 21450560 • Email:


photography by James Bianchi

or The Xara Lodge Chef de Cuisine Adrian Bonello food is the ultimate art form. His interest in food started from a young age though it was the artistic element in the world of food that got him hooked. “There is artistic expression in every aspect of food. Its not simply aesthetics; flavour and texture also gives the chef a blank canvas on which to create a masterpiece.” Adrian started making pizzas at the tender age of 16 and after extensive training at ITS as well as overseas he started working for The Xara Palace, where

C U LT U R E I N E V E R Y B I T E . If you’re going to Indulge, you might as well do it properly. On Saturday nights, Hilton Malta hosts a sumptuous Mediterranean Fusion Buffet in the elegant setting of the Oceana Restaurant. Whether out for a romantic evening or a warm get-together with family and friends, you’ll be simply spoilt for choice when faced with such an immense variety of mouth-watering dishes to savour. For those who want to upgrade their Sunday afternoon to make it really memorable, Hilton Malta’s Sunday Buffet Lunch makes for a truly special day out enjoying a veritable feast of culinary delights. What’s more, at either Saturday Mediterranean Fusion or Sunday Buffet Lunch, kids up to the age of 12 EAT FREE (T&Cs apply) whereas diners also enjoy FREE PARKING!

Saturday Mediterranean Fusion @!"37 per person and Sunday Buffet Lunch @!"35 per person For further information, please contact us on 21 383 383 or visit

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Portomaso St Julians | PTM 01 | Malta

October 2012

Prawn and scallop mousse pasta balls

Rabbit with wild garlic and yellow millet

Fresh pasta balls filled with prawn and scallop mousse served with asparagus tips and lemon verbena cream sauce.

Roasted rabbit loin filled with green tomato chutney, braised rabbit shoulder scented with wild garlic yellow millet and roasted potato cake, boiled carrots and white port jus.

Ingredients Pasta • 3 egg yolks • 1 whole egg • 70g semolina flour • 35g flour • 1tsp olive oil Prawn and scallop mousse • 80g uncooked prawns • 60g scallops • 90g fresh cream • Salt and pepper Sauce • 1 small piece onion • 30g celery stick • 50ml white wine • 100ml fish stock • 10 lemon verbena leaves • 60ml fresh cream • A few asparagus tips


1. Mix all ingredients for the pasta together in a blender knead to a dough and rest in the fridge. 2. To make the prawn and scallop mousse, blend the prawns and the scallop to a fine paste then fold the chilled cream salt and pepper. 3. Roll the dough into thin sheets then cut in round circles and fill them with mousse. 4. To make the sauce sauté the onion and celery in some olive oil, then add the wine and reduce by half add the stock and reduce then the cream and verbena leaves strain to fine sauce. 5. Steam the asparagus tips. 6. Cook the pasta balls for 4 min in boiling water and serve with the sauce and asparagus tips.


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Xara reci Lodge pes

Chocolate exotic fruit combo Chocolate brownie with white chocolate mousse, mango cheesecake and strawberry sorbet


Rabbit loin • 2 pieces boned rabbit loins • 100g green tomatoes, seeded • 1 small onion, sliced • Pinch coriander powder • 3 tbsp sugar • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar

Chocolate Brownie • 250g chocolate • 200g butter • 5 eggs • 225g sugar • 50g flour • 1 vanilla pod • Pinch salt

Rabbit shoulder • 2 pieces boned rabbit shoulder • 1 stem wild garlic • 3 tbsp chopped carrots, celery, onion • 70ml white port • 100ml veal stock

White Chocolate Mousse • 100ml milk • 150g white Chocolate • 100g fresh cream • 3g gelatine leaf

Potato stack • 1 large potato • 80g yellow millet • 2 chopped shallots • 1 tsp butter • 1 spring of fresh thyme


1. To make the rabbit loin, sweat the onion without colour add the chopped tomatoes, sugar, coriander and vinegar reduce to a jam consistency when ready fill the rabbit loin. Braise for 40 mins until tender. 2. To make the rabbit shoulder, sweat the vegetables, place some chopped wild garlic into the shoulders place them on top vegetables add the white port veal stock and braise for 40 mins until it is tender and glazed. Strain the remaining juice and use as a jus. 3. To make the potato stack slice the potato in 1cm thick rounds and roast them with some thyme, cook the chopped onion in butter add the yellow millet and fresh thyme cover with water and cook until soft, when ready place some millet stew between potatoes and bake for another 5 mins.


Mango Cheese Cake • ½ diced mango • 200g cream cheese • 2 eggs • 50g fresh cream • 1 orange zest • 20g sugar • 100g biscuit crumbs • 40g melted butter Strawberry sorbet • 200g fresh strawberries • 50g sugar • 10g glucose • 75ml water


Chocolate Brownie 1. Melt the chocolate and butter on Bain Marie. 2. Whisk the sugar and eggs together. 3. Mix the egg mixture with

the chocolate mixture. 4. Mix in the flour, vanilla pod and salt. 5. Bake for 15 minutes – 170°C. White Chocolate Mousse 6. Soak the gelatine leaf in iced water. 7. Boil the milk. 8. Melt the chocolate and gelatine leaf in the milk. 9. Beat the cream. 10. Hold in the chocolate mixture in cream. 11. Pour over the brownie and let it set. Mango Cheese Cake 12. Mix the biscuit crumbs and melted butter tighter to form the base of the cheese cake. 13. Bake for 10 minutes 150°C. 14. Beat the cream cheese, eggs, fresh cream, orange zest and sugar. 15. Pour over the baked base. 16. Bake for 45 minutes 120°C. 17. Melt some butter and sugar. 18. Toss in the diced mango. 19. Add in a tot of brandy. 20. Cook till mango turns soft. Strawberry Sorbet 21. Bring everything to the boil. 22. Blend everything together. 23. Churn in an ice-cream


Masi Expertise Appaxximento certifies Masiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s expertise in this technique in the XXI century. Masi is an historic producer, open to innovation, and has re-interpreted appassimento with modernity and originality both to make its five Amarone and three Recioto wines using â&#x20AC;&#x153;100% semi-dried grapesâ&#x20AC;? and to give character to a series of â&#x20AC;&#x153;double fermentationâ&#x20AC;? wines, the most emblematic of which is Campofiorin

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School has started and with it the routine of homework, uniforms and packed lunches. In today’s health conscious world it is important to send the kids to school with healthy, nutritious snacks to keep their energy levels up and their little brains open to learning. Chrys Mangion of Mummies Yummies, has been busy with the opening of the new scholastic year, helping parents pack their kids lunchboxes with healthy snacks the kids will love at her various workshops. Still she finds time to let us in on a few fun ideas that the kids will enjoy helping out with as well as eating and sharing at school.


Junior Cooks

B a k 2 s koo l

October 2012

Sandwich bottomed Courgette fritters quiches

Ingredients Makes 6 muffins • 6 slices white or brown bread, crusts cut off • A little butter • 2 – 3 eggs • Ham/cheese/cherry tomatoes

Method 1. Cut the crusts off the sliced bread and with a rolling pin roll

make it as flat as you can. 2. Crack eggs and mix with small cubes of ham/cheese/tomato 3. Butter the flattened bread and place them butter side down in the muffin tin. 4. Pour egg mixture into pastry cases, about 2/3 full as egg mixture will rise. 5. Bake in preheated over for 15 mins or until solid. 6. Keeps well refridgerated in an airtight container for 2 or 3 days.

Ingredients Makes 6 muffins • • • • •

2 medium courgettes, grated 4 tbsp self-raising flour 25g Parmesan, finely grated 1 egg 1 tbsp olive oil

Method 1. In a bowl, combine the grated

courgette, egg, flour and Parmesan. 2. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add the oil. 3. Ladel out as you would a small pancake. 4. Fry the fritters for 2-3 mins on each side until golden brown. Alternative veggies, sweetcorn, potatoes, spinach, broccoli or cauliflower (steamed first). Left over veggies are also great for making fritters!

photography by ray attard

Fritters can be made with any vegetables. They are great in wraps, accompanied with a dip, eaten hot or cold! Just a drop of food colouring can turn a boring green vegetable to a colourful treat the kids are excited to eat.


October 2012

Junior Cooks

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Sushi sandwiches Ingredients Carrot and chicken spread • • • •

4 slices wholemeal/white bread, crusts removed 2 tbsp spreadable cream cheese 1 finely grated carrot 4 tablespoons chicken spread (see recipe)


1. Place bread slices on a chopping board. Using a rolling pin, flatten the bread. 2. Spread 1 side of each slice with cheese. 3. Add 1 tablespoon of chicken spread and sprinkle grated carrot in the middle. 4. Roll up bread tightly to enclose filling and cut into 3 or 4 rounds.

Chicken spread (with leftovers from your roast) • • • •

100g leftover from a roast chicken OR grilled or poached chicken breast 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt, mayo OR cream cheese 2 tbsp tinned chickpeas, drained Squeeze of lemon juice (again, optional)


1. In your food processor place cut up cooked chicken, add Greek yoghurt and blitz until smooth. 2. If you’re adding the chickpeas you may need another tbsp of yoghurt. 3. Season to taste with either a squeeze of lemon juice or salt and pepper. • 2 tbsp spreadable cream cheese • 95g can tuna, drained • ½ medium avocado, peeled, thinly sliced • ½ medium carrot, peeled, grated Alternatively, simply roll the sandwiches with ham and cheese and a little cream cheese to make them stick.

Keeping lunchboxes cool – Smoothie ice-cubes Instead of buying one of those cooler packs, I make smoothie ice-cubes and place them in a small container in my daughter’s lunchbox. All you will need is a selection of fruit of your choice, a blender to juice fruits and an ice-cube tray Method 1. Blitz the fruits and pour them in the ice cube tray, freeze till solid. 2. Once frozen take them out of the tray and place them in an airtight container in the freezer ready for use. 3. In the morning, fill the smallest container with a few fruit ice cubes and pack a spoon. 4. If the weather is cool the kids can pick up the frozen cubes and eat them like an ice-lolly. If the weather is still warm they may defrost a little and need the spoon. This can also be done with a mixture of yoghurt and fruit or even yoghurt on its own.


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Pancake rolls with homemade hazelnut spread and bananas Ingredients Pancakes

Home made hazelnut spread Ingredients

Pancakes are a great make-ahead. They also freeze very well.


• • • •

100g plain flour 2 eggs 300ml milk 1 tbsp sunflower oil or vegetable, plus extra for frying

Building the pancake rolls

1. In a bowl, mash up a banana with a fork. 2. Lay out pancake and spread the hazelnut spread (recipe below), next add the mashed banana. 3. Roll tightly and cut up into little rolls.

• 1 cup of hazelnuts, peeled and toasted • ¼ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder • ½ cup of powdered sugar • 4 tbsp neutral oil, such a vegetable oil (may be optional)

1. Roast the hazelnuts. 2. Place hazelnuts in the food processor and blend continuously until a smooth butter forms (around 3 to 5 minutes). Process the hazelnuts while they are still warm as more natural nut oil is released while blitzing. 3. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue blending until the mixture is smooth and creamy. If your consistency is a little dry add the oil, 1 tablespoon at a time. 4. Store for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

Get the real Italian espresso experience with Lavazza A Modo Mio It’s the coffee that makes the difference. That was our starting point. Not yesterday, but over 110 years ago, from when Lavazza set out to give Italians unique and distinctively flavoured coffee. Making great coffee demands care, passion and strategy. Making special coffee takes feeling and imagination. The new A Modo Mio cof-

fee machine follows the golden rules for making professional espresso coffee by the book. All parameters for temperature, pressure and coffee extraction have been respected and for this reason the quality of the coffee is always guaranteed from the first to the last espresso. Because you are at the heart of all that Lavazza creates, we have designed an espresso machine that is simple and easy to use. Just one touch for each perfect espresso, then enjoy it, whenever you want, wherever you want. Get the real Italian Espresso experience with the new Lavazza A Modo Mio espresso machine. And with five different coloured machines and seven coffee flavours to choose from, there is no doubt that your own personal A Modo Mio coffee machine is out there waiting for you. The A Modo Mio coffee machine is now available in Malta only from The Store at P.Cutajar & Co. Ltd. in San Gwann. www., Prices start from €99. Contact Lindsey on 21444364

Junior Cooks

October 2012

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October 2012

Michael Diacono


gourmet today

The comfort of autumn

Risotto rosmarino Ingredients • 200g Arborio rice • 1 medium sized onion, finely chopped • Salt and pepper • 2 cups beef stock • 1 cup white wine • 1 tsp rosemary • Handful of grated Parmesan cheese • A knob of butter Method 1. Cook the onion until transparent, then add your rice. 2. Add the white wine, beef stock and rosemary and leave to cook for 14 minutes on low heat. 3. Finish with a knob of butter and Parmesan.

Suggested wine Masi Modello bianco Attractive aromas of flowers and fruit, particularly pears, with a hint of vanilla. Dry on the palate with notes of ripe apples and bananas giving depth to the wine.

Duck breast with Sicilian caponata and pesto Pesto: • Handful of basil leaves • 100ml extra virgin olive oil • Seasoning • 50g Parmesan • 25g pine nuts (whole) • 1 garlic clove Ingredients Duck • 1 duck breast • Mixed spice • Seasoning

Michael Diacono is chef patron at Giuseppi’s Restaurant in Mellieha and Rubino Ristorante in Valletta. Contact: 99493579

Caponata: • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided • 500g eggplant, peeled and diced • 1 large sweet onion, diced • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 3 stalks celery with leaves, diced • 3 plum tomatoes, diced • 1 tbsp sugar, if needed • 1 tbsp red wine or white wine vinegar, or more to taste • 1 tsp kosher salt • Freshly ground pepper to taste • 15 small or 7 large pitted green olives, quartered • 1 tbsp capers, rinsed • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped • 2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted

Method 1. Heat 4 tbsp oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and soft, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate. 2. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the pan. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and lightly golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. (If the pan seems too dry, push the onion and garlic to the side, add a drizzle of oil, then continue cooking). 3. Stir in celery; cook, stirring frequently, until softened and slightly golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in tomatoes; cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Return the eggplant to the pan; stir until well combined. Sprinkle sugar over the eggplant mixture (omit if using Chinese eggplant, which is naturally

4. 5. 6.

7. 8.

sweeter), stir to combine and cook for about 30 seconds. Stir in vinegar, salt and pepper. Taste and add 1 to 2 tbsp vinegar, if desired. Stir in olives and capers; cook for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in basil and pine nuts. Add all the ingredients for the pesto into the blender together until you have a nice consistency. Score 4 quarter inch deep cuts across the duck breast. Add the duck breast to a hot pan and sear for 5 mins skin side down. Flip and cook for a further 2 mins. Remove the duck from the pan and bake in the oven for a further 6 mins. Slice the duck breast at a 45 degree angle and place on a bed of caponata with a dollop of pesto. Suggested wine Masi Modello rosso A gentle mix of ripe, violet fruits with an afternote of vanilla. A pleasant acidity with soft tannins on the palate accompanies a touch of fragrant cherries and raspberries.

October 2012

gourmet today

Meet the chefs

in collaboration with

Matthew Galea Bianco’s St George’s Road, St Julian’s 21359865

Duck salad with orange & pomegranate Ingredients

• 1 duck breast • 1 handful of mixed salad leaves (rocket is a good inclusion) • ½ pomegranate • 2 leaves chives • 15g almond flakes (toasted)


• Score the skin of the duck into a crisscross pattern • Place the duck skin side down in a dry pan and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes • Turn duck breast skin-side up and cook in a pre-heated (200C) oven for 8-10

minutes • Remove the seeds of the pomegranate • Chop chives, finely

Ingredients for the dressing • • • •

1 tbsp honey 3 tbsp red wine Orange juice Orange zest

Method • • • •

Melt 1 table-spoon of butter in a pan Add the red wine and reduce Add orange zest, orange juice and honey Before serving, add the pomegranate seeds and chives to the dressing

Fresh lamb cutlets served with a lime & mint dressing Ingredients

• 1 rack of fresh lamb cutlets • 50g fresh spinach


• Turn on the stove on medium/high heat • Place the lamb and sear for a couple of minutes until brown • Remove from pan and place in preheated 1800C & cook until medium • Cook the spinach in a preheated pan with olive oil & garlic until completely wilted • Serve spinach, place lamb on top and drizzle with the lime & mint sauce

Lime & mint sauce Ingredients • 2 lime wedges • 3 mint leaves

• Extra virgin olive oil


• Chop mint and place in a small mixing bowl • Squeeze lime wedges • Add olive oil, mix well

Jacket potatoes filled with sour cream, chives and cheese • • • •

2 medium sized jacket potatoes 1 table spoon of sour cream 2 chives leaves Cheddar to taste


• • • •

Preheat oven to 1800C Scrub the potato and prick it with a fork Bake for 90 minutes 1800C Slice the potato open spread some butter and fill with cheese, sour cream & chives

VWT Suggests to try out these recipes with a bottle of Campofiorin 2009



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October 2012

gourmet today

Message in a bottle


arina Cvetic is an icon in the wine producing world. Croatian by birth she has been living in Abruzzo in Italy with her husband since 1987 where, together, they turned a passion for wine into the production of some of the greatest Italian vintages. For Marina travelling to different countries is all about the wine. “Every wine tells a story. You can tell so much about a country just from a glass of the local wines. You can experience the culture, the climate and the character of the place all in one glass. “Even the economy is represented in the local wines of a region. You only get good premium wines in financially stable economies due to the heavy investment required to produce top vintages. Therefore you can tell how economically stable the country is from the wines that are available.” The Masciarelli wines have their own story to tell – one of love and passion and tremendous hard work that can be shared with anyone who tries it. Marina inherited a love of wine from her grandfather and, as a child, spent many harvests pressing grapes the old fashioned way. It was not until she met her husband Gianni Masciarelli that her love of wine blossomed, as

did her relationship with him. They met while he was on holiday in Croatia and immediately hit it off. When he went back home she promised to go and visit and when she received a plane ticket to go and see him in the mail she jumped at the opportunity – even though it was a one-way ticket. “In just a year I had made Villa Gemma my home, became a director of the company and had my first child, all at the age of 22.” Though their beginnings in the wine world were humble to begin with, their passion for grapes encouraged them to travel and taste better wines, to find out why the other wines were superior and adjust their own production methods until their varieties were among the best in the country. Marina is the first person in the world to have a wine named after her, using her full name – a truly romantic gesture from a man whose world began when he met her. “At first I wasn’t very happy about naming the range of wines after me. I didn’t think my foreign name would do the wine any favours, however, though the beginning was tough, people did learn that this is quality Italian wine and today the Marina Cvetic range, which includes two white wines and three reds, is some of our most important and exported to over 50 countries worldwide. “Having a wine named after me is significant on so many levels. The romantic gesture gives me great personal pleasure but it also reflects the importance of women in the wine-making world with is generally maledominated.” Marina and Gianni have three children, 22, 12 and four and a half. Their parent’s passion for wine has rubbed off on all three of them who always want to have their opinion heard and taken into consideration when decisions need to be made. Their eldest daughter is studying economics and management and takes an active interest in the company. Even their youngest child has a part to play. “At harvest time he brings out his toy tractor and gives it a clean and invites his friends over to the vineyards to help with the harvest. “We’ve always encouraged our children to be a part of the business, discussing business issues with the family and taking their opinions into consideration. “Because we live on the vineyards they are all part of


the process, living and breathing the production of wine, learning the ins and outs so that it becomes second nature to them.” The life of the Masciarelli family seems to be more of a dream than a reality and they have recently opened it up for the public to share with a small boutique hotel. Castello Semivicoli represents an important landmark on the Abruzzo map for wine, offering just 10 rooms with spectacular historical value. Tastings with top Italian chefs are organised and of course patrons can get involved with the wine-making process. “Harvest time is a particularly great time to visit, when patrons can actually roll up their sleeves and be a part of workforce. Although it is a hard day’s work out in the vineyards it is so rewarding to know that you are a part of something special – it is a gift we give to wine lovers that is unparalleled. “Every bottle of wine has a message, ours is one of love and passion, for the grapes we grow, the land that enables the production of our wines and the people that make it possible.” Marina Cvetic and other Masciarelli wines are available in Malta from Bicanter Cellars • 12, Triq San Gorg, Qormi. Tel 27408008 •

Exclusively represented by

T. 21 225039

October 2012


gourmet today

The naked truth behind McDonald’s The choice is yours E

at healthy foods, do more exercise… this is the mantra that is being drummed into us in today’s health conscious world. For a company like McDonald’s this should spell disaster, however on the contrary, consumption, both locally and abroad, has been on the increase for the last 10 years. This is the result of strategies that have been put into play, most importantly on the quality and types of food options offered by McDonald’s. Laura Jasenaite, Marketing manager of McDonald’s in Malta, the Baltic states and Greece, says “Life is all about balance, whether in diet, exercise, work or play. McDonald’s has increased the variety of food products on the menu to include foods from beef, pork, poultry, fish, bread, vegetables and dairy groups as part of a balanced diet.” A role model in this area is the slim and fit Charmaine Gauci, operations manager of McDonald’s Malta. She’s worked at McDonald’s for the last 17 years, since their doors opened in 1995 and eaten a Big Mac on every shift she’s ever worked. “The trick to staying healthy and slim is bal-

ance. I don’t always have the fries and sometimes substitute with a side salad, and go jogging every day.” McDonald’s has embarked on a transparency campaign that allows customers to make their own decisions when it comes to choosing the food they want to order. Some nutritional information is available on the packaging while a more thorough list of nutritional information of every product (on the menu – right down to the sauces) is listed on trayliners and online, making it easier for customers to make informed decisions. Charmaine says eating out is always tricky when it comes to sticking to a healthy diet as you never really know what is in the food you are ordering. At McDonald’s, on the other hand, you always know what you are going to get. “We use 100% beef in our burgers that comes from prime cuts, and burgers are grilled not fried.” In fact McDonald’s only use A rated distributors and as a result most supplies for McDonald’s Malta come directly from Italy and France. Fresh

milk products are sourced locally from Benna, which is a McDonald’s approved company. As part of their pledge to promote a healthier lifestyle McDonald’s is involved with educating children on healthier eating choices and now includes fruit bags, vegetables, salads, mineral water, bio-yoghurt and fruit juices to their Happy Meal options, with free fruit given to kids on the first Monday of every month. “We are after a more transparent approach to consumption of food, where adults as well as children, can make an educated choice when deciding what to eat” Laura said.

Royal Sundays

at the Grand Hotel Excelsior “Sunday is the golden clasp that binds together the volume of the week” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

to French, Lebanese and Spanish. live entertainment for the grown-ups, and animation to keep the young ones occupied while you relax. And those wonderful harbour views from Spice Island complete the perfect setting. Call the Grand Hotel Excelsior on 2125 0520 to make your booking for Sunday Lunch or email

Now that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve set the date for your big day, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got one thing left... Our Congratulations! James Caterers is an established market leader in event catering, specialising in weddings, outside catering & private functions. Come meet us at the upcoming Weddings Fair between the 8th and 11th November. We look forward to welcoming you at our stand and get a taste of what we offer!

Velleran Street, Fgura / Tel: 2189 6290 / Web: / eMail:

Gourmet issue 18  

Gourmet October 2012

Gourmet issue 18  

Gourmet October 2012