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All Aboard!

Seafood, beach food and boat food special issue Gourmet Guide to... filleting fish Sara Grech makes a homely meal Our Junior Cooks make a simply delicious meal Britain’s Sexiest Chef graces our pages

New Healthy Eating section Dr Mario Stellini breaks down IBS Gaby Holland new seasonal veg series

OVER 35 recipes inside

OUR 5th ANNIVERSARY Del Borgo Birgu, Citta Vittoriosa, one of the Three Cities in Malta’s Grand Harbour, is host to one of the island’s premier wine bars, Del Borgo. This is a historical venue with a strong focus on product and ambiance combined with high standards of quality that holds its own in an up-and-coming part of the island. Del Borgo has also managed to break the mould, attracting people who would not normally venture to this part of the island. In the five years since it started operations, Del Borgo has managed to join the elite of local wine bars, bringing fine wine and good food to a wide audience. Del Borgo’s reputation has spread and its regular clients come mainly from the central and northern part of the island – people who would not normally be attracted to visit the Three Cities. For many, it is their first visit to Vittoriosa. Del Borgo has always offered and continues to offer a good product. The proprietors Alan Mercieca Bons and Ingrid Dalli are handson and, since this is their first venture in this segment of the business, they have put all their energy into it. For them product is of paramount importance. Although there is a big selection available, even in wine, they consider it essential to ensure quality in selection, food and staff. There is a good division of responsibility with the two directors closely supervising the kitchen and front of house. The wine bar offers a comprehensive selection, starting with Prosecco and Champagne, proceeding to local premium white and red wines and a huge choice of Italian, French, and New World wines from world renowned chateaux and countries as far afield as Chile, Australia, California,

South Africa, Morocco, Lebanon, Mexico and New Zealand. There are also rosé wines and a wide selection of port, grappa, Cognac and single malt whisky, apart from good espresso coffee. Wine is also available in half bottles or by the glass. The food is not the main line of business and is aimed at complimenting the wines. There is a selection of platters to share or individual portions. There are traditional Maltese dishes like freshly baked bread stuffed with pork, cottage cheese and herbs, battered cod fillets and ravioli with Gozo cheeselets. Mediterranean cuisine includes Greek platters and for dessert there is mqaret and helwa tat-Tork.

Recent Developments The Enoteca within Del Borgo is a new concept giving regular customers a novelty twist. This combines a retail area with a new selection of wines, spirits, food and cigars to take home. It also provides a shop window for producers to show their latest offerings. Among the choice of spirits are Grappas, Ports, Cognacs and speciality Maltese and Italian liqueurs. There is a wide range of food products sourced in Malta and Italy that are of a high level. These include sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, honey and Maltese liqueurs. The Italian fine foods include pasta artigianale, and a selection of chocolates with wine and liqueur. All these products are combined also in gift hampers with a large variety of prices and content for any special occasion.

Hobza miftuha

Things you did not know about Del Borgo

There are 300 wines on the Del Borgo wine list and 200 in the Enoteca. The entrance and the cellars of Del Borgo is over 500 years old, enabling you to be cut off and secluded from the rest of the city. The wine bar was used by servants of the palace upstairs, which is now owned by a band club. For the past century before it was taken over by the present owners, it was used as a store. No ghosts have been spotted recently. The most expensive wine is the Gaja Sperss, a Nebbiolo red that is listed at €780.

Open everyday from 5.00pm onwards. Food is served till 1.00am St. Dominic Street Birgu, BRG1114 T +356 9928 0000 - +356 2180 3710

August 2010




3 All Aboard with our

Home Cooks for simple sea faring recipes

15 Gourmet Guide to... Afternoon Tea

Editor’s note

17 Andrea Pullicino makes cup cakes

Weddings and waves typically dominate the Summer, and although the season is already half way through, the occasions to celebrate with friends and family are still numerous. To liven up your beach and boat food we have put together this issue of simple, seasonal and lighter recipes for you to try, on land or at sea. If the heat is beginning to get you down, take solace in the fact that the next few weeks are rich with choices of the colourful, delectable lampuki almost jumping onto our plates, and an irresistible array of fruit and vegetables with my personal favourites, fresh figs and centenarja, filling shelves just before the next issue of GOURMET Today is due. In the meantime, look on www. for recipes and food news and various items from past issues of the magazine. We have expanded our healthy eating section due to popular demand and have more ideas for future editions; if there is anything you’d like to see more (or less) of, do let me know. Enjoy the rest of Summer and bon appétit!

22 British High

Commissioner, Louise Stanton, invites us into her international recipe repertoire


28 Sara Grech makes a

homely meal of poached chicken roulade with potatoes

34 Our Junior Cooks make a simply delicious meal 39 Dr Mario Stellini breaks down IBS

41 Gaby Holland: new seasonal veg series

43 Daniel Lake puts plates through their paces 47 Monique makes a

meal for hi-speed dining

51 Our celebrity chef is

22 06

a dish

53 The Definitively Good Guide to... Essence 55 Gourmet Guide to... filleting fish

60 Recipe index

Published by:

Vjal ir-Riħan, San Ġwann SGN 9016 Malta Tel: +356 382741 Fax: +356 21381992 Email: Managing Director: Roger de Giorgio

Monique x Managing Editor: Saviour Balzan Editor: Monique Chambers Design: Zvezdan Reljic Photography: Ray Attard, Denise Scicluna

Head of Sales: Adriana Farrugia - 21382741 ext: 126 Sales Executives: Natalie Muschamp – 21382741 ext: 123 Ray Falzon – 21382741 ext: 118 Marthese Bonello – 21382741 ext: 122

Contributors: Andrea Pullicino, Louise Stanton, Sara Grech, Phil Gibbs, Dr Mario Stellini, Daniel Lake Cover: Sara Grech. Photo by Ray Attard Printed at: Print It Printing Services

S & D Yachts Ltd

Tel: 2133 1515, 2133 9908 • Fax: 2133 2259 • Mobile: 9947 7753 • Email:

August 2010

gourmet today

photography by ray attard


This monTh our home Cooks are all aT sea wiTh simple summery reCipes To have aT home or aboard. monique Chambers makes a salmon CoulibiaC, Gaby holland CreaTes zinGy CarpaCCio and prawn noodles, while sandra dimeCh whips up desserTs.



We offer a full service beach club in an idyllic location, with outstanding service, great restaurant serving local,fresh produce, and all the comforts of a home away from home. Book a table for lunch, a Mandalay for the afternoon, a watertaxi to and from your boat by calling Baia Beach Club, Armier Bay. Tel. 21573421. Last orders 10pm. Closed Mondays.




August 2010

“These are a family favourite�

August 2010



Monique’s Russian Coulibiac Serves 4

Ingredients • • • • • • • • • 1.



200g fresh salmon, cooked and flaked 150g rice Handful of sundried tomatoes, chopped 1 red pepper, chopped 1tsp wild sumac ½ jar Poco Loco salsa Handful of tortilla chips (optional) 2 sheets puff pastry 2 eggs, beaten Firstly, cut 8 circles, about 20cm in diameter of puff pastry. From 4 of the circles, cut out the centre leaving a ring of approx 1cm wide. Cover with beaten egg and place each carefully onto the other 4 circles. Brush egg just onto the raised ring and bake for 20 minutes or until risen and lightly browned. While cooking the rice, mix the flaked salmon, chopped pepper, sundried tomatoes, crushed tortilla chips in a bowl. Mix the rice, salsa and fish mixture together and fill the pastry baskets. Return to the oven for 5 minutes. Serve warm with a green salad.

You can omit the pastry and make yummy fishcakes instead. Just beat another egg, add this to the final mixture to bind the ingredients, make into patties and bake for 10 minutes. You can coat them in crushed tortilla chips for extra crunch

Suggested wine: ‘CASTILLO DE MOLINA’ CHARDONNAY RESERVA 2007 VIÑA PEDRO (Casablanca Valley)

We’d like to thank S&D Yachts for a lovely day out. To hire a Dufour similar to the one used in this section costs between €450 and €650 a day, including a skipper. Our Home Cooks cost extra!



It presents intense toast, toffee and lactic notes, framed by a delicate and elegant fruit. This is a round, medium-bodied wine that can be stored for 2 to 3 years.



gourmet today

E HOM Gaby’s asian style seafood tuna carpaccio with citrus dressing Serves 6

Ingredients: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

600g thinly sliced fresh tuna (a good fishmonger will do this for you) 1 small lemon 1 lime 1 orange 1 tablespoon sesame oil 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 tblsp light soy sauce 1 small chilli finely sliced (seeds removed) a few mint leaves shredded 1 spring onion finely sliced 2” coarsely grated ginger 1 tablespoon sesame seeds 1 tablespoon brown sugar sea salt bunch of watercress for garnish

Method: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Take the zest from the lime, lemon and orange and set aside. Mix the juices of the lemon, lime and orange together with the oils and soy sauce. Place some of the marinade onto your serving dish and arrange the tuna slices. Pour the rest of the marinade over the tuna and marinate for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours. When ready to use sprinkle with the spring onion, chilli, brown sugar, sesame seeds seasoning and zest. Garnish with a bunch of watercress.

Prawn and watermelon salad Serves 6

Ingredients: • • • • • • •

2 dozen prawns 3 large slices of watermelon cubed into 1” pieces 2 spring onions finely sliced 3 tblsp sesame oil 1 small chilli finely sliced (seeds removed) bunch of fresh coriander leaves chopped sea salt


Peel and de-vein (remove the black line running down the back of the prawn). Steam the prawns for about 10 minutes. Chill prawns until ready to use. Mix the rest of the ingredients with the prawns and serve chilled over Thai noodles.

thai style noodles Ingredients: • • • • • • • •

300g rice noodles (vermicelli) 1 clove garlic minced 2 tsp sugar 2 tblsp lime (or lemon) juice 100 g roasted peanuts chopped 2 tblsp light soy sauce 2 tblsp sesame oil sea salt.


Soak the noodles in boiling water for about 10 minutes (see instructions on packet). Drain, rinse under cold water and drain again. Mix the rest of the ingredients and pour over noodles to accompany the prawn salad.

August 2010

August 2010

gourmet today



“both dishes are light and tasty”


If the tuna slices are not thin enough place take each slice of tuna and put it between two pieces of wax paper or cling film , then pound it gently from the center outward, until it is very thin. When you’re finished, set the slices -- still in the wax paper -- in the fridge

Fresh and intense with present citric fruits, such as grapefruit, and citric fruit’s rind, interlaced with notes to green chili, boxwood and mineral touches to gunpowder and sea salt. The palate is vibrant, fresh, fruity and with very pronounced acidity and minerality. It stands out for its identity and freshness. Its notable volume leads to a long and persistent finish.


you feel like dressing up.

Because… you deserve a night without the kids.

one thing leads to another.

“one day”, can be today. when was the last time you treated him? the food, like the view, is to die for.

Always a great reason to eat out. Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, Golden Sands Tel: (+356) 2356 1000




August 2010

“These desserts are simply delicious”

August 2010


SANDRA’S DREAMY CREAMY DESSERTS Date and banana cream Ingredients: • • • • •

4 bananas 200g dried dates 300ml fresh cream 1 tablespoon orange flower water 3 tablespoons toasted flaked almonds


Slice bananas and chop dates. Toss the fruits in a serving dish. Stir the orange flower water into the cream and pour over the fruits. You can either leave it in same dish or divide in 6 individual glasses. Scatter over the almonds. Refrigerate for about an hour and serve.

Apricot and orange creams Ingredients: • • • • • • •

100g dried apricots Juice of 2 oranges 250g mascarpone 250g ricotta 2 tablespoons sugar 1 tablespoon Cointreau (optional) 6 strawberries


Chop apricots and soak in juice of 1 orange (and Cointreau if using) overnight. The next day distribute fruit in 6 ramekin dishes. Beat mascarpone and ricotta together and spoon on top of fruit, smoothing it with a knife. Gently heat the remaining orange juice and sugar in a small pan until sugar is melted. Increase the heat, let it bubble for a few minutes until syrupy. Allow to cool. Decorate with strawberries and drizzle with cooled syrup.

Suggested wine: ‘LATE HARVEST’ RIESLING 2007 VIÑA SAN PEDRO (Lontué Valley, Chile) Aromas of quince and peach. On the palate it shows the fruit, sweetness and elegance typical of the Riesling variety. Long lasting and pleasant after taste.



August 2010

gourmet today



Effortless entertaining In between weddIngs, summer Is a great tIme to get together wIth frIends and throw a garden party or bbQ, but the organIsIng, preparatIon and cookIng can be a hassle In the heat. Events can be arranged and catered for at Villa Arrigo or one of the other Osborne properties, a public or private beach or other location subject to the relevant permissions or, of course, at your own home for 12 or more guests. Of course you may wish to host your event aboard your own boat or a charter yacht - all are possible! Once you have secured your date and location, and selected your tailor made menu, Osborne Catering staff will arrive with pre-prepared foods, drinks and equipment and set up while you concentrate on relaxing and getting ready to host the event. Ice sculptures in your choice of design are available and favourite family recipes can be recreated for the occasion; or choose from our vast selection of foods to suit your elegant or casual party. Hand-made pastries and a variety of deseeded fruit platters can be served to your guests as dessert, or you can choose to have one of our ever-popular chocolate fountains! Osborne also offers a wide range of wines, beers, soft drinks and cocktails. All our food is freshly prepared and delivered in specially made cooler / heater boxes which are not electrically operated and designed to serve on a small space like a boat galley or poolside kitchenette. In any scenario, our professionally trained staff clear up and remove all traces of the event from the beach, boat or garden, so you don’t need to face the clearing up the following day. They say “If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.” We say, contact us! Osborne Caterers, Villa Arrigo St. Paul’s Street San Pawl Tat-Targa Naxxar 2142 3214


gourmet today

August 2010

Ta’Mena Agri Limited from neighbouring Gozo Ta’ Mena Agri Limited is the key to discovering one of the most untouched and distinctive islands in the Mediterranean. Gozo is the perfect holiday destination, a serene land where time has stood still. It is ideal for beach holidays, religious or historical travel, an eco-holiday, spa vacations, a selfcatering stay in one of our unique properties, a walking holiday or just an opportunity to get away from it all and indulge in great food, great beaches and an outstanding culture. Modern tourism is continually evolving in its attitudes. Holidaymakers aren’t just travelling for the sun and the sea. More and more tourists want to savour the local culture and cuisine. At Ta’Mena Agri Limited we use traditional recipes which were used by our fore-fathers who did not have refrigerators and freezers but still had to provide for the winter season. Our small secret was the use of the unique Mediterranean sun and natural preservatives, particularly marine salt, to preserve several foods and beverages namely the Sun Dried Sweet Tomato Paste, the Sun Dried Tomatoes, Wild

Capers in Vinegar and the Prickly Pear Liqueur. Ta’ Mena Agri Limited is represented by the Spiteri family. Our mother Karmena, who was also known as Mena, was the first person in Gozo to sell vegetables and other dairy products (Gbejna Ghawdxija) from a

stall on the same site where today there is the estate. Ta’ Mena Agri Limited is the first agri-tourism complex in the Maltese Islands. This estate offers an experience with a difference where guests will be in touch with nature and tradition,

enjoying typical foods, wines and liqueurs with a touch of the Mediterranean sunshine. It is situated less than 3 kilometers from the blue Mediterranean Sea within easy reach of the fishing village of Marsalforn and the world famous Ramla Bay with its sandy beach, overlooked by the legendary cave of the Nymph Calypso. The estate is an excellent point of departure for interesting sightseeing tours of the extensive heritage found in Gozo. This includes the Neolithic Ggantija Temples which are the oldest free standing buildings in the world dating back over 5,500 years, the Citadel with its outstanding bastions, the Archeology Museum and the Cathedral, the geological park of Dwejra with its Zerka Window, also known as Azure Window, and all the exceptional churches, various museums and other places of interest in the different villages of the island. At Ta’ Mena Agri Limited we cultivate vines, olives, lemons, oranges, various fruit trees, strawberries, tomatoes, melons, water melons and other vegetables. We also produce our own wine in a state of the art winery, press the olives to produce a unique cold pressed extra virgin olive oil in a modern olive press and produce various typical liqueurs and foods from different fruit, vegetables and herbs. The sundried tomato paste is a must to try! For more info about our estate you may contact us on 21564939

August 2010

gourmet today

Palazzo Parisio Summertime, and the livin’ is easy

Caffè Luna invites you to enjoy some of the most relaxing al fresco dining you’ll find this summer. A new summer menu takes you on a gastronomic tour of Italy, with a soupçon of International influences thanks to the deft hand of our head chef, the prodigal Marco Pinelli. Start our evening with an aperitif in our bar and lounge followed by a pre dinner garden stroll. Caffè Luna operates on selected evenings subject to availability, so do make sure you call to book. Dress code is smart casual. Palazzo Parisio, 29 Victory Square, Naxxar Tel:21412461 ext 2


August 2010


gourmet today

gourmet guIde

Afternoon Tea by Monique ChaMbers


ummertime is the best time for afternoon tea. It takes you through from a light lunch to the evening where dinner is served later due to the heat. It is a ritual to be observed not only on Sundays, but you must give it the time it deserves; talking of time, tea should be served at 4pm, 5 at the latest. Accompanying the perfect ‘cuppa’ should be a selection of savoury and sweet snacks, cucumber or fish paste sandwiches and other treats like:


Makes 10 • 225g plain flour • Pinch of salt • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda • 1 tsp rapid rise dried yeast • 150ml milk • Oil for greasing Sift the flour, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour the milk in a pan and add 100ml water, heat until lukewarm. Pour the milk into the well of the flour and whisk vigorously to make a smooth batter. Cover with a tea towel and leave for about 1 hour. Lightly oil a griddle pan and heat. Place metal rings in the pan and pour the mixture in to about 1cm in depth. Cook on high for about 5 or 6 minutes till the surface is holey but set. Then flip over and cook for a minute just to brown. Allow to cool and toast just before serving with lashings of butter or a blue cheese with fig jam.

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Separately, mix the yeast, 1 tsp of sugar and the milk. Leave to stand for 5 minutes. Add the remaining sugar to the flour and make a well. Add the milk mixture slowly maintaining a dry dough. Add the butter and knead on a floured surface for 15 minutes. Place in a bowl and cover with a dampened tea towel for about an hour. Then, knead the dried fruits into the dough and divide into ten portions. Make small flattish buns about 1cm thick. Place on a greased baking tray. Cover with oiled cling film for about 45 minutes then bake in a 200°C oven for 15-18 minutes. Serve warm with butter.

Jam Tarts

Makes 12 • 175g plain flour • Pinch of salt • 2 tbsp cster sugar • 85g butter, diced • 1 egg, lightly beaten • Jam, Nutella or lemon curd

260g all-purpose flour 50g granulated white sugar 2 tsp baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt 75g cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces 1 large egg, lightly beaten 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 120ml whipping cream

Preheat oven to 190°C. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs. In a small measuring cup combine the whipping cream, beaten egg and vanilla. Add this mixture to the flour mixture. Stir just until combined. Do not over mix. Knead dough gently on a lightly floured surface. Roll or pat the dough into a circle that is about 7 inches (18 cm) round. Then, using a 2 1/2 inch (6.5 cm) round cookie cutter, cut the dough into rounds. Place the rounds on the prepared cookie sheet, spacing a few inches apart. Brush the tops of the scones with a little cream. This helps to brown the tops of the scones during baking. Bake for about 15 - 18 minutes or until nicely browned. Serve with softly whipped cream and your favorite jam.

PoPular tyPes of tea

Tea cakes

Makes 10 • 450g unbleached bread flour • 1 tsp salt • 1 tsp rapid rise dried yeast • 280ml warm milk • 40g caster sugar • 40g butter, diced • 50g currants • 50g sultanas


Sift the flour, salt and sugar into a bowl and rub in the butter till the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Make a ball, cover and put in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then, rollout the pastry to 3mm thick and cut out 12 circles (3 inch cutter). Place the discs into a greased tartlet tin, press to form the shape and fill with jam. Bake in the over (220°C) for 15-20 minutes.

Assam A strong full-bodied tea from India, which has a distinctive, ‘malty’ flavour. Darjeeling An aromatic and astringent tea from India, with a hint of almonds and wildflowers. Earl Grey A blend of black teas scented with oil of bergamot Lapsang Souchong A Chinese tea fired over smoking pine needles, which produces a striking smoky odour and flavour.

Earl Grey cupcakes

August 2010





Ingredients: • • • • • • • •

125ml semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature 5 Earl Grey teabags 110g unsalted butter, at room temperature 225g granulated sugar ½ teaspoon almond extract (optional) 2 large eggs 125g self raising flour 120g plain flour

Vanilla Buttercream Icing (optional) Ingredients: •

• • • •

Method: 1. 2.




110g unsalted butter, at room temperature

60ml semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 400g icing sugar, sifted Few drops of food colouring (optional) 6.

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Heat the milk in a saucepan over a medium heat until it just about begins to boil. Remove from the heat and add the teabags. Cover and leave to infuse for about 30 minutes, then discard the teabags. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth, which should take 3-5 minutes using an electric mixer. Add the almond extract, if using, and the eggs, one at a time, mixing for a few minutes after each addition. Sift and combine the two flours in a separate bowl. Add one-third of the flours to the creamed mixture and beat well. Pour in one third of the infused milk and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk have been added. Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases (if you double case them they will maintain their shape better), filling them to about two-thirds full. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes until slightly raised and golden brown. To check they are cooked, insert a skewer in the centre of one of the cakes – it should come out clean. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once they are completely cool, you could ice the cupcakes with a pastel coloured vanilla buttercream.

How to make buttercream icing: 1.


In a large mixing bowl beat the butter, milk, vanilla extract, and half the icing sugar until smooth – this can take several minutes with an electric mixer. Gradually add the remainder of the icing sugar and beat again until the buttercream is smooth and creamy. If you want to colour your buttercream, always start with one drop of colouring and beat thoroughly. In this way you can achieve a pale pastel hue. Add carefully, drop by drop, beating after each addition to build up the desired shade.


Earl Grey cupcakes


August 2010

gourmet today

Dear readers, once again… Bienvenue/Welcome Today we will be discovering The mesmerizing wine of bordeaux and cognac. The history of French wine spans a period of at least 2600 years dating to the founding of Massalia in the 6th century BC by Phocaeans with the possibility that viticulture existed much earlier. The Romans did much to spread viticulture across the land they knew as Gaul, encouraging the planting of vines in areas that would become the well known wine regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Alsace, Champagne, Languedoc, Loire Valley and the Rhone. Over the course of its history, the French wine industry would be influenced and driven by the commercial welfare of the lucrative English market and Dutch traders. Prior to the French Revolution, the Catholic Church was one of France’s largest vineyard owners-wielding considerable influences in regions such as Champagne and Burgundy where the concept of terroir first took root. Aided by these external and internal pressures, the French wine industry has been the pole bearer for the world wine industry for the majority of its history with many of its wines considered the benchmark for their meticulous approach.

Wine has been grown in Bordeaux for two thousand years. Almost certainly vines grew there before the arrival of the Roman in 56 BC. The poet Ausonius referred, to it as a château still bearing his name, the “Château Ausone”. But unlike most of the other French wine regions, wine in Bordeaux was developed by merchants. In other parts of France, wine was under the power of monks. At the start of the second millennium the Bordeaux region was under English domination. Hundred of vessels loaded with barrels of “Claret” left for England. The “Claret” was a light red wine which Englishmen loved; the word is still used to refer to Red Bordeaux. By the 14th century, half of the wine production was boarded on ships mainly to England. At that time, wines from Bergerac and Gaillac, east of Bordeaux, were very well-known and strongly competed against Bordeaux wines. Nowadays they belong to the South West wine region. In Bordeaux we met up with Evelyne Bardinet and Xavier Cantorne from CORDIER-MESTREZAT. On the first day we visited the Châtaeu Pichon

Longueville Baron in Pauillac. Château Pichon Longueville Baron (commonly referred to as Pichon Baron) is a winery in the Pauillac appellation of the Bordeaux region of France. Château Pichon Longueville Baron is also the name of the red wine produced by this property. The wine produced here was classified as one of fifteen Deuxièmes Crus (Second Growths) in the original Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. Château Pichon Baron’s 70 hectares are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (35%), Cabernet Franc (4%) and Petit Verdot (1%). The planting density is 9 000 vines per hectare using a double Guyot training and the average age of the vines is 30 years. The yield is typically 45 hectoliter per hectare, which means that every vine yields two-thirds of a bottle. The vineyard is situated at the southern end of the commune of Pauillac near border with the Saint-JulienBeychevelle appellation. Châtaeu Pichon Longueville is made from vines mainly situated on the historical terrior of the property. The wines produced are powerful, rich in tannins and characterized from

August 2010 being both elegant and muscular. Wine is a product of forces of nature and the individual behavior of each vintage at Châtaeu Pichon Longueville is direct result of the daily variations in the weather throughout the year. The first wine and flagship of the winery was the Châtaeu Pichon Longueville it is made from vines This wine is a blend of 71% Cabernet sauvignon and 29% Merlot; it is aged in oak barrique with 80% beginning new oak and 20% 1 year old oak barrique. The other wine we tasted was also a red Les Tourelles de Longueville. The fine distinguished tannins, express all the quality of the vintage. The vineyard manager Joël Dupuy explained to us his love for with Châtaeu Pichon Longueville. His father and then his brother had already been walking he length and breadth of the rows of the vines for a long time when he joined 1984. Five years later he became vineyard manager having shown his determination as recruiter and head of the team of pickers. Saint-Julien-Beychevelle is a commune on the left bank of the Garonne estuary in the Gironde department in Aquitaine in south-western France, which produces red wine. Slightly less powerful than Pauillac and rustic than Saint-Estèphe, Saint-Julien wines are much aromatized. They are harmonious and well balanced red wines. Saint-Julien is the right balance between Pauillac and Margaux. Saint-Julien has 11 Grands Crus Classés (great growths). The quality is so good in Saint-Julien, that second wines from these châteaux are very attractive. Chateau Ducru Beaucaillou is named after the fine-looking, large stones found in its unique wine growing terrior. Their excellent ecosystem produces


gourmet today

Château Ducluzeau

fine, tasty wines, with a long finish. From this Estate one can see an exceptional site with unsurpassed views over the Gironde estuary, in the centre of a hundred year old park. This first wine we tasted Château Lalande Borie was founded in 1970 by Jean Eugène Borie on the Lalande terroir to which he added his family name and that he bought that same year from a classified growth in Saint Julien. Today, managed by Jean-Eugène Borie SA, this wine has rapidly created a fine reputation. It belongs to Mrs Jean-Eugène Borie, her daughter Sabine Coiffe and her son Bruno Eugène. The origins of Château Ducluzeau date back to Châtaeu Pichon Longueville Baron

the end of the XVII century. It was owned by Mr Ducluzeau who then sold it in 1870 to a wine-grower of Moulis, Mr Astien. The latter married Miss Hugon de Listrac, who at her death handed down the property to her daughter, Marie-Louise, wife of André Rochette. When Marie-Louise died in 1976,

At Château Ducluzeau, all the grapes are harvested manually. Sorting is carried out directly in the vines on mobile tables to avoid contact between unhealthy and healthy grapes during transport to the vat room



Cognac, the medieval town which bears the name of the region, is attractive with its narrow medieval cobbled streets and elegant Renaissance facades. It is here that the fabled nectar has been created since the 17th century and that the very air one breathes is permeated by the heavy scent of spirits evaporating from oak casks held in storage: this aroma is referred to as the ‘angel’s share’.

August 2010

gourmet today

Cognac Barrels the estate returned to Monique Rochette Borie, who was born and brought up at Château Ducluzeau. Today, her son, Bruno-Eugène manages the estate. Château Ducluzeau was listed in the 1932 crus bourgeois classification of the Médoc, just after the fifth classified growths and has kept the rank of cru bourgeois in the up-dated version of 2003. At Château Ducluzeau, all the grapes are harvested manually. Sorting is carried out directly in the vines on mobile tables to avoid contact between unhealthy and healthy grapes during transport to the vat room. Alcoholic fermentation is managed at relatively low temperatures (between 26 and 28°) to optimise the fruity aromas of the wine. Pumping-over is gentle to avoid extracting too many tannins and obtain a pleasant fattiness. From Bordeaux we continued journey our to Cognac, which took about one hour and a half. The Cognac Delimited Area extends along the banks of the Charente all the way to the Atlantic coast. It covers a large part of the department of Charente, all of the Charente-Maritime and a few areas of the Dordogne and Deux-Sèvres. This ancient country was once called Aunis, Saintonge and Angoumois. In the heart of the region lie Jarnac, Segonzac and Cognac which gave its name to the spirit. Cognac lays 465 kilometers south-west of Paris and 120 kilometers north of Bordeaux. The world’s bestknown brandy comes from the peaceful countryside surrounding the Charente River one hundred miles north of Bordeaux. This slow moving river, which King François called the loveliest river in his kingdom, passes through a placid landscape of vineyards bathed by a clear and radiant light. A twenty-mile area called the ‘golden circle” of cognac production encompasses Cognac and the second distilling town of Jarnac.

Cognac, the medieval town which bears the name of the region, is attractive with its narrow medieval cobbled streets and elegant Renaissance facades. It is here that the fabled nectar has been created since the 17th century and that the very air one breathes is permeated by the heavy scent of spirits evaporating from oak casks held in storage: this aroma is referred to as the ‘angel’s share’. The Historical roots of the House of Delamain, still run to this day by the direct descendents of the founder, Patrick Peyrelongue and his cousin Charles Braastad, run deep down into the origin of Cognac such that it is today one of the oldest names of the region. Delamain objective is simple to remain faithful to its tradition and offer cognacs of the very purest and most genuine expression. At Delamain we met up with Patrick Peyrelongue and together we tasted the Pale & Dry X.O. It was explained to us that the blend came exclusively from Grand Champagne, the first cognac growth, and aged for many years (minim age of 6 years up to 20 years). The second cognac we tasted was the impressive Vesper Grand Champagne Cognac which is made from a blend of various old Grande Champagne cognacs. Très Vénérable Cognac de Grande Champagne is a blend of various Old Grand Champagne cognacs. This blend of extremely old Grande Champagne cognacs has benefited from maximum barrel ageing, owing to their origin and then the blend itself, made at the end of the ageing period is aged for two years more. ‘Très Vénérable’ was named for its venerable status, the age to which cognac can improve. Join us again in the next issue when we will be visiting Puglia and the beautiful island of Sicily. Arrivederci a Tutti……



August 2010




Ingredients: • • • • • • • • • •

1 x sliced chicken breast Various mushrooms (preferably Shitake) 3 tins of coconut milk + 1 of water 2 inches of sliced ginger (or galangal) 2 tbs lime juice 2 tbs fish sauce (nam pla) 2 stalks of lemongrass 1 chilli Bunch of coriander leaves 2 tsp salt

Method: Heat coconut milk, water, ginger and lemongrass. When simmering, add chicken. Boil for 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Add the mushrooms, fish sauce, lime juice, and fresh chopped chilli. Remove lemongrass and sliced ginger (only because it isn’t good to bite into). Add fresh coriander and serve.

August 2010



WHITE CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM Ingredients: • • • • • •

2 egg whites Pinch salt 175g (6 oz) caster sugar 6 tablespoons water 300 ml (½ pint) whipping cream 125-175g (4-6 oz) melted white chocolate

Method: Boil the sugar and water to make a sugar syrup. Beat the egg whites with ½ teaspoon salt in a clean bowl until stiff and glossy. Pour the boiling sugar syrup on to the egg whites in a steady, thin stream, beating for about 2 minutes until the mixture is cool and thick. Fold the melted chocolate into the mixture. Whip the cream until it is thick but not too stiff, then quickly and lightly fold it into the egg white mixture. Spoon the mixture into a freezer proof container and freeze for several hours or overnight. No need to stir during the freezing process! The ice cream will be ready to serve straight from the freezer.


August 2010




Tomato, mozzarella di bufala and walnut salad • • • • • •


ts silly season again when we all feel the need to slow down a bit. Actually, in this heat taking things easier is not an option but a must. The same goes for our eating habits. Out go the heavy stews, roasts and time consuming soups to be replaced by lighter, fresher and generally more colourful dishes. We are blessed with quite a good selection of summer vegetables, with the local produce bursting with flavour, all there to be transformed into beautiful salads. A simple aubergine, sliced, then grilled and dressed with a good olive oil and a touch of basil is great, just as are grilled coloured peppers. Blacken peppers under a grill, then when still hot seal in a plastic bag and leave to cool. Remove peel and seeds then lay in a dish and season. Dress with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and basil. Delicious. Salads do not have to be boring. Altough the standard lettuce, tomato and cucumber salad, when fresh and crispy is refreshing, it could become tedious when presented too often. Imagination is the key word. Mix textures and colours to create interesting and tasty dishes. The two recipes below are good examples of very simple summer salads with a difference. Michael Diacono offers outside catering for small dinners and buffet parties. Mob. 99493579

500g tomatoes 1 or 2 mozzarella di bufala 80ml olive oil 60 ml lemon juice 3 spring onions. Finely chopped 2 tbls mint, chopped

Topping • 2 tbls toasted walnuts, chopped • 3 tbls toasted sesame seeds • ¼ tsp cumin seeds • ¼ tsp coriander seeds • 1 tbls finely chopped coriander or parsley Cut the tomatoes into wedges and deseed. Place into a bowl. Drain mozzarella and place into a separate container. Combine olive oil , lemon juice, spring onions and chopped mint in a jar and shake well. Add half the dressing to the tomatoes and the other half to the cheese. Cover and leave in the fridge for 2 hours . Combine all the topping ingredients together. (To toast nuts and seeds simply heat in a dry pan) To assemble salad place the tomatoes on a large serving dish. Add the mozzarella to the middle and cover with the topping mix.

suggest a nice bottle of Principato Blush Pinot Grigio

Baked peppers with a tomato and anchovy stuffing. • • • • • • • • •

4 large, coloured peppers 8 tomatoes, skinned and quartered 4 cloves garlic,peeled and quartered 1 can anchovies 8 black olives small bunch basil 50g pine nuts sea salt and pepper olive oil

Cut the peppers down the middle and remove the core and seeds but try to retain the stalk. Place into a baking dish. Fill each half with three wedges of tomato and a piece of anchovy. Add garlic and a black olive. Tuck some basil leaves into the peppers and season with salt and pepper. Finally sprinkle the pine nuts over the peppers and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in a preheated oven (200 ºC) for 45 minutes to an hour till the peppers are soft, browned and juicy. Leave to rest for 30 minutes then serve with all the pan juices.

suggests a nice bottle of Principato Pinot GrigioChardonnay


by Monique Chambers

August 2010

gourmet today

Living the dream


remember staying in a hotel in Balluta Bay way back in my early 20’s, doors away from what is now The Villa, and inventing stories about the house; who lived there, how they passed their time and wishing it were mine and building my own fantasy life there. In fact, before the accidental boulder incident, I snuck up the stairs and had a picture of me taken, swooshing down the beautiful stairway in an apple green dress, hand gliding on the smooth stone banister, I felt like Cinderella on her way to the ball. Not many years after, the hotel was built and today, many of my life ambitions have been realised and the restaurant is back in the hands of the Cassar-Torregiani family (who owned it prior to the sale to Le Meridien group) and one can legitimately sashay up the stairs to absorb the sea view and boat spotting spot, lounge on the ample terrace to marvel at the stunning architecture and detailing on the Balluta Buildings, while watching the world go by in this prettiest of seafront areas. For me, the ambiance of The Villa makes it. There’s a calming aura, it forces you to relax into the setting and I always feel like I should be in a long floating silk chiffon gown, with Audrey Hepburn style cigarette holder and violently red lips to be as well dressed as the place. Chairs that demand a man with manners to lift and usher you into are placed around the spacious tables, with cushions that even the princess (of princess and the pea fame) would be happy to sit for hours on. Clean cream umbrellas shelter you from the scorching sun or evening mists but are strategically placed so that your view is not impaired. The interior houses a wine rack that belongs in an art gallery; it is floor to ceiling resembling circular

August 2010

gourmet today


“Chairs that demand a man with manners to lift and usher you into are placed around the spacious tables, with cushions that even the princess (of princess and the pea fame) would be happy to sit for hours on.”

honeycomb with the proud necks of the vast wine selection protruding and vying for your attention. Somehow, though most definitely a restaurant, the feeling of a stately home has been kept intact. The soul of the family home lives on. Lived in sofas – a feature missing in so many establishments allow you to wait for your company in comfort and welcome you after your meal, enabling you to relax with your coffee before heading back to reality. The oversized art is inviting and fits the house. Objects d’art are placed on console tables and serene lamps effectively light the classic interior. A glass of prosecco welcomes you and having been escorted to your table, you are given the menu which changes weekly with a feast of pastas and risottos, pizza, meat and fish as well as a great selection of interesting fresh platters to share when lunch rolls on into the late afternoon and impossibly you find yourself hungry again. We aren’t talking ordinary pizza’s here by the way, one was described as having tomato & black truffle scented base, porcini & chestnut mushrooms & pecorino cheese. I just hope it stays on the menu a while! If a platter is more fitting, try the Lebanese Experience which consists of homemade falafel, hummus, baba ganoush, deep fried calamari, cous cous, octopus, and Labni – a garlicky yogurtlike dip, or the Mediterranean charcuterie or the Greek selection on Aphrodite’s platter. A chilled atmosphere envelopes The Villa on a Sunday afternoon with the post wedding / post lunch at

home / post beach crowd dropping by to mingle and sit out and chill out beyond sundown. For your main, how about the pan fried fillet of sea bass served with braised fennel, herb & rocket pesto or the fillet of tuna served with a Kalamata olive tapenade and sautéed chorizo-zucchini? My sister took the ribeye steak served with a roasted pipérade and chestnut mushroom jus and I resisted the rack of lamb with a herb crust, Moroccan cous cous, prune & madeira jus and tried the day’s special, a curried vegetable parcel whose description made my mouth water. It was delightful. Crisp filo pastry encasing sweet curried vegetables with a subtle mouth humming effect. The vegetables fluffy on the outside retaining their core firmness, the curry penetrating every mouthful, making me follow the Paul McKenna rules for eating; enjoying and really tasting every mouthful. I did however, not stop when I was full; I just loosened my belt a notch. The desserts are bordering on the illegal in terms of their fruitiness. There are of course the chocolate addicts options but the panna cotta with a berry compote or the aptly named lemon-lemon-lemon (half-baked lemon pot served with a citrus sauce and a lemon sorbet) surely deserve your attention. The view just gets better with a clear sky and moonlight dancing on the miniature waves and the promenade livelier as it gets later with post dinner strollers and tourists making the most of their minutes by the sea, you don’t have to take my word for it… go and see for your self.


August 2010


Sara Grech makes a homely meal of poached chicken roulade with potatoes

“This dish not only looks and tastes good, but is really fun to make” Serves 4: Ingredients: • • • • •

4 chicken fillets (approx 200 grams each) Fresh spinach (1 kilo) Ricotta (300 grams) Grana Padano (150 grams) Parma ham (200 grams)

Sauce: • • • • • •

Fresh tomatoes (300 grams) 3 cloves garlic Handful of basil leaves Fresh cream (100 ml) Chilli flakes One chicken cube



• • • • • • •

8 medium sized potatoes Sea salt 2 cloves garlic Few sprigs rosemary Large spoonful of butter Extra virgin olive oil Seasoning

August 2010



Method: 1. 2. 3.

4. 5. 6.

Cut chicken breasts in half (not all the way through), cover the chicken in cling film and flatten it out with a tenderizer, remove any fat. Boil spinach and drain. Place spinach, ricotta and Parmesan shavings into a bowl, mix and season with table salt and pepper. Place the mixture you have in the bowl onto the flattened chicken breast in the shape of a sausage then wrap in Parma ham. Lay cling film (make sure the cling film is longer than the chicken) on top and roll into the shape of a sausage and turn ends into a knot. Boil water and add sea salt and place chicken into boiling water for 15 - 20 minutes (do not drown chicken in water but enough water to slightly cover the chicken). In the meantime, make the sauce. When ready, leave to cool for 3 minutes. Remove cling film wrap and cut into half. Dress the plate with the sauce you prepared and place the chicken on top of the sauce and add potatoes on the side. Garnish with parsley.

Sauce: 1. 2. 3.

Chop tomatoes, garlic roughly. Put into a pan and sauté in olive oil, season with sea salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 – 12 minutes, add basil leaves, fresh cream and remove from heat. Blend sauce in a food processor or hand blender.

Potatoes: 1. 2. 3.

Leave skin on potatoes. Scrub the potatoes and cut into quarters, boil them for 6 – 8 minutes and remove from water. Place potatoes in a frying pan and add extra virgin oil, some sea salt, butter, garlic and rosemary sprigs and sauté for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and serve.



gourmet today

August 2010


Trattoria Da Pippo The hearT oF ValleTTa

Da Pippo is not just in the heart of Valletta, but it is the heart of Valletta. You’ll find a mix of people from professionals to tourists, families and friends in the bustling trattoria where Francesco and his team serve up the freshest fish, simply cooked to feed the ever popular lunch venue.

Da Pippo believes in good food, good service and a good time.

August 2010


gourmet today

Da Pippo recipe

Fish is so good for us, this easy recipe serves 2 generously! Ingredients • • • • • • • • • • •

500g filleted seabass 500g swordfish 200g calamari, cleaned 300g giant prawns 200g ruccola 200g parmesan shavings 100g cherry tomatoes, halved Handful of fresh mint Olive oil Seasoning Balsamic vinegar

For the salad Make a salad with the ruccola, cherry tomatoes and parmesan. Dress with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and season.

There is no set menu, you will be offered a selection of the days catch from azzopardi Fisheries cooked in a variety of ways and some typical meat and pasta dishes.

Method In a pan, heat some oil, add the fresh mint and season well before adding all the seafood and pan frying for 2 – 3 minutes on both sides. Serve on the bed of salad with crusty bread for a quick, healthy meal.

Da Pippo, 136 Melita Street, Valletta. Tel: 21248029


August 2010

gourmet today


Louis Roederer produces champagne from its own vineyards, of a quality and style that places them among the most sought after wines in the world. The reputation of Louis Roederer springs from more than two centuries of love, patience and one family’s constant devotion to quality. To this day, the company is run by the descendants of Louis Roederer, faithful to the founder’s basic principles. Louis Roederer champagnes originate within the firm’s exceptional estate - 200 hectares of the finest vineyards, patiently acquired over the years. These vineyards constitute a veritable mosaic of grands crus whose individual personality is maintained intact right through to the cellars. A magnificent vineyard, a unique collection of Reserve Wines and “liqueur de dosage” wines, and the meticulous care that goes into each wine, clearly distinguish Louis Roederer from all other champagne houses. A solid know-how, the patient workings of time and a respect for the silent ageing process all contribute to the subtle and complex profile of Louis Roederer champagnes. Each champagne in turn is a symbol of its era set above the whims of passing fashion. Louis Roederer Brut Premier has been selected in the ‘Top 100 Wines’ list of Wine Spectator (USA) This selection is all the more significant that Louis Roederer ‘Brut Premier’ is the unique champagne listed in the Top 100 overall wines. Exclusively imported by Charles Grech & Co. Ltd., Valley Road, B’Kara Tel:2144 4400

Outdoor eating doesn’t have to always mean barbecues. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of family summer picnics in the beautiful Dorset countryside. The evening before our big day out, my mother would bake a selection of pies, tarts and other goodies to be served cold and eaten by hand. These would be packed into a large wicker basket the next morning, together with bottles of home-made lemonade for the kids (and some home – made cider for the adults), and we’d head off to one of the many local beauty spots for the day. On arrival, a couple of giant blankets were spread on the ground, and after a couple of hours of French cricket, kite – flying or swimming in the river, we’d return to the blankets for an al fresco lunch. No cutlery required! The trick to selecting food to be eaten by hand is that it should be firm and on the dry side so that it doesn’t become soggy when stored and break up when handled. I have selected some recipes that can be easily prepared the day before, and store well in the fridge.

TorTilla de PaTaTa

The Tortilla de Patata (Potato Omelette) is probably the most commonly served dish in Spain. Bars and cafés serve it as a tapa or appetizer, but it is often served as a light dinner in Spanish homes. Because it is easy to carry, the Spanish make bocadillos or sandwiches by placing a piece of omelette in a sliced baguette. This makes it ideal for a cold outdoor lunch item. There are many variations of ingredients to go with the basic eggs and potatoes. This recipe combines spicy chorizo with the pungency of garlic and the sweetness of red pepper. Ingredients 4 medium waxy potatoes, peeled and sliced 6 large eggs, preferably free-range 100g Spanish chorizo sausage, cut into 1cm thick slices 1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced 1 small red pepper, seeded and finely chopped 4 cloves garlic Extra virgin olive oil 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method Put the potatoes into a pan of salted water. Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes, until just cooked but firm. Drain and leave to dry off. While the potatoes are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan, add the onions and fry for a few minutes until translucent, then add the garlic and red peppers and continue frying until the onion is golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the sliced chorizo to the pan and fry for a couple of minutes to release the flavours, then remove and set aside. Beat the eggs in a bowl until light and frothy, then stir in the chopped parsley. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a clean 20cm frying pan. Add the sliced potatoes and fry on one side until golden. Turn the slices over and add the onion mix over the top of the potatoes, spreading it out evenly. Continue frying for a few more minutes, then pour the egg mix over the potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, then turn the tortilla, by putting a dinner plate over the pan and inverting it so the tortilla drops into the plate. Then slide the tortilla back into the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes. Turn onto a plate and leave to cool.


Murtabak is one of the street foods that you can easily find on a stall almost everywhere in Malaysia. It has either a beef or chicken filling with eggs, onions and curry powder, wrapped in very thin sheets of parantha dough. To cut down on the preparation time, I have used ready – made spring roll pastry as a substitute for making and rolling your own dough, which works a treat!.

August 2010 The recipe uses ghee, or clarified butter. If you cannot buy ghee, it is simple to make your own. Heat unsalted butter in a saucepan on a medium heat until it boils or bubbles. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook uncovered until butter until all the water has evaporated and it turns a clear golden colour, and has a foam on the top. Cool and store it in dry container. Tip - If you want to test if all the water has evaporated, pour a small amount on a piece of paper. In a safe place, light the paper . It it makes a crackling noise, there is still water present. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Ingredients 500g minced chicken 2 large onions, diced 1 stalk celery, finely chopped 4 green chillies, seeded and sliced 1 tsp curry powder 1 tsp chilli powder 1 tsp turmeric 1 tsp garam masala 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper 4 cloves garlic, chopped 1 cm piece ginger root, peel and thinly sliced ½ cup water 3 tbs ghee (clarified butter) 4 eggs, beaten Salt to taste Peanut oil for frying

Method Make sure you have taken the spring roll pastry out of the fridge 20 minutes earlier to soften it. Mix meat curry powder, chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala and pepper with a little water to form a paste. Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee in a frying pan. Fry the onion, garlic and ginger gently for a few minutes until the onion is translucent. Add blended spices, celery and the green chilli and continue frying for 3 minutes. Stir in the meat and season with salt. Keep frying until the meat colours, then add the water and cover the pan. Reduce heat and simmer until the mixture dries. Allow to cool, then stir in the beaten eggs. Heat the pan and add 2 tablespoons of peanut oil. Spread a piece of the spring roll pastry on a flat board and put a few spoonfuls of the filling into the centre. Do not overfill. Moisten the edges of the pastry with a little water, then fold in the edges of the pastry to make a neat square parcel. Fry the murtabak in the pan until both sides turns only takes approximately 5-6 minutes for each sides to cook. Serve with a chilli sauce dip.


gourmet today

THai – STYle CraBCaKeS

Crab is expensive, and if your budget doesn’t run to it, you can use tinned red salmon instead. Surprisingly, tinned salmon works better than fresh.

fridge for a couple of hours. Lightly flour a clean work surface, then turn the mixture on to it and form into a long roll with your hands, roughly 5 cm in diameter. Cut the roll into round cakes, pat into shape and dip, one by one, first into the beaten egg and then into the breadcrumbs, coating them evenly all round.. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, and when really hot, add the fish cakes to the pan, then turn the heat down to medium and fry for 4 minutes on each side. Drain on kitchen roll. Serve with mayonnaise

leNTil PaTTieS

Ingredients • 425g tin crab meat • 4 medium potatoes – peeled and cubed • 2 hard-boiled eggs - chopped • 1 bunch fresh coriander, washed and chopped • 1 tsp garlic, peeled and chopped garlic • 1 tsp root ginger, peeled and chopped • 1 tsp chopped fresh red chillies • 2 tbs coconut cream • Juice of 1 fresh lime, plus the rind, thinly sliced into slivers • 100g breadcrumbs • 1 beaten egg • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season • peanut oil for frying Method Boil the potatoes in salted water for 5 minutes until tender. Drain well. Mash into a purée with the coconut cream. In a mixing bowl, combine the hard – boiled eggs, garlic, chillies, coriander, lime juice and crab together. Add the potato and mix thoroughly, then stir in some of the breadcrumbs to absorb the excess liquid and make the mixture dry enough to handle. Taste and season. Allow to cool, then cover the bowl and chill in the

Here is a substitute for the crab cakes, specially for vegetarians. They are quick and easy to make, as there is no need to soak the lentils first. They can be frozen if you want to prepare them in larger batches.

Ingredients • 225g orange split lentils • 1 onion, finely chopped • 4 cloves garlic, chopped • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped • 1 tbs soy sauce • 2 tbs tomato purée • 2 tbs chopped parsley • 150g breadcrumbs • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season • Peanut or sunflower oil for frying Method Gently fry the garlic and onion in hot oil until softened. Add the carrots, celery, lentils, soy sauce and a pint(570 ml) of water, bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently until all the water is absorbed and a stiff purée is left. Stir towards the end to avoid burning. Mix in the tomato purée, parsley and 50g of breadcrumbs and leave to cool. Then shape the mixture with your hands into evenly – sized patties, and coat with the remaining breadcrumbs. Fry the patties in a heavy frying pan until golden brown on both sides.


JuNIor CooKS

gourmet today


Gillian marinades a selection of chicken kebabs For two garlic and herb kebabs • • • • • •

2 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed 3 tbsp chopped fresh mixed herbs (such as flatleaf parsley, basil or chives) 50ml/2fl oz double cream 1 free-range egg, beaten salt and freshly ground black pepper 100g/3½oz chicken breast, sliced into strips

For two Asian-style kebabs • • • • • •

1 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp sesame oil pinch ground turmeric pinch paprika pinch ground cinnamon 100g/3½oz chicken breast, sliced into strips

Preparation method


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Soak 3-6 wooden kebab skewers in cold water for at least 10 minutes, then shake dry. For the garlic and herb kebabs, mix all the garlic and herb kebabs ingredients except the chicken together in a bowl until well combined. Add the chicken pieces and turn to coat them in the mixture. Set aside to marinate for five minutes. For the Asian-style kebabs, mix all the Asian-style kebabs ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Add the chicken pieces and turn to coat them in the mixture. Set aside to marinate for five minutes. To cook the kebabs, thread the marinated chicken onto 1-2 kebab skewers. Heat a griddle pan until hot and cook the kebabs, turning once, for 4-5 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. (The chicken is cooked through when the juices run clear.) Serve the kebabs on a serving plate with the yoghurt dip alongside.

August 2010

August 2010

gourmet today

Sophie makes meringues Strawberry nests • • • • • •


2 egg whites 4 oz caster sugar 2 pots fresh cream fresh fruit nutella hazelnuts 2.

Separate egg whites into a jug add caster sugar. Beat until stiff. Shape into rounds on a baking tray that is lined with rice paper and hollow centre with the back of a spoon. Bake in cool oven for two hours on 50°C. Prepare fresh cream in electric mixing bowl add sugar to taste. Fill meringue base with cream decorate with fresh fruit and nuts.

Or you can try meringue kisses

Simply put meringues together with nutella chocolate.

Strawberry smoothie

• Frozen strawberries • Fizzy lemonade Simply add strawberries and lemonade in a smoothie blender and blend till smooth.

Valentina’s melon wrapped in Parma ham and tomato and mozzarella skewer Method Place mozzarella and cherry tomatoes (alternatively) through the skewer. Place basil leave and sprinkle with olive-oil. Slice melon and place on plate. Wrap melon in Parma ham. Sprinkle with Crema di Balsamico


10 million customers in 195 countries


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August 2010

gourmet today

Healthy choice Eating healthily goes a long way towards one’s general well being; the old adage ‘you are what you eat’ is true and thankfully, with a wide selection of foods available to us and supplements for those needing a little more care, looking after our diets shouldn’t be Adriana Zarb-Adami too difficult. Of course exercise helps too; but it is also prudent to insure against health issues that even with the best intentions, we cannot control. Adriana Zarb-Adami, Bupa Brand Manager discusses why Bupa should be on your life menu as part of your staple diet. What is it that makes Bupa special? Bupa today is a household name synonymous with excellence, quality of service and care. Testament to the strength of this brand name is the fact that people seeking private medical insurance automatically ask for Bupa. At the heart of Bupa’s name and success is an organisation employing over 50,000 people helping over 10 million customers worldwide to live longer, healthier and happier lives across 195 countries. Malta is no exception as it is represented locally by GlobalCapital Health Insurance Ltd. In fact, the Bupa Matla Branch was Bupa International’s first overseas operation having established itself on the Maltese Islands back in 1971. The Malta team is fully trained to promptly assist its customers particularly during difficult times such as when one has to undergo medical treatment. Through its arrangements with private hospitals and clinics Bupa customers do not have to worry about the cost and ultimate settlement of both hospitalisation bills and certain hospital related out-patient bills as these may be directly settled by Bupa Malta. Bupa Malta has in place agreements with its providers. Direct settlement is in place for members enjoying the Private Hospital and International Plans. Furthermore through the Bupa Malta helpline customers are offered immediate assistance through

a 24 hour emergency help line 365 days a year. A Bupa health plan provides peace of mind that comes from knowing that one’s medical needs are protected with access to the appropriate treatment both in Malta and overseas whenever needed depending on the level of medical cover. This is done by offering various healthcare plans to suit different budget and requirements.  Bupa strives to offer its members cost-effective and affordable choices and that is why the Bupa Malta plans have different levels of cover. Even though Bupa enjoys an enviable reputation, Bupa never stops looking for new ways to improve its service and the quality of health and care it offers. In order to ensure continuous commitment to providing its members with a prompt quality service, Bupa Malta provides the option for its members to receive payment of eligible claims in a shorter via direct credit into the members’ bank account, avoiding the need to deposit their cheques. An immediate notification by sms or e-mail is sent as soon as the payment has been effected. Importantly Bupa treats and cares for every single customer in an individual way. This promise is taken


very seriously and is reflected in the work carried out by Bupa team everyday. Bupa is committed to offering its members the very best in healthcare in a professional, caring and understanding manner. Its aim is to treat all its customers with respect, compassion and understanding in their greatest time of need. Bupa is represented in Malta by GlobalCapital Health Insurance Agency Limited which is licensed in terms of the Insurance Intermediary Act 2006 as an insurance agent and is regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) and also acts as a branch for Bupa Insurance Limited. Bupa Insurance Limited has passported its services through the European Passport Rights for Insurance and Reinsurance Undertaking Regulations. Registered address: 120, The Strand, Gzira GZR 1027. Bupa Malta can be contacted through GlobalCapital Health Insurance Agency Ltd on 21 342 342 or by visiting To our customers, Bupa is more than just a name it is a promise – a guarantee of individual treatment and care.

Hard Rocks Industrial Park, Burmarrad Road, Naxxar NXR6345 Tel: 21 431309 Fax: 21 421873, Email: Website:

August 2010


gourmet today


What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common health problem affecting up to 20% of the population. It is called a dysfunctional bowel disorder. This means that this disease can By Dr Mario Stellini give rise to a whole plethora of symptoms but there is nothing actually wrong with the structure of the bowel even if it is examined under a microscope or analysed biochemically. Therefore there is no actual medical test for IBS. It is a diagnosis of exclusion – other medical conditions that can give rise to similar symptoms need to be excluded before one can make a diagnosis of IBS. Symptoms of IBS The main symptoms of IBS are abdominal pain, constipation or diarrhoea or an alternation between constipation and diarrhoea. The urge to empty the bowels shortly after a meal is also quite typical. Bloating tends to be prominent and many times this can be very visible. The symptoms can range from the very mild to the very severe and a good proportion of patients never present to their doctor. IBS sometimes emerges after an intestinal infection or an attack of gastroenteritis. Symptoms may be precipitated by stress but may occur completely randomly in other patients. Of course many of these symptoms are shared with many other diseases of the intestines. It is important to note that bleeding, fever or weight loss is NOT due to IBS. IBS symptoms rarely wake patients up at night. Although this disease has many an-

noying and sometimes incapacitating symptoms it never progresses into anything more serious. Eating for IBS Treating IBS can be very difficult. There are some medicines that can be used for the intestinal spasm and pain and others can also help reduce diarrhoea or reduce constipation. These medications just treat the symptoms and are therefore not fully satisfactory. Dietary manipulation may be useful

but it is important to remember that there are no “rules” which are ideal for all IBS patients. There is no one-sizefits-all IBS diet. Keeping a food diary before attempting to eliminate anything from one’s diet can be very useful. Food allergy tests are not particularly useful with the major exception of ruling out celiac disease. Though IBS is not synonymous with lactose intolerance, milk and lactose containing products often make IBS

TWo recIpeS for happy TuMMy Sweet potato muffins

Tuna patties

300g all-purpose flour 130g firmly packed light brown sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger 130g mashed baked sweet potatoes, or pumpkin 90g room temperature soymilk or rice milk or milk 2 egg whites 3 tablespoons oil 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla essence 90g finely chopped crystallised ginger

1 small zucchini 2 eggs 1 tblsp ml dried onion flakes 80 ml fine dry breadcrumbs 1 tblsp dill 60 ml pepper 200g can tuna



Preheat oven to 160°C. Lightly coat 12 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray or butter. In a large bowl, sift and whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and ground ginger. In another bowl, stir together sweet potato or pumpkin, soy milk, egg whites, oil, and vanilla essence until blended. Make a well in centre of dry ingredients; add milk mixture and stir just to combine. Stir in crystallized ginger. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in centre of one muffin comes out clean. Remove muffin pan to wire rack. Cool for 5 minutes before removing muffins from cups; finish cooling on rack. Serve warm or cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature.



Heat the grill. Shred the zucchini. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Add the remaining ingredients, form patties and grill about 4” from the heat. Cook for 3 minutes then turn carefully and grill for 3 minutes. You can split the muffins and pop a pattie inside. Serve with salad.

Instead of coffee, why not finish you meal with a refreshing and soothing cup of peppermint and fennel tea? 1 tablespoon dried peppermint ½ teaspoon fennel seeds 1 cup boiling water

Place the peppermint leaves and fennel seeds into a tea ball or strainer and place the strainer in a mug. Make sure the strainer is large enough that there’s extra room for the herbs to expand as they brew, otherwise they won’t be as potent. Add boiling water to the mug and allow tea to steep for 5-10 minutes Remove the strainer, bobbing it up and down in the mug a few times to release the oils. Sweeten the tea with honey or another sweetener of your choice, if desired.

worst. This means eliminating anything to do with milk including creams, cheeses, ricotta and chocolate. On the other hand probiotics and activated yoghurt may relieve the symptoms. Normal yoghurts will not do. Cutting back on sugars and yeasts especially yeast containing breads can also help. Fats and oils are difficult to digest and should be avoided at all costs. People with attacks of diarrhoea should try a BRAT diet. This includes bland foods such as banana, rice and potatoes, applesauce and white toast. Bananas and applesauce contain the soluble fibre, pectin as well as the prebiotic, inulin. Steamed white chicken meat is an easily digested source of protein. Soluble fibre is recommended for people suffering from IBS and seems to be more effective than insoluble fibre. Natural sources of soluble fibre include fruits, vegetables, legumes, especially pinto beans, oats, barley and seeds. Reportedly dried blueberries have a long history of use in Sweden as a treatment for diarrhoea. Foods high in insoluble fibre include whole-wheat flour, bread, cereal and bran, whole grains in breads, cereals and granola, muesli, seeds, nuts, beans and popcorn. They are not as effective as the soluble fibres and should be taken with care and in limited quantities. Mint is also often used for the treatment of IBS. Though some peppermint tablets do exist, it can be taken in any form including mint tea. Chamomile tea also appears to be effective in reducing intestinal inflammation and calming intestinal spasms. Ginger is very soothing for irritated bowels. Experimentation with food can also be fun for people suffering from IBS. There is absolutely no need for deprivation if one follows the above guidelines.

August 2010

gourmet today


The Eggplant by Gaby Holland The eggplant or aubergine as it is called in France, is a vegetable long prized for its beauty as well as its unique taste and texture with is its deep glossy purple coloured skin and cream coloured flesh. Seeds are contained within the spongy flesh and arranged in a conical pattern. Aubergene are available all throughout the year, but is best bought between August and October when they are in season. Although the plump, pearshaped variety, with its near-black shiny-skinned exterior, is probably the most familiar, aubergines come in a wide variety of shapes, colours and sizes including lavender, jade green, orange and a yellow-white as well as in sizes that range from that of a small tomato to a large zucchini. While the different varieties do vary slightly in taste and texture one can generally describe the vegetable as having a pleasantly bitter taste and spongy texture. In many vegetarian recipes, eggplant is used to replace meat because its add bulk to the dish and has a meaty texture. What is perhaps not know about this humble vegetable is its high nutritional value. It is a rich source of many important nutrients essential for the human body and its inclusion in ones daily dietary can be extremely beneficial. Eggplants are rich source of dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals and contain very little calories, makes a healthy ingredient and ideal for those working on weight loss. Other essential minerals contained in eggplant include potassium, (beneficial for those suffering from low blood pressure levels and for regulating the heart beat), Eggplants are a very important source of many phytonutrients which

are found in its deep purple colour. Phytonutrients like flavonoid, caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid and nasunin are potent antioxidants and free radical scavengers that have been shown to protect cell membranes from damage. Nasunin has been found to protect the lipids (fats) in brain cell membranes. So try out some different aurbergine recipes this season knowing that they are not just simply delicious but benefi cial to your health.

Gaby’s REcipE Aubergine Slices in Yoghurt serves 4 - 6


2 large aubergines, cut into 5 mm (1/4 inch) thick rounds Salt 3 tablespoons oil 1 teaspoon chilli powder 1 teaspoon ginger half teaspoon cumin and mustard seeds 1/4 teaspoon turmeric 1 teaspoon garam masala 1 green chilli, seeded and thinly sliced 140 ml (1/4 pint) natural yoghurt 1 sprig mint and/or coriander leaves, chopped Paprika


Lightly score the aubergine on both sides and sprinkle with salt. Leave to stand for 30 minutes, drain and pat dry. Brush with olive oil and grill on both sides until golden brow. Meanwhile heat some oil in pan and stir in the chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala, chilli and the rest of the spices for a couple of minutes. Pour in the yoghurt and stir. Place aubergine slices on serving dish and pour over the yoghurt, sprinkle with coriander leaves and mint sprigs and some paprika and serve hot or cold.


August 2010


gourmet today


PersonaL trainer, DanieL Lake, taLks aBout his heaLthy eating PLan Achieving your desired body shape should be an exciting and happy “thought”. A lot of eating plans and diets we read about nowadays place focus towards this thought but most of them By Daniel Lake still leave an image of a long, winding road of sacrifices and hard work. Do this now, to get there in X amount of time... Great... Or is it? There is another way, an easier and happier one. My weight control eating plan has a very simple formula. Calories in versus calories out. It’s as simple as that, i.e. eat whatever you desire but burn the calories off. If weight loss is your goal, you will have to burn a few more calories than you consume each day. Every day’s calorie tally adds up. To lose 1kg, you must burn a total of 7700 calories more than you consume. So, for example, if you burn 500 calories over your consumption total each day, it will take you 15 days to lose 1 kg. If you burn 1,000 calories more per day, 1kg will only take 1 week... and so on. The rate of  your weight loss is your choice but I will add that the slower it is done, the more likely you are to achieving your goal. So start slowly. Any physical exertion whether it be taking the stairs rather than the lift, or a slightly longer walk to work/shopping, or a power walk on your favourite route burns these calories. There are several scientifically proven ways to maximize fat loss through physical activity. I have tried and tested each one of them, and found that they all work. I

To lose 1kg, you must burn a total of 7700 calories more than you consume a couPLe of Low caLorie iDeas to enjoy Warm salmon salad with pomegranate and toasted pumpkin seeds - 550 calories Ingredients

Quarter cup toasted pumpkin seeds 2 tbsp goat cheese 100g pomegranate 150g sweet potatoes 100g grilled/poached salmon handful broccoli handful diced courgette mixed salad leaves.

Dressing: 2 1 1 3

tsp tsb tbs tsb

olive oil honey mustard balsamic vinegar


Cube and boil sweet potatoes for 10 minutes. Flake salmon. Once cooled, add to to remaining ingredients and mix well. Stir together dressing ingredients and pour on.

Pizza style omlette - 470 calories Ingredients

2 large eggs 2 egg whites 120g tomatoes 120g asparagus 120 potatoes 120g mushrooms 30g mozzarella quarter onion 2 cloves garlic two handfuls spinach 1 tsp oregano fresh/ dried 2 tblsp olive oil


Lightly whisk eggs and extra egg whites. Dice remaining ingredients. Heat a pan with the olive oil and pour mixture in. Scatter diced ingredients and hebs on top and allow omlette to cook through.

also found that some techniques work better for some than others. Back to food. I recommend a balanced diet, which doesn’t only mean a balance between protein, carbohydrates and fats. It means things you enjoy too, for mental health and motivational reasons. Once you find your own personal limits, your choices of foods become endless, and you’ll find it easier to enjoy what you like. In moderation of course. I believe that we must minimise barriers, if not eliminate them completely. Denying ourselves this or that, can put a big dent on our motivation, which can and usually leads up to toppling and losing our motivation all together. Finding your individual balance is the key to long lasting weight control. To book Daniel for personal training and nutritional advice, please contact him directly via


August 2010

gourmet today

Longbow Ltd A DepenDAble Supplier for the horeCA mArket

Mouton Cadet’s 80th Anniversary Since 1930, Mouton Cadet has been renowned for its exacting standards and audacity. The fruit of generous Nature and the work of human hands, the result of the encounter between an exceptional terroir and the passion of Baron Philippe de Rothschild (19021988), over the years Mouton Cadet has consistently combined quality, prestige and know-how in an expressive, seductive wine. Today, Mouton Cadet has become the worldwide reference for Bordeaux Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée wines. Philippe de Rothschild died in 1988 and control of the business passed on to his daughter Philippine de Rothschild. The label Réserve Mouton Cadet Médoc was created in 1996, offering a red wine with greater ageing potential, and a product aimed at the restaurant trade. In 1999 the Réserve line also included the white Réserve Mouton Cadet Graves. Label detail: the poem by Baron Philippe reads, “Wine, born, it lives, but die it does not, in Man it lives on…” Exclusively imported by: Charles Grech & Co. Ltd., Valley Road, B’Kara Tel:2144 4400

The opposite page is just another example of how Longbow Ltd is keeping its promise of professionally aiding the HORECA market (Hotel, Restaurant, Catering) by supplying innovative and the newest products on the international scene. Renowned for being fully stocked with an impeccable and friendly service, the following are products and ranges to suit up-market, low budget requirements and anything else in between. As always, we look forward to being at your service. Glassware (over 300 types of

glasses fully stocked) / TORK - bathroom and professional paper products (With Free, New and cost saving dispensers) / Cleaning chemicals / ULNA – hands free door handles for HACCP and hygiene requirements / Wine Racks / Bar Accessories / Disposable cutlery, crockery and cups and take away containers for all types of food / Ceramic ware / Table accessories / S/S Cutlery / Kitchen Accessories / Insect Control / Party Packs / Table cloths / custom printed items / Garbage bags / Bins / Pizza boxes (carton and Piattopak plastic system) / Carton trays

and boxes for catering uses / Full ranges of cutlery and crockery (all on order with exclusive designs permitted). Longbow Ltd. 22, Triq L-Ahwa Zammit – Qormi QRM3425 Contact: 21488268 / 21441877

food and Drink related events happening at home and abroad Delicata Wine Festival and Nadur Wine Festival

5th – 8th August Upper Barrakka Garden (Valletta) and 3rd -5th September Nadur (Gozo) Two festivals of wine tasting and musical entertainment

Żejt iż-Żejtun

25th -26th September – Żejtun The town of Żejtun celebrates its own olive oil festival with pageantry and various crafts exhibitions and demonstrations.

British Beer Festival

3rd August 2010, Earls Court Exhibition Centre, Warwick Road, London

Cookery Classes in Sicily

2nd – 5th or 19th – 22nd September, Marsa Sicla, Sicily Learn to cook Sicilian specialties with local teachers.

Harvest at Jimmy’s Festival

11th & 12th September 2010, Jimmy’s Farm, Suffolk, UK Harvest at Jimmy’s is THE food and music festival of the year, bringing the finest contemporary chefs together with fantastic live bands in an exciting and inspiring family environment, all set on Jimmy’s Farm.

Parma Ham festival

10th -19th September, Parma, Italy Events are scheduled all around the province and ham factories

will open their doors to the public.


18th September, Theresienwiese, München, Germany This is the 200th anniversary of the first event. Rides, food, games, music and over a dozen tents serving beer.

Galway International Oyster Festival, Galway, Ireland. 23rd- 26th September An un-missable weekend of live music, craic, glamour, competitions and of course Galway Bay Oysters.

Another fantastic range of products brought to you by Longbow Ltd. – your one-stopshop for every catering need. This hygienic up-market range of products lifts your food display and aesthetic appeal to a top class and hard to resist level. Purposely made for sweet and pastry makers, weddings and parties as well as for restaurants and bars willing to be creative by using this convenient high quality range of disposable crockery for desserts, ice creams, sorbet, fruit and any other creative and original idea

August 2010


gourmet today

ed cooks

Monique whips up a light lunch on board a stunning atlantis 54 froM esprit Yachting

Filling pork fillet wraps Ingredients:

1kg pork fillet, sliced and marinated in:

1 tsp ground turmeric 1 tsp ground ginger 1 tsp ground cumin Splash of sesame oil 2 tbsp brown sugar 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp tomato paste 1 tsp salt ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 wrap per person Sour cream / natural yoghurt / tzatziki

Combine the ingredients and marinade the pork for at least two hours. Griddle the pork until cooked through and browned on all sides. Add a layer of sour cream / yoghurt / tzatziki onto the wraps and fill with chicken. Roll the wrap to hold the pork in.

Seasonal stuffed squid Ingredients:

Squid pouches ½ an avocado per person Can of smoked oysters or small jar of anchovies

Mash the avocado and oysters together. Prepare the squid (remove tentacles, score outer and wash thoroughly). Stuff with the avocado mixture and griddle till browned. Serve with a salad or crusty bread.

Tropical stormy fruit salad Ingredients:

Cubed fruits – mango, peaches, Strawberries, cherries etc., Splash of Cointreau Pickled stem ginger (as desired)

Make a foil parcel and fill with fruit and ginger. Place on a hot griddle. Add Cointreau and warm through till fruits soft on the outside. Serve warm with ice cream.

This yacht enjoys ample cockpit space, hydraulic bathing platform and the interior accommodation is elegant with three high volume cabins, an L-shaped saloon and a lavish galley and is available to hire from just €1275 (with drinks and canapes) from

Imported by Charles Grech & Co. Ltd. - Tel: +356 2144 4400 - Valley Road, Birkirkara

August 2010

Piedmonts uphold their legacy of food and wines with unequalled confidence. The flavours of the Piedmont reach peaks in autumn, when harvest is in and wooded slopes from the Alps, to Apennines supply game, mushrooms and white truffles. Piedmont’s variety of antipasti is so vast and varied that it represents a compendium of regional cooking with dishes that elsewhere might qualify as main courses. Classic openers are fonduta (cheese fondue), insalata di carne cruda (marinated raw beef ), finanziera (a bizarre meat stew), vitello tonnato (veal with tuna sauce) and bagna cauda (hot sauce for raw vegetables). Pastas are dominated by slender, hand-cut noodles called tajarin and ravioli-like envelopes called agnolotti, which take to different forms, fillings and sauces. Polenta and potato gnocchi are favoured in places, as are energetic soups, such as cisrà, with chickpeas and pork rind, and tôfeja, with beans, corn flour, vegetables and pork. Piedmont produces quantities of gorgonzola from Novara, as well as taleggio and grana padano, DOP cheeses that are also made in neighbouring regions. Piedmont also offers a complex array of local cheeses protected by DOP. Notable are the soft Robiola di Roccaverano (based on sheep’s milk) and Murazzano (based on cow’s milk with some goat or sheep’s milk blended in). Piedmont is indeed one of Italy’s premium regions for the production of high quality wines. Michele Chiarlo has established vinification facilities at the heart of Piedmont’s three most prominent zones of production Langhe, Monferrato and Gavi. Beside the noble source of Barolo, Barbaresco, Gattinara and Ghemme which are all DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) the Barbera grape ranks as the most popular vine for reds, followed

gourmet today

by Dolcetto. But one must not to forget the impressive white grape Cortese from which the Gavi and the Gavi del comune di Gavi is produced. The Cortese grape is predominantly grown in the southeastern regions of Piedmont in the provinces of Alessandria and Asti. Michele Chiarlo began his career in 1956 with 5 hectares Barbera and Muscat grapes and a small cellar in Calamandrana. His infatuation led him to concentrate his research and experiments on Barbera. In the early 1970s, he was the first to subject Barbera to malolatic fermentation, which signalled the start of the improvement in quality of this wine with Barbera d’Asti noted for its reputation around the world. In the three classic growing areas of Piedmont, the Langhe, Monferrato and Gavi, the Chiarlo family has sixty hectares of vineyards and also another fifty hectares which the family leases out for long term contracts. The technical staff is headed by Stefano Chiarlo, who handles the operation of the vineyards and is entrusted with the task of overseeing their cultivation, with the aim of achieving high quality wines, while respecting the most exact ecological criteria. In the cellar a technical staff co-ordinated by the oenologists deal with all the process from the vinifica-

tion right up to the bottling. Their aim is to guarantee that the wine keeps its individual characteristics bestowed by the grapes from the individual terriors of the exclusive vineyards. The newly made wine brings with it a valuable set of qualitative features deriving from variety of grapes used and the terrior which it comes from. Their philosophy is to produce wines, whose characteristics authentically represent the variety of provenance and their terrior; they are complex, rich, highly graceful wines, never tacky, but rather fresh and extremely pleasant.


August 2010




Gizzi is a food writer, stylist and television presenter. She is best known for presenting Channel 4’s Cook Yourself Thin and also cowrote the bestselling book of the same title. After finishing a full diploma course at Leith’s School of Food and Wine in 2003 and leaving with honors, she went on to win a placement at BBC Good Food magazine, where she started to establish herself as a food writer and stylist. Gizzi’s clients have included Marie Claire, Elle USA, Arena, FHM, In Style, Grazia, First magazine, UK food magazines and many more. Her method is to dispel the myth that cookery is difficult and time consuming, by showing the skills in layman’s terms, then getting passion sparked by turning these skills

into her inspired mouthwatering recipes. This is heavily demonstrated in her first “solo” book Gizzi’s Kitchen Magic which is published by Virgin Books and Random House imagery shot by the celebrated food photographer David Loftus. Gizzi takes a great interest in making a stand for food issues, such as food wastage, animal welfare and the food economy. Unsurprisingly, Gizzi won the accolade of ‘UK’s sexiest chef ’ in 2009. But she is more than just a pretty face, check out her latest book. Here’s a recipe to tempt you.

Sticky Thai chicken with mango salad Serves 4


1 tablespoon olive oil 4 boneless chicken thighs, skin left on sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce 3 tablespoons golden caster sugar 1 tablespoon lime juice a 3cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated 1 red Thai chilli, chopped

For the salad

2 tablespoons olive oil 8 banana shallots, peeled and sliced 1 ripe but firm mango 2 red chillies, seeded and cut into thin strips a small bunch of fresh coriander, leaves picked a small bunch of fresh mint, leaves picked juice of 2 limes 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce 1 teaspoon caster sugar


Heat the oil in a frying pan. Rub the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and lay them skin side down in the pan. Cook over a medium to low heat for 6–8 minutes, then turn them over and repeat on the other side until they are cooked through and the skin is crisp and golden. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside while you make the glaze. Add the fish sauce, sugar, 1 tablespoon of lime juice, the ginger and chilli to the pan and stir until the sugar has melted. Let the sauce bubble for a few seconds, then return the chicken thighs to the pan briefly and coat them in the sauce. Remove from the heat and leave to rest while you make the salad. Heat the oil in a smaller frying pan and add two-thirds of the shallots. Stir-fry them over a medium to high heat for 5 minutes or until

crisp and golden, then turn them out on to a sheet of kitchen paper to cool and drain. Peel the mango, then slice each of the cheeks off. Slice the mango flesh into long, thin slivers and put them into a bowl with the remaining uncooked shallots, red chilli and herbs. In a smaller bowl, mix together the lime juice, fish sauce and sugar, and pour over the salad. Toss the salad and divide it between 4 plates. Slice the chicken and put a few slices on each plate. Sprinkle with some of the crispy shallots, then drizzle the remaining sauce in the pan over the chicken and serve.

Sticky Thai chicken & pomelo salad:

A pomelo, which is like a giant grapefruit, would make a fantastic alternative to mango in this salad. Simply swap the mango for ½ a pomelo, peeled and segmented.

Taken from Gizzi’s Kitchen Magic by Gizzi Erskine published by Virgin Books, photography © David Loftus

Cast a culinary spell

August 2010


gourmet today


Essence’s success story Photo by Kurt Arrigo

BY DEBORAH MARSHALL-WARREN Many people associate the Radisson Sands with the finest in hotel hospitality for overseas visitors who have taste and luxurious comfort in mind. But shoals of discerning Maltese lovers of fish and fine seafood are also driven

to Essence, in order to experience an education and a tasting of the finest fish plates. Essence is an exploration in more ways than one. The large curved windows and terraces that announce

the restaurant are to be found in the centre of the hotel, communing with the Mediterranean sea. Essence’s essentials are of course the treasures of the sea arranged in an eye-popping display that excites and educates in a

palpable and palatable experience of exquisite essence. For Michael Tanti, pleasure is a word that is both a chorus and a prayer; a personal statement of commitment and dedication. The essence of Essence



gourmet today

is encapsulated in the chorus, “We do it with pleasure.” Meeting the Maître D’ Michael Tanti has already declared that Essence offers a VIP experience, meaning ‘Very Important Pleasure’. Michael as, maître d’ is most certainly doing the work he was born to do. His own essence is played out with passion and professionalism, and real presence. Today after twenty-four years honouring his art, he is akin to an actor stepping out for his opening night as full of freshness and vitality as the food! Michael’s Team The chef at Essence is Donald Baldacchino who, although not a fisherman himself, is akin to an armchair traveller. He fishes far and wide across the local seas, sailing upon the sails of his knowledge and education. Donald ‘fishes’ from his kitchen quarters, and ever delights in his suppliers’ catch! He seeks the wow factor in his fish, in his culinary arts and in the presentation of the final plate. He is the ingredient man, and loves the flavouring of his art in all ways. He colours your perception with flavourful words on his menu and in the flavourful anticipation of the fish upon which you feast. Donald, together with a team of four skilled professionals, create the artful details of the senses and steer you on a voyage through a sea of tastes. Maître d’ Michael’s secondin-command is Captain Natalia Parascandolo, ‘a talent’ spotted when she was on a secondment from the Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS) - an institution that is to catering as the agency Select, is to modeling. ITS is a source of the best, the brightest, and the most talented restaurant professionals on the island. Natalia’s skills were recognised early on, and she continues to shine within Essence, so when Michael takes his due day off each week, Natalia runs the restaurant as a captain runs a ship. She carries herself with due gravitas and aplomb. Part of the essence of the Essence energy are the waiters who bring to your experience dishes that come with an extra bouquet of enhanced nutritional content. Essence is host to four of

August 2010 magical drinks and with bites! With a seat in the stalls you may also enjoy his theatre of cocktails. Maltese Austin has flown in from Hollywood and has ‘shaken and stirred’ for the stars. As if dazzled by a magician, you will imbibe his creativity with wonder and with awe even before the kaleidoscopic creation touches down for you to sip. The Cuisine The line-up of fish reads like a lineup of rock legends, setting apart the greatest from the merely great. Essence chef, Donald, loves to pull in the rarest and the most extraordinary of the local catch. On his list are Grouper, Amberjack, Dory, Hake, Turbot and Rock, and from abroad he imports Canadian Lobster and Scottish Salmon. Michael shares that he recently suggested Turbot to a Maltese guest and his encouragement broadened both the palate and the mind of his appreciative guest. And should you wish you may also ask to experience the essence of the guéridon service where your chosen fish is filleted, cooked, and finished upon a trolley in front of you. This is a lesserseen art but one that Essence chooses to practice with the greatest finesse. Donald loves the language of his ingredients, and speaks not in tongues, but in salts. He speaks of them in many flavours-peppered and lemonyand celebrates simplicity … like the simplicity he cites of a classic Maltese conserve such as fresh tomato purée. As an alternative to butter, this is velvet to the taste-buds, and oh so luscious when spread upon local Maltese ftira bread. And of course local Maltese olive oil is king.

the most talented from ITS, players who travel world-wide to hone and practise their skills. The Institute is highly respected in promoting exemplary standards across the whole dining experience, and progressively seeks to raise the bar for dining with superior distinction and grace. The Essence team champions this worthy platform, and the most exceptional ‘stars’ are very likely to secure a job. Master of cocktails Austin Xerri is the leading act in the Essence bar. Here you may relax with

The Personal Touch Speaking of the kitchen, Donald says, “The idea-to reduce the serving of the bread and to offer ftira -arose from a conversation with one of our guests. The guest preferred local breads in preference to ‘fancy’ bread. When guests come forth with ideas, we consider and work on them. We want the guests to feel they are dining in their kitchen, and so we do everything to incorporate their ideas. We never say ‘No’ to a guest. We wish to work together with them to create the best dining experience Essence can be.”

August 2010



How to fillet a fish in 6 easy steps When on land, one can ask a fishmonger to do this; however, if you have thrown a line at sea, follow these simple steps to clean and fillet your fish for supper.

SHIREBURN POS FOR BARS & RESTAURANTS Shireburn POS for Bars & Restaurants allows you to:

• improve customer service • increase control and audit • analyse and report on sales • assess performance of staff

Order yours today:

THE McWRAPS! TOO GOOD TO BE MISSED The McWraps are a new innovative category within the McDonald’s premium range which were introduced lately in the local menu. The McWraps come in 3 different variations: Crispy chicken / Grilled chicken and Chilli beef. All these variations are prepared with fresh salad and topped with unique sauces. This Year McDonald’s has also introduced a new product within the finger food range – The Chicken Shake. This product is made of high quality pieces of chicken breast seasoned with barbecue, herbs de provence or Curry spices. The Chicken shake is a very versatile product: it can be enjoyed individually, as an add-on or as a snack. Alternatively it can be shared with friends and family!! So join the fun just spice, shake and savour!

1. Descale the fish if required. Lay the fish flat and with the dull edge of a knife or a descaler, at almost a 90 degree angle to the fish, use short strokes moving from the tail to the head. 2. With a sharp knife, cut from the vent along the belly to the gills. Open up the fish and remove all of the entrails with your fingers. This is less traumatic if done under running water. 3. Cut away the head by cutting in a semi circle from the gills to the backbone. 4. Scrape along the backbone removing the vein and cut away the dorsal fin – be careful, this may be sharp. 5. Detach the tail. 6. Insert your knife horizontally along the backbone and flush to the spine. Press lightly with your other hand and slowly cut away the flesh from the bone from gills to tail.

August 2010

Chilean wine is produced in the South America. In the early 1980’s, a reawakening began with the introduction of stainless steel fermentation tanks and the use of oak barrels for aging. Wine exports grew very quickly as quality wine production increased. The number of wineries has grown from 12 in 1995 to over 70 in 2005. Chile is now the fifth largest exporter of wines in the world, and the ninth largest producer. The climate has been described as midway between that of California and France. The most common grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenère. So far Chile has remained free of phylloxera louse which means that the country’s grapevines do not need to be grafted. European Vitis vinifera vines were brought to Chile by Spanish conquistadors and missionaries in the 16th century around 1554. Local legend states that the conquistador Francisco de Aguirre himself planted the first vines. The vines most likely came from established Spanish vineyards planted in Peru which included the ‘common black grape’, as it was known, that Hernán Cortés brought to Mexico in 1520. This grape variety would become the ancestor of the widely planted Pais grape that would be the most widely planted Chilean grape until the 21st century. Castillo de Molina was San Pedro’s initial Reserve line of wines and has become a renowned Chilean reserve wine all over the world. Its current direction is to pursue the best specific origins for each variety, and thus obtaining the maximum sole expression for each. Castillo today offers eleven varieties, stemming from the nearly all diverse viticulture regions in Chile, including Carmenère from Maule, Cabernet from Alto Cachapoal and a smashing



Sauvignon Blanc from the Elqui. Castillo wines are well known and acknowledged by critics and consumers alike, awarded with numerous awards, medals and scores in specialized publications. The wines of Viña San Pedro are enjoyed each and every day by wine lovers in more than 80 countries all around the world. Labels include: Cabo de Hornos, 1865 Single Vineyard, Castillo de Molina, 35° South and Gato Negro. San Pedro’s global brands enjoy vibrant success in the most competitive markets, due to the variety, quality and consistency of its wines and distributor partnerships that both stem from an understanding of the wine trade 150 years in the making. The Cachapoal Valley is located between Rancagua and Pelequén and is one of the two ‘zones’ of the Rapel Valley. Although the Rapel Valley was originally

the predominant appellation, Cachapoal has acquired greater viticultural significance over the course of time, and today little mention is made of the Rapel Valley. This is quite logical because the soil and climatic conditions in the two zones are very different. Cachapoal has a sub-humid Mediterranean climate with maximum temperatures that can reach 32°C (90°F) in summer. Precipitation is concentrated in the winter months and does not exceed 400 mm (15.75 in) per year. Most of the producers are centered in the piedmont sector of the Andes, where the cool breezes that drop down from the mountains create ample temperature oscillations over the course of the day and results in wines, especially the Cabernet Sauvignon, that are renowned for their freshness and elegance. The vineyards located close to the sea receive greater maritime influence due to the cool, moist winds Soils in the valley are generally of alluvial origin with medium depth, good drainage, and

moderate permeability. Hillsides in the piedmont area are low in fertility and the soils are finer, with clay and clay-loam textures and irregular drainage. Elqui is the northernmost frontier of Chilean viticulture. It borders on the Atacama Desert. Vines grow close to the sea, under a powerful maritime influence and a cool coastal climate. The Castillo de Molina Sauvignon Blanc wine is made of grapes stemming from the best vineyards Viña San Pedro currently counts within the Elqui Valley, which presents frank sandy and limy soils, with angular stones along the whole cross section. These vineyards have an h4 maritime influence thanks to its location, approximately 20 Km in direct line from the Pacific Ocean. Every morning, a sea-cloudiness stemming from the Elqui River, arises over the vines, remaining approximately until mid-day. Therefore, it has a cold climate, with relatively low maximum temperatures and good ventilation given the local windiness, what favours obtaining healthy grapes. The vines are trellised to a vertical shoot position and drip irrigated.

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August 2010

gourmet today - events

Two and a half lemon New Menu and a Refurbished Outdoor Area on the Idyllic Waterfront An array of Fresh Local Fish, Daily Specials, Variation of Different Salads and Light Snacks

Red Snapper with chilli jam served with rucola salad and new potatoes Serves 2

For the Chilli Jam :


6-8 red chillies, chopped 2 tbsp water 150g caster sugar 2 tbsp sweet sherry 1 lime, juice only


For the red snapper:

2. 3.

2 x 600g red snapper, filleted 2tbsp extra virgin oil 2 limes, zest only, plus extra lime juice ¼ bunch fresh coriander, chopped 1 tsp grated fresh Ginger


For the potatoes: 250g new potatoes 1 tbsp olive oil Sea salt and freshly ground pepper


To serve:


Bunch fresh Rocket Leaves 1 tbsp extra virgin oil Salt and freshly ground pepper 2 wedges lime

For the chilli jam, heat the chopped chillies, water, sugar, sherry and lime juice in a saucepan until boiling. Cook, stirring continuously, for 6-8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside and cool (the jam will thicken as it cools). Preheat oven to 200°C. In a mixing bowl, add extra virgin oil, lime zest, lime juice, coriander and ginger. In an ovenproof dish, lay red snapper fillets and top with mixture. Cover tightly with foil. Cook for 10 minutes, or until fish is cooked. Place the rocket leaves in a bowl, pour over the olive oil, and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground pepper. Mix until well combined. For the potatoes, wash and parboil until tender. When done, drain them, drizzle with a little touch of olive oil and roll in a tablespoon of sea salt, a little freshly


ground pepper. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Put the potatoes in a roasting tray and cook in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden. To serve, place the red snapper fillets onto a serving plate and place the rocket salad along side with the lime wedges. Spoon the chilli jam and serve potatoes aside.

Two and a half lemon Vittoriosa Marina Tel : 21809909/21319345

Gourmet Today recipe index Drinks Strawberry smoothie ......................35 Peppermint and fennel tea ............39 Starter Salmon coulibiac ............................... 5 Thai chicken soup............................23 Tomato and mozzarella skewers & Parma ham and melon ...............35 Baked peppers with anchovy stuffing ...............................................25 Mozarrella, tomato and walnut salad ......................................25 Aubergine slices in yoghurt...........41

Main Tuna carpaccio with citrus dressing ............................................... 6 Prawn and watermelon salad .......... 6 Thai style noodles .............................. 6 Poached chicken roulade ................ 28 Grillata di pesce ................................ 30 Garlic and herb kebabs.................... 34 Asian style kebabs ............................ 34 Sweet potato muffins ....................... 39 Tuna patties ....................................... 39 Omlette style pizza .......................... 43 Warm salmon salad ......................... 43 Stuffed squid...................................... 47 Pork wraps ......................................... 47

Sticky Thai chicken and mango salad ....................................... 51 Red snapper with chilli jam ............ 60 Snacks & Desserts Date and banana cream .................... 9 Apricot and orange creams .............. 9 Jam tarts ............................................. 15 Tea cakes ............................................ 15 Scones ................................................. 15 Crumpets ........................................... 15 Earl Grey Cup Cakes ....................... 17 White chocolate ice cream ............. 23 Tortilla de patata .............................. 33 Murtabak ........................................... 33

Lentil Patties...................................... 33 Thai crab cakes.................................. 33 Meringue kisses ................................ 35 Strawberry nests ............................... 35


Nick Ripard, Erica Gialnze and Bernard Pullicino

Nadya German and Erica Gialanze

Tania Borg Cardona, Josiane de Giorgio and Edith Hili

Francis Stivala, Rosette Fenech, Simon Tortell

Rosanne Navarro and Mariella Grech

Bertille Lungaro Mifsud and Suzanne Chambers

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Gourmet Today | August 2010  

Gourmet Today is published by Mediatoday

Gourmet Today | August 2010  

Gourmet Today is published by Mediatoday