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What Librarians Eat! V O L :

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I S S U E :

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J A N U A R Y

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INSIDE THIS ISSUE:

Health Tip

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Chorizo, lentils and chickpeas soup

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Slow-braised pork shoulder with cider & parsnips

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Spicy African chicken stew

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One-pot fish with black olives & tomatoes 7 Salmon burger with wombok & apple remoulade 8 Sausage and pasta salad

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Ask Us Something!: French Croissants

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Welcome Wow, a whole year has passed since the first issue of the library’s foodletter. We are so happy that we have reach our 1st anniversary edition! Even though we know you have enjoyed reading as much as we have enjoyed creating it, we still wish to receive more feedback and suggestions for the many more foodletters to come. It has been a wonderful year of food related articles and recipes and we guarantee to have more coming each month, starting with this issue. After all the festivities its time to have a break from the heavy banquets we all love. So this issue is dedicated to warm and hearty meals that are have less calories. Hope you enjoy it and as always, send us your requests or comments so that together we can make this initiative grow bigger.

On a side note related to the social events committee, we would like to announce three new members who joined us in December. These are Luke Brincat, Sarita Piscopa and Jessica Parnis. Together with Rachel and Ryan now the committee is made up of 5 people. We encourage staff members to pass on comments or ideas to any member of the committee so that we can all work efficiently in bringing fun activities to the Library staff.


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Health Tip of the Month: Move More

Begin a year with exercise Physical activity strengthens your heart and lungs and improves your immune system. Anything that moves your limbs is not only a fitness tool, but a stress buster. Make it a daily challenge to find ways to move your body. 1. Climb Stairs 2. Walk the dog 3. Wash the car 4. Park farther from the store when you shop 5. Ride a bike or swim 6. Take a walk in the country side or along the promenade For more information on health issues please visit: (pressing Ctrl and clicking the link will take you to the link) https://ehealth.gov.mt/HealthPortal/healthyliving/healthier_you/fitness/pa_topics.aspx


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The Benefits of Physical Activity Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. It can help: Control your weight Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease Reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome Reduce your risk of some cancers Strengthen your bones and muscles Improve your mental health and mood Improve your ability to do daily activities and prevent falls, if you're an older adult Increase your chances of living longer

If you're not sure about becoming active or boosting your level of physical activity because you're afraid of getting hurt, the good news is that moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like brisk walking, is generally safe for most people. Start slowly. Cardiac events, such as a heart attack, are rare during physical activity. But the risk does go up when you suddenly become much more active than usual. For example, you can put yourself at risk if you don't usually get much physical activity and then all of a sudden do vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. That's why it's important to start slowly and gradually increase your level of activity.

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Chorizo, lentils and chickpeas soup This recipe is straight out of the Book Aroma Kitchen recipes Vol. 2 by Manwel. It is a heart warming soup with a kick. One of my personal favourites on rainy stormy days.

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 tbsp olive oil 120g chorizo sausage, diced 3 cloves of garlic, chopped 1 onion, chopped 2 stalks of celery, sliced 2 carrots, thickly sliced 1 heaped tsp smoked paprika 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes 800 ml chicken stock 1x400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed 80g red lentils Fresh seasoning 1 tbsp chopped parsley

Heat the olive oil in a deep saucepan and fry the chorizo sausage for 2 minutes to release its juices in the pan. Add in the garlic and onion and cook for a further 5 mins. Add the carrots and celery and cook for 2 mins. Then add the smoked paprika and dried chilli flakes. Stir the ingredients together well and continue to cook for another 5 mins. Pour in the chicken stock, along with the lentils and chickpeas. Season the soup well with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and reduce the heat. Continue to cook the soup for another 20-25 mins, or until the lentils are cooked through. Just before serving, stir in the chopped parsley and serve the soup in deep bowls.


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Slow-braised pork shoulder with cider & parsnips Shoulder is the ideal cut for this warming one-pot, which is packed with autumn flavours and perfect served with a side of mash Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil 1kg/2lb 4oz pork shoulder, diced 2 onions, sliced 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped 3 parsnips, cut into chunks 2 bay leaves 1 tbsp plain flour 330ml bottle cider 850ml chicken stock handful parsley, chopped mashed potato and greens, to serve (optional)

Heat oven to 180째C/160째C fan/gas 4. Heat the oil in a large lidded flameproof casserole and brown the meat in batches, then set aside. Fry the onions, celery and parsnips with the bay leaves for 10 mins until golden brown. Sprinkle in the flour and give a good stir, then add the pork and any juices back to the dish. Add the cider and stock so that the meat and vegetables are covered. Season and bring to a simmer, then cover and put in the oven for 2 hrs. Serve sprinkled with parsley, with mashed potato and greens, if you like.

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Spicy African chicken stew Cayenne pepper and Scotch bonnet chillies give this boldly flavoured peanut casserole a fiery kick.

Ingredients

500ml chicken stock, heated 340g jar smooth peanut butter 2 onions, halved and thinly sliced 3 tbsp sunflower oil 3 tbsp finely chopped ginger ½-1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional) 3 tsp ground coriander 3 tsp ground cumin 1-2 scotch bonnet chillies, deseeded and chopped 2 bay leaves 400g can chopped tomatoes 2 x 800g pack chicken thighs and drumsticks, skinned 3 sweet potatoes, cut into chunks 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into chunks good handful coriander, chopped, rice and lime wedges, to serve (optional)

Pour the hot stock over the peanut butter and stir until dissolved. Heat a very large pan and fry the onions in the oil for 5 mins to soften. Add the ginger, cayenne, if using, ½ tsp black pepper, coriander, cumin, chillies and bay and cook, stirring, for 2 mins. Tip in the tomatoes and the peanut stock, then stir in the chicken pieces. Put a lid on the pan and leave to simmer for 30 mins, stirring frequently to make sure the peanut butter doesn’t stick to the base of the pan. Stir in the sweet potatoes, peppers and chopped coriander, then cook for 30 mins more. Serve sprinkled with the reserved coriander, with rice and lime wedges for squeezing over, if you like.


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One-pot fish with black olives & tomatoes

Five minutes on the hob, 15 minutes in the oven, this tasty fish dish is one-pot cooking at its best.

Preheat the oven to fan 180째C/conventional 200째 C/gas 6.

Ingredients

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil from the olives in an ovenproof pan.

175g black olives in oil, stones removed 1 large onion, roughly chopped 400g can chopped tomatoes 4 boneless white fish fillets such as Icelandic cod or hoki, each weighing about 175g/6oz

Tip in the onion and stir well, leave to cook for a minute or two and then give it another good stir. Add the tomatoes and some salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then add the olives. Put the fish, skin side down, onto the sauce and drizzle over a splash more oil from the olive jar. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes until the fish is cooked. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve straight from the pan, with lemon wedges for squeezing over.

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Salmon burger with wombok & apple remoulade A crispy cabbage, apple and dill salad is sublime with fresh salmon. Take fish burgers to new heights with this fresh version that’s bursting with flavour.

Ingredients

1/2 small wombok (Chinese cabbage), finely shredded 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

Combine the wombok, onion and dill in a bowl. Place the apple in a small bowl and drizzle over the lemon juice. Toss to combine. Stir the aĂŻoli and apple into the cabbage mixture.

1/2 cup fresh dill

Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat.

1 Granny Smith apple, cut into matchsticks

Season the salmon with salt and pepper.

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Cook the salmon for 5 minutes each side or until just cooked through.

65g (1/4 cup) aioli 1 tbs olive oil 500g skinless salmon fillet, pin boned 1 French bread stick (baguette), quartered, split lengthways Olive oil

Place the bread on a baking tray, cut-side up, and lightly spray with oil. Cook under grill for 1-2 minutes or until light golden. Flake the salmon into large pieces. Divide the wombok and apple remoulade among the bread bases. Top with the salmon and bread tops.

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Sausage and pasta salad

Monday night dinner is taken care of with this easy, budget-friendly salad the whole family will find satisfying.

Ingredients

375g tortiglioni or large spiral pasta 2 tablespoons olive oil 500g pork sausages 2 zucchini, sliced lengthways 250g yellow or red teardrop tomatoes 125g rocket 300g cheese of your choice, sliced 1/4 cup Italian salad dressing

Cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water, following packet directions, until tender. Drain. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in 1 tablespoon oil. Set aside to cool. Preheat grill and plate on medium heat. Grill sausages, turning, for 15 minutes or until just cooked through. Transfer to a plate and set aside to cool slightly. Grill zucchini, turning, for 6 minutes or until char grilled. Transfer to a plate. Toss tomatoes in remaining oil. Thickly slice sausages. Add sausages, zucchini, tomatoes, rocket and bocconcini to pasta. Pour over dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine and serve immediately.


“Ask Us Something!� How do I make Chocolate French Croissants? Ingredients

2 sheets of pre-made puff pastry (the ones you buy from the supermarket and are usually kept next to the refrigerator section) Nutella (as much as you like) Sea Salt 1 Egg

Pre-heat the oven at 180°C. Roll out 1 of the sheets of puff pastry (usually they are round, if not, use a large plate to cut it in a round shape) Starting from the middle, spread the Nutella on the pastry. Leave an inch from the sides so that no excess Nutella escapes. Layer the second sheet of puff pastry on top of the other with the Nutella in the middle. Make sure to seal them together. Use a rolling pin to apply a little pressure and stick them together. Roll the whole thing up and put in the freezer for at least 10 minutes. This will make sure that the pastries do not separate while cooking. Take the roll out of the freezer and spread flat on a table. Cut into triangles starting from the centre. The best way is to cut the roll into half, then quarters then cut the quarters into 3 separate triangles. This will give you at least 12 croissants. Grab the triangles and elongate a little bit the sides. Then starting from the edge roll it up so that the tip will be placed on top, like the ones in the pictures. Repeat this process for all the triangles and then place them into a baking tray. Egg wash the croissants and sprinkle a little sea salt on top to make them extra crispy. Bake them for at least 15 minutes.


What Librarians Eat! Vol: 1 Issue: 1 January 2014