Just finished the photoshoot for the Best Buy Supplement for July. Mmmm... simply delicious, after the photographer leaves I have to clear up the plates, from the food I mean and not the table!

Most impressive ingredient this time round I guess are the rhubarb & ginger biscuits and the vanilla pods. The biscuits are crunhy on the outside but chewy on the inside and the vanilla is something out of this world. Nothing compared with the cheap little glass bottles we are accustomed to!.. this is the real McCoy.

So watch out for the recipes in the Best Buy Supplement, out with the Times on Wednesday 9th July.

Stuffed Marrows (Qarabali Mimmli)

With Summer officially starting last Saturday, we're in for weeks of sun and hopefully clean clear seas! Most school children also finish their scholastic years this weeks so with temperatures up and little time on our hands to prepare meals, this is the time of year that I like to prepare meals such as qarabali mimmli or timpana.
Even though they might sound heavy for these hot days, these dishes are ideal as they can be prepared in advance and also they can be easily packed away for the beach.

Marrows are quite cheap and abundant at the moment, so here is the recipe for stuffed marrows, Qarabali mimmli; here is what you need :
3 marrows - long
1 small tin corned beef
200g Minced beef
1 Egg
Grated cheese
2 rashers of back bacon
1 clove of garlic – finely chopped
Salt, pepper, parsley for seasoning

Start off by washing the marrows and chopping off the tips from the top and bottom. Now cut them open into 2 pieces, cut them lengthwise and scoop out some of the flesh. Place them in a greased baking tray and set aside.

Now in a clean bowl, place the corned beef and mash it properly with a fork, add the minced beef and mix well. Now add all the other ingredients and mix properly. Place the filling into the marrows and bake in a preheated oven at 160C for about 35 mins or until your beef is cooked through.

This dish is best served with an accompaniment of Maltese baked potatoes ( the recipe for this dish I shall be giving you over the next weeks) and some Maltese bread.
Should you like to contact me, please do so on concita@demicoli.com or leave your comments on this page.

Lamb's Lettuce

Lamb's lettuce is a salad green which grows in a rosette of long spoon shaped leaves which may also be clustered in loose heads. Lamb's lettuce is used in salad mixes together with other greens such as rocket, frisee or any other type of salad leaves.

The name comes from the fact that the leaves resemble in size and shape a lamb's tongue!). This type of lettuce is usually sold bunched together with its roots which are best kept intact until you are ready to use it.

Place the roots in a little water and store it in the fridge, this way the lettuce will keep for days. As a salad green, it is more expensive than the standard cos (hass twil) or iceberg (kabbucjat) that we are accustomed to buying, however, it is a nice variation to your salad dishes.

Here is what you need to make a lamb’s lettuce salad for 2:
1 Lambs lettuce
4 slices back bacon
1 chicken breast
3 garlic
1 sprig of rosemary
Some mushrooms
2 slices stale bread.

Start off by cutting the bread into little cubes. Cut the bread vertically and horizontally so that you have 4 pieces, now cut each piece into 4 again and you will have 16 cubes from each slice.

Sprinkle the bread with some olive oil and grill them under a hot grill until they become crunchy.

Next, wash the lettuce and place on your plates.

Grill the chicken together with the garlic cloves and rosemary. Once it is cooked through, cook the bacon.

Place the chicken and bacon over the lettuce, next sprinkle the mushrooms and finally top with the bread.

Should you have small forest mushrooms such as finferli I would use those and not the local white variety for this salad. However, if these are not available, then buy some local ones and chop them into small pieces.

Strawberries are back!

I just found some more strawberries for sale, so the Hazelnut Meringue is back on the list this week.
Should you like to order the meringue or any other cake, please do not hesitate to contact me, on concita@demicoli.com or 9943 1000

Spaghetti with Fresh tomato sauce

Tomatoes are at their best this month. With produce being at it’s peak, prices have dropped to €0.50c a kilo making this the right time to make some delicious tomato-based recipes.

Here is one of my family’s favorite recipe; spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce. Forget tinned tomatoes for the next weeks and work with fresh ones. All you need to do is peel them and chop them, then use them in the same way you would use the tinned ones.

Cooking times for fresh tomatoes has to be increased slightly, so you will need to get going a little bit before!

Before I give you this week’s recipe, I would like to share this link: Crying while eating I came across this site by accident, (as with most of the sites I visit on the net!) it’s quite funny and worth a visit!

Here is what you need to make enough pasta sauce to go with 500g of Pasta
2kg beef tomatoes (tadam Catt)
1 teaspoon sugar
Extra Virgin Olive oil
1 garlic clove – finely chopped
Fresh basil – torn into little pieces NOT chopped

Start off by placing the tomatoes in a large bowl and poring boiling water over them. Let them sit for 15 minutes and then discard the water. Now peel the tomatoes and deseed them, chop them roughly and set aside.

In a large deep pan, place the chopped garlic and about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and let the garlic sizzle for a while. Once the garlic softens add the tomatoes and simmer for about 30 minutes until the tomatoes thicken into a sauce consistency.

Now sprinkle in the sugar and cook for a further 10 minutes. Once the sauce is ready, switch the heat off, add the basil leaves and a generous drizzle of olive oil. This addition is important since the taste and vitamins in the olive oil will be transferred into your plate now that the temperature has been lowered.

Once you are ready to serve, add the cooked pasta to the sauce and serve warm with a generous grating of parmiggano reggiano.

Should you like to contact me, please do so on concita@demicoli.com

Feta Salad

Weather is still somewhat undecided but I’m sure that most of you are already thinking of summer BBQs and outdoor entertaining. With this in mind, this week I shall be giving the recipe for a feta cheese salad. It has raw mushrooms added, so if you are not keen on eating raw mushrooms then you could just omit, however, if you’ve never tried them I suggest you give it a try.

As are most of my recipes, this salad is very easy to prepare, and I suggest that you prepare it a couple of hours before serving so that the flavours blend better. This is what you will need to serve 6:
4 Portobello Mushrooms (big flat white ones)
4 Tomatoes
Iceberg lettuce leaves, around 5
1 English Cucumber
200gr Feta cheese
Black olives (pitted if you prefer)
Olive oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Start off by washing and draining the tomatoes, lettuce and cucumber. Do not wash the mushrooms but just wipe them clean with some kitchen paper. Next prepare your serving bowl preferable a white one and tear the lettuce placing them at the bottom of the bowl.
Slice your cucumber (with the skin still on) and place them by the side of the bowl, all around the top. De-seed the tomatoes and dice them into little cubes, slice the mushrooms finely and spread all over the lettuce. Now, chop the feta cheese until it is crumbly and form a small ring towards the middle, leaving enough space to place the olives at the centre of the bowl. Using the Danish feta will not give you the same crumble texture as the original greek cheese would give.
In a small bowl, mix 3 spoons of olive oil and 1 spoon of balsamic vinegar together with the oregano or any other herb of your choice. Drizzle it over the salad leaving as many of the mushrooms untouched as possible. Mushrooms that would have the vinaigrette on them will turn dark.
Apart from being tasty, presenting the salad in this way will create an edible centre piece for your table!

June Cakes

June sadly means that my Hazelnut Meringue as well as my Strawberry Flan are no longer on the menu. But fear not my cake buddies, more delicious new cakes are coming soon!

Don’t forget Father’s Day this month celebrated on the 15th June. So if you need any cakes for the day, just email me on concita@demicoli.com

Have a look at the full list of cakes. You can now also find weekly recipes on this page. Leave your comments or start a discussion about any particular dish that you would like to cook or need some tips on preparing!

Did you know? – Sherbet
Every child's favourite tooth-rotter, sherbet, has a surprisingly long culinary history.
Originally, a sherbet was a non-alcoholic drink, usually based on a fruit juice and called 'sharbbt' in Arabic.
The beverage entered Italian cuisine under the name 'sorbetto', which in its French incarnation became 'sorbet'.
During the 19th century the sorbet became an ice to be eaten rather than drunk, and the cheap powdered form emerged in England at the end of that century.Recipes

Watch out for some summer recipes this month in my publications, the Best Buy Supplement will be out with The Times on Wednesday 11th June whilst the E&D Magazine will be distributed with The Times on Saturday 5th July.