Monday, 23 November 2009

Hiatus broken

Far too much has gone on the last 6 months. The rhinoplasty went smoothly, we sold our old flat and bought a lovely 2 bedroom place in Highgate with a garden. I was invited along to write a recipe and attend a photoshoot for Lurpak butter and discovered how much I liked Nigel Slater's recipes (I never heard of him before this year, I know, I'm terrible!).

So here's a shot of one of his lamb shank recipes (with the addition of juniper berries) before I put it into the oven:

Monday, 8 June 2009


Hello my lovelies. Sorry about the lack of posting this week, but I'm off to hospital tomorrow (long awaited rhinoplasty) and probably won't be updating for a while.

In the meantime, enjoy what recipes I have up and let me know if you have tried any. And I shall be seeing you all with more posts and hopefully, a new nose soon. ;)

Much love,



Friday, 29 May 2009

Dinner last night.

Since it's been a while since I made it (We're selling the flat, so I'm avoiding cooking fish), and The Tallest requested it. Here's a quick recipe for my cod with lemon and caper sauce and new potatoes with chilli and cumin:

I've used Cod fillets, but any white fish will do. Baramundi is my prefered choice, but hard to get a hold of in the UK.

Just dust the fillets with some flour and fry in a little olive oil both sides.

To make the sauce: into a small pan: squeeze a lemon, a tablespoon of butter, a tablespoon of capers, some chopped dill or thyme (which ever you prefer, I used thyme this time - haha) and some pepper. Simmer till the butter melts and has reduced a little.

For the potatoes: clean and halve some baby new potatoes, boil til soft in the middle. Drain, and a little olive oil back into the pan with some dried chilli flakes a sprinkling of cumin seeds, thyme and salt and pepper, toss the potatoes in it on a low heat for a couple of minutes and you're done. :)

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Froġa tat-Tarja (Vermicelli Omelette)

Well, look at that you lucky people. 2 posts in one day! I truly have been kicked up the butt for being slack in posting lately.

Now here is one of my ultimate comfort foods - and stupidly easy and quick to make! My mother made this vermicelli omelette (Froġa tat-Tarja) for me as a child often, and eating it tonight made me feel about 7 years old again (and the fact I put ketchup on it, something my mum always seemed a bit dismayed at). There are plenty of variations on the recipe out there, I've made the most basic here, but you can add your own extra ingredients too. Popular additions in Malta are spinach and corned beef, but you can add chopped ham or tomatoes too and I've been suggested crumbling feta or goats cheese into the mix. It's really up to you.

Apologies for the poor picture quality, my camera batteries went flat, so I had to use my phone camera.

Froġa tat-Tarja (Vermicelli Omelette)

Serves 1-2 people (depending how hungry you are)

70g vermicelli (angel hair pasta)
10g parsely, finely chopped
2 eggs
1 heaped tbsp grated parmesean cheese (add more if you like)
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp olive oil

1. Cook the vermicelli in boiling water according to packet instructions (usually about 5 minutes).

2. Beat the eggs and parsely together.

3. Drain the vermicelli and mix into the egg and parsely.

4. Mix in the parmesean, salt and pepper.

5. Heat the oil in an non-stick frying pan, keep on a high heat and pour in the vermicelli and spread out in the pan a little.

6. Cook for about 2-3 minutes each side until golden.

If you can't finish it all, it's lovely eaten the next day, cold or warm and is perfect for picnics.

Qaghaq Tal-Zija Maria (Sesame biscuits)

Another Maltese biscuit recipe, this one in particular is my Great Aunt Maria's. It's a typical Maltese sweet since it features cloves, lemon and orange zest – they crop up a lot in desserts.

These are more commonly known as Qaghaq Tal-Gulglien (Sesame Rings), as they traditionally baked in a ring shape, but to honor my aunt, I've made them in a twist like she used to (I find them easier to dunk this way too!).

Qaghaq Tal-Zija Maria (Sesame biscuits)

Recipe makes about 2 dozen

210g self raising flour
340g plain flour
1 tsp ground cloves
110g sugar
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange
pinch of salt
3 teaspoons sesame seeds, plus extra for decorating
200g unsalted butter
2-3 medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence


1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade.

2. Mix together all dry ingredients.

3. Rub in butter until mixture resembles fine bread crumbs.

4. Beat in 2 eggs, if mixture is still a little dry, beat in the third, once mixed through it should resemble a doughy cookie mix.

5. On a floured surface, take roughly a small egg sized portion of mixture and roll out into a thin sausage.

6. Fold the 'sausage' in half and twist the ends to form a loose plait.

7. Lay finished biscuits on a tray covered in grease proof paper, sprinkle with extra sesame seeds, lightly patting them into the biscuits.

8. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. When done allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Eating Eurovision '09 and the coconut pastries

Thanks to fellow foodie and blogger, Andrew Webb of and of Channel 4's Big British Food Map fame, I've kick-started this blog again and will try to make it a much more regular thing.

It all started when Andrew added me on twitter asking for help in his quest of Maltese food for the Eating Eurovision '09 challenge – where "25 food bloggers eat the cuisine of the 25 Eurovision finalists in 25 hours all within the M25".

Malta, more famous for its beaches than its cuisine, proved to be a bit of a tough one to source in London. Even the Maltese themselves find it hard, with only very limited suppliers of food from back home available and none at all of certain products.

I was more than honored that Andrew asked for my help and jumped at it, trying to point him in the direction of others who could source Kinnie and pastizzi for him (a native soft drink and pastry snack) and agreed to let him borrow the only Maltese cookbook I could find in the UK that was in English.

What really surprised me was that he asked to interview me. I raced home to grab the book and finding a spare half an hour on my hands decided to make him pastini tal-coconut – a sweet coconut pastry. He has kindly reproduced the recipe on his blog here.

Here it is again, with step-by-step photographs:

Pastini Tal-Coconut (Coconut Pastries)

Makes roughly 4 dozen (in the photos I have halved the amounts)

250g plain white flour
250g butter (unsalted or salted is up to you, I like using salted since it gives that lovely salted caramel taste)
250g sugar (normally white, but I prefer brown)
500g desiccated coconut
a few drops of vanilla essence
4 eggs
Glacé cherries and/or almonds for decoration


1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade.

2. Rub the flour and butter together until it resembles breadcrumbs.

3. Mix in the sugar and coconut.

4. Add the vanilla essence and whisk the eggs into the mixture, working it through all the dry ingredients. It might seem a small amount of egg, but once it's thoroughly mixed through it should resemble cookie dough.

5. Take about a heaped tablespoon and roll into balls.

6. Set out onto baking sheets, decorate with glacé cherries or almonds and bake for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool a little before serving, makes a fantastic tea-time treat.

Friday, 15 May 2009

I know it's not food related, but...

I'm selling my flat, please tell anyone you know who maybe interested. Much obliged.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Guardian Gallery now feature my photos!

Guardian gallery up now:

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

My Maltese stew recipe features on the Guardian

Here's the link:

How amazing is that? I even took screenshots. The fantastic thing is, it's my mother's birthday today and the original recipe is hers.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Coffee list updated

For those still interested, I'm still expanding (slowly), my independent coffee list.

Newest to the list is Farm Collective, a little place right next to my work, who will do Flat Whites on request (depending who is the barissta behind the counter)

Please comment on this post, if you have any more to add.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Things I have been cooking as of late...

Winter is a lovely time to dig out the stews, soups and roasts. Especially when you've got a great glass of wine to go with it (my current favorite is Piccini Chianti Riserva, 2005. Can currently get it for £6.99 at Sainsbury's, normally £9.99, goes especailly well with tomato-based pasta dishes and game).

Last week, I made a fantastic venison stew, based on an old favorite recipe from Waitrose, the recipe calls for chicken stock, but I prefer to use lamb – it gives it a more intense flavour. I do love Waitrose though - it's one of the few local places I can get the more particular ingredients that I can't from the local Sainsbury's, without having to trek out to the crowded Borough Market.

I have also gotten back into my bread making, embarking on flatbreads for breakfast, that don't need any proving. It's quick and delicous on a cold winter morning. I mix in cumin seeds and a pinch of salt crystals for texture and taste, of course you can make the recipe how ever you wish - I even had raisins suggested to me as a sweet alternative. I'll find the recipe this week and copy it out for you all soon!

Also the usual comfort foods, like Minestra and Brodu – another Maltese recipe, a broth full of vegetables and chunks of chicken, recipe below.

Brodu Tat-Tigeg (Maltese Chicken Broth)

Serves 4

5 chicken drumsticks (preferbly free range)
1 onion (roughly chopped)
1 large carrot (peeled and sliced into half-centimetre rounds)
1 large potato (peeled and chopped into large chunks)
1 courgette (peeled and sliced into half-centimetre rounds)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
small bunch of flat leaf parsely, chopped finely
a handful of peas
100 g small shell pasta (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large pan, place the drumsticks and onion and pour in cold water, enough to submerge up to about 5 cm above. Bring to the boil and simmer for about half an hour.

Then, add the potatoes, carrots, parsley and tomato paste, stir through and simmer for about 10 minutes, and the peas and simmer for a further 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Season well with salt and pepper.

At this point you might want to take the chicken out, strip the meat off and add back into the pot if you don't want it on the bone. Alternatively, take it out all together and serve cool after the broth with cheese and bread.

Add pasta if you like and cook according to the packets instructions (usually about 10 minutes in the rapidly simmering broth). Serve.