My mincemeat is maturing

Getting ready for Christmas by Marconia schembri.jpg

My mincemeat is maturing.  No-suet mincemeat photo taken by Marconia Schembri during a live tv show

‘I made mincemeat first week of October and it is maturing. I stopped adding suet to mincemeat last year when I made two batches, identical, except that one was with suet and the other without. When I served the two batches of mince pies separately, nobody could detect the difference in both batches of mince pies.  Therefore no more mince pies with suet for us’

For my mincemeat you will need:

 200g apples
 200g soft brown sugar
 2 teaspoons mixed spice
 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 a pinch of ground cloves
 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
 grated zest of 1 orange
 grated zest of 1 lemon
 grated zest of 1 tangerine
 juice of 2 lemons
 juice of 1 orange
 6 tablespoons brandy

 50g almonds
 50g hazelnuts
 200g raisins
 200g sultanas
 200g currants
 200g candied peel
 100g cherries

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Christmas Dried Fruit Log for the Cheeseboard [Vegan, gluten free]

‘Make your dried fruit mini-log long and slim;  it will look great on a Christmas cheese board served with fresh fruit, Maltese Galletti, chutney and pickles.

 

log cheese stefan 4

 

You will need:

1 cup dates
1 cup dried figs
1 cup nuts of your choice (optional)
grated zest of 1 lemon
grated zest of 1 orange
grated zest of 1 tangerine
1 tablespoon brandy [optional]
1 tablespoon liquor of your choice [optional]
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
a pinch of chili powder [optional, leave out if you do not like it]
a pinch of salt
1 cup finely chopped pistachios

log cheese stefan 00

Simply place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and use a hand blender to make into a fairly smooth puree. Leave the mixture in the refrigerator for an hour. Shape into a long cylinder and roll in finely chopped up pistachios. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

log cheese felix

Trade Enquiries:

Dried fruits, Maltese galletti [not gluten free], oatcakes and Spices by Good Earth Distributors

Saxa Salt by Premier Foods at George Borg Ltd

Fresh fruit and vegetables by Big Fresh Mosta, Oscar’s Fruit and Vegetables Paola and Barbuto [organic]

Collins Street Style Christmas Cake

collins street sliced cake

Collins Street Style Christmas Cake

‘Everyone has their own special recipe for Christmas Cake and secrets are passed on by mothers, grandmothers and shared with friends. 

Christmas cake brings back to me good childhood memories of a beautiful cake studded with pecans, angelica and glace cherries arriving all the way from America every year in a colorful cake tin.   We would wait in excitement for the arrival of the cake by post and it was one of the highlights of our family Christmas. 

I make my copycat version every year.  The Collins Street fruit cake is delicious and visually appealing, yet it is easy to decorate. It is best to use an Angel Cake Tin as it bakes more evenly but it turns out very well in a rectangular baking sheet tray.  A bundt tin is too intricate to achieve good results. 

People like to explore the dried fruits in their slice of Christmas Cake but use ingredients that suit your own taste. ‘

As seen on tv, studded with Pecans and glace cherries,a taste of Texas for Christmas

As seen on tv, studded with Pecans and glace cherries,a taste of Texas for Christmas, Photo Ian Noel Pace

You will need:

2 cups self raising flour
2 eggs
1 cup melted butter
1/2 cup soft brown sugar (optional)
1 cup rum
1 cup apple juice
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup currants
1 cup pecans
1 cup cranberries
1 cup glace cherries
1 cup dried apricots
1 cup dried pineapple
1/2 cup crystallized ginger (optional)
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch of salt

For the top of the cake: Lots of pecans, glace cherries cut into halves and warm honey or agave to brush the cake after baking.

 

‘Rinse the dried fruit and allow it to dry in a colander.
Soak it in a spirit of your choice [brandy, rum or port] either for a couple of hours or overnight and I have also heard of people soaking fruit for a month and up to a year. The fruit absorbs the alcohol and top it up when it dries. ‘
 

 

Preheat the oven to 150C.

Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add all the dried ingredients, the dried fruit and pecans. Mix well.

Melt the butter. Add the soft brown sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the butter mix to the dried ingredients using a large metal spoon. Add the beaten eggs and mix until the mixture appears consistent. Pour the batter into a cake tin prepared with baking spray. Decorate the surface with pecans and colorful cherries.

Bake in a preheated oven, slowly and gently at 150C for an hour.

Brush with warm honey and allow to cool.

Before serving brush again with honey or agave.

Lea’s Good Food Everyday airs on Smash TV and you can follow the page on facebook

collins street ian noel 2

Collins Street Style Fruit Cake, photography Ian Noel Pace

 

 

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Trade Enquiries:

President Butter and Fry Light cooking sprays by Rimus Group

McDougalls Flour and Saxa Salt by Premier Foods at George Borg Ltd

Soft Brown Sugar Truvia by Stevia, Organic Agave, Maple Syrup Treat by Silver Spoon and Billingtons at Borg & Aquilina

Nuts, dried fruit and spices by Good Earth Distributors

Eggs by the Convenience Shop

Greek Kourabiedes for Christmas

‘I have not yet met anyone who does not like these most amazing Greek cookies.  This recipe was passed on to me by  Maria, my dear neighbour in Limassol ..’

This recipe makes about 35 cookies

You will need :

200g butter
200g  sugar plus extra sugar for dusting
100g crushed nuts of your choice
250g plain flour, sifted twice
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 egg yolk
pinch of salt
150g ground almonds
Few drops vanilla extract
Few drops rose water (if not available use orange flower water)
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
Tip of a teaspoon ground cloves, do not overdo it

Cream the soft butter in a mixing bowl until it is very white and creamy
Add the icing sugar
Continue creaming until very light in colour and texture and fluffy in appearance.

Mix together the egg yolk with the vanilla and rose water.  Add to the butter mixture and blend in.
Sieve the flour twice and add the salt, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, ground almonds, lemon zest, vanilla extract, rose water, crushed nuts and ground cloves.
Use a large metal spoon to gradually add together the flour mixture into the butter mixture.   Mix and use your hands until it forms a soft dough.
Shape into small balls
Indent each ball in the middle with your thumb or index finger to form a crescent shape.
Place on a baking tray prepared with cooking spray.  Do not grease with butter.  Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.  While they are still hot covered them with icing sugar and allow them to completely cool down.
Cover the bottom of a flat plate with icing sugar.
Place the cold cookies on top of the icing sugar and sprinkle with more icing sugar over then. Turn them over so that they are fully covered.
Shake off the excess icing sugar and arrange on platter.

Lea’s Good Food Everyday airs on Smash TV and you can follow the page on facebook

 

Tip: The more you beat the butter, until it is fluffy and white, the lighter the texture of the cookie

 

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Trade Enquiries:

President Butter and Fry Light cooking sprays by Rimus Group

McDougalls Flour and Saxa Salt by Premier Foods at George Borg Ltd

Icing Sugar by Silver Spoon at Borg & Aquilina

Nuts, dried fruit and spices by Good Earth Distributors

Eggs by the Convenience Shop

Crustless Pumpkin Pie [egg free, gluten free, reduced sugar]

PumpkinPieCrustless

‘Pumpkins and squash can withstand our harsh summer heat and Halloween is a good reason to celebrate our autumn harvest.

Surprisingly there are still a few in Catholic Malta who are reluctant to acknowledge the feast of Halloween, for the obvious reasons that it is associated with being anti-Christian or perhaps seen as another over-commercialised celebration that is not part of our heritage.   But carving lanterns with the kids is something I look forward to every year.

The varieties cultivated locally are endless and it is an ingredient I like to use all year round because it is so versatile and can be incorporated in soups, stews, salads and desserts.  Pumpkin adds a great consistency to cakes and baked goods. They are also so visually attractive and decorate a kitchen beautifully. 

Depending on which type of pumpkin you are using, the skin can be tough but there are varieties with skin that is edible and soft when it is cooked, such as the butternut or onion squash. Once Halloween is over, the price drops and because of the abundance, it is best to look for other ways to use it more.

If you wish to store pumpkins or squash, try to buy them with the stem on as they will last longer.

My crustless pumpkin pie makes a great dessert.  I used buckwheat flour to cater for gluten free diets and a combination of linseed, Bird’s custard powder and egg replacer to make it vegan and reduce the cholesterol content. 

Here is the recipe I made on tv this week but I have baked it a few times before using regular flour and eggs.  You will find the substitutes in brackets near the ingredients.’

crustlesspumpkinpiecj2

Gluten Free Crustless Pumpkin Pie, Photography CJ Baldacchino

For my crustless pumpkin pie you will need:

2 cups undiluted pumpkin puree [as a rough guide 500g peeled pumpkin makes around 1 cup]
1 cup buckwheat flour [you may also use plain regular flour]
2 tablespoons Bird’s Custard powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
a pinch of salt

1 cup agave [OR maple syrup OR stevia]
1/8 teaspoon zest of a fresh orange [lime also goes very well]
1/8 teaspoon of grated fresh turmeric root
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons hazelnut milk [OR cashew milk OR almond milk OR a plant-based milk of your choice; you can also use regular cow’s milk]

1 tablespoon gluten free, lactose free spread [OR 1 tablespoons olive oil]

3 teaspoons Orgran Egg replacer [OR 2 extra tablespoons linseed ground with 6 tablespoons water] [you can use 2 eggs if you do not wish to use an egg replacer]

Pie dish of 21cm
Baking paper
Cooking spray, I used avocado oil
1 tablespoon warm maple syrup to brush the top
Chopped pistachios for the top

You will also need a hand held blender

Preheat the oven to 160C.

Prepare the pie dish by covering the bottom with baking paper.
Spray it with non-stick avocado oil cooking spray.

Sieve twice the buckwheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon powder, custard powder into a large bowl.

In a separate bowl place the pumpkin puree, fresh grated ginger, fresh grated turmeric root, vanilla extract, hazelnut milk, orange zest and agave.  Use a hand held blender to make a very smooth puree.

Prepare the egg replacer by mixing 3 teaspoons Orgran Egg replacer with 3 tablespoons water OR

Prepare the linseed egg replacer by mixing 2 tablespoons linseed with 6 tablespoons water.

Add the egg replacer of your choice to the pumpkin puree bowl and mix in.

[If you do not wish to use an egg replacer you can use 2 eggs in place of the linseed or Orgran powder]

Use a large metal spoon to fold in the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Do not overmix.  Pour the batter into the prepared pie dish.  Smooth the top with the metal spoon dipped into cold water.

Bake for 45 minutes.  After 35 minutes take out of the oven, brush with warm maple syrup and sprinkle with chopped pistachios.   Return to the oven for another 10 minutes.

Crustlesspumpkinpiecj

Allow to cool down in the pie dish for a few hours before transferring it to a serving dish.  This makes a great ‘slice’ accompanied with a cup of tea or quick and convenient dessert which can be served with cream or ice cream.  It does not freeze well but can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.

You may wish to try making this traditional Maltese savoury Pumpkin Pie

Lea’s Good Food Everyday airs on Smash TV everyday and you can follow on facebook

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Photography by CJ Baldacchino

Trade Enquiries:

Filipo Berio Olive Oil, Fry Light Cooking Sprays, Pure gluten free lactose free spread by Rimus Group

Bird’s Custard Powder, Saxa Salt by Premier Foods at George Borg Ltd

Truvia by Stevia, Organic Agave, Maple Syrup Treat by Silver Spoon at Borg & Aquilina

Buckwheat flour, nuts and seeds, Alpro plant based milk, Orgran Egg Replacer by Good Earth Distributors

Fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs by Big Fresh Mosta, Oscar’s Fruit and Vegetables Paola and Barbuto [organic]

Good Food Everyday

Smoky Chicken, Roasted Tomato and Cabbage Soup

cabbageandtomatosoup.jpg

Chicken breast marinated in paprika, cabbage at 50c per piece and tomatoes at Euro1 per kilo, this soup is a perfect all-in-one healthy and wholesome meal.

You will need:

1 chicken breast marinated overnight in a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of smoked paprika

6 slices arrosto ham

1/2 cabbage, shredded

1/2 kilo tomatoes

1 carrot, diced

1 stock pot [I use Oxo chicken]

Garlic spray [I use Fry Light Garlic]

3 tablespoons mild and light olive oil

salt and pepper

1 bayleaf

fresh herbs of your choice and I use fresh thyme

1 litre water

Preheat oven to 220C.

Shred the cabbage and chop the tomatoes into quarters with skin on.  Line an ovenproof dish with baking paper and spray with garlic or avocado cooking spray.  Place the cabbage and chopped tomatoes on the dish and drizzle 2 tablespoons of mild and light olive oil. Place the dish in the oven to roast for about 15-20 minutes until the edges of the tomatoes start to lightly char.

Chop the chicken into small pieces.  Place a tablespoon of the olive oil in a large pot and spray with garlic cooking spray.  Saute the chicken pieces until they start to brown then chop the arrosto ham and add it to the pot.  Stir as it cooks for up to about 4 to 5 minutes.  Add the stock pot, bay leaf, fresh thyme.  Stir and add the water.  When it starts to boil add the roasted cabbage and tomato, stir and reduce the heat.  Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 35 minutes.

Remove from heat, allow to rest for 5 minutes, remove the bayleaf and serve immediately.

 

Good Food Everyday is aired on Smash TV and you can follow the page on facebook

During today’s tv show I also made Maltese Sesame Otti with Olive Oil and Stevia

Today’s vegetables come from Oscar’s Fruit and Vegetables in Paola

 

 

Peaches and Custard Egg Free Cake

peachharvest

‘The countryside and nature are very important to me.  They keep me in touch with life in real time, the seasons and months, the change of weather and time ticking along.  And they also take me to the very roots of our food.

And here on the islands, fresh produce tastes clean and sweet because it is ripened to perfection by the sun that shines nearly every day of the year.

This is the month when peaches are abundant, at give-away prices in the greengrocers and in the weekends on the way to the seaside, trucks and vans line the roadside with the abundance of the land; colourful and nearly intoxicating with the fruity perfume of the peaches at their peak.

I like to use the best ingredients that I can get my hands on and fresh fruit always produces an amazing outcome.  I love to add stone fruits to my baking. For me, it is the obvious thing to do rather than decorate cakes, heavy with sugarpaste.  I like food that is as close as possible to its natural state, being able to see the bits of seed or skin set into the cake, I like the sensation of the different textures and the juice that oozes out while it is baking and then thickens as the cake cools down, nearly turning it into a bit of jam.

There is nothing better I can think of during this hot summer than biting into a ripe peach and waiting for the juices to gush into my mouth and drip down my lips, quenching the dryness.  There are so many varieties in the market and I counted at least 10 different varieties with yellow and white flesh during the last week.

This recipe brings me back memories as a child. The taste of old fashioned custard combined with peaches and yet this cake is egg free, because Mr. Bird created the custard to suit his wife’s allergies. And this reminds me once again that the ‘free from’ trend is nothing new and way back in 1837, Mr. Bird was certainly a pioneer’

Peaches and Custard Egg Free Cake

PeachesandCustardCake

Peaches and Custard Egg Free Cake, photos by CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show

You will need:

In the first bowl, mix well:

250g self raising flour, sifted twice
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of salt

In a second bowl, mix well:

500ml ready made Birds custard
1 tablespoon coconut oil
vanilla
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon apple organic vinegar
[1-2 tablespoons stevia or agave or honey if you like very sweet cakes]

In a third bowl:

2 large peaches [or 3 smaller ones], sliced with skin on

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Prepare the ingredients in three separate bowls. Fold in the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients by using a large metal spoon. If the mixture is too dry add a couple of tablespoons of water until you have a dropping consistency.

 

Prepare a cake tin with baking spray. Pour the batter into the cake tin and arrange the peach slices on top.

Bake for 35-40 minutes in a preheated oven and allow to cool before removing from the cake tin.

Lea’s Good Food Everyday airs on Smash TV and you can follow the page on facebook

 

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Trade Enquiries:

Birds Custard by Premier Foods  at George Borg Ltd, Telephone 00 356 21 472 177
Fry Light Cooking Spray, Butter Flavour at Rimus Group
Baking Ingredients by Good Earth Distributors
Fresh Fruit and Vegetables by Big Fresh Mosta, Oscar’s Fruit and Vegetables Paola and Barbuto [Organic]

For a gluten free recipe use gluten free flour

Nut and Seed Breads

I  have made several nut and seed breads during this tv series and this is a sweeter version.  I add raw red quinoa [and why not as quinoa is a seed] to the nut content of this beautiful loaf studded with nuts, apricots, chia, linseed and pistachio.  It is gluten free and perfect for serving with a sharp mature cheddar or perhaps with lashings of honey or agave and a good cup of tea.

We are experiencing one of the hottest summers this year.  What I like about this loaf is that although you need to turn the oven on to bake it and it may be something that one tries to avoid at the moment, you can freeze this loaf for up to a month and refrigerate it and cut it in thin slices for a week.  A little goes a long way as it is busting with amazing ingredients.  When I made the it the first time, I was rather sceptical about how it would cut but the slices are perfect and look like a mosiac.’

apricotpistachioseednutbreadingredients

Photography CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show

Apricot and Pistachio Nut and Seed Bread with Red Raw Quinoa
[gluten free, lactose free]
100g pumpkin seeds
100g sunflower seeds
100g whole white blanced almonds
100g pistachio nuts
100g linseed
100g chia seeds
3 tablespoons raw red quinoa
100g dried apricots
4 eggs
50g ground almonds
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon agave or honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the top
70g dried apricots
30g pistachio nuts
warm agave or honey to lightly brush the top
Preheat the oven to 160C.  In a large bowl mix all the ingredients today and use a large metal spoon to gently bring together in consistency.
Prepare a cake tin or a loaf tin with baking spray.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake or loaf dish.
For the surface, cut the apricots horizontally and place on top of the unbaked loaf with the cut side up.
Cut the pistachio nuts in half and place a piece on top of each apricot half.
Bake in a precooked oven for 50 minutes to 1 hours.  Allow the loaf to completely cook down before removing from the dish.  While the loaf is still warm, brush lightly with agave or honey.
Allow to cool and cut into thin slices.
It freezes well for a month and you can store it in the refrigerator for a week.
Lea’s Good Food Everyday airs on Smash TV and you can follow the facebook page

Vegan Carrot and Prune Torte

 Vegan Carrot Prune Torte 2

‘Low in fats and diabetic friendly, this torte is loaded with everything that is good for you. It is moist and tastes even better a day or two after baking.  It freezes well for up to 3 months as well as a dessert served with ice cream or fruit, it also makes an ideal breakfast, mid-morning or afternoon snack and is a great addition to a packed lunch. If you have a very sweet tooth, add stevia’

You will need:

1 cup grated raw carrots
2 cups dried prunes
2 cups coconut milk
4 tablespoons linseed [flaxseed]soaked in 12 tablespoons of water
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
vanilla
1 cup agave OR 1 cup stevia [if you wish you can use 1 cup brown sugar]
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon apple organic vinegar
3 cups self raising flour [use self raising gluten free flour if you wish]
1 cup ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest

For the top of the tart:  1/2 cup flaked almonds

Vegan Carrot Prune Torte 1.jpg

 

Allow the linseed [flaxseed] to soak in water from 1/2 hour to overnight.
Use a hand held blender to process the mixture and appear consistent. The result is a gelatinous mixture that will replace eggs in this recipe.

Preheat the oven to 170C.

Prepare a tart dish by spraying it with cooking spray or by covering it with baking paper.

Sift twice the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking power into a large bowl. Add the ground almonds, salt, vanilla and cinnamon and mix.

Grate the carrots and chop the prunes into small pieces. Add to the flour mixture and mix gently making sure that the carrots and prunes are covered all over.

Add the apple organic vinegar, orange zest and coconut milk to the linseed and process until the mixture is well blended.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and use a large metal spoon to fold in.

 

Pour the batter into the prepared pie dish and scatter the flaked almonds on top.   Place in a hot oven immediately for 25-35 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before serving.

Vegan Carrot Prune Torte 3

Lea’s Good Food Everyday airs on Smash TV daily and you can follow the facebook page

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Trade Enquiries

Baking Goods, dried fruit and nuts by Good Earth Distributors

Baking spray by Frylight at Rimus Group

Fresh fruit and vegetables by Big Fresh Mosta, Oscar’s Fruit and Vegetables Paola and Barbuto [Organic]

 

Cold Cured Salmon

gravlax 1 charles vassallo

Home made cold cured salmon, photo Charles Vassallo during a live tv show

‘I love to make Cold Cured Salmon because it is so economical in comparison to buying it prepared and sliced.  To get the best result you need to use very fresh fish.  If you are having a large crowd, this will be a big hit !

I made it during the tv show and it proved to be very popular.  You can keep in the the fridge for up to 4 days after curing it but it also freezes very well and it is always welcome in sandwiches, salads and to enhance a weekend breakfast or brunch.’

You will need:

50g sea salt
70g sugar
a large bunch of fresh dill
2 tablespoons vodka
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black peppercorns
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon apple organic vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon crushed pink peppercorns

A large piece of boneless salmon fillet with skin on [around 500g]

To serve:  Lemon Wedges and Seed Bread

Cold Cure Salmon home made

Home Made Cold Cured Salmon, photo Stefan Stafrace during a live tv show

In a bowl mix together the sea salt, sugar, fresh dill, pink peppercorns, tarragon, coriander seeds, apple vinegar, vodka and ground fresh pepper.

Place the salmon, skin side down, on a large piece of cling film.  Cover the salmon with the mixture of herbs and spices making sure that it is completely covered.  Place the bay leaves on top.  If the piece of salmon is very large, cut in half and place the two pieces on top of each other with the skin side outside.  Wrap the fish securely in the cling film and place it in a large container skin side down.  Place another large dish on top of the salmon and weigh it down with some food cans to compress the salmon while it is being cured.  Place in the fridge for 36-48 hours.

gravlax sliced

Thinly sliced salmon, photo Stefan Stafrace during a live tv show

To serve, remove the weights and unwrap the salmon.  Discard the cling film and remove any excess of the cure mix.  Place on a chopping board and use a sharp knife to cut thin diagonal slices and serve on a platter with seed bread and lemon wedges.

 

Lea’s Good Food Everyday airs on Smash TV and you can follow on facebook

Trade Enquiries: Spices and dried herbs by Good Earth Distributors

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables by Big Fresh Mosta, Oscars Fruit and Vegetables Paola and Barbuto [organic]

Fresh Fish by Adam’s Gourmet Fish Shop Mosta

Apple Vinegar Monari Federzoni by J Calleja Import Export Ltd

Quick Pea and Cashew Dip

QuickPeaandGarlicDip

Quick Pea and Garlic Dip, photography CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show

Peas are associated with comfort food, as a side with cottage pie and lashings of thick mashed potato and  Sunday roasts.  However this dip is light and perfect for the summer.  I combine it with dry roasted cashews for flavour and creaminess and it is a welcome change from chickpea dips, hummus and guacamole.

Should we only eat organic and fresh vegetables? It is very difficult to find good fresh peas all year round and frozen peas prove to be of a high nutritional value and they have usually been harvested when they are ripe at their peak. They are washed, processed and bagged within minutes of being picked and can be beneficial in many ways.    Buy a good brand from a reputable commercial outlet to be sure that they have been transported in transit vans at the right temperature to retain their freshness and flavour, especially in the summer.

‘It is sunny here with a bright blue cloudless sky and everything looks spectacular in June, perfect weather before the intense heat.’

For the pea and cashew dip, you will need:

450g frozen peas
1 large clove garlic
30g grated gbejna cheese or parmesan or use vegan cheese
a pinch of dried marjoram
4 leaves fresh marjoram
4 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons cashew nuts [I use the more economical cashew pieces that come pre-packed]
1/8 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
salt and freshly ground pepper

To finish off: a few leaves of fresh marjoram and olive oil

Boil ample water in a pot and as soon as it starts to boil add the frozen peas and garlic clove and remove from heat. Cover the pan with a lid and leave for 2 minutes and not more to retain the vibrant colour and consistency. Drain the water and place the peas in a food processor or liquidizer. Dry roast the cashew pieces by placing them in a large pan over high heat. Shake the pan and do not allow them to brown but the oils of the nuts start to release and the roasted taste combined with the peas is delicious. Add the rest of the ingredients and puree. You may wish to have a very smooth dip or leave it with some consistency and texture by pulsing the processor and stopping once the cashews have broken down completely. Taste and season. Tip into a bowl and top with some olive oil and fresh marjoram leaves. Serve warm or place in the refrigerator for an hour.

*This recipe is *gluten free * diabetic-friendly  *vegetarian*  
*For a lactose free or vegan dip, omit the cheese or simply use a vegan cheese*

 

Serve with warm pita bread or nut and seed bread. It is great for dipping crudities and also to serve with any finger food. I also like this dip as an accompaniment to grilled meats or fish.

Lea’s Good Food Everyday airs on Smash TV every day and you can also follow the facebook page  

Trade Enquiries:

Frozen Peas and frozen vegetables by Green Isle at Rimus Trading Agency 

Fresh Fruit and Vegetables from Big Fresh Mosta, Oscar’s Fruit and Vegetables Paola and Barbuto [Organic]