+

Chicken and cottage cheese baked Pulpetti

If you ask around what we mean by ‘pulpetti’ the answer would probably be ‘meatballs’.  In other cuisines, meatballs are round, and usually mouth-size.   So I share today my healthy quick recipe of baked patties, made with minced chicken and cottage cheese.  The health drive has really kicked in now and it needs to be a way of life rather than an interlude of a few weeks.

I am tending to use cottage cheese more than ricotta or feta these days.  At around 1 calorie per gram or less for a low fat version, you cannot get much better than this.

chicken cottage cheesse patties

You will need:

700g minced chicken meat
2 eggs
1 grated carrot
1/3 cup oats [I use stoneground/fine]
2 tablespoons fresh herbs of your choice, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
1 cup cottage cheese
grated zest of 1/4 lemon
salt and pepper

In a large bowl, mix everything together and place in the fridge for an hour. 

Prepare a baking dish by covering it with baking paper and spray it with Fry Light

Use your hands to shape patties and place them on the baking tray.   Brush the top very lightly with some olive oil.

Preheat the oven to 220c.    Place the dish in the preheated oven and bake the patties for 35 minutes.

Take them out and turn them over to brown the other side.   Brush very lightly with olive oil  and return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes.

Allow to rest before serving.  These are also delicious to take to work or eaten cold the next day. 

I use Filippo Berio Olive Oil, Mornflake Oats and Frylight all from Rimus Trading Agency

+

‘The Obama and Biden people had chosen Kamala Harris to run as VP as early as last year’ Albert Marko

Former President Barack Obama is going to be an instrumental part of the campaign  going forward for the Biden Harris ticket.

There are a few people on the Vice President so-called ‘list’.  Some people say Susan Rice, but by all indications, the Omana and Biden people had chosen Kamala Harris to run as VP as early as last year.

They need the selection to target specifically the four swing states being Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and North Carolina they need to bring out the African American vote, and they also need the female vote just to take over the slight edge that Trump had in the last election ‘

albert marko visual 2

Albert Marko, US Congress Political Expert

kamala harris 3

 

 

 

 

 

You can watch Albert Marko speak on the Biden Harris ticket via this link

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________________

Thanks to Milkshake
+

‘It is important not only to develop green energy but also to have security of supply from different energy sources’ Dr Peter Grima

I am one of those believers that feels that fossil fuels do have a role to play although it needs to take on a lesser role in society as we progress from energy that is purely based on fossil fuels to now having more influx of renewable energy.

Dr Peter Grima 2

We have to remember that one of the three pillars of the EU energy law and policy over the last 20 years has been not only developing green energy but also developing security of supply and ensuring that we can have as many different energy sources as possible’

Dr Peter Grima

 

Dr Peter Grima's main areas of practice include energy and natural resources law. He began his career at Fenech & Fenech Advocates as a Trainee Advocate before qualifying Doctor of Laws in 2012. He then pursued a Master of Laws degree in energy law and policy from the University of Dundee, graduating in 2013 prior to joining Holman Fenwick Willan LLP in London on Secondment within the shipping and corporate, projects and finance departments. Within the energy sector he has gained experience advising international oil companies in relation to offshore petroleum E&P activities, energy investors in downstream and midstream energy activities and renewable energy investors in licensing, planning and permitting requirements, EIA approvals and financing arrangements.

You can watch part of his tv interview here

+

Coffee Gateau [no bake]

This is one of my memories of Malta as a child, a recipe shared by a teacher at school, our first attempts at ‘cooking’.  Then we went abroad and I really never came across it in this format anywhere else but on my return, so many years later, discovered that it is an old time favourite of many families, with different twists adapted to give that individual touch.

It is quick to make and best to leave in the fridge overnight, needs no baking and this is certainly not one of my healthy recipes, but once in a while, everyone needs a treat they love.

You will need:

4 tablespoons of instant coffee
80g sugar [if you have a very sweet tooth top up the sweetness with stevia]
100g margarine
2 tablespoons chocolate powder
2 tins of nestle cream
a generous shot of brandy or use a coffee liquer
4 packets Morning Coffee biscuits

For the top:  Another tin of nestle cream and lots of chopped hazelnuts

Prepare the instant coffee by adding hot water to the coffee powder.

In a mixer beat the sugar and margarine until the mixture turns white and appears light in texture.   Add the chocolate powder, making sure it has no lumps in it    Then add the cream, brandy and chocolate liquor and mix for a minute or two on medium speed ensuring that you do not overmix as it tends to curdle otherwise.

Prepare a container with non stick spray.  Dunk the biscuits into the coffee and cover the bottom of the dish with a layer of biscuits.   Top with a thin layer of the cream mixture.   Repeat the process, a layer of biscuits soaked in coffee alternating with a layer of cream mixture until you have used up the ingredients.   Place in the fridge overnight

coffee gateau 3

An hour before serving, spread a tin of nestle cream on the top, some grated chocolate and scatter generously with a layer of roughly chopped hazelnuts.  Return to the fridge and serve when needed.

strawberry coffee gateau

You can add your own twist, another example here, no chocolate with the cream and layers of fresh strawberries

I use hazelnuts by Lamb Brand

+

Quick healthy stuffed pasta shells baked in the oven

This is one of those healthier bakes that you can still make very quickly.  Instead of the pasta shells you can also use the cannelloni tubes.  The filling is made from ricotta, ground hazelnuts and broccoli.

I used 10 giant pasta shells and this serves 2 to 3 persons.

filled pasta shells

You will need:

10 pasta shells.  


75g uncooked broccoli
 50g hazelnuts
 100g ricotta 

1 egg (optional, you can leave them out and they still work well without the egg)
 One tablespoon freshly grated parmesan [or hard Maltese gbejna]
 salt and freshly ground pepper
Fry Light non stick spray

 

Boil plenty water with a bit of salt and when it reaches boiling point drop the shells into the water gently. Lower the heat to a gentle boil and after 2 minutes lift out.

Combine the above 5 ingredients in a food processor until you have a thick paste

Fill the pasta shells using a piping bag or a teaspoon.

You will then need 3 tablespoons of polenta in a flat dish. Dip each shell, filling side down, to seal the filling.

You will also need some simply prepared tomato sauce or a good ready-made variety.

If you wish a home-made sauce, and you can prepare this the day before following your usual recipe or you can make it quickly gently sweating half an onion, one clove garlic, both finely chopped, add a can of tomatoes, cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Add half a glass of wine if you wish. Season with salt, freshly ground pepper and some dried oregano.

Prepare an oven proof dish with Fry Light baking spray.   Place the sauce in an oven proof dish and arrange the filled pasta shells facing down on top of the sauce.

20140526-090428.jpg

To make the white parsley and cheese sauce use 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add 600 ml milk and a bay leaf. When it starts to boil lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, then add 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan [or cheese of your choice] and season with salt and pepper.

Pour over the pasta shells. If you leave the mascarpone out, allow the dish to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before baking.  This allows the pasta to absorb some of the liquid ingredients, improving on texture and flavour.  At this stage you can also freeze the dish and bake it when you are going to use it.  It keeps well in the freezer for 3 months.

Bake at 180C for 35 minutes. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

stuffed pasta shells lea

I use Fry Light available at Rimus Trading Agency

 

 

 

+

Quick moist all-in-one almond cake

This is yet another of my favourite easy cakes because it is straightforward and an all-in-one recipe.    The result is soft and moist and it is a good way to use up left over ground almonds  You can make it in advance and freeze the cake until you need it.  I like to double the ingredients and make one large one or two smaller ones.

You will need:


100g butter, room temperature
50g soft brown sugar
4 eggs
100 g self raising flour
100 g ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
4 tablespoons milk or plant based milk
1 tablespoon honey or agave
50g flaked almonds to coat the top pre-baking

Preheat oven to 1670 C. Grease a 20 cm cake tin.

Mix together the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, ground almonds baking powder, milk and honey in a large mixing bowl.

When the ingredients are mixed well together, spoon into a prepared tin and level the surface with the back of a spoon.

Sprinkle with almonds and bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Allow to cool in the tin then remove and if you wish dust with icing sugar.

cake almond

I use baking ingredients by Lamb Brand

+

Why are masks important? ‘To wear or not to wear masks’ Professor Mark Brincat

There is no doubt that health workers need to reduce their exposure to the virus.   There are expensive surgical masks such as N95 or N99, the higher the number the more resistant they are.   Cloth masks should be made properly using he right fabric with a few layers and possibly a filter in between and you  will find instructions on how to make your own masks on the CDC website   The British Medical Journal and the CDC [Centre for Disease Control and Prevention] are recommending the use of masks in public.  This virus relies on contact.  Just because we see low numbers we still need to be cautious.  For example pregnant women may be asymptomatic and are just carriers with  the baby not being infected.  The same applies to people in the Hal Far Centre and everywhere else.  We cannot see people in lockdown forever.

professor mark brincat profile photo

The virus needs people to thrive.  If the contact between person to person is broken, the virus will die.    There is a way how to put your mask on and removing it without touching your face.  There are surgical masks, cloth masks, which can be layered or have a filter in between.  Dish cloths seem to be a very good fabric for masks.  Masks are simply useful to reduce the volume of virus spread.’

Professor Mark Brincat

You can listen to the full interview on masks which we did at the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic but the advice on the use of masks remains useful.

Professor Mark Brincat is the President of the Malta College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
+

Quick cake, no mixers, no processed sugar, no fats

I make this cake again and again.  It is based on the Maltese St Martin’s Cake and the traditional recipe has no added processed sugar and no added fats.  It is also the quickest cake you can possibly make.  For a gluten free diet, simply use gluten free flour

healthy cake no sugar no butter

You can bake it in different dishes, in a loaf tin or the more traditional round cake tins.

You will need:

250g dates, chopped
200ml warm water
200g self raising flour
4 eggs
200g hazelnuts
100g dried figs, chopped
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon mixed spice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
grated rind of an orange
Grated rind of a lemon
Grated rind of a tangerine
Juice of one orange, strained

Use a 20-23cm cake tin or similar and non-stick baking spray or a loaf tin

Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare the cake tin with non-stick baking spray.

Soak the dates in the lukewarm water.
Grease the baking tin and if you are using a frame, prepared the dish covered with a baking sheet and place the frame on top of it,
Add the figs, citrus rind, orange juice and eggs. Mix and add the spices. Finally add the sifted flour and baking powder and stir in using a metal spoon.
Bake in a preheated for half an hour to 35 minutes. Check with a skewer before taking it out.

You can see the step by step process here and of course you can substitute the dried fruit of your preference.  The dates are essential for the sweetness.  If  you really do not like dates replace with golden raisins.

My baking ingredients come from Lamb Brand

+

Andrew Borg Cardona on the Maltese shareholders of Electrogas

Electrogas seems to have been owned by three of the richest and most enterprising families in Malta.  If I were being associated with the accused in the most serious murder trial we have had in Malta for many decades, I’d be very embarrassed and in fact the families are keeping an extremely low profile.  Electrogas was a very expensive enterprise for the country as it turned out.  When she was assassinated, Daphne had not yet brought the whole story out.  From the way Melvin Theuma is testifying in court and what he says was said to him by Yorgen Fenech, it would seem that a lot of the worry of whoever wanted Daphne silenced came because of the exposé of Electrogas which was on the way.’

Dr Andrew Borg Cardona

You can watch Andrew Borg Cardona on Electrogas during a current affairs tv programme about The Public Enquiry – Who Killed Daphne Caruana Galizia and why? 

More on Electrogas ownership and 17 Black is available on The Shift News

Dr Borg-Cardona was called to the Bar in 1980. He specialises in commercial and labour law, financial services law, contract and company work.  Dr Borg-Cardona is a member of the MdR Fraud Network, a network co-ordinated by the London firm Mishcon de Reya enabling members to be of mutual assistance, particularly in the area of asset recovery and protection on a trans-national level.
+

Quick Fresh Salmon Patties [gluten free]

These fresh salmon patties are also perfect for the summer.  They can be packed up and taken to the beach.   I found that with a very few exceptions, everyone likes them, including young kids.   You can also shape them into small mini bites or for variety, place the mixture in a quiche dish, bake and cut up into slices, just like the crustless vegetable pie.  Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge and even more delicious the day after.

salmon patties

You will need:

500g cooked fresh or frozen salmon [or  you can used tinned]
100g feta cheese, mashed
a pinch of nutmeg
4 tablespoons mixed herbs and parsley, finely chopped
some grated lemon zest
300g mashed potato or sweet potato 
[or if you are in a rush use a packet of quick mix mashed potato] 
2 tablespoons plain or greek yoghurt
1/4 teaspoon dried herbs of your choice
1 tablespoon capers, chopped finely [leave out if you do not like them]
1 carrot finely grated
1 zucchini finely grated
3 eggs
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons stoneground oats

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl.  Cover and allow to rest in the fridge for at least 10 minutes or more.

Prepare a baking tin with baking paper and non stick cooking spray

Form patties and place on the baking dish.

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Cook the patties in the oven for 15 minutes.  Turn them over and cook for another 15 minutes.  If you prefer to shallow fry them, do so.

Serve warm or cold.

I use Oats by Mornflake available via Rimus Group

 

+

Covid-19 Risk Assessments – Dr Colin Lawrence and Christian Hunt

Governments must be prepared for risks.  In the UK we have two sets of policies,  Brexit and Covid and both are not being done by the Government in the best possible way.  The government were not in a position to mitigate the risks that occurred with COVID-19.  You can only open up markets when people feel safe.   I believe economic growth is going to be much slower.   I’m hoping I’m wrong.  Its a lack of understanding of people’s confidence and so on’

Dr Colin Lawrence

Dr Colin Lawrence

The virus is spread by people.  So we have an interesting challenge.  We need to influence human decision making.  Its not just the case to say to people – ‘do this !’.  We are naturally social, we like to engage with other people, we don’t like to be spied upon.   What we are seeing globally is probably the biggest behavioural experiment ever.   If you see other people breaking the rules, you are likely to break the rules yourself.   There is a contagion issue around behaviour as well.  It is a complicated and fascinating challenge for governments.’
christian hunt

Christian Hunt

 

 

 

 

 

You can watch Dr Colin Lawrence and Christian Hunt here during a current affairs programme on COVID-19

 

+

Crustless Vegetable Pie [gluten free]

This is one of my regular dishes, one of those I make at least once a week and use up all the left over vegetables of the week.  You can even add wilted lettuce leaves, chopped up finely  – anything goes and it is delicious served hot or stored in the fridge and sliced for take-to-work lunches.  And when you are driving home after work, you know you have something ready at home and avoids the temptation I get so often to stop and pick up a take-out meal.

crustless pie lea

 

For my crustless vegetable pie you will need: 
500g zucchini or the round green marrows [qarabaghli]
1 broccoli
100g spinach, finely chopped
2 onions, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 eggs
2 tablespoons stoneground oats
50ml milk or plant based milk
2 tablespoons linseed
200g ricotta
100g grated cheese of your choice
a generous portion of mixed fresh herbs and parsley, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
a pinch of dried herbs
some grated lemon zest
salt and pepper

Wash the zucchini, onions and broccoli and chop up into very small pieces.  Mix in the olive oil until all the bits are well covered and place on a flat oven proof dish.  Bake in a hot oven at 200C for 10 minutes.   Take out of the oven and allow to cool.

In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, milk and grated cheese.   Add all the other ingredients and the chopped up spinach.  Add the baked vegetables. Mix until the consistency is well blended.

Prepare a flan dish with non-stick baking spray.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Pour the mixture into the dish and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes if you are serving it warm.  Otherwise allow to cool and keep in the fridge until needed.

 

I use Filippo Berio Olive Oil, Mornflake Stoneground Oats and Fry Light Baking spray all available at Rimus Trading Agency