Tag Archives: Mediterranean food

Soppa tal-Armla

Widow’s Soup

The quintessential rural staple for large families, soppa tal-armla is essentially a way to combine different available veg from the field and turn them into a hearty soup with the addition of poached egg and sheep cheese. This simple broth is extremely tasty and easy to make and has enough protein for a full meal

Ingredients:

1 Onion chopped

3 cloves Garlic minced

2 Carrots sliced

1 stick Celery sliced

1 large Potato cubed

1 Kohlrabi cubed

200g Cauliflower florets

200g Pumpkin cubed

1.5L Vegetable Stock

1tbsp Kunserva (tomato puree)

1 Tomato chopped

Peas and Broad Beans if available (I had peas)

Free range eggs

Fresh Ġbejniet (fresh sheep cheese)

Method:

On a low heat sweat the onion and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil till translucent. Add carrots and celery and stir for a couple of minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables and dry cook for five minutes. Next goes the tomato puree and the chopped tomato. Barely cover with the stock and leave to simmer for 45 minutes.

Add the peas, eggs, cover and after five minutes the ġbejna. Keep covered for another ten minutes barely simmering. It is now ready to serve

Soppa tal-Armla

Stuffed Calamari

Klamari mimli il-forn

My favourite way of stuffing calamari is to create a little risotto using the tentacles and stuffing the body with this. Then I roast the whole thing in the oven until tender.

Ingredients:

2 Calamari about 1kg tentacles set aside and minced

1 small Onion minced

3 cloves Garlic minced

Half glass red Wine

200g risotto Rice

100g Peas

2 eggs whisked

350 ml Fish Stock

1/2 tsp Chili Flakes

1/2 tsp Turmeric

1 tsp Mild Curry

1 tbsp Marjoram

S&P

Method:

Heat oven to 220°C. Saute onion, garlic and tentacles in a little olive oil. Once sealed add rice and dry roast for two minutes. Add spices and herbs and mix for another minute. Add wine and deglaze with wooden spoon. Mix in stock gently and lower to a simmer. Add all the stock and peas and cover. After 15 minutes the stock should be absorbed and the rice cooked al dente. Allow to cool, mix in egg, adjust seasoning and stuff the squid with the risotto using a spoon. Make sure to press right to the bottom and fill to the top. Close the end using toothpicks. Put in a baking tray, sprinkle with sliced garlic, season with salt and pepper and drizzle liberally with olive oil. Place in hot oven. After 15 minutes add a generous helping of wine in the dish, and bake for another 30-45 minutes, basting occasionally until the skin is easily pierced with a fork.

Several variations can be used such as adding raisins and pine nuts, stewing in a tomato sauce instead of baking, the possibilities are endless 🙂

Ispanakli Yumurta: Turkish Eggs with Spinach

Spinach is a wonderful vegetable which I look forward to when the weather starts to cool. This is a dish I had tried many years ago when I was working with some Turkish chefs. Since it was for a sizeable amount of people it was baked in the oven but I later discovered that it can be swiftly cooked on a skillet.

Ispanakli Yumurta

It works well as a rich brunch or lunch. It is usually garnished with Aleppo pepper and cumin powder. Since I didn’t find Aleppo pepper I substituted a pinch of paprika and one of chilli flakes. I skipped the cumin. I also used spring onion instead of the traditional onion. It may be served with a dollop of yoghurt

Serves 2

Ingredients:

500g Spinach washed and drained
2       Free-range Eggs
2       Spring Onions chopped
2tbs Olive Oil
Pinch Paprika
Pinch Chilli Flakes
S&P

Method:

Heat oil in a heavy frying pan on medium heat. Add onion and toss till soft. Add spinach, season with salt and pepper and cover for 2 minutes till spinach wilts but is still bright green. Some like to add a knob of unsalted butter at this stage but I’m battling my waistline at the moment so I didn’t. Make two wells in the spinach and crack an egg in each of them. Cook until white sets but the yolk is still runny, about 3 minutes if covered. Garnish with cumin powder and Aleppo pepper, or in my case paprika and chilli flakes