Monday, September 30, 2013

Anna Sultana's Grilled Grouper with Mustard Sauce, Maltese Style

In August I posted Ma's recipe for Pixxispad Mixwi - grilled swordfish.
It's been a popular post.
Guess people are enjoying the outdoors before winter hits.

If you'd like a little variety, here's another fish grilling recipe.

It calls for grouper, what folks in Malta call a sea bass.
In Japan the call a sea bass a Suzuki, which made me think of David Suzuki.
No real connection to the recipe, but that's just me having a senior moment.

The word "grouper" comes from the Portuguese name for the fish - garoupa.
In Australia, the name "groper" is used instead of "grouper".
Some groupers are now farmed and are usually sold live in markets.

Yeah... well not here in the north end of Winnipeg.
I've been looking in the fresh fish section in my local grocery stores.
No, I didn't ask my local butcher/fish monger if he had grouper or sea bass.
I'm tired of making him laugh.

Groupers have a stout body and a large mouth, and can be quite large.
We're talking a fish over a meter long and weighing up to 100 kilograms.
That's over three feet long and weighing over 200 pounds.
The steaks from such a fish would be thick.
So something slender would not be a good substitute for a grouper recipe.

This calls for something hefty, like a mackerel or tuna.
You can also use skinless, boneless chicken breast.
Which is always available, and is often on sale.

Hint:
The pan should be 4 inches from the heat.

You can also serve the sauce in a gravy boat.
Some folks don't like mustard.
No problem.


                        Grilled Grouper with Mustard Sauce

Serves 4 - 6

Mustard Sauce

In a medium pot gently heat
25 g margarine
Remove from heat and stir in 
25 g flour
1 teaspoon (more or less) dry mustard
Return to the heat and simmer, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes.
Remove from heat and gradually stir in 
142 ml milk
Return to the heat and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened.
Remove from heat and season with 
salt and pepper 


Grilled Grouper

Prepare a medium hot fire in a grill, either charcoal or gas.
Or preheat the gas grill or broiler.

Generously brush with olive oil
4 - 6 grouper steaks, about 1 inch thick

Grill the grouper, turning once, about 10 minutes.
While grilling, baste frequently with the olive oil.

When fish is cooked through, place on a platter.
Season with
salt and pepper

Pour the mustard sauce over the grouper.
Serve with salad and fried potatoes.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Anna Sultana's Imqarrun il-forn - Baked Macaroni, Maltese Style


If you're not Maltese, I'll let you in on a little secret.
Timpana is near and dear to every Maltese person's heart.
But there's something that is very similar, and that we love just as much.

Imqarrun il-forn… Baked macaroni.


Imqarrun il-forn is basically Timpana without the crust.
When Ma was in a rush, she would skip adding the crust.
And then she would apologize.

She didn't have to apologize for anything.
Imqarrun il-forn is just as delicious as Timpana.
And it has an extra treat.

Usually when the macaroni is baked a few of the top ones get burnt.
Oh, how we fought over the burnt bits of pasta!
The crusty edges are also delicious.
I don't know why, but a crusty, hard piece of semi-fried, tomato meat sauce
drenched pasta is just the best.

Cut yourself a corner piece and see if you don't agree.
And be sure to pick off and enjoy a few burnt bits.
Smile, savour and, if you're the cook, don't apologize!


About the macaroni…
Usually Ma used ziti or penne.
In a pinch, elbow.
You want something that can be filled by the sauce. 
Spaghetti would just lay there.
Not a good thing.

About the tomato paste...
If you like a stronger tomato flavour, use the whole can.

The cheese / bread crumb topping is optional.
If you like it and have time, do it.
If you don't, then don't.


                        Imqarrun il-forn

Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan

In a dutch oven pour
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Add
2 onions, chopped
Fry until lightly browned.
Add
200 grams (about 1/2 pound) ground beef
200 grams (about 1/2 pound) ground pork
Cook for about 3 minutes.
Add
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
250 ml (about 1 Cup) chicken or beef stock or wine
Simmer for 15 minutes.
Season with
salt and pepper to taste.


While the sauce is simmering, in a large pot place
4 quarts water
salt to taste
Bring to a boil.
Add
400 grams (about 1 pound) macaroni
Cook, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente - about 10 minutes.
Drain the pasta well and add it to the sauce in the dutch oven.

Preheat oven to 350º 

Beat
4 large eggs
Mix them into the sauced macaroni.
Add to the macaroni
100 grams (about 1/4 Cup) Parmesan cheese
Stir everything together.
Pour into the prepared pan.

Combine in a small bowl
100 grams (about 1/4 Cup) Parmesan cheese
100 grams (about 1/4 Cup) dry bread crumbs
Sprinkle over the top of the pasta.
          
Place the pan, uncovered, in the preheated oven.
Bake for about 45 minutes, or until you see a few burnt spots.
Then you know it's perfect.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Easy Brownies by Margaret Ullrich


Just found out some of you don't normally use condensed milk.

The leftover milk from making the fudge created a problem for some of my readers.

Well… worry no more.
Use the leftover milk to make some brownies.

Really into chocolate?



Hint:
You might want to check the brownies after 20 minutes.
You want them to be a bit moist.
if you really want to avoid evaporated milk for the icing, use regular milk.


                        Easy Brownies

grease a 9 x 13 pan        
preheat oven to 350º        
bake 20 - 25 minutes

Combine in a medium bowl
2 Cups flour
1/2 Cup cocoa

In a large bowl beat together
1 Cup butter
2 Cups sugar
Add
4 teaspoons vanilla
Add one at a time
4 eggs
Beat well.
Gradually blend in the flour/cocoa mixture. 
Stir in 
1 Cup chopped nuts
Pour batter into the prepared pan and spread.
Bake and cool.

ICING

Combine in a medium bowl
1/4 Cup cocoa
3 Cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine in a large bowl
1/4 Cup softened butter
1/4 Cup evaporated milk 
Gradually blend in the sugar/cocoa mixture.
Spread over the cooled brownies. 
Cut into squares.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fast Fudge by Margaret Ullrich

I know fudge isn't really healthy.
I'm sorry.
But sometimes one just has to indulge.
And this is an easy recipe.

So just humour me and enjoy.
And eat an extra vegetable tomorrow.

While we're talking chocolate...
Here's a recipe for an easy fudge cake - perfect for the Fall Supper.
Yes, it's an easy recipe.

Hints:
If you don't have unsalted butter, use what you have and don't add the salt.
Quarter the marshmallows before you start cooking.


                        Fast Fudge

grease an 8 inch square pan

Combine in a medium saucepan
1 2/3 Cups sugar 
2/3 Cup evaporated milk 
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
Bring to a boil.
Cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. 
Add
6 ounces milk chocolate chips 
Cook, stirring constantly, until the chips are melted. 
Remove from heat.
Stir in
16 large marshmallows, quartered 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 Cup chopped walnuts 
Mix well. 
Pour into the prepared pan. 
Cool.  
Cut into squares.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Anna Sultana's Baked Stuffed Lampuki - Baked Fish, Maltese Style

Since it's the Lampuki Season 
- at least it's the Lampuki Season in Malta - 
I thought I'd mention another lampuki recipe.
This is a baked fish recipe.
So, yes, it is a little healthier than a fried fish recipe.

If you can't find lampuki, substitute another dense fish.
Ma used bluefish and haddock.
I've used this recipe with salmon, too.

Hints:

You can place 3 strings on the potatoes before you place the fish on top.
After filling the fish, tie it together.
Or not.

The anchovies and olives are salty.
So if that's enough salt for you, don't add more.

The baking time depends on the thickness of the fish.
If you got a particularly thick section, go long.
If you didn't, don't.


                        Baked Stuffed Lampuki

Serves 4

Combine in a bowl
2 Tablespoons bread crumbs
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon mint
2 anchovies, chopped
3 olives, chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil

In a well greased baking pan place
2 onions, sliced
1 kilo potatoes, sliced

Place 
1 kilo lampuki, cleaned
on top of the sliced vegetables.
Put the filling mixture in the side of the fish.
Secure the fish. (or not)

Cover the fish with
4 large tomatoes, cut into halves

Sprinkle with
1 Tablespoon mint
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Drizzle over the fish
2 Tablespoons olive oil

Bake in a 350º F oven for about an hour.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Feng Shui and My Least Favourite Room, part 5 by Margaret Ullrich

Tomorrow is Full Moon number nine for 2013.
Just three more full moons to go.
Followed by a few new moons.
Yes, the year is just zipping by.
Yes, I'm stalling.

I'm still on the same project from Tisha Morris' book Feng Shui Your Life...

Make your least favourite room your favourite.

Yes, I know I've been working on it for three months, more or less.
Summers in Manitoba or short.
So last month we enjoyed a summer vacation in Ottawa.
We had a wonderful time.


And now it's September...
Autumn foliage is beautiful, one of the wonders of nature.
Well, no, autumn foliage is not so hot here in Manitoba.
Manitoba tends to leap from summer to fall over a matter of hours.
Blink and you can miss it.
Here all the leaves turn to various shades of brown.
Then they fall, like lemmings leaping to their doom.
Autumn in Manitoba is like walking in mush.
Yeah, autumn in Manitoba, unlike autumn in New York, is nothing to sing about.

So Paul and I took an autumn vacation in Minnesota.
The foliage there was gorgeous, and a wonder to behold.
We took a train ride along a river to enjoy the foliage.
The train ride was a brilliant idea - neither of us had to drive.
We were both enjoying the changing seasons.


On the drive back I realized I actually was following Tisha's advice.
Tisha had said:
Clearing clutter can be an instinctive process, 
and it can be an intuitive step for self growth.
And sometimes an intuitive self growth step involves stepping out of the house.

Before we left I had filled another whole big blue roll out cart.
One more cartload of recyclable stuff should do it.
I'm not in a race.
It will get cleared.

Maybe the junk tossing out that I've already done is having an effect.
Like the Chinese proverb said:
If you want to change your life, move 27 things in your home.
I've tossed out more than 27 things.
As a result, my life is changing.
We're travelling more.
And that's a change.
So the Feng Shui tossing and moving I've done is having an effect, right?


About tomorrow's full moon...
According to the folks at astrology.com:
Full Moons, especially in sensitive Pisces, are well-known for their power to strengthen emotions… Add intense Pluto's change of direction… you have a potent mixture of energies that may leave you feeling overwhelmed… 
use this time to sit quietly, reflect, and regroup…through it all, simply breathe!


Sit quietly, reflect, regroup and breathe.
Okay, I can do that.
Along with tossing junk out at a nice slow pace.
Don't want to feel overwhelmed, right?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Anna Sultana's Fried Lampuki - Fried Fish, Maltese Style


In Malta its Lampuki Season.
In Winnipeg, Manitoba - the heart of Canada - it's not.
Oh, well, this is a simple fish recipe.
So, use what you have.


About lampuki
Other names for it are dorado, mahi-mahi or common dolphinfish.
No, it's not the endangered marine mammal dolphin.

It is a surface-dwelling fish found in temperate, tropical and subtropical 
waters, such as the Caribbean, the Arabian Sea, and also off the coasts of 
Malta, Australia, Japan and Hawaii.
So, no it's not in the lakes in Manitoba. 

Dorado, or mahi-mahi  is classified as a moderate mercury fish. 
It's safe to eat six servings or fewer per month.
No problem doing that here in Manitoba.

For this recipe it's best to get a fish with a bit of density to it.  
Sole will get a bit leathery in this recipe.
Ma used bluefish, especially when Pop bought some fresh from the returning fishermen in Sheepshead Bay on Long Island.  
Haddock also works well.


Dorado is also a source of ciguatera poisoning.
Symptoms can last to as long as 20 years, often leading to long-term disability.
So maybe it's just as well to substitute haddock and bluefish.


                        Fried Lampuki

Combine on a plate
1/2 Cup flour
salt and pepper

Cut into slices across the bone
1 kilo lampuki, cleaned
Dip the slices into the seasoned flour.
Fry the slices in hot oil until golden brown.

Serve with a salad and pan-fried potatoes.


You might also like to try Ma's recipe for Torta tal-Lampuki, Lampuki Pie,
and Ma's recipe for Lampuki with Piquant Sauce, Lampuki biz-zalza pikkanti.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

KFC Chicken Spice Recipe - Margaret Ullrich


The heart wants what the heart wants.
Well, to paraphrase that..
The mouth wants what the mouth wants.
And sometimes the mouth wants some good old KFC chicken.

About 40 years ago, while we were living in British Columbia, Paul heard a rather humorous story from his co-worker whose relatives were visiting from Fiji.
All was going well, until the little boy started to cry.
Seems he was homesick and wanted a taste from home.
His Dad comforted him and explained that Kentucky Fried Chicken is only available in Fiji, not here in Canada.
To the delight of his nephew, Singh told them that KFC is available in Canada.
Happiness was restored when everyone sat down to a bucket of chicken.
Colonel Sanders would've been pleased.

Familiar food does that to people.
Chefs try to outdo themselves in combining new and exotic flavours.
But sometimes a person just wants an old favourite.


If you happen to be in a town where there isn't a KFC, all is not totally lost.
Here is a spice recipe that comes close, more or less.
Along with the spices the Colonel uses a pressure cooker.
You're on your own for getting one.
Also good luck finding a cardboard bucket.

It might be easier to move.

Small hints:

The flour and spices can be ground with a blender, or use a mortar and pestle.

For crispier chicken, use Crisco instead of lard and double-coat the chicken with the flour mixture. 

If you just want to cook a couple of pieces of chicken, just use 1 egg.
Also use just a part of the mixture and store the rest in a jar.
Do not toss any leftover spice mixture back into the jar.
If the juices from the raw chicken come in contact with the unused spice mixture things could get nasty.
Yes, even if you store it in the fridge.


                        KFC Chicken Spice Recipe

For the coating

Combine
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon tarragon
1 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon chives
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
2 Tablespoons Accent (MSG seasoning)

Grind finely and place in a clean plastic bag.

For cooking the chicken

Cut into pieces
1 whole chicken

Beat together
1 large egg
1 Cup buttermilk

Dip the chicken pieces into the egg / buttermilk mixture.
Then dip the chicken pieces into the flour mixture in the bag.
Make sure each piece is completely coated with the flour.

Heat in a deep pot or dutch oven to 365ºF
1/2 Cup lard
Brown the chicken slowly, a few pieces at a time, uncovered.
Once browned, return the chicken to the skillet.
Cover the skillet and cook on a very gentle heat, turning occasionally,
until the chicken is fully cooked.
Place on paper towels to drain out the excess oil.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Anna Sultana's Bringiel Mimli II - Stuffed Eggplant, Maltese Style


Got an e mail about a recipe I posted about two years ago.
That's stuffed eggplant, Maltese style.
Is there a variation?
Of course there is.

Eggplant isn't quite as popular as potatoes, tomatoes and corn.
At least not for many North Americans.
Which is a shame.

Eggplant is low in fat and carbohydrates. 
A 1998 study in Brazil found that eggplant juice reduces weight and cholesterol.
Don't get excited - if you're on medication stay with it.
And eggplant has a weird side...
There's a bit of nicotine in it. 
Don't get scared - 20 pounds of eggplant has as much nicotine as a cigarette.

But some people do get itchy skin or mouth, mild headache, and stomach upset after handling or eating eggplant. 
Eggplant is high in histamines.
Cooking gets rid of most of the problem, but some people still react.
So, if you get allergic reactions, be a little careful if this is your first time.

I'm hoping you will try eggplant and that you won't have any problems.
Because eggplant can be delicious.
Especially the way Ma cooked it.


A small hint: 
After slicing the eggplants lengthwise, sprinkle the 2 cut surfaces with salt
and let them sit 15 minutes.
Then wipe off the salt.  This will remove the bitter taste.

If you want this vegetarian style, you can use that 'veggie ground round'.
Add a little olive oil to replace the animal fat.

                        
                         Brinġiel mimli
                       
grease a baking dish         
preheat oven to 425º        
bake 45 minutes

Wash
4 eggplants
Halve length-wise and prepare (see above)
Parboil for 5 minutes.
Let cool and scoop out some of the pulp.
(Go easy - you want a firm boat-shaped container left.)

In a large deep skillet pour
2 Tablespoons olive oil 
Heat oil over medium heat.
Add 
200 grams ground pork
50 grams bacon, chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 Tablespoon parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/4 Cup bread crumbs

Fill the eggplants with the mixture.
Place them, filling side up, in the baking dish

Sprinkle over top of filling
grated cheese (Romano or Parmesan or a combination)
Bake about 45 minutes, depending on how crusty you like the top surface.

Serve hot with your favourite pasta and sauce and a salad.
Hot rice or a crusty loaf of bread would also work.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Anna Sultana's Bzar Ahdar Mimli II - Stuffed Green Peppers, Maltese Style


Okay.. you know what's coming.
Ma's recipe for Stuffed Green Peppers with meat is great.
But of course Ma had more than one way to stuff bell peppers.
And a good thing, too.

Some people object to eating meat.
Especially as a stuffing in a vegetable.
No problem.
Ma had a recipe for Bżar Aħdar Mimli that is meatless.

The peppers in this recipe are fried on their sides, after they have been stuffed.
And, yes, you can use the red, yellow and green bell peppers that are sold together 
and called traffic light peppers.


                        Bżar Aħdar Mimli

Serves 4

In a large deep skillet pour
2 Tablespoons olive oil 
Heat oil over medium heat.
Add
2 onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Fry until the onion is golden.
Add
2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 Tablespoon capers
8 olives, pitted and chopped
2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped 
100 grams anchovies, chopped
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Fry a few minutes.
Stir in
1 Cup bread crumbs
Fry a few more minutes.

Cut off the tops of
4 large green peppers
Set aside the pepper tops.
Fill the peppers with the stuffing mixture.

In a large deep skillet pour
2 Tablespoons olive oil 
Heat oil over medium heat.
Add
the stuffed green peppers
Lightly fry the green peppers on all sides.
Lower the flame to a simmer.
Cook the peppers until they are heated through.

The cooked stuffed peppers can also be served cold.


If you're looking for more of a challenge, 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Anna Sultana's Bzar Ahdar Mimli - Stuffed Green Peppers, Maltese Style


A few days ago I posted about Ma's Qarabali Mimli.
Her motto was 'have bread crumbs, will stuff.'

The only vegetable Ma didn't stuff was…
No, I've seen her stuff that, too.
At least twice.


Some vegetables, like Qarabali Mimli, could be turned into a total meal.
Some vegetables just became heftier side dishes.
All were good.

Ma's Bżar Aħdar Mimli - Stuffed Green Peppers - were of the latter type.
To Ma stuffing was just a different way of using some of Pop's garden produce.
Pop stuck to basics: tomatoes, green beans, bell peppers.
And Ma had a few recipes for each vegetable.


If you're shopping at a grocery store, you might find red, yellow and green bell peppers being sold together and called traffic light peppers.
You could pick up a few packs for this recipe.
The kids might enjoy the variety of colour.
Or they might fight over the yellow peppers.
So it goes.

If the kids are in that stage of life, stick to the green peppers.
Yes, they'll outgrow it.


                       Bżar Aħdar Mimli

Serves 4

grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan         
preheat oven to 350º        
bake 35 minutes

Fry
100 grams ground pork

In a large bowl place the stuffing ingredients
150 grams white bread, crumbled
4 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon parsley, chopped
2 Tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
The fried ground pork
Combine well.

Cut off the tops of
8 large green peppers
Set aside the pepper tops.
Scoop out the core and seeds and rinse.
Parboil the peppers for 3 minutes.

Fill the peppers with the bread / pork mixture.
Replace the tops and place the peppers in the prepared pan.
Pour around the peppers
1 Cup water
Bake about 35 minutes, until the peppers are soft.

Serve on a bed of rice or with pasta.
Roasted potatoes would also go well with the green peppers.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Anna Sultana's Apple Pudding

Ah… Autumn.
What taste brings autumn to mind more than an apple does.
And there are so many different kinds!!

When apples were at their peak, Ma made Apple Pudding.
Back in the 50s and 60s, Ma mostly had to settle for macintoshes.
And that was fine.
But if you prefer a different apple - or if the store has a particular variety on sale - then buy a few kilos.


About peeling and coring the apples…
People have learned that the peel has nutrients.
So, if you don't want to peel the apples, no problem.
But coring is another matter.
The seeds have a bit of cyanide in them.
One or two won't cause a problem.
But large doses, like a cupful, can cause problems.
Like death. 
So core, please.

Like your apples spicy?  No problem.
Here's a recipe for a nice cinnamon blend.
This cardamom blend is also delicious with apples.
Just add a teaspoon or two.

Hint:

The pudding can also be prepared as a boiled pudding.
Cook for 1 1/2 hours, if you're using this method.
This gives a slightly different texture.


                        Apple Pudding

Preheat oven to 350º
Grease an 8" square pan

Peel and quarter
1 kilo apples
Core and cut each quarter into 3 pieces.
Place the apple pieces in the prepared pan.

In a bowl beat
4 large eggs

Add
1 kilo breadcrumbs
100 grams sugar
100 grams candied peel
Pour over the apples in the prepared pan.
Bake 60 minutes.

Serve warm or cold.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Feng Shui and My Least Favourite Room, part 4 by Margaret Ullrich


Tomorrow will be 2013's new moon number nine.
A new moon is supposed to mean a new beginning.
I'm not ready for a new beginning.
I'm in a rut.
I'm still on the project from Tisha Morris' book Feng Shui Your Life...

Make your least favourite room your favourite.

Yes, I know I've been working on this for over two months.
And I'll probably still be working on this when the moon turns blue.

Paul and I had a fantastic time in Ottawa.  Really.
Ottawa is becoming one of our favourite places.
So much to see and do, the time just flew by.

But we don't spring back from vacations that fast.
It's been a few years since a vacation energized us.
Now we return, unpack, check out what hurts and rest.

Also catch up on the yard work.
I couldn't believe how many weeds popped up while we were away.
A couple of red tomatoes - yes, they were delicious - and lots of weeds.

I refuse to get stressed out about that damn room.
There aren't any Feng Shui police to see how my least favourite room is doing.
But neighbours do notice if the place has an abandoned, weedy look.
Property values and all that.
So that took top priority when we had the energy to do the work.
The yard and garden look respectable again.

To be honest, I'm proud of having thrown out a whole roll out big blue cartload of recyclable stuff from my least favourite room.
Yes, a whole big blue roll out cart!
Another two carts' worth of stuff ought to do it. 
Things I once thought had sentimental value now just seem like junk.
To be honest, sometimes I can't quite remember what was so important about the item, event or person anymore.
Maybe there's something good about senior moments and failing memories.


About tomorrow's new moon...
According to the folks at astrology.com:
A new Moon is always a wonderful time to start something fresh, or perhaps begin the next phase of a project you've already started. ...infuse your projects, dreams, and goals with Virgo's practicality to make more progress this week than you have in awhile! 
Helpful aspects from Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto give you extra energy, stamina, and enthusiasm. 
At the next full Moon you'll have a chance to stand back and assess your progress.


Virgo will make me practical, eh?
Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto will give me extra energy, eh?
I can use all the help I can get.
The job will be done.
I just don't know when.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Anna Sultana's Qarabali Mimli - Stuffed Zucchini, Maltese Style


While I was growing up, Pop had a garden.
Over the past forty years, I've usually had a garden.
It was just a given, a natural part of life, like having a toilet.

Pop wasn't the crunchy granola type.
I'm not the crunchy granola type.
A garden is just what one sometimes needs to cook Maltese style.

Take the ever popular zucchini.
Zucchini are usually available in grocery stores.
Yes, even here in the north end of Winnipeg, I can buy zucchini.
Skinny Sheldon Cooper sized zucchini.

And that just doesn't work for some Maltese recipes.
Nope, for a proper stuffed zucchini, you need need a Hulk sized zucchini.
You need a zucchini the thickness of a baseball bat.

And the best way to get those hefty big boys is to grow them in your garden.
A little neglect can be a very, very good thing.

                        
                         Qarabali Mimli
                       
grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan         
preheat oven to 425º        
bake 60 minutes

Parboil for 5 minutes
2 large zucchini, which have been halved horizontally

Let cool and scoop out some of the pulp.
(Go easy - you want a firm boat-shaped container left)

Slice
2 large onions
8 large potatoes
Layer the slices in the greased baking dish.

Place in a dutch oven over low heat 
50 grams butter
Add
2 large onions, chopped
Brown the onions.
Add
200 grams ground pork
100 grams bacon, chopped
Simmer 5 minutes.

Add
the scooped-out zucchini pulp
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon curry
1/4 teaspoon allspice

Fill the zucchini with the mixture.
Place them, filling side up, on the potatoes in the baking dish.
Bake 60 minutes.

Serve hot with your favourite sauce.