Shared Thank You’s…..
2016 is already kicking off to a wonderful start, arriving home from our own holiday, Julesy’s BnB has seen it’s first guest for the year. Our Japanese guests Yukihiro, Yukako and their gorgeous baby Riku stayed for 4 nights with us. Babies always bring another dynamic to our BnB, such a cute baby and always so happy, smiling and waving the whole time, such a treasure.
Roxy however was not so sure on what to make of it all, made herself scarce, but was desperately inquisitive at times to see who this little creature was visiting her house, but she kept a safe distance.
During breakfast I always enjoy finding out what my guests like to eat for breakfast and cater to their cultural needs, but I always like to tempt them with a few other things too, keeps things fun. Even the Vegemite has made an appearance a few times, (99% of our guests who have dared to taste it concur Australian’s are as weird as the creatures that roam the country) obviously it’s an acquired taste.
But our Banana Bread was a clear favourite of the week, so for Yukako, I am sharing this ever popular recipe, as a thank you for being our first lovely guests for 2016, and also in appreciation of the lovely origami crane you left as a gift in your room. We were very touched. Thank you.
Julesy’s Banana Bread
3 large bananas mashed
1 1/2 cups of self raising flour
1 1/2 cups of dark brown sugar
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 cup of walnuts
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
Preheat the oven to 180C. Use a long loaf tin and line it with baking paper and set aside.
In a large bowl mash the bananas and add the eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla essence, sugar and walnuts and mix well. Then sift in the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until all ingredients are well combined. Pour ingredients into your tin and bake for 55mins. Remove from the oven immediately and let cool in the tin.
Serve with fresh bananas and strawberries. you can even butter with mascarpone or honeyed ricotta, or just enjoy it on its own.
Wishing you all a delicious 2016 and can’t wait to welcome all our upcoming guests to Julesy’s BnB in 2016.
It’s the small things in life that make us all appreciate and is our motto for the year.
All the best
Julie, Glen & Roxy
She said “Yes”…..
Just one month ago we were contacted by what must be one of the worlds most romantic and thoughtful gentlemen. He found his life partner and wanted to pop the question right here in Malta, and also most privately here at Julesy’s BnB. Of course we obliged, also thrilled that we were entrusted with this most intimate of occasions.
Philip a pharmacist from The Netherlands, helped us plan the perfect scene to ensure his proposal was a success. He asked me to cook a delicious meal that had to cater for vegetarian, and not too much dairy too. “Xiaohui”, Philips bride to be had an extremely sophisticated palate and appreciated spicy and oriental flavours, of course I was in my element! Her favourite colours were dark blue and pink and favourite flowers were roses and gladiolus, Philip did a great job knowing all of Xiaohui’s preferences. What a guy!
I wanted the meal be slow and relaxed so our guests could enjoy their evening and each others company without too much interruption, other than our service between courses, so we set up our private dining room for them for the evening.
Smoked Aubergine, Cucumber and Smoked Paprika Roulades, Summer Roasted Pepper & Avacado Gazpacho & Goats Cheese, Roasted Cherry Tomato & Basil Croustades.
Wine: Moet Chandon Champagne – France
Panfried Scallops with a Citrus and herb butter sauce with fresh local crusty bread & Freshly Shucked Oysters with Lemongrass Lime & Chilli Dressing
Wine: Domaine Ville De Colmar Riesling – Alsace France
Sweet Potato Spinach and Chickpea Fragrant Curry stack with Saffron Rice and wild Mushrooms and Cumin
Wine: Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough – New Zealand.
Blueberry Souffles with Fresh Blueberries.
Of course we were relieved when we got the word she said “Yes”!!!
Happiness and magic filled the night air, and it was a lovely place to be here at Julesy’s BnB.
To Philip and Xiaohui, we wish you both all the very best for your future together.
Fragrant Sweet Potato. Spinach & Chickpea Curry with mushrooms, cumin and saffron rice.
Especially for Xiaohui here is your recipe for that fragrant vegetable curry.
2-3 Large Sweet Potatoes diced
180g Fresh Spinach well rinsed
1 400g can chickpeas or fresh maltese “cirri”
1 red chilli, seeds removed
1 large thumb size piece of ginger, peeled
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 red onion, peeled & diced finely
1 tsp. hot Madras curry powder
2 tsp. garam masala
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. turmeric
2 Tbsp. tomato puree
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1 x 400ml can of light coconut milk
1 Cup Jasmine Rice
10 Saffron strands and water ( see notes below)
Good Pinch of Salt
2 cups of brown mushrooms
1/2 tsp. Cumin seeds
Fresh Coriander to garnish
First mince the garlic, ginger and chilli and set aside. Rinse Jasmine rice and either cook in a rice cooker with Saffron Strands or use the evaporation method of cooking rice, stovetop in a pot. See note below on how to get the perfect fluffy rice without using a rice cooker.
In a large pan heat the coconut oil over a medium heat and add the onion. Cook the onion gently for 4-5 minutes until it starts to soften. Next add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook until it becomes fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add the spices and cook for another minute then add the tomato paste. Cook the tomato paste for about 5 minutes as this helps remove any bitterness. You may need to reduce the heat to prevent the spices burning.
Next add the sweet potato and give everything a good stir. Pour over the coconut milk and fill the empty coconut milk can with water and add this to the pan too. Add the desiccated coconut and Chickpeas or “fresh cirri” (delicious when in season in Malta), giving everything a good stir.
Put the lid on the pan and bring everything to a boil. Reduce heat to a high simmer and cook for approximately 20 minutes or until the potatoes are just becoming tender (cooking time will depend on the size of your diced potato).
Add the spinach and cook until wilted and the potatoes are ready.
In a seperate pan heat a little coconut oil and add the cumin seeds to toast a little before adding the diced mushrooms. Cook down until golden add seasoning.
Once all three elements for your dish is complete, fluff the rice and place an egg ring or round mould on a plate, spoon in cooked rice then mushrooms and then top gently with the fragrant vegetable curry. Garnish with coriander and serve immediately.
*My method of cooking rice using the evaporation method is as follows. Rinse the rice well under cold water and drain well. Pour the rice in the bottom of a deep saucepan and level out in on the bottom of the saucepan. Put your finger in the saucepan as though to poke the bottom of the pan, hold your finger upright and notice the measure of the rice, where it comes up your finger. I measure in terms of knuckles. So where the rice measures to the knuckle, fill the pot up with water up to the next knuckle on your finger past the rice with water. Add your spices and salt to the pot and place the lid on the pot and simmer for approximately 12-15 minutes or until rice has completely soaked up all of the water in the pot. Once cooked fluff the rice and serve.
If you have a special event you want us to help you with during your stay then please contact us , we would love to help!
Julesy’s Spanish Eggs
There is nothing quiet so moorish as these slightly spicy Spanish Eggs, they are an excellent late breakfast and easy to prepare. The cooking time can take a little while but so worth it. Sometimes I add a few slithers of Parma Ham for meat lovers, but this recipe is great for vegetarians or even gluten intolerant people too.
Spicy Sauce Ingredients (cook the day before and refrigerate)
1kg of Roma tomatoes
1 red onion diced
1-2 whole cloves of garlic
3 Tbs tomato paste
3 Tbs Sugar
6 Tbs White wine vinegar
1 Pinch Hot Paprika
Dash of dried chilli (optional and to your own heat tolerance)
Salt & Pepper
Cut a cross in the bottom of each tomato and place in a pot of simmering water on the stove top and blanch to loosen the skins of the tomatoes. Approximately 8 mins. Drain and allow to cool before removing the skins.
In a separate pot on the stove add olive oil onion and garlic cloves salt and pepper and cook until translucent add sugar vinegar, hot paprika, dried chilli and cook for a further 1 minute. Add tomatoes and tomato paste and allow to simmer for 1hr and 30mins until sauce thickens and reduces to about 2/3. You can then blitz until smooth or if you want the sauce to be chunky leave as it is.
Spanish Eggs Ingredients (per person)
1 fresh egg
4 good pieces of Ricotta, Feta or Mozzarella Cheese
5 Basil leaves
4-5 Tbs Spicy tomato sauce
Crusty continental bread of your choice
Parma Ham on the side
In a small baking bowl or breakfast bowl place the Spicy tomato sauce, cheese and basil leaves. Then crack one egg over the top and bake in the oven at about 180C, for about 20mins or until the egg whites are cooked. Toast a piece of crusty bread. Crisp up your Parma Ham either in the oven or on stove top for a couple of minutes. When eggs look cooked carefully remove from the oven and serve on a plate with bread and ham. Simply enjoy them by dipping the crusty bread into the Spanish eggs. I also like to crumble the Parma ham over the top of the Spanish egg too.
Traditional Maltese Meat Pie
This delicious hearty Maltese Meat Pie is a family favourite for many families in Malta. The pie is rich in flavour and is especially appreciated in the colder months of the year. This is also a favourite recipe of a very famous lady who flew all the way from Japan to learn how to cook it. More details about this coming later in the year, but for now we hope you enjoy cooking it and please send us your feedback or any questions.
600g of lean good quality minced beef (choose your own cut from your butcher and ask them to mince it)
1 Cup of Marsala Wine
1.5 teaspoons of Mixed Spice
1.5 teaspoons of medium curry powder
1 Cup of diced onion
1 Cup of diced carrot
1 Cup of diced potato
1 Cup of peas ( frozen are fine if you can not get fresh peas)
4 Tbsp of tomato paste (Maltese traditional Kunserva is the best)
1 Cup of beef or chicken stock (you can use a stock cube in 1 cup of water)
Season with salt to taste while cooking
Rich Shortcrust Pastry ( you can buy store bought pastry, but use a good quality one)
1.5 Cups of Plain strong flour
180g of unsalted butter (please use good quality butter not margarines)
2 Tbsp of iced water
1 egg yolk
1 squeeze of lemon juice
1 pinch of salt
1 beaten egg (for glazing pie)
Pre-heat oven to gas mark 4 or to 200C or 350F
Sift the flour and salt ensuring maximum air enters the flour, cube the butter and add it to the flour, let the flour coat each piece of butter then carefully rub the butter with your fingertips until the flour resembles breadcrumbs. In a small bowl add the egg yolk, water and lemon juice and whisk. Add the wet mixture to the flour. Gently knead the dough until all the ingredients are incorporated, the dough should come away from the side of the bowl and not be sticky, if it is too runny add a little more sifted flour 1 table spoon at a time until you get a soft light pastry. Put the pastry to rest in a zip lock bag in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Place two frying pans on the hob. On a high heat add a little butter to the pan and brown the beef. Make sure any juice is drained or cooked off. Set the beef aside. In the other pan add a little butter to the pan and fry off the onion until golden then add the Marsala Wine. Allow to reduce down and evaporate the alcohol, once reduced add the beef back into the pan and add the mixed spice and curry powder, cook a little further so the spices incorporate well into the meat. Add all the vegetables tomato paste and beef or chicken stock and allow to cook until the pie filling is rich and saucy ensure the mixture is not thin or too runny.
Take your rich shortcrust pastry out of the fridge and roll out on a floured surface to cover the bottom of a 23 – 25cm pie dish. Ensure you leave enough dough to cover the pie and make your Maltese cross on top. Once you have lined your pie dish with the pastry fill the pie dish to the top with the pie filling. Roll out remaining pastry to cover the pie and decorate with the Maltese Cross. Pierce the top of the pie to allow air to escape brush egg glaze before cooking in the oven for a further 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Once cooked take out of oven and allow to cool slightly before serving with some creamy mashed potato or green salad.
A big thank you to our wonderful neighbour Josephine for sharing her families recipe with us in Julesy’s Kitchen. I am sure everyone will add this as a favourite to share with all your family and friends.