Is sena tajba!

So as my first post this year, something quite enjoyable… steak (for 2 so multiply up as your needs require) a very simple and enjoyable recipe that is extremely easy to make!

Steak!
Simply Steak!

Preparation and cooking time: Approximately 20-25 minutes.

Ingredients:

Half a Fresh Lemon
2 Angus Fillet Steaks
1 Small Capsicum (bell pepper)
1 Medium onion
2 plum tomatoes
Half a pint (250ml) of beef stock.
1 tablespoon cornflower.
Salt and Pepper (Cracked Peppercorns, not the ground powder!)
Olive oil as necessary.
25-50ml Cold Water

 

Preparation and cooking:

Chop Onions into small pieces, followed by capsicum and tomatoes.  Place onions and capsicum into a dry pan on low heat. Put a dry skillet on a high heat (Note: I have a wok burner and use that as you need LOTS of heat – electric cookers will need lots of extra time to warm up.) Grind/crack some pepper into the skillet, by this time the pan with the onions should be making a quiet sizzle noise, give a good splash of olive oil and mix to ensure everything is coated in oil. When the onions start changing colour, place lid on pan to keep the steam in.  Stir and monitor. when the capsicum starts changing colour, add the chopped tomatoes and stock.  Bring to boil, lower heat to continue simmering without the lid/cover and add cracked pepper and salt to taste.

Meanwhile, the cracked pepper and skillet will start smoking, at this point place both steaks squarely in the skillet.  Crack some more pepper over the steaks.  Squeeze half of the lemon over both steaks, and add salt to both.  After a few minutes turn both steaks and squeeze the other half lemon over each steak.  Continue cooking to your preference (do not turn the steaks over.)  Remove both steaks to a clean wooden chopping board and allow them to ‘rest’.  Place cornflour in a cup or small jug, add a small amount of COLD water and mix well, pour mix into simmering sauce stirring well to prevent lumps forming, remove heat immediately and continue stirring.

Serve with mashed potatoes and vegetables or chips and a splash of Worcestershire sauce.

Vodka Marinated Steak

 
Vodka Steak
Vodka Marinated Steak

250g Local/Maltese Steak
2 teaspoons of black peppercorns
1 Shot (25-30ml) Russian Standard Vodka
1 teaspoon salt
1 Clove of Garlic
Half an Onion
Half a capsicum (bell pepper)
Stock Cube & Cornflower or Instant Gravy
Half a pint of water (cold if using cornflower, otherwise hot)
Splash of Worcester Sauce

 
 
 
 
First the preparation/marination (24 hours prior to cooking)…
 
Crush peppercorns and Salt together, finely chop the garlic, mix it all together in a small bowl (just larger than the steak) with some olive oil. Put the steak in it, and push it down, turn the steak and repeat until the steak is totally covered (add a little more olive oil if necessary). Put the shot of Vodka in the bowl over the steak add a little more oil so the steak is not quite covered. Cover bowl with glad wrap/cling film (or put it’s lid on if it’s tupperware).. put in the fridge.. 12 hours later give it a shake and put it back in the fridge.. The steak must be left for at least 24 hours.
 
To cook:
 
Heat a griddle or fry pan as hot as you can get it (do not put oil in it).. When hot put the steak in and wait 1 minute. Pour half the marinade on top of the steak.. Wait 2 minutes more, and flip the steak, wait one minute and add the rest of the marinade to the top. Cook to your preference by turning it over no more than once!
 
At the same fine chop the onion and capsicum, fry lightly until the onion starts to go transparent. Add the stock cube and thickening agent (cornflower with water), or the instant gravy (about half a pint needed).. bring to the boil stirring continuously and as soon as it starts boiling pour over the steak which is still in it’s pan (do this about 2 minutes before you remove the steak).. Turn off the heat to the steak and let everything sit in the pan together for 2 minutes.  (It will simmer whilst it is cooling, do not stir, or touch it for the 2 minutes, this will cause parts of the gravy to become thicker than others which what you want.)
 
Serve with chips and vegetables, or salad and put a splash of Worcester sauce in the gravy after serving….

NOTE: If you like your steak more than ‘medium’ don’t bother with this recipe as it won’t work.  This recipe works best for those who like medium-rare steak!

 

Salmon Alla Shells

Preparation time less than 5 minutes. Cooking time 15-20 minutes.

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

  • Salmon steaks or slices for each person
  • 1 red chilli (not hot, remove seeds)
  • 1 medium onion (red or white)
  • 1 can of condensed chicken soup (powered soup can be substituted)
  • 250ml chicken stock
  • A small quantity of dill
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Method:

Finely chop the onions, and the chilli and place them in a warm fry pan, with a little olive oil. Allow them to fry gently. As the onions start to turn brown, add the Salmon (skin down if they are slices) and turn up the heat.

After 2-3 minutes add the chicken stock, and the condensed chicken soup. Cover and allow to simmer before reducing the heat.

Simmer for 10 minutes or until Salmon is no longer “pink”, add the chopped dill, and leave to stand (rest) with no heat for 5 minutes before serving.

I served with creamed potatoes, fresh carrots and peas.

I love Malta!!! The shopping is amazing!

Time for some more updates as it’s been a while…

I’ve been in Malta for about 4 weeks now, and what can I say except:

I LOVE MALTA!

_DSC2263This place is very cool, food is so fresh I don’t think I ever had it so good except when we grew our own back in the UK… Tonight I bought some more shopping and the colours and flavours are so good I had to take some photos to show you. As you can see, the chillis are not the 100% perfect size and shape like Woolworths seem to think is required, nor are the vegetables completely blemish free.. Instead what you get is the freshest, organic food I have ever tasted, the vegetables are crisp, and putting them in the fridge they last for 2 weeks instead of the Cole’s carrots that turned black within 24 hours…!

_DSC2261The strawberries OMG! This “punnet” was but one of many, as you can see plenty in it. No bruised fruit at all! Talk about sweet, they are delicious, and unlike Aussie strawberries, these actually taste like strawberries.. and the best news of the lot… all for E1.50 .. yes folks, a large punnet of strawberries for less than three bucks!

Oh, in case you are wondering, the photos are as they came out of the camera except for cropping, I haven’t played with the colours, and on my screen (my Mac) the colours look the same as I see here in real life!

Food quality aside the other fantastic part is the food shops. On the island there are large chain supermarkets, well one.. LIDL and it seems that whilst they do “OK” it’s not like they do in other countries. People here don’t get in the car to go to the supermarket, they’d rather go to the local store… That said the local store is no more than 10 minutes walk away, and they are like mini a Coles. The variety of food is amazing, how they get it all in the shop is… magic… These stores look like the lounge of someone’s house covered in shelves, and filled with everything imaginable to man! In my local store, they have 7 types of HP sauce.. 7!! They have asian raw food stuffs (eg Coconut Milk, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts, water chestnuts etc). Every store has a cheese counter that rivels any deli I have seen in Australia with cheeses of the world (eg nearly every store has New Zealand cheddar!) Hams, bacons, salamis etc.. you name it they have it.. I even have alcohol free vanilla essense (for 60c!).. that’s not the vanilla flavour crap that you get in Australia, it’s the real deal, real vanilla, with no alcohol!

_DSC2267The only down side of these stores, they only have 2 or 3 items on the shelf, so if they run out, they run out. In my mind though, if you can get such a wide variety of food of such good quality, I’m prepared to live with not being able to get what I want because its been popular “today”. So far, there has only been one store that I couldn’t get what I wanted in it, and 5 minutes walk away there was another store, which hadn’t run out of stock… 😉

Now enough of food, more shopping!

Here’s me at home after a day at work, no makeup, but in some of my new clothes… New jacket, new jeans (yes I’m still a size 10!) and a new top..

The choice of shops is amazing, they seem to have everything. It doesn’t matter whether you are looking for UK high street shops like Boots and Evans, to world wide fashion chains like Next and Esprit they’ve got it all. They even have shops selling some of the most exclusive Italian designer wear (and this is the real deal, not a cheap Thailand imitation.)

Esprit is here! Yes they have my favourite girly shop, and I now have a new business suit with option of both trousers (pants) and a skirt. Jane Norman, what can I say.. I love the clothes in the photo just another one of my purchases…

I now have a new watch (finally), not cheap but then it is a Roberto Cavalli (Women’s watches, number 15 in the gallery).

My main worry coming over here was my prescriptions and being transgender getting the medications… So much so when I came over I brought 3 months supply with me, knowing that I could get more from the UK or Online if there was a problem. Well it seems the pharmacies are just like the shopping, they have *everything*, even better, if you already have the box, they (in most cases) will just give you more of the same! As it happens in my case there is one item that is not stocked normally, and that is Ralovera. The company who I work for has their own doctor on retainer (available to all staff) so I spoke to him and after a small amount of investigation he’s arranged me a hospital prescription. It seems it’s a restricted distribution medication that can be ordered through the hospital, even better because it has to be ordered it’s free! My standard scripts are about half the price of those in Australia, and they were cheap there…

This place is AMAZING!