Each month we will be bringing you a recipe from one of our chefs in collaboration with the National Register for Traditional Agro-food Products co-ordinated by the Agriculture Directorate.
In 2014, the Directorate issued a legal notice to setup a register to gather and populate within it agricultural and agro-food products as well as gastronomic recipes. This was done in order to recognise such products in an official manner as truly traditional. Up to this date in Malta we never had a framework or setup to distinguish traditional products from other contemporary food items and products.
In order for a traditional product to be classified as such, the processing, preservation and ageing methods used to make that product or gastronomic plate need to be consolidated in time and have proven usage on the Maltese market or culture for a period that allows transmission between generations. This period shall be no less that twenty-five years. This means that if individuals have a recipe or a product which has been in cultivation or in production for a period no less than 25 years, then these products are eligible to be included in the register.
November Recipe brought to you by Chef Patron Alain Grech – The Chef’s Table
Alain Grech has given us both the traditional recipe for Stuffat tal-Qarnit and also his own unique take on the recipe with more contemporary flavours.
Traditional Recipe for Stuffat tal-Qarnit
2kg Fresh local octopus
3 Garlic cloves
100g Black pitted olives
50g Maltese capers
4 tbsp Kunserva
200ml White wine
400g Fresh tomatoes
50ml Olive oil
Bring the octopus to boil in salted water and cool down
Cut the octopus into bite size pieces
Cut the onions into chunky cubes
Mince the garlic
Fry the onions and garlic in oil, add the octopus and tomatoes and fry
Add the kunserva and mix well
Add the white wine and reduce
Add water or fish stock until everything is well covered
Season with salt and slow cook in low heat for 2 hours until octopus is tender
Add the olives and capers
Finish with basil, mint and extra virgin olive oil before serving.
Alain Grech’s contemporary take on Stuffat tal-Qarnit
Fresh local octopus
Coloured cherry tomatoes
Baby gem lettuce
Maltese extra virgin olive oil
Salt, pepper, sugar, thyme
Slow cook the octopus in 80 deg for 5 hours in water. Ideally in a water bath (sous vide at 76 degrees Celsius for 5 hours)
Confit the black olives in olive oil until soft. To confit the olives, heat up the oil to 80 degrees, turn off and leave them to sit in the oil until they are at room temperature.
Dehydrate the cherry tomatoes under the grill for 30 minutes with salt, pepper, sugar, thyme and olive oil
Assemble the warm ingredients on a plate and garnish with baby gem lettuce, sea asparagus, caper berries, chopped chives and extra virgin olive oil