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.
October Recipe brought to you by Ta’ Marija, Mosta, Chef Rose Mary Borg
Anchovy Puffs (Sfineg tal- Incova)
This is a very typical speciality which one can see still being sold in the streets of Rabat & Mdina.
Ingredients for 4 persons
(Preparation for approximately 12 puffs)
1 Spoon Yeast
1 Teaspoon Salt
½ Litre cold water
4 Sundried Tomatoes
1 Spoon black olives
12 Fillets of Anchovies
2 Spoons Olive oil
On the day before you intend to cook this very tasty appetizer, prepare in a medium sized bowl a mixture of the flour with the yeast, the olive oil and the salt. Mix well and blend in the cold water slowly working the paste until you obtain a smooth dough without it being either too dry or too soft. Now chop the black olives and the sundried tomatoes very finely and blend them well with the dough mixture. Cover well and put in fridge overnight.
Now you need either a chip fryer or otherwise put half a litre of frying oil in a steel casserole and heat well. Now with a large spoon pick up some of the dough, place a fillet of anchovy inside, form it like a ball and place in the hot oil. Repeat this until you have used all your dough, always turning the puffs in the cooking oil until they become a golden brown. Remove and place on kitchen paper roll to remove excess oil.
The Anchovy Puffs are nicer when served hot and they are ideal for a party.