Tag Archives: seasoning

Neapolitan-Inspired Bean Soup

gino-dacampos-bean-soup-0628I was going to write an entirely different recipe today, but that is taking so much of my time on this rainy busy day, that I just had to forgo the idea. Instead let me give you a deliciously hearty recipe for a soup that is easily becoming a staple in my house.

A few months ago, my bro-in-law J2 awarded me the guardianship of some of his cookbooks, a role which I take very seriously, by cooking from them myself, as it should be. It made me think of this beautiful bean soup, especially because today the rain is coming down hard on this island, and it looks as if it’s staying for the next couple of days. It’s annoying but truly we need it. I feel sorry for all those who need to venture out. The roads are crazy with traffic and I just received a message from a friend saying how soaked she got. Stay safe and avoid extra driving everyone. It’s not nice out there.

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Spaghettini with Roasted Aubergines and Courgettes, topped with Pan-fried Cherry Tomatoes

spaghettini-with-roasted-veggies-and-cherry-tomatoes-0564A little while ago I went crazy with the oven and roasted anything and everything I could think of. OK, not exactly everything, but pretty close. Hopefully, because hope never dies down, the weather will start cooling down very soon and the oven will start working on overtime. I know I’m not the only one who thinks that oven roasted food is not only convenient but also always seems like a proper meal. It’s homey, cozy and comforting in a good way.

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Roasted Aubergines, Courgettes and Portobello Mushrooms

Roasted Aubergine, Marrows and Portobello Mushrooms (0570)I wanted to throw something extra before the weekend, since I realised that I missed a post last week. I’m on a roasting kinda-kick. You’re sharp and you’ve already noticed. Please have patience with me. OK, so I could try to guess what you might be thinking: Portobello mushrooms are nice and big so that we can fill them with all sorts of goodness. Now that, my friend, is my wish for a last meal. That and a good ol’ lemon and sage roast chicken. But I can assure you that it lends itself so well here precisely because it’s large and meaty. I’m sure you know mushrooms – they absorb any flavour you give them but Portobellos don’t need much apart from good seasoning. Then you’re pretty much good to go. The same goes for aubergines.

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Roast Courgettes and Tomatoes

Roasted Courgettes and Tomatoes (0653)I am feeling better today, enough to be able to sit for a while at my desk editing a bunch of photos accumulated on my camera during March. There were quite a few and thought I would post one of my favourites. I have been absent from C&T and have missed blogging a lot. I find myself constantly thinking about how I can improve my writing and perhaps upping the frequency of posting new content. My cooking style is simple, the simpler the better, for various reasons. I don’t like to send people browsing for strange ingredients which are hard to source. The litmus test for this is myself. If I can’t find something at my local supermarket/grocery shop I discard the recipe. Running all over the place for a handful of ingredients is not my thing. So I try to find ways to make easy-to-find ingredients as interesting as possible.
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Mushrooms with Fresh Garlic and Tomatoes

Stuffed Mushrooms (0049)

I am a planner. Well, whenever I can that is. I look for interesting recipes, write grocery lists and plan weekly meals. Usually. Though there are times when I just can’t be bothered. Stuff just happens. It’s been almost a year since moving back to Malta and we haven’t stopped. Feeling overwhelmed and stressed out doesn’t even begin to describe. So for the past few months I have given up on planning meals all the time. Giving this up for the most part has not been as hard as I anticipated. I know – I’m surprised at that myself to be honest but I gradually learnt not to fuss over the little things. To an extent. Cooking and baking are meant to be stress-busters for me. Whereas lately they were completely stressing me out! And I was letting them do that. I almost made my kitchen my enemy. Say what?! The fact that I’ve been running this blog for four and a half years now has somewhat increased the pressure, even though it remains my beloved hobby and my rock. Phew.

So I decided that when it comes to buying fresh produce I was going to relax. My thought process for the past few weeks has been something like this: deep breathe, let the notepad go, let the pen go, make the journey to the veggie truck, pick the best fruit and veggies you can buy, think of some recipes while you linger, chat to the nicest people there, pay for the stuff and walk away slowly. And it’s working. It is. I feel freer and I cook whatever I want when I’m home. The kitchen is not my enemy anymore. At least for now!

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Baked Rice Revisited and Better Photos

Baked Rice Revisited (8362)

Among the most popular recipes you can find here on C&T is Baked Rice. Yes, it’s already up and has been up for quite some time now. The feedback has been so good – you cannot imagine how pleased I am at how it turned out. Although the photos on that post are decent, I still have a few more I want to show you just because they turned out better.

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Aubergine Chermoula

Aubergine Chermoula (9562)

Thank goodness and everything or anyone you and I might believe in, Christmas came and went without a hitch. I promised myself I wouldn’t worry too much about it but in reality J and I spent the best part of the week before feeling sick about the whole thing. At one point I even thought I had some sort of stomach ulcer. Part of it was my fault I’m sure – but looking back I cannot see what was all the fuss about the cooking, since I spent two days prepping everything beforehand. But you see, it was not all about the cooking. Anyhoooo, everything turned out just fine.

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