Friday, May 3, 2013

Maltese Food: part thejn (two)


Boy am I glad it's Friday! Not that I had a particularly hard week but because we have a fun weekend planned!!  And I have a great recipe for you- it's pastizzi time!  They are little puff pastries filled with ricotta cheese, or peas, or in our less traditional variation, ricotta, lemon and honey.  In Malta they are sold in pastizzerias and are a popular snack after church on Sunday mornings or as a late night snack for the nightclub crowd.  Either way they are a tasty, easy to make treat!! 

Here is the recipe (both the traditional and sweet variety)-

Pastizzi ta'I-Irkotta (ricotta filled pastizzi)
For the recipe you will need:
Ingredients for both varieties.  Fillo dough is NOT used- oops!
  • ricotta cheese (8 oz.)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T parsley- chopped (I used dried)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove crushed
  • puff pastry sheets ( 2 sheets in a box)
  • egg for egg wash
1.  Thaw the frozen puff pastry.  In the picture I show Phyllo dough.  I thought this would work but I forgot that they are all individual sheets and so I went back to the store and bought this-

2. Thaw the pastry about 40 mins. (or if it's 90° like it is today- 15 minutes).  Preheat the oven to 375° and prepare the filling.
3. Combine the ricotta, egg, parsley and garlic (any spices could probably work) and set aside while the dough thaws.

4.  When dough is soft, cut circles and place on parchment lined baking sheet.  I used a drinking glass and got about 9 per sheet.
5.  Brush one side of the circle with the egg wash.  Spoon about 1 tsp. of filling onto circle and fold over to make half moon.  Use fork to crimp the edges together.

6.  Brush tops with egg wash.  We also sprinkled some parmesan on top to be fancy.
7.  Bake until they are golden brown- about 20 mins.  They puffed up so beautifully and a few popped open but they were still pretty (AND PRETTY DELICIOUS)

We also made a sweet version-

Sweet Lemon and Honey Pastizzi
For the recipe you will need:
  • ricotta cheese (8 oz.)
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • about 2 T honey
  • puff pastry (2 sheets)
  • egg for egg wash
  • honey for drizzling (optional)
Prepare as above except for the drizzle of honey right before serving.  Serve warm from the oven.....SOOOO YUMMY!!!

A perfect little snack! 

Let's Learn Some Maltese

Do you speak Maltese?

Well, then you can probably skip this post.  Thanks for checking in :)  Those of you still with me, let's learn a couple words and phrases.

The Maltese language is thought to have developed as a variation of Sicilian Arabic.  This form of Arabic hasn't been spoken in Sicily in over 700 years but it stuck with the Maltese and developed into the Maltese language used today.  Because the country was controlled by so many other countries, there are many words that are French, Arab, Spanish, Italian, Latin, German, Portuguese, and English.  In 1800, when the country was governed by the British, they tried to change the official language to English, but when the Maltese gained their independence in 1964, both Maltese and English were given the role of "official language".

Hello- hawn    Goodbye- caw     Please- jekk joghgbok
Thank You- grazzi     Yes- iva    No- le    I love you- Inhobbok

1- wiehed ( WEE-hed)   2- thejn (tneyn)    3- tlieta (TLEE-ta)
4- erbgna (EHR-ba)   5- hamsa (HAM-sa)   6- sitta (SIT-ta)
7- sebgna (SEH-ba)       8- tmienja (tmeehn-ya) 
9- disgna (DIH-sa)      10- ghaxra (AA-shra)

black- iswed    white- abjad     red- anmar      blue- blu
yellow- isfar    green- andar    orange- orangjo   purple- vjola

There, now you know the bare necessities  of the Maltese language.
I could really see the influences of the other cultures in many of the words.  Oh, I forgot one phrase-
L- iklat- tajba!  It means Bon Appetit!  You'll definitely need that phrase for my next post- we're making Pastizzi!!!!
Another picture of BEAUTIFUL Malta!!