Tag: red cabbage

My Maltese Winter Sandwich: Pomegranate Chicken, Red Coleslaw & Bacon

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My Maltese Winter Sandwich: Pomegranate Chicken , Red Coleslaw and Bacon

We drove down the winding road to the Grand Harbour in Valletta and stopped our cars in front of an old garage. The wooden door must have seen many storms, the green paint faded and the hinges rusted, it’s the salt in the air that takes over whatever it gets hold of. Our friends Michelle and Michelangelo came down to the harbour in the cutest Volkswagen beetle the world has ever seen – in baby blue (Michelangelo would correct me and say it’s Diamond Blue). Built in 1968, the car only changed owner once, when our friends bought it in 2010 from an elderly lady from the village of Qormi. It was in mint condition despite its 110,000 original kilometres. The previous owner’s name was Teresa and she became the eponym of our friend’s little love bug, since then, the beetle is affectionately called Terez.

Terez – and her original 1300cc single port engine, a fact that Michelangelo points out with pride in his voice – has seen a lot since she found her new owner: four overland trips, the latest being our friend’s honeymoon trip last summer. The three of them (including Terez) attended the Le Bug Show 2016 in Spa and crossed half of Europe to get there. Malta, Sicily, France, Switzerland, Belgium, and Germany added 5,400 kilometres to the tachometer and seemed to have made the bond between the car and its owners even stronger.

Every car needs a check up once in a while, especially when it’s nearly 50 years old, and to make it a little more fun, I joined my friends and brought some food and my camera. While Michelangelo laid hands on the tires, I kept mine busy preparing sandwiches for all of us. It’s the peak of winter, a time of year when I usually have to confront Berlin’s seemingly endless, yawning grey sky for weeks and months, but here in Malta I’m spoilt with sunshine and vibrant colours. This inspired me to come up with a snack as fresh and bright as the Mediterranean world around me. It’s a chicken sandwich, the meat tender and thinly sliced, with purple coleslaw and orange wedges, sparkling pomegranate seeds (some of which I turned into a sticky syrup), crunchy bacon bites, and pungent green onions. The composition is rather difficult to eat, but trust me, the pleasure that you’ll feel when you taste it, is absolutely worth it. And the solution is simple, just squeeze it until the sticky juices run out of the sandwich and soak the soft bread – it’s a heavenly mess.

Thank you Michelle, Michelangelo, and Terez for a wonderful morning in Valletta!

For more delicious recipes and kitchen inspiration, visit Volkswagen’s Pinterest community board Food Bloggers for Volkswagen.

My Maltese Winter Sandwich: Pomegranate Chicken , Red Coleslaw and Bacon


My Maltese Winter Sandwich: Pomegranate Chicken , Red Coleslaw and Bacon

My Maltese Winter Sandwich: Pomegranate Chicken, Red Coleslaw, Orange and Bacon

Makes 6 sandwiches

For the coleslaw

cored red cabbage, cut into thin strips, about 230g / 1/2 pound
fine sea salt
yoghurt 5-6 tablespoons
freshly squeezed orange juice
ground pepper

For the pomegranate syrup

pomegranate juice 180ml / 3/4 cup
granulated sugar 4 1/2 tablespoons

For the sandwich

olive oil
chicken breast 400g / 14 ounces
fine sea salt
ground pepper
bacon 6 slices
lettuce leaves 6
white buns (or ciabatta cut into buns), cut in half, 6
oranges, peeled and cut into filets, 1-2
the seeds of 1 pomegranate
green onions, the green part cut into thin slices, 1
freshly grated orange zest, about 1 tablespoon

For the coleslaw, in a large bowl, mix the cabbage and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and, using your fingers, rub the salt into the cabbage. Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes. Add the yoghurt and orange juice, mix well, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F.

For the pomegranate syrup, in a saucepan, bring the pomegranate juice and the sugar to the boil and cook over medium-high heat (it should bubble) for about 7 minutes or until it starts to thicken. Set the syrup aside.

In a heavy pan, heat a splash of olive oil over high heat and cook the chicken breast for a couple minutes on each side until golden, you might have to reduce the heat to medium-high. Season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer the chicken to a baking dish. Roast in the oven for about 8 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Check with a skewer, only clear juices should come out. Let the chicken rest in aluminium foil for about 5 minutes. Cut the chicken into slices (about 18 slices for 6 sandwiches).

In a large heavy pan, heat a splash of olive oil and cook the bacon for a few minutes on both sides until golden brown and crisp. Transfer to paper towels, let it cool for a few minutes, then break the bacon into pieces.

Divide the lettuce leaves between the bottoms of the buns and arrange the chicken on top, drizzle with a little of the pomegranate syrup. Spread a heaping tablespoon of coleslaw, 2-3 orange filets, and some pomegranate seeds on top of the chicken. Sprinkle with the sliced green onion, bacon bites, and orange zest, and drizzle with additional pomegranate syrup. Close the bun, squeeze, and enjoy!

My Maltese Winter Sandwich: Pomegranate Chicken , Red Coleslaw and Bacon


My Maltese Winter Sandwich: Pomegranate Chicken , Red Coleslaw and Bacon


My Maltese Winter Sandwich: Pomegranate Chicken , Red Coleslaw and Bacon


My Maltese Winter Sandwich: Pomegranate Chicken , Red Coleslaw and Bacon


My Maltese Winter Sandwich: Pomegranate Chicken , Red Coleslaw and Bacon-2


My Maltese Winter Sandwich: Pomegranate Chicken , Red Coleslaw and Bacon



Red Cabbage and Mango Salad

Red Cabbage + Mango Salad

When I had my tea this morning, I stared at a bright red cabbage on my kitchen table for about 5 minutes. I was lost in a daze, still overwhelmed by yesterday’s response to the eat in my kitchen feature by the ZEIT Magazin. I got so many beautiful messages, thank you all! In case you didn’t read it yet, here is the link:

So, back to the red cabbage! My spontaneous decision: I chop the cabbage thinly and mix it with mango slices – I waited patiently for it to ripen, it should be good by now. All this salad needs is a light dressing with olive oil and orange juice and some coriander leaves on top. The light spiciness of the cabbage is great together with the sweet fruitiness of the mango and orange. A vibrant quick and easy Monday lunchtime kick!

Red Cabbage + Mango Salad

 Red Cabbage and Mango Salad

For 4 people you need

red cabbage, rinsed, dried and sliced thinly, 400g / 14 ounces
mango, cut into thin slices, 1
orange juice 5 tablespoons
olive oil 3 tablespoons
salt and pepper
coriander leaves, a handful

Mix the olive oil with the orange juice. Season the dressing with salt and pepper and pour over the cabbage. Lay the mango slices and coriander leaves on top – that’s it. Tastes great, feels good, prepared in a few minutes – and it looks gorgeous!

Slow Roast Duck and Yorkshire Pudding – our Christmas Dinner

Christmas Duck

Christmas is one of the special silent moments of the year, it feels like time stops for a few hours. The streets are empty and we share some precious time with the ones we love. It’s a beautiful celebration of love and gratefulness – I wish you all a wonderful and joyful Christmas with the ones who are special to you!

At Christmas time, we share many traditions but each family also creates their own, especially regarding the festive meal. Some of my friends have sumptuous meals and cook for hours, some prefer it simple – like my aunt and uncle – they always celebrate Christmas night with Wiener sausages and potato salad. For me, it has to be duck – together with Yorkshire pudding on the side for the gravy and red cabbage, that’s my tradition.

My duck takes its time and cooks very slowly. It stays in the oven for around 4 hours and cooks on very low temperature (85°C / 185°F) which guarantees the juiciest and most tender meat you can imagine. It never fails! I always make a rich filling with apples, mushrooms, minced meat, liver, bacon and lots of herbs. It’s more like a terrine than a traditional filling – it could be a meal on its own. I prepare a bit more than I need for the duck and cook it in a little terrine dish in the oven (not as long as the duck, just for an 1 1/2 hours). It is similar to French Paté and I love it cold on bread the next day.

Christmas Duck


Christmas Duck

 A duck which takes its time

For 4 people you need

duck, rinsed, dried, rubbed with salt and pepper, around 2kg / 4 pounds
with neck, liver and kidneys
olive oil for frying

For the gravy

chicken, duck or goose broth 500ml
rind of 1/4 orange cut in strips
a sprig of thyme
brandy for deglazing
balsamico vinegar to taste
plum chutney or plum butter to taste
salt and pepper
sugar for caramelizing

For the filling

minced beef 80g / 3 ounces
thin slices of white bacon, finely chopped, 2
organic chicken liver, finely chopped, 60g / 2.5 ounces
thin slices of ham, finely chopped, 2
mushrooms, finely chopped, 50g / 2 ounces
sour baking apple, peeled and finely chopped, 1
organic egg 1
breadcrumbs, soaked in cream or milk, 1/2 cup
a small onion, finely chopped
clove of garlic, crushed, 1
parsley, chopped, 1 tablespoon
thyme leaves of 1 sprig
lemon zest 1/2  teaspoon
bay leaf, ground in a mortar, 1
juniper, ground in a mortar, 1
nutmeg, grated
brandy for deglazing
butter for frying
salt and pepper

Heat some butter in a large pan and fry the bacon, mushrooms, apple, onion, garlic, juniper and bay leaf until golden and deglaze with brandy. Put in a large bowl and mix with the other ingredients.

The duck and the gravy

Set your oven to 85°C / 185°F. Our oven has a Rotitherm roasting setting which works perfectly for poultry.

Heat a splash of oil in a large pan and fry the duck on all its sides until golden brown. Take the duck out, place on an oven dish and fill with your prepared filling. If you have some filling left put it in a terrine dish and cook in the oven together with the duck (covered with a lid, for 1 1/2 hours). Leave the duck in the oven for around 4 hours. Check with a skewer after 3 1/2 hours to see if the duck is done, when only clear juices come out, the duck is ready. Brush the top of the duck with gravy (see below) and put under the grill for 3-5 minutes until the skin is golden brown.

My gravy isn’t thick as I prefer it natural without thickening agents. After you put the duck in the oven, fry the duck’s neck, liver and kidneys in the pan you used for the duck and deglaze with brandy. Take the giblets out, pour the broth into the pan and let it simmer down together with the other ingredients for the gravy until it reached its right concentration and taste. Take out the orange rind and thyme sprig and season with salt, pepper, vinegar and chutney. Caramelize 1-2 tablespoons of sugar until brown and add to your gravy.  You can also add some dark chocolate, honey or a tiny bit of orange juice. Play around with it but always use very small amounts of whatever you add and taste in between.

For the red cabbage

Chop a small red cabbage into very thin strips. Rinse the cabbage and fry it – still wet – in some oil or lard in a large pan with a closed lid for 5 minutes (on medium heat). Add 2 glasses of red wine, a chopped apple, some grated ginger, a bay leaf, 6 cloves, 4 junipers, 2 tablespoon of honey and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

For the Yorkshire pudding

Mix 200ml of milk together with 2 eggs, 200g / 7 ounces of plain flour and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Fill a bit of oil in little oven dishes (like the ones you use for crème brulée) or in the cups of a muffin pan and put in the hot oven (250°C / 480°F) for a few minutes until the oil is hot. Pour the dough carefully into the hot oil and bake for 12 minutes or until well risen and golden brown. Don’t open the oven door before the puddings are done as they will collapse.

Prepare your dinner table with all your festive food. Enjoy with loved ones!

Christmas Duck


Christmas Duck