In Malta we are currently in the peak of the ‘Lampuki’ (Dorado) season. The ‘lampuki’ season carries on right through to November with this fish being a part of the staple diet of the locals throughout the next few months. With this in mind, we thought it would be an idea to share with you a typical local dish made with ‘Lampuki’. This special recipe belongs to Mark’s mother (MD at ECMeetings Malta) and in his own words he describes this dish as ‘Delicious and wholesome. It’s a taste of home bringing back happy childhood memories’.
Lampuki Pie Ingredients:
500g short crust or puff pastry
2 large Lampuki
Flour for coating
2 large onions chopped
A handful of cooked peas
2 tomatoes peeled and chopped
1 small cauliflower parboiled
1kg fresh spinach, cleaned and cooked or 500g frozen spinach, cooked and drained
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 tablespoons capers
6 black olives chopped
1 tablespoon each parsley, mint, basil
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon of mixed spice
Olive oil, Salt & Pepper
Cut the fish into portions, discarding heads and tails. Dip into seasoned flour and shallow fry until they are cooked through. Allow the fish to cool enough to be able to handle it. Remove all the skin and bones carefully and cut up into bite-sized pieces. Put these aside. Fry the chopped onions in olive oil until they become soft and transparent, then add the peeled chopped tomatoes, cook for 1 minute after which add the cooked chopped cauliflower, the cooked chopped spinach and the peas. Add a small amount of water and simmer until all the vegetables are tender. Add the lemon zest, olives, herbs, spice, tomato puree and capers. Season and allow to simmer for ten minutes and then cool.
Roll out the pastry and line a shallow dish – keep one third of the pastry for the top of the pie. Take half the vegetable mixture and spread out on top of the pastry base, then place the fried Lampuki pieces evenly all over the vegetables and then spread the remaining vegetables as a top layer over the fish. Roll out the remaining pastry and place over the top sealing the edges well. Prick all over the pastry lid with a fork. Bake in a hot oven 200°C (400°F), gas mark 7 for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to moderate 180°C (350°F), gas mark 4 and cook further until the pastry is golden brown. Serve it warm.
L-ikla t-Tajba (Bon Appetit)!!!