Recipe: Fougasse bread with smoked pork belly

Indigo Restaurant at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Indigo at Constance Belle Mare Plage

This wonderful bread served with smoked pork belly is perfect for snacking on at the start of a relaxed weekend lunch.

Serves 4
Preparation time:
30  minutes
Cooking time:
40 minutes
Raising time:
2 hours

Ingredients:

  • 75g boucane (smoked pork belly)
  • 125g flour
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 125g fine semolina
  • 10g fresh baker’s yeast
  • olive oil for brushing
  • 5g salt

1. Preheat oven to 200ºC.
2. Cut off the rind from the boucane, then finely dice the meat. Cook it in boiling water for 20 minutes, then drain.
3. In a salad bowl, gather all the ingredients except the salt and boucane. Knead by hand for 8 minutes. Add the salt and boucane, knead for 2 more minutes.
4. Divide this dough into 2 equal-sized balls. Roll out each one separately in an oval shape, about 15cm long and 5cm wide. Lay each fougasse on a biscuit sheet, cut 3 diagonal slits into each one with a sharp knife, and let them rest for 2 hours at room temperature. They should double in size.
5. Bake the fougasses for about 20 minutes in the oven. Take them out of the oven and brush them with olive oil.

Snorkelling with Manta Rays at Constance Moofushi

Manta Ray at Constance Moofushi

Majestic Manta Ray

Every year manta rays arrive to swim in the crystal clear waters around Constance Moofushi. This season, they arrived on 21 December and will stay until the end of April.

Guests at Moofushi can experience swimming alongside these incredible creatures. The Blue Tribe Diving Centre organises snorkelling trips at 3.30pm every day for guests.

Enjoy these amazing photos and facts about mantas, sent from our wonderful dive masters at Moofushi.

1. Manta Rays can be found throughout tropical waters across the world where they often congregate around coral reefs. 

 

Manta Ray and fish

Manta Ray and fish in crystal clear waters

2. It’s estimated there are around 10,000 Manta Rays living in the Maldives.

3. Manta Rays are extremely peaceful creatures and pose no threat to scuba divers. They display curiosity towards humans and enjoy swimming among scuba divers. 

4. Manta rays are easily found at various ‘cleaning stations’ around the Maldives, where they gather near the coral reef and small fish pass through their gills, feeding off dead tissue and parasites and cleaning the manta in the process.  It’s not uncommon to see groups of up to 150 Manta Rays at a cleaning station at one time.

 

 

Manta Ray

Close up with a Maldivian Manta Ray

5. When divers witness a gathering at a cleaning station, they should keep their distance and remain quiet, so as not to startle the manta rays, who will leave if disturbed.

Chinese New Year at Constance Halaveli

Fruit skewer palm tree

Fruit skewer palm tree

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

On the evening of 23 January, Constance Halaveli celebrated the Year of the Dragon for Chinese New Year – a very important holiday for our Chinese guests.

Chinese New Year starts with the New Moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. The end of new year is celebrated on the 15th day with a nighttime Lantern Festival.

As the year of the Dragon unfolds, it promises to be one of excitement, unpredictability, exhilaration and intensity – all characteristics of the Dragon.

For travel, Dragons are often attracted by the bizarre. No self-respecting Dragon desires to walk in a tourist’s footsteps. Instead, they take a lot of pleasure in finding hidden destinations, or locations off the beaten track.

Dragons are also sentimental at heart, so taking a second honeymoon would bring immense pleasure too.

If you celebrated Chinese New Year at Constance Hotels, we’d love to see your photos. You can post them on the Constance Facebook page.

Great progress with reefscaping at Constance Halaveli Resort

Coral regrowth at Constance Halaveli

Purple tips of the new coral regrowth

Back in November 2011, our team of experts at Constance Halaveli Resort launched a reefscaping programme that aims to stimulate the growth of coral in the lagoon around the Maldives’ resort, and help repair the damage caused by the 2004 Tsunami in 2004.

Since we launched the metal cage structure into the lagoon, there has been significant growth. The purple tips of the coral are a sign that the coral is growing a very rapid rate. Great news!

The next step in the project is a delicate and very important one. Once the coral has reached a healthy size it will be removed from the metal frame and planted in the sea bed within a marked area. 

Coral growing at Constance Halaveli Resort

Great progress as the coral starts to grow

The coral will then be monitored regularly to see how it adapts to being placed back in the natural environment.

We’ll keep you posted on progress.

We’d love to hear what you think about the project – you can leave a comment on the blog below, or post to our Constance Facebook page or Twitter.

Chinese New Year – 23 January 2012

Chinese New Year 2012 - Year of the Dragon

Chinese New Year 2012 - Year of the Dragon

The beginning of the Chinese New Year dawns at midnight on 23 January 2012, marking the start of the Year of the Dragon. The most auspicious sign in the Chinese zodiac, the dragon year promises change.

Celebrate this new beginning with our wonderfully tasty, and very quick to make, noodle dish from Constance Moofushi. Perfect for a Monday evening.

Recipe: Roasted aubergine chatini with peanuts and fritters of cari chilli

Tantalise your tastebuds with this delicious aubergine chutney served with lightly battered chillies and onion rings.

Chillies

Chillies

Serves 4
Preparation time:
1 hour
Cooking time: 20 minutes

For the eggplant chatini:

  • 500g aubergines
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 5 spring onions
  • 1 small fresh red chilli
  • 3 sprigs coriander
  • 150g toasted peanuts
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

For the batter:

  • 75g flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • vegetable oil for deep frying
  • salt

For the coriander salad:

  • 1 bunch coriander
  • 3 small preserved limes (salt cured)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • salt and pepper

Finishing touch:

  • 6 cari chillies
  • 12 onion slices

1. Preheat oven to 220ºC.
2. Wash the aubergines, season them with salt and pepper, wrap them in aluminium foil, adding 2 tbsp olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes.
3. Let cool, cut in 2 lengthwise and spoon out the flesh. Mash it with a fork and set aside.
4. Peel and chop the onion. Chop the onion greens, chilli and coriander separately. Chop the peanuts with a knife.
5. Mix the aubergine pulp with remaining olive oil, lemon juice, chopped onion, spring onions, coriander, chilli and peanuts. Add a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper.
6. Make the coriander salad: wash the coriander, strip the leaves off the stalks. Halve the preserved limes, remove seeds and cut the flesh into julienne sticks. Toast the fennel seeds in a dry pan for 5 minutes on low heat. Mix all the ingredients and correct seasoning.
7. Halve the cari chillies lengthwise, remove the seeds and blanch them in boiling salted water for 1 minute. Cool in iced water. Repeat once.
8. Make the batter: separate the eggs. Mix the flour with 12.5cl water, the egg yolks, the olive oil and some salt.
9. Heat the oil for frying to 180ºC.
10. Beat the egg whites until stiff and gently fold them into the previous mixture shortly before frying the vegetables. Season the vegetables with salt and dip each one of them (half a chilli and onion slice) in the batter, and fry them until golden (about 5 minutes). Drain on absorbent paper.
10. Drop some aubergine and peanut chatini in a circle in the middle of each plate. Place the vegetable fritters around the chatini and the coriander salad in the centre.

Every Friday we publish a delicious recipe from the kitchens of Constance Hotels. Visit our culinary section to see more of the tasty recipes you can cook at home.