Catalan #Chickpeas with #spinach and #raisins

These chickpeas are great as a side salad or as part of a tapas spread. A traditional Catalan dish, it is often a feature on Barcelona tapas or pinxtos menus. It appears the trick is to boil them until much softer than normal, even boil canned chickpeas which allows them to absorb more of the flavours from the dressing and gives a velvety smoothness to the dish.

Ingredients:

2 cans of chickpeas

2 bags of baby spinach leaves

1 red onion finely sliced

3 cloves of garlic crushed

1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts

1/2 cup of sultanas or raisins

1 red chilli finely chopped (optional)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup of white wine

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon paprika for sprinkling(optional)

Handful of parsley chopped

Method:

Boil canned chickpeas in 3 cups of water Until soft but not falling apart about 10 minutes, drain and set aside

Heat olive oil in a seperate pan over medium heat, then cook onions, chilli and crushed garlic until transparent and aromatic.

add raisins and spinach leaves and white wine to onion mixture and simmer until spinach wilts slightly

Toast pine nuts in seperate pan until golden

Mix through spinach mixture and chickpeas, sprinkle with paprika and pine nuts and serve.

Annie’s Festive #Duck Roll Recipe

My friend Annie has made this beautiful duck roll for a number of years as part of our family Christmas feast and this year I noted down the recipe and took photos as we went.

It is stunning addition to the table and can of course be enjoyed at anytime of the year. The combination of duck, chicken mince, pistachios, cranberries and sour cherries is delicious and looks festive and is quite delicious.

Ingredients

1 duck skin-on deboned by your butcher

450g chicken mince

250g unsalted peeled pistachio nuts

100g cranberries chopped

1 can (400g) sour cherries drained

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley

Skewers and kitchen twine

Method

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius

Lay duck flat on a board skin-side down, season skin with slat and pepper

Mix chicken mince with oregano, pistachios, chopped cranberries, season with salt and pepper

Spread chicken over inside (middle part) of duck in an even layer

Stud chicken with sour cherries, about four across, laying evenly in rows “down” the duck.

Roll the duck and secure pulling “skin” across the duck and through the wing holes on the other side

Tie the duck together with kitchen string.

Rub duck sparingly with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and a dusting of dried oregano.

Put duck roll in roasting tin, along with wings and leftover chicken mixture formed into a patty.

Roast for an hour (about 40 minutes a kilogram) and until duck is golden brown.

Allow to rest for 20 minutes then slice into thin slices and place on a serving tray.

Serve with glazed carrots and a green salad for a lovely summer meal.

Roasted #Brussel sprouts, #brocollini and #pepito salad with #Tahini and lemon dressing

Roast some Brussel sprouts and slivers of garlic

Steam or microwave some broccolini

Quick fry some pumpkin seed in a tablespoon of olive oil

Add the Brussel sprouts and broccolini

Add salt to taste

Pour in juice of lemon

Mix

Transfer to salad bowl

Grind some black pepper

Drizzle over tahini paste

Enjoy

#Sweet.. #Cannelini Beans and #Peas

A delicious quick braise with garlic, onions, tomato, olive oil, white wine, lots of black pepper, a can of cannelini beans, some peas, a sprinkling of salt and parsley.

A tasty side and great as an accompaniment if you are trying to cut down carbs but want something a bit susbstantial!

Went well with roasted Brussel sprout and spinach salad.

The legend of “Avocado Picasso”, #Miros, #Ubud

The Avocado Picasso salad at Miro’s Garden Restaurant has reached legendary status in our family due to the fact that it is only available on the menu during the avocado season in Ubud and none of us have been able to try it despite very numerous visits to this Ubudian dining institution over many years.

It doesn’t help that the definition of the “season” for avocados in Bali is a little bit vague, with most sources claiming it is between August and November when it is drier here. It has unfortunately been more unusual for us to be visiting here during those months due to work commitments at this time of the year. Hence, the availability of the Avocado Picasso to us at Miro’s has been scarce.

Somehow this time, despite it being late January, we lucked in. Holding our breath we asked the gorgeous Balinese waiter if it was “on” and we were delighted to hear it was! (We actually immediately messaged our family back in Australia to alert them to it’s existence!)

The simple description on the Miro’s menu “Avocado salad with Balinese Spices” belies the delicious flavours and presentation of the actual dish. The colours are indeed evocative of an abstract Picasso painting.

Delicious creamy avocado combined with tomatoes, lettuce, a sprinkle of parsley and crunchy fried shallots, drizzled with the most delicious dressing of young fresh coconut milk mixed with a touch of Balinese Bumbu(spice mix). It must be the complexity and sophistication of Miro’s Bumbu that adds a touch of Balinese magic into this salad.

I am definitely going to try to recreate it at home so that we can keep the legend alive outside of the Avocado season in Bali.

I am not sure if the Avocado Picasso at Miro’s was inspired by the lyrics in Modern Lovers song “Pablo Picasso” (later sung by David Bowie) but I know in our case there a few family members turning the colour of an avocado because we got to Miro’s for this divine salad first!

Well the girls would turn the color
Of the avocado when he would drive
Down their street in his El Dorado
He could walk down your street
And girls could not resist his stare

Modern Lovers, Pablo Picasso 1976

We teamed up the Salad with the consistently great Corn Fritters and Ayam Goreng for a lovely dinner in the beautiful traditional Balinese house compound and garden setting of Miro’s which has been in the same family for five generations. If in Ubud then it’s a wonderful place to enjoy lunch or dinner and a great favourite with travellers from far and wide. I just hope you get to try the Avocado Picasso when you visit!

Miro’s Garden Restaurant is on the corner of Jalan Raya Ubud(Main Street) and Jalan Bisma. http://mirosgardenrestaurantubud.blogspot.com/?utm_source=tripadvisor&utm_medium=referral

3 Cheers for Three Monkeys Cafe, #Ubud

Three Monkeys Cafe in Ubud is set in the middle of Monkey Forest Road’s shopping strip but when you step inside it is an oasis of coolness and peace on the edge of a small rice field that has been preserved.

Established by Australian Italian chef Karli Sary, it features a wide ranging menu inspired by her family heritage and travels including Italian pizza, pasta and salad Turkish and Greek favourites, as well as Balinese specialities, catering to many tastes.

Recommended to us by our friend and renowned Australian chef Janni Kyrtsis with who is friends with Karli, we enjoyed the setting, the service and a delicious lunch. We had delicious Tiropita cheese pastries with a thyme flavoured honey sauce and watermelon salad with feta, almonds and mint to start. And then tried the Bebek Betutu(grilled Balinese duck) and Beef Rendang, both authentic and redolent with Indonesian spices.

A great spot to stop by if you are shopping on Monkey Forest Road and only a ten minute walk from the main Ubud market.