RECIPE OF THE MONTH: Balinese-style Paella

 

Paella

 

So here it is! Casa Luna’s signature dish, which was inspired by – you guessed it – a trip to
Spain. I devoured paella nearly every day when I visited in 1991, and in Madrid in the
midst of probably my tenth version, I had an epiphany, or rather one of those ‘what’s all
the fuss about this dish’ moments, and realised I could create a superb Balinese paella
adding a little mystique of the spice islands.

Our paella is an elegant celebration of seafood as well as a meeting of Bali and the
Mediterranean – the flash of the flamenco is introduced to the shimmer of the legong,
Bali’s famous traditional dance. It has been one of the most popular items on our menu
since we opened our large wooden doors in 1992. In actual fact, our dish is not truly a
paella, but a spiced mixture of fish, prawns, calamari, clams and vegetables in a rich
tomato sauce, served on a bed of fragrant yellow rice.

My advice when cooking this recipe is to be patient and walk, or rather, flamenco
through the list of ingredients. If it makes you feel more confident, do what the cooks in
the Casa Luna kitchen do, be cheeky, laugh, and crack some ribald Benny Hill-style jokes.

Add a glass of wine to that and you will make yourself a masterpiece!

TOMATO SAUCE

1 kg tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon tomato paste (optional, for a deeper colour)
8 garlic cloves
8 red shallots, roughly chopped
1 leek, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons grated palm sugar
2 bay leaves
3 tablespoons oil
125 ml oil
6 raw prawns, shelled and de-veined but heads left in tact
200 g white fish fillets, cut into fat chunks
6 garlic cloves chopped
2 medium red shallots, chopped
¼ medium onion, chopped
2 long red chillies, finely sliced
3 teaspoons finely chopped ginger
200mls chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
6 clams, boiled in salted water until opened
6 calamari rings
1 small carrot, julienned
15 snow peas
4 kaffir lime leaves
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 cups hot Fragrant Yellow Rice (page 000)
lemon basil leaves
wedges of lime

Put the tomato sauce ingredients other than the oil in a food processor and blitz to a
chunky sauce.

Heat the oil in a wok over low heat.

Stir in the tomato sauce and bay leaves and simmer for around an hour, until the oil rises to the surface. Taste for seasoning and spoon into a bowl. Wipe out the wok.

To make the paella, heat the oil in the wok over medium heat and toss in the prawns.

Fry for a minute, or until their flesh has just turned white. Remove from the wok with a
slotted spoon and set aside on a plate.

Throw the chunks of fish into the wok and lower the heat a little. Toss around for
about 2 minutes, until just sealed all over. Remove to the plate of prawns.

Add the garlic, shallots, onion, chilli, lime leaves and ginger to the remaining oil in the
wok and toss around for 30 seconds.

Add 6 heaped tablespoons of the tomato sauce, along with the chicken stock ,
lime leaves and fish sauce and bring to a simmer.

Return the fish and prawns to the wok followed by the clams in their shells.

Simmer for a minute, then add the calamari, carrot and snow peas.
Cook until the calamari turns white. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve the seafood and sauce on a bed of hot yellow rice. Scatter with lemon basil leaves

and serve with wedges of lime.

Serves 4

Food as Medicine Spice Tour

25 Nov-3 Dec

Early Bird Ends 31 Aug

Janet Banda Trip

 

It’s the year of the humble nutmeg and the Banda Islands. Join me on a cruise to the legendary spice islands and the island of Banda Neira and Run, inhaling history that changed the world, in between glorious Indonesian meals, trekking, snorkelling, swimming, and simply relaxing on pristine waters. Early bird special prices of AUD 3,900 ends 30 Aug. Deposit required. Contact pa@janetdeneefe.com for more information.

 

RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Black Rice Risotto with Salmon

black rice salmon rissotto

1 cup glutinous black rice, soaked overnight
3 tablespoons regular white rice, soaked for 1 hour
600 ml water
4 x 150 g Salmon fillets, skin on
Sea Salt
5 tablespoons butter
4 medium leeks, finely sliced
3 tablespoons seeded mustard
2 tablespoons lime juice
4 Kaffer lime leaves
500 ml chicken stock
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil
2 tablespoons cream
1 teaspoons greated palm sugar
2 tablespoons fried shallots
Chopped chives, to garnish

Strain the black rice and white rice and combine in a heavy-based saucepan. Add the water and bring the boil. Cook uncovered for 30 minutes, or until the black rice is a soft al dente and the water is absorbed or evaporated (you can add more water if the rice dries out before it is cooked)

Pat the salmon fillets dry. Pour a layer of salt onto a plate and press skin side of the filets onto it. Set aside for up to 1 hour. (the salt will dry the skin out a little and will be wiped off before cooking)

Heat a work or saucepan over low heat and add the butter. Once it has melted, throw in the leek and fry for 1 minutes, or until wilted. Add rice, mustard, lime juice, lime leaves and chicken stock. Simmer for 25 minutes or until the rice is soft and the stock is absorbed.

Towards the end of the cooking time, heat a frying pan over medium heat. Use the blande of a knife to wipe off the salt and any moisture from the skin of the salmon fillets. Seasons the skin with pepper and the flesh with salt and pepper. Heat a thin layer of oil in the pan and add the salmon fillets skin-side down. Weight them down gently with a plate, pressing the skin against the base of the pan. Cook for 1 minute, then remove the plate and cook for a further 2 minutes. Flip the fillets over and turn off the heat, allowing the fish to cook slowly for another 30seconds or so. Remove from the pan

Finish the risotto by stirring in the cream, plam sugar, salt and pepper to taste, and fried shallots.

Serve the cribs-skinned salmon fillets on top of the risotto and scatter with chives.

RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Gado Gado

gado gado

Another Indonesian dish that varies from island to island. In Bali, Gado-Gado or jukut mesantok, as it is known in Bali, consist of spinach, bean sprouts, snack beans, tofu and rice cake. It is served in small warungs or sold by street vendors, who mix the sauce to order using a large mortar and pestle. It is then tossed with the vegetables and served in a banana leaf. In Java, Gado-Gado is served with a wider variety of vegetables, often including potato and cabbage. Therefore, the choice is yours.

Allow 200 grams of vegetables per person…..

Bean sprouts, spinach, beans, potato, broccoli, cauliflower
Cabbage, carrot, snow peas, cucumber, tomato wedges
Fried tempe or tofu, hard-boiled egg
Peanut sauce
Quartered or finely sliced krupuk udang (prawn crackers) or krupuk emping

Prepare the vegetables by boiling, steaming, and so forth.Slice  into bite-sized pieces or any manner you prefer and arrange on a platter, either in layers or mixed.
Top with fried tempe, tofu and hard-boiled egg, and pour peanut sauce over all. Garnish with shrimp crackers or fried shallot, wedges of tomato and cucumber.

To Serve : Gado-Gado may be served warm or chilled.

RECIPE OF THE WEEK | Javanese tofu and scallop curry (Opor tahu dan scallops)

Opor, a dish from central Java, is usually described as a white curry. However this description does not do justice to dishes’ dreamy and alluring flavours of galangal, ginger and lemongrass combined with mild green chillies. For me, opor is the quintessential Javanese dish: subtle, creamy and aromatic. In this modern interpretation I have selected scallops to partner tofu, to create what I think it a supremely elegant curry. It’s the kind of meal to serve your girlfriends for lunch, on a day when you have plenty of time and loads to chat and giggle about – alongside free-flowing bubbly of course!

Javanese-tofu_blog

  • 8 scallops
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind pulp soaked in 2 tablespoons of water, strained 3 tablespoons oil
  • 100 g tofu, cut into a size to match the scallops
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, bruised and tied in knots
  • 3 salam leaves
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 250 ml coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons fried shallots
  • 2 teaspoons grated palm sugar
  • sea salt

SPICE PASTE

  • 3 red shallots, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 long green chillies, roughly chopped 2 small green chillies, roughly chopped 3 tablespoons chopped galangal
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 5 candlenuts
  • 3 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste

Mix the scallops with the tamarind water and set aside.
Pound the spice paste ingredients to a smooth paste in a mortar, or blitz in a food processor with a little water if necessary to get the mixture moving.
Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat and fry the spice paste for 30 seconds.

Add the lemongrass, salam leaves and lime leaves and fry for another 20 seconds, until glossy and fragrant. Strain the scallops and throw them into the wok. Toss them around until seared, then add the tofu and toss gently for a few more seconds. Add the coconut milk, fried shallots, palm sugar and some salt and simmer gently for a minute, until slightly thickened. Taste for seasoning and serve with steamed rice.

Serves 4

Discover more recipes in my book Bali: Food of My Island Home

Welcome to 2014

Welcome to the New Year!

I hope that you have all had a restful and rejuvenating holiday period.

I have spent the festive season reflecting on the hidden joys and beauty to be found on the island that I am lucky enough to call home (while also enjoying a few too many succulent sate sticks!).

With an abundance of fresh produce including glorious spices, fragrant rice, cashews and coffee, Bali truly is a foodies paradise.

This year I want to tell you more about the magic of Bali and the stories behind the ingredients in my cooking. I will be sharing stories and images from Ubud and across Bali so that you can enjoy and appreciate¬ how fresh organic produce and local ingredients make their way into my kitchens.

Seasonal ingredients, fresh herbs, aromatics and spices are the mainstay of our menu and many are purchased at the Ubud market, others with minimal food miles. Our pasta, breads and spice pastes are homemade and most of the salad greens we use are organic. We are passionate about the local food culture and only buy produce from people we like, for in Bali, it’s all about the relationships you foster with growers and producers.

At Casa Luna, we pride ourselves on our commitment to provide the freshest and safest produce available. My kitchens use these ingredients to create recipes that have been handed down through generations of my husband’s family and the family of my staff.

We believe that food should not only taste great but should be implicitly good for you.

I am passionate about sharing this knowledge and am working on a few projects to help you experience the magic of Bali, no matter where you are in the world. I will be posting my favourite recipe each week, hosting long-table lunches and dinners in Ubud and inviting you into my kitchen at The Casa Luna Cooking School.

I look forward to spending this year sharing the seduction of Bali with you, my friends around the world.

See you soon!

Janet

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