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This is a story of a rooftop dinner in a corner of Bali between three friends and a very chatty kid who dared moi to eat the eye of the snapper. That big eye which of course I chewed with glee. It kinda ruined his appetite but whose fault was that? Hahaha.

Shrimp and Vegetable Risotto: 1 cup of short grain rice, 6 cups warm water mixed with 2 tsp mushroom stock powder, 250 gr cooked shrimp, 1/2 bell pepper, 1 medium onion, 2 garlic, 3 stalks chives, 3 stalks fresh rosemary, 2 smallish carrots, ½ pack sweet peas, 120ml heavy cooking cream, sea salt to taste, ground black pepper to taste.

Chop onion, bell pepper, and carrots into small cubes. Finely chop garlic and chives. Warm stock in a saucepan over low heat. In another pan, heat 2 tbsp olive or vegetable oil over medium heat, pour in onion and garlic. Saute until onion turns soft but not transparent. Pour in rice, mix until rice is coated in oil. Stir for a minute over medium heat then mix in chopped bell pepper and carrots. Mix for another minute then pour 1 cup of stock. Stir until rice absorbs all stock. Repeat until all stocks have been absorbed, around 20 minutes. Stir in shrimp, sweet peas, chives and cooking cream. Season with salt and pepper. Stir until cream looks bubbly. Remove from heat. Risotto should be ready when rice is al dente.

Be patient with the stirring, I know it sounds tedious and it is, but the end result justifies the effort. So just do it.

Oven-baked Fish: 1 red snapper (1.5 – 2 kg), 3 stalks fresh rosemary, 4 garlic (chopped), 1 lemon, 4 bay leaves, 2 teaspoon sea salt.

Clean fish, slit 3 cuts on each side of body. Squeeze half a lemon onto it and rub coarse sea salt all over body. Prepare baking pan, drizzle with olive oil, 2 stalks fresh rosemary, half of the  garlics, 2 bay leaves. Put fish in pan. Sprinkle with remaining garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, lemon, olive oil and salt. Slip rosemary and salt into slits and insides. Cover with aluminum foil. Prick the aluminum foil using fork to let steam out. Bake in prepared oven set to 200°C/425°F/Gas Mark 5 for 45 minutes-1 hour. Open aluminum foil for the last 15 minutes to let the skin crisp.

Am deeply suspicious that we ought to source a good white wine next time we’re going to do this again. That, and if the moon would be so kind to light our sky over dinner bright again, will just be near perfect.

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