Saturday, 22 December 2012

Christmas All Wrapped Up

Oh I had SUCH a lovely dinner last night - the DinnerHusband made piadina wraps. He makes them at work, for a living (at LovePasta, just off Hatch St in Dublin city centre) and as we weren't too hungry last night, he tried them out on me. I think he also wanted to see would they work for Christmas with the leftovers.

Anyhow, what can I say - they were flamin' FAMOUS! Really gorgeous. Huge things, not limp little flat affairs. They would work brilliantly with the Christmas leftovers, so I thought I'd share the love with you all, as a break from the traditional Chrimbo sandwich (although a thing of beauty in itself, it must be said - stuffing in a sandwich, and two types of meat, mustard, chutney and cranberry sauce - fabulous!).

Of course, yet again greed got the better of me so I have no picture... Although I am tempted to do a "Maeve Binchy" and post a picture of a boiled egg* (see below) but instead I've picked some off the internet.

A piadina is an Italian flatbread sandwich from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy looking something like the sort of pictures here either side; although for the Dublin lunchtime trade, they are fully wrapped, and flour tortilla wraps are used (by all means, go ahead and make the flatbread from scratch, but as you know already - the DinnerLadies isn't really that sort of fancy-pants blog and we know a good, sensible shortcut when we see it!). Obviously you can fill them with whatever you like, but rice and / or chickpeas bulk them out. The ones served at LovePasta are nearly reminiscent of a good burrito, bulging with fillings and rice.

So, last night's filling consisted of:

  • 1 small onion, roughly diced
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Chilli flakes (or powder - Himself used 1½ tsp chilli powder)
  • 1 tin chickpeas (we only had a small jar last night so added rice as well, great addition)
  • 70g rice, cooked
  • 75g bacon lardons
  • 1½ chicken fillets, diced
  • Mature cheddar cheese, about 60g
  • Mayonnaise
  • Sweet chilli / chilli sauce etc.
  • 4 tortilla wraps

  1. Lightly fry the onion and spices in the tiniest drop of oil, just to warm the spices through then add the drained chickpeas and cook that off for about 3 or 4 minutes, til the onion is softened and translucent, then take off the heat and set aside, stirring in the hot cooked rice first
  2. Cook the bacon lardons in a large pan for a couple of minutes, then add the chicken and fry it all off til crispy (this could be easily done with leftover turkey and ham, although obviously the process would be much quicker as you just heating them up and cooking from scratch)
  3. Get the piadina or wrap and toast it in a dry pan for a minute either side to warm (or 30 seconds in a microwave)
  4. Place the wrap on a plate and put a quarter of the rice and chickpea mix in the centre of the wrap, then sprinkle a quarter of the meat mixture on top, then a quarter of the cheese and add chilli sauce or mayonnaise (or cranberry sauce!) to taste ps I think the cheese needs to be at least mature cheddar, or else stronger again, as otherwise you don't taste it, but it goes all melty and you can get the flavour of it coming through and it's fab
  5. Fold the wrap - the most efficient method to help avoid leakage is to fold the end bits in over the filling, then take the flap of tortilla facing you and fold it on top of the wrap, so it's covering the end bits and then tuck the edge of that under some filling, to hold it in, then roll the whole thing over onto the last extending bit of tortilla that is facing away from you, and it should be snug and secure
  6. Repeat the process with the other three wraps, cut in half and serve
Of course, you can use any combination of fillings you like, or you can buy one from LovePasta any lunchtime from January 2nd!

* PS - here's the Maeve Binchy story...
While working as a journalist for the Irish Times, Maeve Binchy mistakenly used a file photograph of heart surgery to accompany a recipe about beef stroganoff! The paper's editor realised as the paper was going to press and hauled Ms. Binchy back to the office, instructing her to find a suitable picture and fix the problem PRONTO. In those pre-digital era days, of course, finding a picture the right size was quite difficult and the only one of a suitable size in her files was a picture of a Wedgewood eggcup, complete with boiled egg. With little option, the esteemed author used the picture and turned it to her advantage with a caption along the lines of "on a cold winter's evening, why have a boiled egg when you could enjoy this delicious stroganoff instead"!!

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