Sunday, 27 November 2011

Sicilian Arancini

This is tradition. My Granma used to make this big stuffed rice balls for any big family events. It is generally served as an antipasto but I don’t really understand why…because they are so big and stuffed that you are generally full after 2…. anyway…It is a big challenging to make this from scratch especially if you don’t have some ragù in the freezer like me. This recipe is the assembly of 2 major recipes: ragù and saffron risotto. If you know how to make both and you have them ready to go than you are almost there

You’ll need:
·      Ragù (Check for the recipe in the blog)
·      Frozen peas
·      Saffron Risotto ( I have used 500 g of rice for 21 medium size Arancini!)
·      Flour, Eggs and breadcrumbs for frying
·      Vegetable oil
·      Cacciocavallo cheese or any mature similar cheese
To make Saffron Risotto you’ll need:
·      1 leek
·      Vegetable stock
·      Arborio or Carnaroli Rice
·      Saffron
·      Butter
·      Parmesan

To start any risotto you’ll need 2 pots on the stove: one with the vegetable stock and the other with the butter and the chopped leek.
Once the leek becomes very tender, add the rice and let it toast for 2 minutes.
Once the rice is toasted add a ladle of stock, enough to cover the rice. Once the rice soaked all the stock add the Saffron and another ladle of stock to cover the rice. Keep adding a ladle of stock every time the rice soak all the stock until the rice is cooked.
Remove the pot from the stove, add a bit of butter and grated parmesan let it seat with a cover for 5 minutes.

Now that you have the Risotto you can pour it over a pastry board or over a flat and clean surface so that it forms a layer half cm thick. Let it cool down until it gets more solid and loose its stickiness.
While the rice rests, you can mix the ragù with the frozen peas into a frying pan on the hob and dice the cheese.
When the rice has set, cut the sheet of rice into square, place it on your hand (if it sticks, flour your hand before starting the process), place the ragù with the peas and one dice of cheese in the middle of the sheet and start closing your hand. Help the folding process with your other hand, and form a ball. Cover the ball with flour so that it hold together well, then dip the ball into the egg and then cover it with breadcrumb. Deep fry the ball with abundant vegetable oil, super hot! Keep doing this until you ran out of Risotto or ragù. I had so much ragù in the freezer that I manage to produce 21 Arancini with 500 g of rice!!

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