Thursday, 11 May 2017

Sicilian Snacks

 When we visited Sicily last year, one thing Bob was determined to do was eat arancini - the traditional local dish, made from leftover risotto which has been shaped into balls and deep fried. This snack is mentioned frequently in the Montelbano novels. We knew that in different parts of the island the arancini are different shapes- either balls, or cone/egg shaped.

Here he is on holiday about to cut into his rice-y treat.
I made a butternut squash risotto recently and there was some left over. So having cooled it quickly, and refrigerated it, I was ready to attempt making my own arancini. Arancini means 'little oranges' which is what this dish looks like. [Sort of]
I found an excellent article here, and that gave me the confidence to begin.
I chopped up the pieces of squash, and mixed them in, along with half a beaten egg, and some leftover fresh parsley and coriander.
The mix took on more of a golden hue.
In two of the balls, I pushed a cube of cheese into the centre [and marked them with large coriander leaves, so I'd know which they were!]
Then I coated the balls in batter and breadcrumbs and deep fried them.
When drained on paper, plenty of oil came out!
I served them with a simple fresh salad [we had 2½ each]

They weren't as good as the authentic Sicilian ones, but not bad for a first attempt. Using my cooking thermometer to ensure the oil was hot enough helped. But they are very fragile, a couple started to disintegrate in the pan. I took comfort from reading in the article that Yotam Ottolenghi has the same problem!
Definitely fattening fast food - but a delicious occasional treat.
I must remember to make some in December on Saint Lucia's Day 

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