Arancine (Sicilian Rice Balls)

Without a doubt, the regional snacks of Sicily are arancine or arancini. These are deep-fried balls of rice, stuffed most often with a ragù (meat sauce) and peas, but also with other stuffings such as cheese. Arancini are everywhere in Sicily, and we liked them so much that we had them for lunch almost every day during our trip.

DSC05371
Arancini for lunch in Monreale (near Palermo)

Arancini have been named after oranges (arancie), because they look so much like them. In the West of Sicily they have a round shape and are female  (1 arancina, 2 arancine), whereas in the East of Sicily they are pear-shaped and are male (1 arancino, 2 arancini). This could mean that the eastern name is more ‘Sicilian’, because oranges are male in Sicilian (arànciu) contrary to female in Italian (arancia). I entitled this post arancine because I made round ones, but I like the sound of arancini better so that’s how I’ll call them.

DSC05372
Looking inside: rice, ragù and peas

After coming home, arancini were high on my list of Sicilian delicacies to prepare. They turned out to be relatively easy to make and very good. When we had arancini for lunch in Sicily, they had been lying in a display case for a while and were heated up in a microwave oven. This has an advantage that the flavors have the opportunity to blend, but the crust is not crispy. My homemade arancini were freshly deep-fried and thus very crispy. Next time I’ll make them earlier to allow the flavors to blend before deep-frying them. But even deep-fried straight away they were delicious! Continue reading “Arancine (Sicilian Rice Balls)”

Turnip Risotto (Risotto alle Rape)

I don’t cook a lot with turnips and I was wondering what I’d do with the turnips that I had bought for variation’s sake. I decided to turn them into a risotto, and it turned out wonderful. This is not a traditional Italian dish that I know of, but just a demonstration that you can make a great tasting risotto from just about anything using the basic recipe for risotto, fresh ingredients and a good homemade stock. We really love risotto and I usually prepare some type of risotto at least once a week. Since making risotto the traditional way requires … Continue reading Turnip Risotto (Risotto alle Rape)

Home-made Sushi

Today calls for a special post, since I am very proud that the 100th follower has just joined this blog! As it happens we made sushi last night, and blogging about that will certainly be special as this will be the longest post yet with over 40 pictures! Making sushi together is a lot of fun, and although the sushi will probably not be as good as sushi at a specialized sushi restaurant, home-made sushi will taste much better than ready-made refrigerated sushi. It is not a coincidence that I like Japanese food besides Italian, as both rely to a … Continue reading Home-made Sushi

Seafood Paella (Paella de Marisco)

Paella is probably the most famous Spanish dish. There are different versions of paella, many of them containing meat such as chicken, rabbit and chorizo, as well as seafood. My version is seafood-only. Paella is traditionally made in a special paella pan, but I like to serve it on individual plates. Like many stock-based dishes, the taste of the paella depends on the quality of the stock. So it definitely pays off to make your own stock! Ingredients For 2 servings as a full meal 2/3 cups rice suitable for paella (risotto rice works fine) 1 1/2 cups shrimp stock … Continue reading Seafood Paella (Paella de Marisco)