Arancini (= small oranges) is a typical Sicilian dish. These are nothing more than fried rice balls with a variety of fillings. I made two kinds: large with a filling of meat and peas, and small with a filling of cheese. As I was preparing them, I felt like I was surrounded by vultures... In fact, as soon as I got the Arancini out of the frying pan and onto a paper towel, Jenna and the kids started attacking them and I barely saved few for a picture to share...
Sauteed the onion and garlic in the butter and olive oil. Add rice and stir. Add hot water, a cup at the time (let the rice absorb the water before adding the next cup). STIR CONTINUALLY!! Also, add the saffron, salt and pepper to taste, and the bouillon cubes. It takes about 30 minutes until it is soft and tender. When ready, add abundant Parmesan cheese and stir. Let it cool down until you can handle it with your hands. In the meantime, prepare the meat and peas sauce for the filling:
For the final Arancini you need bread crumbs and vegetable oil in a fry pan. I used a wok. Make balls of rice with your hands about the size of a small orange. Make a hole in each one of them and with the help of a small spoon place the meat sauce in it. Close with more rice and pass in the bread crumbs. I made also some smaller balls and placed a piece of string cheese in it. I figured that my kids might enjoy these ones better. Heat the oil to 400 degrees. Be careful not to burn yourself. Cook the rice balls until golden (almost orange). Place on paper towel and let them cool a bit. They are good warm or cold.
This dessert was the result of improvisation. As I said, we had people over for dinner tonight and I did not have much time to prepare one. As you may remember, last week I made some chocolate Gelato (Italian ice-cream). See recipe here. I remembered placing the Gelato in a large Styrofoam cup, which was still in the freezer (I guess it went unnoticed this whole week...). So, I decided to celebrate a dessert marriage between Italy and the US and combine the Gelato with some good all-American brownies. I had a nice brownies mix ready to use from Lehi Roller Mills, which my boss gave me as a Christmas present. Using a knife, I cut the Styrofoam cup lengthwise thus obtaining a Gelato cylinder, which I then sliced and placed on the dessert plates. I topped it with a generous piece of brownies and completed it with few touches of whip cream and milk chocolate crumbs (obtained by placing a chocolate bar in the food processor). Voila':
Brownies and Gelato