Besides traveling one of my favourite things to do is cook! I’m not a pro chef, but I do know how to mix together tasty ingredients from time to time. For family get-togethers, I make these yummy Sicilian croquettes or arancini all Siciliana. They are always a hit and I often get asked for the recipe.
Arancini are considered a typical southern Italian dish from the city of Messina, Sicily where they may have originated from some time in the 10 century. The fillings vary from region to region but cheese and sauce are always part of the traditional recipe – and so is the size. Arancina means “little orange” and these guys are tiny with lots of flavour, crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside!
By the way, I don’t have measurements for every ingredient. Us Italians don’t usually measure. We “eye ball” everything – a little bit of this, a little bit of that. Enjoy!
What you’ll need:
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- Couple spoonfuls of Extra-virgin olive oil
- Couple spoonfuls of really good tomato sauce
- Small onion
- Shredded mozzarella cheese
- Egg to coat
- Seasoned breadcrumbs to coat
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
- Pinches of salt, pepper, basil, oregano
In a saucepan, some olive oil and onions until soft. Add the rice to coat it in the hot oil and stir for about 2 minutes.
In a separate saucepan, simmer together the broth and milk. Add this mixture to the rice, add your seasonings and let it cook, about 20 minutes. You want to cook the rice to about 90 per cent and once the excess liquid has reduced. Add some spoonfuls of tomato sauce (use your judgement here on how much colour you want) and the grated cheese near the end giving it time to melt in.
Remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl gradually adding mozzarella throughout. The more you add, the cheesier it will be! Store it in the fridge for a couple of hours or you can leave it overnight to finish the next day.
Beat a few eggs in a bowl and layout some breadcrumbs in a flat dish. Shape the rice into small or medium-sized balls, coat them with the beaten egg and then with breadcrumbs.
Deep fry until golden brown.
Depending on the size, this makes about 50 croquettes.