The Dish : Vlora -- Arancini Sicialani Recipe
The Dish: Vlora -- Arancini Sicialani
The Chef: Aldo Velaj
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 white onion, finely minced
2 1/4 cups Arborio or Carnaroli rice (about 1 pound)
1/2 cup dry white wine 4 cups (1 quart) water
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
1 pound brie, cut into 1/2-inch dice
Vegetable oil for frying
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups dry breadcrumbs
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sweat until translucent. Add the rice and heat, stirring frequently to coat each grain with olive oil, about 2 minutes. Add the white wine and cook until almost completely evaporated. Add the water, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. For this recipe, cook the rice until it is completely tender and almost overcooked, not al dente (as for traditional risotto). Stir occasionally, and if the rice starts becoming dry, add water. When the rice is finished, stir in the mushrooms, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove from heat and spread the risotto onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Set aside to cool. Cup about 1/4 cup risotto and use it to enclose a piece of brie. (Hint: Use wet hands to pack the rice into very tight, smooth, round balls.) Place on a tray and repeat. Chill the arancini in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Fill a medium saucepan halfway with vegetable oil. Preheat to 300°F for deep-frying. Set up separate containers with flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs. Working down the line, roll the arancini in the flour, the egg wash, and finally the breadcrumbs. Repeat until all the balls are breaded. (Hint: Use one hand for the dry ingredients and the other for the egg wash.) Fry the balls in batches until golden, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve.
Note: The arancini can be formed and chilled up to 12 hours ahead of time. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you're ready to finish them, bread and fry them.
INGREDIENTS: Tomato and mint sauce
2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 handful mint -- minced
1 garlic clove – minced
Small onion -- chopped
Salt and white pepper (to taste)
4 teaspoons olive oil
- Chop onion; peel garlic and mince.
- In heavy skillet, place the olive oil and heat over medium heat.
- Add onion and garlic; stir occasionally and cook for 5-6 minutes until onion is tender and caramelized.
- Add tomatoes to skillet. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring often.
- Simmer for about 10-15 minutes; sauce will thicken.
- Add salt and white pepper to taste. Fold in mint. Serve this sauce with the arancini or refrigerate and use as needed by reheating slowly.
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