Arancini - Fried Sicilian Goodness

Who doesn't love something deep fried? The more I dive into all of Nonna's recipes, the more I realize that it's all carbs and oil. But I suppose that's why it's all so darn good. Arancini was a classic in Nonna's house. To me, it's comfort food. When I traveled to Italy or when I find a good Italian restaurant in San Diego, I am overjoyed with I see these on the menu!

These are fairly simple to make, but a tad time consuming since there a few steps. It is worth it!

(ah-ran-CHEE-nee) Stuffed Rice Balls

For the Filling:
1/4 cups peas
2 oz ground beef
1 minced garlic clove 
4 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp olive oil

For the Rice:
3 cups cooked rice
1 egg beaten
1 tbsp minced parsley 
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups seasoned bread
Vegetable Oil

Makes 4 - 6
Heat olive oil in small sauce pan. Over medium heat sautee garlic until they are transparent, but not brown.
Add peas and ground beef. Cook until beef is fully cooked and juices are evaporated. Add tomato sauce and cook for 5 minutes.
Combine rice, beaten egg, parsley, tomato paste, s+p with fork.
Put 2 tbsp of rice in hand, press thumb in center, place tsp of mixture in center and cover with two more spoons of rice.
Shape into a ball, roll in bread crumbs and place on wax paper.
Heat oil to 375 degrees in deep fryer or a saucepan. Fry the rice balls for 4 - 5 minutes until coating is golden brown. 

Serve warm and enjoy!


Meanwhile at the Pie Hole

Does anyone remember Pushing Daisies? Every few months I remember how much I enjoyed that show and hope that I might suddenly find it on Netflix or Hulu. The series was short lived and maybe I just loved it because of the central pie theme, but I thought it was strange and wonderful.

Sunday evening while watching Downton Abbey, Ms. Padmore was baking a pie and Jon said "we should make a pie!" Which means, you should make a pie, so I can eat it. Well, ok. It WAS the first day since the beginning of Fall that it actually felt like Fall, so what better way to celebrate that with Nonna's Apple Pie? Actually, in Jon's defense, he loves baking pies. As we have learned though, we can't make an Apple Pie together. Pumpkin pie? Sure. Pecan pie? Why not? Apple pie? No way. We both grew up making Apple pies; myself with Nonna and Jon with his mom. Although they are basically the same recipe, the way Jon cuts the apples is all wrong! He doesn't even roll out the crust! Food is memories. The way we learn to make apple pie is so strongly tied to these memories and generations in the kitchen. So, he can deal with my cubed apples, so long as it reminds me of Nonna!

2 cups flour
1 stick + 3 tbs butter
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbs sugar
1 egg separated
5 tbs ice water

Pie Filling
10 granny smith apples
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
5 tbs flour
2 tbs butter

Preheat oven to 450. Mix flour, salt and sugar. Cut in butter. Mix egg yolk and water then add to dry mixture. Mix until combined and separate into two halves. Roll out each half between wax paper until about 1/8 inch thick. (Sprinkle flour onto wax paper to prevent sticking). Place one half at the bottom of a prepared pie pan.

Peel apples and cut into small cubes. Combine apples, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and flour. Place in pie pan and place chopped pieces of butter throughout mixture.

With second pie crust, either place whole over the apple mixture or slice into pieces to create basket weave.

Using a brush, coat top of pie crust with egg whites. This is something Nonna always used to do to create a sort of "glue" but it also kept the crust looking shiny rather than dull and burnt.

Bake for 45 - 60 minutes. Eat warm with ice cream of course (or in my case, breakfast).