Sicilian Street Food: Arancini
Sicily is famous for its street food, from freshly cooked calamari to crisply fried panella. One of our favourite Sicilian streets are Arancini. Here is a short recipe to evoke the smells of Sicilian streets.
INGREDIENTS FOR ABOUT 12 BALLS
Saffron 1 tsp - (1 sachet)
Butter 2 tbsp (30 g)
Vialone nano rice 2 ¾ cups (500 g)
Fine salt 1 pinch
Water 5 cups (1.2 l)
Caciocavallo cheese 1 cup (100 g) - (grated)
FOR THE RAGÙ FILLING
Fine salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
Butter 1 ¾ tbsp (25 g)
Pork 3 ½ oz (100 g)
Extra virgin olive oil to taste
Tomato puree ¾ cup (200 ml)
Peas 0.6 cup (80 g)
Caciocavallo cheese 1 ¾ oz (50 g)
Red wine 3 ½ tbsp (50 ml)
FOR THE HAM FILLING
Baked ham 1 oz (30 g) - (1 slice)
Mozzarella cheese 2 oz (60 g)
FOR THE BATTER
Flour 00 1 ¾ cup (200 g)
Fine salt 1 pinch
Water 1 ⅓ cup (300 ml)
FOR BREADING AND FRYING
Breadcrumbs to taste
Vegetable oil to taste
To prepare the arancini, start by boiling the rice in 5 cups (1.2 L) of salted boiling water so that when it’s cooked, the water will be completely absorbed (this will ensure that all of the starch remains in the pan and you’ll get a very dry and compact rice). Cook for about 15 minutes, then dissolve the saffron in a drop of hot water and add it to the cooked rice. Add the chopped butter as well.
Add the grated cheese , mix well to combine everything, then pour the rice onto a wide, shallow tray, spread evenly, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to cool completely (the wrap will keep the surface of the rice from drying out). Let the rice rest for a couple of hours at room temperature. In the meantime, prepare your ragu filling, starting by peeling and finely slicing the onion.
Sweat the chopped onion in a pan with 2 tablespoons of oil and the butter, then add the ground meat. Brown over high heat, then add the wine and allow the alcohol to evaporate.
At this point, add the tomato puree and salt and pepper to taste, cover, and simmer on low heat for at least 20 minutes. Add the peas halfway through.
While the peas are cooking, cut the caciocavallo cheese, ham, and mozzarella into cubes. Now all your fillings are ready.
Once the rice has cooled completely (this will take at least a couple of hours), you can start shaping your arancini balls. Keep a bowl of water close by so you can moisten your hands to help you during the process. Taking a couple of tablespoons of rice at a time (around 120 g of rice), press the mixture into the hollow of your palm to form a shell, spoon in a teaspoon of ragu filling, and add a few cubes of caciocavallo cheese.
Next, fill in the base of the arancino ball with the rice, and shape it into a point. You can shape all of the arancini stuffed with ragu in this way.
Roll into balls. Now that you have all of your arancini ready, you'll need to prepare the batter. Pour the sifted flour, a pinch of salt and the water into a bowl. Mix thoroughly with a whisk to prevent any lumps from forming.
Next, dip the arancini into the batter one at a time, ensuring that you cover them completely, and roll them in the breadcrumbs.
Heat the oil in a saucepan and bring it to a temperature of 340°F (170°C), at which point you can start frying your arancini, one at a time, two at most, so as not to lower the temperature of the oil. Once they are golden brown, drain them by placing them on a tray lined with paper towel. These arancini are definitely best served nice and hot!
What to read next?
See more of our writing here
GUEST EDIT | RUBY ELMHIRST
Ruby Elmhirst is a creative producer, working with sustainable and socially conscious designers, artists and brands on unique projects across an array of mediums. Originally from London, her family lives between rural Jamaica and New York. This contrast has vastly informed her mission to promote opportunity, acceptance, education and diversity within design. For this edit she shares her interior wishlist as we get into winter and spend more time indoors.
THE JADID MOVEMENT IN SOVIET UZBEKISTAN
We spoke to Niloufar Edmonds, the curator of 'Bound for Life and Education: Sara Eshonturaeva and the Jadid Movement in Soviet Uzbekistan' about th...
My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird: Striking New Fiction by Afghan Women Writers
'My Pen Is the Wing of a Bird' is an extraordinary anthology of fiction by Afghan women writers, published in Feb 2022 by MacLehose Press in the UK...
NFT Print Capsule
For the Print Sale for EMERGENCY 2022, some of the photographers are offering one-off prints as NFTs, some for the first time!Including Matthieu Paley, Glen Wilde & Michael Christopher Brown.
EMERGENCY PRINT SALE 2022
On the 15th of August 2021, Afghanistan fell to the Taliban. As the world looked on, ISHKAR launched a sale of photographic prints to raise money for EMERGENCY Hospitals in Afghanistan. Like you, thousands of generous people contributed.
One year later the world’s attention has moved on. However the situation in Afghanistan is getting worse and worse. We’ve teamed up with an amazing group of photographers to run the print sale again. This is our opportunity to show Afghanistan that we still care. That we have not forgotten. This is our chance to direct crucial aid to where it is needed most.
Collection: Handmade in Pakistan & Yemen
Our handmade shirts and soap stone bowls, photographed by Charles Thiefaine on the island of Socotra, Yemen. November 2021.
The Houses of Beirut by Julie Audi
It’s been a whirlwind for Beirut. Lebanon’s capital has spent the past twenty years trying to rebuild itself and its identity. I grew up in a city ...
Do we stay or do we go?
When Afghanistan fell to the Taliban we immediately paused trading with Afghanistan. After much deliberation, we have now taken the decision to con...
GUEST EDIT | SELMA DABBAGH
Selma Dabbagh is a British Palestinian lawyer, novelist and short story writer. We asked Selma which ISHKAR pieces are inspiring her this winter. See here selection here:
Act For Afghanistan: Ways to Continue Supporting
Now is not the time to stop reading, talking and thinking about Afghanistan. The situation continues to worsen by the day. So we've put together a few actions that you can take to make sure the world doesn't turn its back on Afghanistan, when it needs us all the most.
Mosul by Olivia Rose Empson
Olivia Rose Empson
Mosul, a city in the North of Iraq, is gradually remembering the steps to a long forgotten tune. Once a vibrant area with art, coffee shops and lo...
GUEST EDIT | CARMEN DE BAETS
Lebanese-Dutch Carmen Atiyah de Baets is CARMEN’s co-founder, a multifunctional guesthouse, kitchen, gallery and shop in the heart of Amsterdam.
Explore Neighbourhood Gems - Columbia Road
This summer we will be hosting different pop ups on London's Columbia Road, home to some of London's best restaurants, street bars and independent boutiques. Combine your pop up visit with some of these local highlights:
GUEST EDIT | IBI IBRAHIM
Ibi Ibrahim is an American Yemeni curator, artist, writer, filmmaker and musician.
Know Your History: 5 Afghan Women You Should Know
Words by Shamayel, founder of Blingistan. Illustrations by Blingistan + Daughters of Witches. How many of these five extraordinary women have you h...
Blingistan as in the land (-istan) of Bling
We spoke with Blingistan founder, Shamayel, about the need for playful, bold, conversation starters that can change the narrative about Afghanistan.
GUEST EDIT: JAMES SEATON
We invited James Seaton, co-founder of TOAST, to cast his well trained design eye over our collection and to be our very first guest editor.
Who gets what: our product pricing explained
How, we are often asked, can a box of six glasses made in Afghanistan, one of the world’s poorest countries, be sold in London for £80? In this blog post we aim to show you who gets what and why.
A letter in the time of COVID-19
This is the time for facts, not fear. This is the time for science, not rumours. This is the time for solidarity, not stigma. We are all in this together, and we can only stop it together.
Paradise Lost & Found: Babur Gardens
A guest blog by Lucy Fisher I would like to hazard a guess that the first image which comes to mind when asked to think of Afghanistan is probably not a garden in full bloom, carefully tended to by a team of dedicated local gardeners. Despite the horrific turmoil...
A Conversation With Ibi Ibrahim
A guest blog by Louis Prosser After almost four years of incalculable destruction and suffering in Yemen, you might think that the last sparks of beauty and creativity had been crushed. You would be wrong.Ibi Ibrahim is a 31-year-old artist working mainly in photography and film. He is Yemeni,...
The ultimate sacrifice
[replace_with_featured_image] Fig 1. Babur gardens [source unknown] Fig 2. One of the hospital's where Dr Jerry used to work[source unknown] W...
Timbuktu: A wild story of Myth, Renaissance, Rescue & Ruin
‘I don’t care if you’re in Timbuktu,’ we might say. ‘You’ll be here tomorrow or else!’ Or perhaps, ‘He’s flirted with every girl from here to Timbuktu!’ It means something like God Knows Where, or A Million Miles Away.
'Bebinin, bebinin,' insisted Parsa. I was in the royal city of Esfahan, which the Persians call 'nesf-e jahan' ('half of the world'). In a cramped bazar beneath soaring domes and arches, I was in a world of carpets. 'Look, look: apache, apache!’ The word rang a bell (an American tribe?) but it took me a few seconds to see. It was a truly beautiful piece.
The Pin Project Viewed from the Ground: A Guest Blog
The Pin Project is an initiative ISHKAR launched on Kickstarter last year. We raised over £63,000 to provide jewellery training and work for displaced people living in Burkina Faso, Turkey, Jordan and Afghanistan.
Soqotra: The Evolution of an Alien Island
Give a child a packet of crayons and tell them to draw a fantasy island, and they might well conjure up the Yemeni island of Soqotra.
LET'S WORK IT OUT!
As humans, we crave order. For many, productive work provides this structure. The world around us might be chaotic. But with work we can, at least at times, control what we do in a way we are rarely able in other parts of life.
Tradition as Radical
At the beginning of this year, Flore and I found ourselves at the world trade fair for homewares, Maison et Objet in Paris. After a morning of walking through the colossal trade halls we were quite frankly bored of looking at objects. We were just about to escape and get a coffee when we came across Sebastian Cox’s stand.
Handmade - so what?
Once a hipster trend, the desire for handmade goods has become thoroughly mainstream. It can be seen from the meteoric rise of Etsy, right through to proliferation of the word ‘artisan’ on products ranging from shoes to bread. Handmade products tend to be more expensive, and by no means assure better ‘quality’, so what’s all the fuss about?
Risk: Sliced, Diced and Sprinkled On Top
As wedding season approaches, we have been getting an increasing number of exasperated customers asking when our most popular glasses will be back in stock again. Well, here's the honest answer – we have NO idea.
Traces of Aleppo
[replace_with_featured_image] Fig 1. Traces of Aleppo [source unknown] Zaina Sabbagh bought her first wooden printing block when she was 14. Sh...
Timbuktu & Back
I remember singing a nursery rhyme about Timbuktu when I was in primary school. I can’t remember what it was now – was it ‘from Kalamazoo to Timbuktu’? – but I remember the images clearly. A fabled desert city at the end of the world where Arabs and Africans would meet to trade salt and gold, and in the cool of enormous mud structures blue robed scholars would scribble marginalia in great gold embossed manuscripts.
Can 'crafts' really drive serious economic growth?
Yet we would be wrong to think of crafts as a small sector at the fringes of the global economy. Far from it, crafts are in fact the second largest employer in the developing world, and have a proven track record of leading a number of developing world countries towards developed world status.
Want to help Afghanistan? The case for buying over donating
The World Bank has ranked Afghanistan, as the 177th easiest country in which to do business with in the world. Unfortunately that was out of 188 economies. Here’s a quick barrage of some more dismal figures… In 2014 Afghanistan’s economy lost a third of its value, and annual economic growth slowed from 14% down to 1.5% where it hovers around today.
The Journalism of Things
Every now and then a short video or article pops up on our newsfeed which tells a captivating story about Afghanistan or Syria that has nothing to do with war. For a couple of minutes we are reminded that countries like Afghanistan and Syria are home to talented, energetic people whose lives are not solely defined by the circumstances of the country in which they live. It’s a nice reminder, but we return to our day, forgetting about what we watched or read shortly after.
Afghanistan by Choice
Theresa May’s recent triumph as Tory party leader reminded us of a controversial decision she took earlier this year. Despite 2015 being the most dangerous year to date in terms for civilian casualties, she successfully lifted the UK government’s blanket ban on deportations back to war-torn countries.
Goodbye Peacock House, Hello ISHKAR!
When we set up Peacock House last Christmas, we only intended to sell a handful of cufflinks in order to fund a nice post-Kabul holiday. The response we received was phenomenal, and we sold ten times the number of cufflinks we initially expected to sell! What started out as a week of work for the young group of jewellers we were working with in Kabul, turned into five weeks of full-time employment.
An Artisan Against the Odds
The closing of the Greek/Macedonian border in March left 15,000 refugees stranded in Idomeni. This area became the largest informal refugee camp in Europe since World War II.
FROM TRASH TO TABLE: SYRIAN REFUGEE'S SOLUTION TO LEBANON'S RUBBISH CRISIS
Stepping out of Beirut airport you are immediately hit by the smell of rotting rubbish. It is a heady reminder of the rubbish crisis which hit Beirut a few months ago. With landfill sites overspilling, rubbish lined the streets of Beirut, piling up in forests and river beds surrounding the capital.
Lessons from Lebanon
Whilst European leaders complain that Europe is reaching a critical point where it can no longer absorb any more refugees, and concerns over immigration have driven the UK towards an ignominious EU exit - with a population of just 4 million, Lebanon is home to more refugees than the whole of Europe combined.
WHY MAKING MAKES US FEEL GOOD
I have recently taken up carpentry classes. I have no talent for making things with my hands, and the few things I’ve been able to make are very poorly put together. But for three hours a week I saw, I sharpen, I sand and I hammer. And it makes me feel good.
AFGHANISTAN - QUE LIRE, QUE REGARDER?
Outre le blog de Peacock House, de nombreux ouvrages/documentaires de qualité soulignent différentes facettes de l'Afghanistan. Ce pays a fait couler beaucoup d'encre au sujet de ses guerres, dont il a été le theatre depuis 1979, mais a su aussi seduire ses visiteurs par la richesse de ses montagnes et de ses habitants. L'Afghanistan se découvre aussi sous un autre jour..
The Glassmakers of Herat
In Winter, a thick cloud hangs over Kabul as people light wood and coal burning stoves to warm their homes. As a result the last few weeks Kabul’s weather has been described by Yahoo weather as ‘smoke’. We left the polluted capital, for the western city of Herat for a restorative break and to visit Hajji Sultan, the head of one of Herat’s last remaining glassmaking families.
The Birth of Blue
Until relatively recently in human history ‘blue’ as we know it did not exist. There is no word for ‘blue’ in Ancient Greek, Hebrew, Chinese or Japanese. As hard to imagine as it is, ‘blue’ was simply not a colour the ancients were familiar with.
The Danger of the Single Story
Last night a car rigged with explosives targeted Le Jardin restaurant in Kabul. The explosion killed two people, and wounded 15 others.