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We will continue to offer the best italian recipes that we can possibly find and create thanks to my lovely wife and great children. I would also like to thank my mother and mother in law for their lovely recipes and of coarse all the family members that have given us advice to make the Italian Cook website a success and a wonderfull addition to all the recipe websites on the wide world web. Elena, Mario, Riccardo and Carmelo

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My Sicilian Recipes

Arangini (Rice Balls)

 

Arangini (Rice Balls)

Arangini (Rice Balls)Ingredients:

• 500 grams of rice (italian rice ie: pastene, primo, unico brand)
• 1 cup of grated cheese romano or parmesan
• 3 eggs
• breadcrumbs as needed
• parsley
• basil
• black pepper
• salt
• meat sauce
• vegetable oil for frying

Directions:

1• Cook rice until tender. Drain and rinse. Pour rice in a large bowl and add eggs, cheese, parsley, basil, black pepper and a little salt. Mix well.

2• Take rice mixture in your hands, lay it flat on your hand, make an indentation in the center, add the sauce, cheese, and add the rice on top to form a round ball. Roll in breadcrumbs and put aside.

3• Heat oil and fry rice balls until a golden brown. Remove and put on paper towel. Serve after cooling for 10 minutes.

Baccala Fritto a la Santa Elisabetta

 

Baccala Fritto a la Santa Elisabetta

Fried Salted CodIngredients:

• 2 lbs. of salted cod
• 1/2 cup of olive oil
• lemon juice (2)
• fresh parsley-chopped
• pepper
• 3 eggs
• flour

Directions:

1• Bath baccala in a pot of cold water for two days to reduce the salt content. Change water two or three times a day.
2• When ready heat 1 inch of oil in a deep skillet/dip baccala in flour, and shake off excess/fry until golden,drain on paper towels, and serve with lemon wedges. or
3 • Make a marinade with oil,lemon juice and pepper/cut baccala into 2 inch pieces, and marinate overnight. Prepare batter by beating eggs together with 3 tbls. of flour,salt, and pepper/heat oil in a deep skillet/dredge fish in flour, and dip into batter/fry until golden on both sides.

Calamari Fritti a la padella

 

Calamari Fritti a la padella

Calamari Fritti a la padellaIngredients:

• 3 lbs. squid-cleaned, and cut into rings
• oil for frying
• 1 cup of flour
• 2 tbls corn starch
• salt and pepper
• lemon wedges for garnishing

Directions:

Make sure you run very cold water over the calamari - drain excess water and then dredge in flour before frying them.

Do not over fry the calamari. I highly recommend a cooking thermometer for oil which will give you an accurate read when frying the calamari. The ideal temperature is 325 to 375 Fahrenheit.

1• Heat 1 inch of oil in a deep skillet until the right termperature has been achieved (as mentioned above) and then dip calamari in flour, shaking off excess flour mix and then fry until golden

2• Drain on paper towels and then add salt and pepper to your taste and garnish with lemon wedges

 

Miscateddri - Sicilian Calzone

 

Miscateddri - Sicilian Calzone

This recipe is one of my mothers. I hope you enjoy them. Now I can pass the recipe onto my friends as they have always asked me for it but never got around to write it down.

Miscateddri - Sicilian CalzoneIngredients:

Makes: 18 to 24
For the starter:
• 1 envelope (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
• 1/2 teaspoon sugar
• 1 cup lukewarm water
For the dough:
• 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon plus 1/3 cup vegetable oil
For the meat filling:
• 2 to 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
• 2 onions, chopped
• 1 pound pork
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the spinach filling (optional):
• 1 pound spinach, or chard
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the balance of ingredients:
• Black olives
• 4 potatoes cut in small cubes
• freshly grated black pepper
• salt

Description:

1• To make the starter for the dough, in a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the lukewarm water. Set aside for 10 minutes until frothy.
2• To make the dough, in a bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and the 1 teaspoon oil. Add the starter and using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, beat on medium speed until a soft dough forms, about 10 minutes. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 2 balls. Place the balls in a bowl, add the 1/3 cup oil, and toss to coat the balls with the oil. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise until almost doubled in size, about 1-1/2 hr.
3• Meanwhile, select one of the fillings and prepare it. The meat filling you do not have to cook it, just add the salt and pepper and set aside.
4• To prepare the spinach or chard filling, cook until wilted in the rinsing water clinging to the leaves, squeeze the spinach dry, and chop finely. Place in a bowl and add salt and pepper and mix well .<
5• To prepare the onion filling, in a pan warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until soft and golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, place in a bowl, and let cool.
6• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two cookie sheet pans with olive oil or vegetable oil.
7• On a lightly floured work surface, with a rolling pin roll out a ball of dough into a large circle (the size of a large pizza) and about 1/5 inch thick (the thinner the dough is spread the better). Take one tablespoon of oil and spread all over the flattened dough.

8• Now you can start spreading your ingredients just like you are dressing a pizza. First your meat, then your potatoes, your onions, chards or spinach and the olives.

9• Now take the edge of the dough and start rolling it with your hands as if rolling a large cigar (ha! ha!), start from the right hand side and work your way to the left but be a little careful when rolling it because the dough with the filling becomes a little thin and will tend to tear. Once you have finished rolling it, cut the roll every 2 to 2-1/2 inches long all the way across. Take each piece in your hand and twist both end into a ball and place in the greased pan about 1-1/2” apart.

10• Bake the impenulati or the miscateddri (Sicilian-slang) until golden, approx. 30 minutes. Serve hot or warm. If you make a large quantity you can also freeze them. Enjoy. Courtesy my Mom.

 

Risotto - Sicilian Style

 

Risotto - Sicilian Style

Risotto - Sicilian StyleIngredients:

Serves 4

• 2 tablespoons exra virgin olive oil
• 6 tablespoons salted butter
• 1 large onion chopped fine
• 1 teaspoon saffron threads
• 2 cups arborio rice
• 1/2 cup white wine
• 4 cups chicken broth
• 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmagiano cheese

Directions:

1• Heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened for 10 minutes. Add the saffron stir for 1 minute. Add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until the rice is well coated for 3 to 4 minutes.
2• Add the wine to the rice, and then add a 4 to 6 ounce of simmering broth and cook, stirring constantly, making sure to wipe the sides and bottom of the pot clean as you stir, until all the liquid is absorbed.
3• Continue adding the stock a little at a time, waiting until the liquid is completely absorbed before adding more.
4• After about 20 minutes begin to taste the rice. It is ready when it is tender and creamy, but still a little firm to the bite.
5• Stir in the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter and the Parmagiano cheese until well mixed. You are now ready to serve.

 

Zucchini alla Siciliana

 

Zucchini alla Siciliana

Zucchini alla SicilianaIngredients:

• 2 medium zucchini
• 4 medium potatoes
• 1 whole onion
• 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
• 1/2 cup romano or parmesan cheese (mixed would be nice)
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• Salt and pepper

Directions:

1• Slice zucchini and potatoies 14 inch thick and place in large bowl.
2• Pour oil over zucchini and potatoes and mix with your hands.
3• Sprinkle breadcrumbs, chees, salt and pepper over vegetables and mix again.
4• Spread the vegetables in a large pan (cookie sheet type). Set oven at 400 degrees and cook for 25 to 30 minutes.

 

Sicilian cannoli

 

Sicilian cannoli

Sicilian CannoliIngredients:

• 1 pinch salt
• 1 tbsp sugar
• 1 tbsp butter
• 150 g flour
• dry white wine
• 250 g fresh ricotta (saputo)
• 2 tbsp chopped bitter chocolate
• 1 tsp cocoa
• 1 tbsp orange essence
• crushed pistachio nuts
• 1 tsp coffee powder
• 2 tbsp candied orange and citron
• almond oil
• peanut oil
• yolk

Description:

To make the pastry case:

1• Place the flour, cocoa, coffee powder, a pinch of salt and the sugar on a pastry board or work surface and mix.
2• Form a well and work in the smoothed butter and enough wine to make a firm dough.
3• Form a ball wrap in cling film and refrigerate for an hour.

Filling:

1• Dice the candied fruit and the chocolate.
2• Sieve the ricotta and then whisk in the icing sugar, the orange essence and then add the candied peel and chocolate dice. Refrigerate.

Cannoli case:

1• Roll out the pastry and using a round 9'/18cm pastry cutter, cut 18 disks, kneading the dough each time.
2• Stretch each disk out into an oval, brush with almond oil and roll around the bamboo or tin tubes.
3• Brush with a little egg yolk where they overlap and press down to make them stick properly.
4• Lift the ends of the pastry slightly curling them back - makes them easier to remove.
5• Heat the peanut oil in the frying pan and deep fry the cannoli, two at a time. When they are golden brown remove them and drain on kitchen paper.
6• As soon as they cool enough to be able to hold them in your fingers, remove them from the tubes, oil the tubes again and wrap them in more pastry to fry some more.

Assembling:

Only fill the cannoli when you are ready to eat them or they go soggy. They keep in a biscuit tin for a few days. Decorate the ends with a little crushed pistachio nut, giving the typical green of so many Sicilian desserts.

 

Ciarduna - Traditional Sicilian Ricotta Filled Pastry

 

Ciarduna - Traditional Sicilian Ricotta Filled Pastry

Ciarduna - Traditional Sicilian Rocotta Filled PastryIngredients:

Recipe for 30 ciarduna (revised January 7th, 2008)

Dough Mix for 30 ciarduna

• flour - 3 cups
• 250 grams of sugar
• 200 grams of Strutto* (click here for defintion)
• 2 teaspoons vanila
• 1 envelope active yeast
• 30 grams of Ammonia Baking Powder* (ammonium bicarbonate)
• Homogenized milk as needed for kneading dough preperation
• crushed almonds (roast in oven whole - chill, and then blend finely when cooled)
• icing sugar (when decorating the tops of the ciarduna's)

Ricotta Mix - filling

Filling: Sieve the ricotta and then whisk in the icing sugar, lemon essence and then add almond dust - mix well and chill.

Description:

1• Mix flour, sugar, ammonia, vanila and yeast.

2• Add milk a little at a time until you get the proper consistancy for the dough (consistancy for the dough should not be to hard and not to soft - in the middle). Let the dough rest until it levetates.

3• The technique for making the hollow body is simply by cutting the end off a broom stick (non dyed or painted), about 8 inches long and rolling the dough around the wood. You can buy the wood object at a specialty ethnic pastry shop supply company.

4• Put in the oven at 325 degrees until lightly browned to maintain softness and a little cookie type texture. Lightly grease the pan so the pastry does'nt stick or use non stick aluminum paper that is now available at major supermarkets.

5• Remove from oven and then let cool. (traditionally the dough mix was cooked in oil - I personally don't like that - I like the cookie texture the oven gives)

6• Add the ricotta mix in the hollow body of the pastry.

7• For decoration lightly sprinkle icing sugar and bit of almonds.

Enjoy - Please do not copy this recipe unless you intend to give me credit - please let me know if you want to add this recipe to your site. I'm the only site with this recipe that was translated by a recipe my grandmother gave me in Sicily. Please don't use without permission. I will be more than happy to share this with you - just let me know.

Ammonia Baking Powder: (ammonium bicarbonate) This LEAVENER is the precursor of today's baking powder and baking soda. It's still called for in some European baking recipes, mainly for cookies. It can be purchased in drugstores but must be ground to a powder before using. Also known as hartshorn, carbonate of ammonia and powdered baking ammonia.

*Strutto: Lard is fat from a pig. It may or may not be rendered. Fat from beef is referred to as "beef tallow" or "suet".

For cooking, Lard has been treasured for centuries upon centuries amongst Northern Europeans and Chinese. Now, in many people's minds, Lard is so far out of fashion that they wouldn't allow it into their grocery carts, let alone their homes. It's certainly not used much anymore in processed foods, as that would put off buyers of products who are Muslim or Jewish.

Someone's using it, though, because you still see it at the supermarkets. It never really went out of fashion in cooking in the American South. It's still used a great deal in Chinese cooking, and in all Latin American cooking including Mexican. And, in fact, sales of Lard in America have started to rise again since the early 2000's, perhaps due to the growing Spanish population. And maybe, just maybe, home pastry cooks are sneaking it into their carts again.

It is a great carrier of taste, and has a very high smoke point. In baking, Lard doesn't melt as quickly as butter in crusts and breads, so it allows for lighter finished products. Some feel that while butter gives good flavour, Lard gives the best texture, so they often swap in a bit of Lard for some of the butter in recipes such as pie crusts.

Publisher - Get permission before using on your website.


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