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Chef Gaetano of Ortygia shares a recipe that is a Christmas tradition of his family — Arancini, which means “little oranges.” Arancini is risotto cooked in a special Sicilian fashion stuffed with an aromatic meat mixture, dipped in panko and deep-fried.
+ Olive oil
+ Arborio rice
+ Sicilian sea salt
+ Chicken stock
+ Egg yolk
+ Egg whites
+ Grated Parmesan cheese
+ Extra virgin olive oil
+ Sliced onions
+ Ground beef or lean ground beef or ground sirloin
+ Cardamom powder
+ Tomato sauce
+ 1 tbs tomato paste
+ Add butter and a drop of olive oil to sauté pan
+ Throw Arborio rice into the pan for short period of time to give it a little color. Stir it around.
+ Throw some course grain Sicilian sea salt into the rice.
+ Add a little water and chicken stock with saffron threads (soaked in the stock and water previously).
+ Add a little boiling water that has been boiling on the stove separately to the rice. This whole process will take about 20 minutes: Continue to stir the rice and add water until the rice comes to the right consistency.
+ While the risotto is cooking, start the meat mixture, which is the filling.
+ Start with a drop of extra virgin olive oil and add some onions in the sauté pan. Cook the onions for just a few minutes until they are translucent, but not quite brown.
+ Add ground beef and cook until brown.
+ Sprinkle a mixture of cardamom, coriander and cinnamon into the meat mixture.
+ Add a little more cinnamon and cook the raw cinnamon flavor through.
+ Add a little tomato sauce (made previously) and 1 tbs of tomato paste and mix
+ Add a little bit of water and cook until all of the meat is coated, which will take 5 minutes.
+ When risotto is cooked, transfer to a wood cutting board to cool. Use your spatula or spoon to move it around a little to cool.
+ Poor some of the remaining sauce on the rice to flavor it.
+ Add egg yolk to hold it together.
+ Add pre-grated Parmesan cheese.
+ Fold all ingredients together until everything is amalgamated.
+ Let rice cool for a few minutes.
+ Take rice and form into the shape of a ball about the size of a pool ball.
+ Make a large hole with your finger in the rice ball.
+ Add some of the meat mixture to the hold in the rice ball and top with a little more rice and reshape into a ball.
+ Roll the ball in flour and bang off the excess.
+ Coat the Arancini in egg whites.
+ Roll the ball in panko until completely covered.
+ Stick the ball into the fryer until it is golden brown, not too dark.
+ Sprinkle with sea salt.
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