Arancini

Sometime ago I tried these typical Italian rice bowls and like them. So I wanted to give it a go one day. The ones I tried had spinach and cheese inside. I quick search showed me videos for arancini but with meat. It looks good but wanted to try the spinach version so I went a bit free style.

These are the videos used as reference: link1 and link2

Ingredients for the rice balls

  • 1 and 1/2 cup of arborio/paella rice
  • 3 cups of boiling water
  • half onion chopped + splash of olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt
  • knob of butter
  • 1 tsp of tumeric

Process

  • Fry the onion with the oil in a deep pan until soft
  • Add the rice and mix all together for a minute
  • Add the boiling water, salt, butter and tumeric
  • Cook at middle temperature and stir often
  • Once all liquid is absorbed, spread the rice in a tray to cool down.

Ingredients for the filling

  • 500g of washed spinachs
  • half onion chopped + splash of olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • splash of milk
  • 1 big tsp flour

Process

  • Fry the onion with the olive oil until soft.
  • Add the garlic and fry until golden
  • Add the spinach. They will reduce quite a lot.
  • Stir often and once the spinach are like a paste, add the milk and flour
  • Remove from heat and let it cool down

Frying the rice balls

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • Breadcrumbs
  • sunflower oil (never through olive in the sink please!)
  • Cheese

Process

  • Heat up a deep pan with the sunflower oil.
  • have a plate with the breadcrumbs and another with the mixed eggs
  • For making the balls, as per videos, wet your hands, make a decent ball, and make a hole with a finger.
  • Fill the hole with the cheese and spinach.
  • Cover the ball with a bit more rice and follow the technique to shape it like an egg
  • Pass the ball by the egg, then breadcrumbs and finally into the hot oil.
  • Fry until golden

This is my result:

Veredict:

To be honest, they look as I remembered but my spinach filling wasnt as great as the ones I tried.

I think I need to use mozarella cheese and add something else to the spinach mix (salt? nutmeg?)

Next time I will try to find the Arancini recipe with spinach.

As usual, with practice, comes mastery.

Will try again.

Lemon Polenta Cake

I had a couple of lemon in the fridge so I wanted to used them in a cake. I had a recipe that I wanted to try for some time so this was my chance.

Ingredients:

  • 250g ground almonds
  • 100g fine polenta / cornmeal
  • 50g coarse polenta
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 250g (good) butter + a bit for greasing
  • zest and juice of 3 (good) lemons (medium size)
  • 4 free range / organic medium eggs

Process

  • Preheat oven at 180C. Grease a 20cm round cake tin
  • Mix the almonds, both kinds of polenta and the baking powder together in a bowl and put aside.
  • Put the butter, lemon zest and sugar into another bowl and cream together. I used a wooden spoon. Get ready to sweat a bit. Once everything is mixed, start adding an egg at each time, mix well, and add another.
  • Add the initial bow with the polenta and almond to the mixture. Mix well until everything is combined. Add the lemon juice. Mix well.
  • Poor everything on the tin and smooth the top. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Check the top is brown.

It is a quick, moist and easy cake. And it is tasty!

Ensaladilla Rusa (Russian Salad)

This blog is mainly for “Today I learned…” (TIL). And that can be anything…. so don’t get surprised. It could be worse ™

“Ensaladilla Rusa” (Russian Salad) is a typical Spanish dish. I remember we had it nearly every week in summer time. With the hot weather, having something fresh, it was a bless. Like “gazpacho” 🙂

But I have never tried it on my own until last weekend. I love cooking (I dont consider myself a good cook though), it is relaxing and I regard it as a very important part of my upbringing and culture. I want to keep it and enjoy it! It has to be simple, humble, tasty, etc. Dont like fancy or over the top things.

So back to the track… You can find many recipes in google/youtube, it is like “Tortilla Española”, each home has its own. This is the one I tried and I liked the result:

Ingredients for the salad

  • 1kg potatoes
  • 500g of frozen vegetables mix (peas, carrots, corn, beans)
  • 1 can of tuna (or 2)
  • 4 boiled eggs (salt and vinegar in the water so the shell doesn’t break)

Ingredient for the mayonesse

  • 1 egg
  • salt
  • juice of 1/2 lemon (you will have to taste and maybe you dont need to use all of it)
  • 500ml oil (I mixed 250ml sunflower oil + 250ml virgin olive oil)

Process:

  • Boil the potatoes with enough water and salt (skin included). Be sure the potatoes are similar size so the go tender around the same time. Cut them if needed. They are ready when you can cross a knife through the potato without effort. This is not mash potatoes though 🙂 Let them cool down
  • I put the frozen salad in boiling water for 1-2 minutes so they became eatable again.
  • Boil the eggs with enough water (salt and vinegar). Around 10 minutes. Let cool down a bit under a bit of cold water. Then remove the shell (it shouldn’t be too difficult) and cut them in small cubes.
  • Peel the potatoes with your hand and cut them in little cubes (like the eggs)
  • In a glass try, mix the potatoes, vegetables, eggs and tuna. Let them cool in the fridge.
  • Once you get your mayonnaise, add it to the mix. Cool a bit in the fridge and ready to eat!

Mayonnaise Process:

  • Put in your hand mixer glass, the egg, salt, some lemon juice and a bit of oil to cover the mixer head.
  • Start mixing and it will become white. Then start adding the rest of oil bit a bit.
  • The mix shouldn’t be liquid neither solid. Something like heavier egg whites.
  • Taste it, very important. Add more salt? More lemon? Mine had a strong lemony flavour but remember you will add it to the salad.
  • Ready to use with the salad.