I love Trader Joe’s. It is probably my favorite grocery store in Brooklyn. I usually find good quality products at a reasonable price there. I buy an excellent cold-pressed olive oil from Sicily and other fine food. Yesterday, I was surfing the aisles of the store located on Court Street to discover new items. I was thrilled when I first saw the Arancini Bites in the frozen food section. I grabbed the cartoon right away. However, I got disappointed instantaneously. The tagline below Arancini Bites read “rice balls filled with fontina cheese”. This tagline alone made me decide that these little bites were not for me…
Let me explain better and sorry if I sound like a snob purist here. BUT, Trader Joe’s cannot mess with my arancini… Better call it something else. I concede that I am not a big cheese lover, but I can cope with milder cheese and mozzarella is one.
As matter of fact arancini is made with mozzarella, not with fontina cheese! Fontina cheese is all the way up from the North, in Val d’Aosta. No way that this arancini mix could have happened in Italy, especially in the past.
Does Trader Joe’s know something I do not know? The flyer I picked up to read at home says that arancini is a traditional Sicilian snack food. I reiterate not if filled with fontina cheese. Now that I vented, I might be ready to give it a try next time I visit the store. In the meantime, please check original recipe in the Food section of this web site.
Fabrizia Lanza shows how to make caponata (a Sicilian eggplant dish).
A video recipe of sardines in beccafico style (stuffed sardines) with Fabrizia Lanza from the Anna Tasca Lanza cooking school in Sicily. Fabrizia Lanza is a cooking teacher, art historian and daughter of one of Sicily’s oldest aristocratic families. She joined her mother at the eponymous Anna Tasca Lanza cooking school, located in Vallelunga, site of the family’s renowned Regaleali vineyard. The cooking school celebrates Sicily’s traditional dishes, from the aristocratic cuisine of Palermo to the ingredient driven foods of the countryside. To these traditions Fabrizia brings the passion of an anthropologist and the eye of an artist.
and this is my mom’s recipe I also refer to…
- 2 tablespoons raisins
- 5 tablespoons white breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- ¼ pound Pecorino cheese
- 8 anchovy fillets
- 1 tablespoons minced parsley
- 4 ounces grated Pecorino
- 2 pounds sardines
- 1 clove garlic
Soak the raisins in warm water, then squeeze out the excess water. Brown 4 tbs. of breadcrumbs in 1 tbs. oil, and mix all the ingredients except the laurel to get a smooth stuffing. Remove the split open heads, bone the sardines and pat dry. Spread them open on a table and fill with stuffing. Fold them lengthwise and place on a baking dish. Drizzle with breadcrumbs, olive oil, and add the laurel. Cook in the oven at 450º F for 15 mins.
- 1 pound cleaned calamari
- 1 pound small shrimp
- 1 pound mussels
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- celery (optional)
- parsley, finely chopped
- extra virgin olive oil
- 2 fresh lemons
Clean and de-vein your shrimp, clean and cut your calamari into thin rings. Cook your shrimp and calamari for only a few minutes by boiling it in water with some lemon peel. Mussels can be steamed open in a large pan with the lid on, in a inch or two of water. They are cooked when they open, usually within 5 minutes.
Once cooked, remove the mussels from their shells and put into a bowl. When the calamari and shrimp are cooked, you can add them to the bowl. Drain the water after it all has cooled. Slice or dice your celery and add salt, pepper,and light sprinkling of parsley to taste. Toss, keep in fridge until ready to serve.
Serve with lemon wedges and arugola as garnish.
We published No Reservations Anthony Bourdain – Sicily Part I. Here is part II.