Chef it up
Few weeks ago, a nice family Sunday in the woods around Noto Antica offered a fantastic ingredient for a great risotto: wild saffron.
The fields were blooming with wild crocus and I could not resist the temptation to pick my own saffron. So the whole family helped me out and we brought back home a nice bunch of beautiful purple-blue flowers hiding the tasty golden stems.
The work in the kitchen was easy, I took the stems out and made a simple saffron risotto, prepared using butter, white onion, spumante and, obviously, the saffron stems.
For a 21st century Sicilian Easter lunch I suggest a modern interpreatation of a classic of Sicilian street food cuisine: Arancino aperto.
There are many versions of arancini around Sicily, the main variations being: rice with or without saffron, ragù for the filling with or without tomato sauce, filling with or without hard boiled eggs and cheese, etc.
Here I took inspiration from the typical arancini you find in my area, the Modica and Ragusa area, with saffron, ragù, cheese and hard boiled eggs.
Spring is in the air in Sicily and we celebrated with a very seasonal risotto we prepared during a cooking class last Tuesday. Risotto with wild asparagus, shrimps and cocoa nibs.
Prepare the asparagus and the shrimp.
Prepare the asparagus by breaking off the tough ends (the woody part of the spear) and cutting the tender part into 1 to 1 1/2-inch pieces (tips longer). Clean the shrimp, deveine them and keep the shells for the stock.
Then make a wild asparagus and shrimp-shell stock.
Posted on Wednesday 30th of December 2009 under Chef it up
While Christmas was all about tradition with the "mpanati" and "pastizza", the "mustazzola", "cuccidatu" and "nucatuli", New Years' eve was about being creative in the kitchen and I really enjoyed preparing my new recipe, a savoury version of "cuccidatu", for my family and friends.
I love this new recipe I came up with: Pork fillet with salinae-chocolate in salt crust.
The idea came about a year ago while enjoying one of Antica Dolceria Bonajuto creation Salinae, Modica's traditional chocolate flavoured with Mozia sea salt.