(This is an updated posting first published in 2017.)
In Monterey, California the ‘Santa Rosalia Festival’ is fast approaching. Join us the weekend of September 7, 8 and 9 at the Monterey Plaza near Monterey Fisherman’s Wharf.
A favorite comfort food served (at the Monterey Custom House Plaza) is arancini. San Carlos Royal Presidio Chapel, the Custom House Plaza and Fisherman’s Wharf are featured destinations in this video, enjoy:
This long-standing festival connects history, fishing on Monterey Bay and immigration from Sicily, especially from the Palermo area (west side of the island). Love all things from our beautiful Mediterranean island, especially our culture…filled with unique food, music, customs and best of all our generous and gregarious spirit.
Chef Manuel explains, “arancini is a rice ball shape filled with cheese, tomato, peas, sausage (mushrooms or any other vegetable or spices you prefer). It is the perfect comfort food as you get the creamy texture from the inside and the crispy experience from the outside plus you can fill them with whatever you want and it is the perfect way to use the left cooked rice. Sometimes you really need that childhood taste which in a way feeds not only your tummy but especially your heart.”
50 grams of Mozzarella
400 grams of Carnaroli rice, cooked rice
50 grams of Pork and beef chorizo, Salciccia
50 grams of Frozen green peas
2 tablespoons of Tomato paste
200 grams of Dry bread crumbs
100 grams of Bread flour
500 grams of Frying oil
1 pinch of Black pepper
First of all, boil the peas until they are soft, then cut the Italian chorizo into tiny little pieces. After that, cut the mozzarella into pieces. Next, put the cooked rice in a bowl and add the tomato concentrate, a sprinkle of salt, the black pepper and mix everything together.
Roll a tablespoonful of rice into your wet palms to form a ball of your chosen size. Poke a hole in the middle and fill with the peas, chorizo and mozzarella. Then add some extra rice to close the hole and roll the arancini until they have your preferred shape. Repeat the process to make more arancini.
The next step is to prepare three small dishes: one with flour, one with a beaten egg and another with breadcrumbs.
Heat oil on a deep-frying pan, no more than a third full, until the breadcrumbs sizzle at contact. Meanwhile, as the oil heats up, take each rice ball previously prepared and coat them, first in the flour, then in the beaten egg and at last in the bread crumbs; making sure they are well covered. When the oil is hot, cook the arancini (no more two at a time) until slightly brown and then drain on top of kitchen paper.
We accompanied the arancini with a simple sauce of: tomato, red pepper, white wine vinegar, hot chili and salt sauce- this is a delicious dip for the rice balls, served on the side. (Cook these ingredients in a pan for 5 minutes and then blend everything together).
-Acclaimed Chef Morsiani-
Manuel has become a dear friend, he is an expert in Sicilian Cuisine and a strong supporter of Huckleberry Hill Adventure, LLC’s focus on ‘Italian Influence and California living’! Follow Chef Morsiani on his culinary adventures. He will visit California and share in our wonderful fresh California products.
From the hometown of Bologna, Italy Manuel Morsiani travels through Italy and is based in Dublin, Ireland. He has a home and love of Sicilia. He is a highly trained professional chef bringing passion to fine Italian dining.
This year (2018) special prayers and our fond memories our with the passing of our beloved Bishop Garcia. He was a champion of cultural causes and honored us each year with many blessings during the Festa. He will be missed.
Follow your heart, listen to your dreams, even if they take you all the way to the Pacific Coast of California. Huckleberry Hugs, Maxine (Molly)
My Godmother Tina D’Aquanno, ‘keeper of Davi traditions and memories’ shared this photo of my Great Nannu; he is on the far left smoking the pipe. She honors our long history of fishermen. Keeping alive traditions, mementos and recipes for future generations.