Today's recipe is for Sicilian Arancini with Vegan Cream Cheese!
Beautifully flavored rice balls with the extremely easy to make Vegan Cream Cheese.
This recipe will send you to the tiny beautiful streets of Sicily with only one bite, and you are already in the traditional restaurant with Sicilian music, and beautiful people are dancing around with the rhythm of the music...
I guess, you've got the vibe of this dish, if so find the recipe below with some history of this dish ;)
Arancine (rice balls) were invented in the tenth century during the Kalbid rule of Sicily. Stuffed with meat and coated with a light, crispy batter, rice balls are similar to foods based on recipes known in the Middle East during the Middle Ages. Their Italian name comes to us from the word for orange (arancia), which they faintly resemble in colour and texture. Nowadays the arancine made in western Sicily are round while those made in eastern Sicily (particularly around Catania) are often conical.
This all seems fairly simple, though preparing arancine (or arancini) well is something of an art. But how did rice arrive in Sicily in the first place? It's certainly not grown here today. Rice (as well as oranges) was introduced during the Arab period. Of course, rice cultivation requires water. The Arabs built innovative and very efficient irrigation systems in Sicily, but the island was naturally grrener then. The climate was cooler and there were larger forests. There were also more streams that flowed year round (instead of the run-off torrents seen today), navigable rivers and natural lakes. In such an environment the Arabs revolutionised agriculture and introduced crops such as cotton and sugar cane.
The cultivation of rice in Sicily had no connection with rice farming in Piedmont, a sub-alpine region of northern Italy where arborio and other rice varieties are still grown. The introduction of rice in Sicily parallels that in Spain.
Arancina rice is flavoured and coloured with saffron. Though cultivated in antiquity in Greece and Sicily, the widespread use of this yellow spice was more prominent in medieval Arab cuisine, and is used in preparing paella, a Spanish rice dish. (Saffron was also used as a pigment in medieval painting.)
Arancine are formed of cooked and flavored rice-shaped around a core of chopped meat filling. The balls are then coated and deep fried to a crisp. Arancini are not the only crispy fried Sicilian food introduced by the Arabs. Pannelle comes to mind. These are flat cakes made with ceci flour.
Rice balls are the golden jewel in the crown of Sicilian cuisine.*source
Find the recipe below!
Prep: 30 min
Cook time: 20 min
Servings: 4 portions
Calories per serving: 264 kcal
Find the recipe & nutrition facts below :
For the arancini:
2 cups cooked rice (with 1/4 tsp saffron(optional))
1/2 cup fried onion
1 small tomato (chopped)
1/2 cup hot veggie stock
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp coriander
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp fresh coriander or parsley
2 tsp garlic
1 tsp savory
1 tsp cumin
For the cream cheese:
1/2 cup soy milk(or any other plant milk)
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tbsp sauerkraut
1 tbsp rice flour
Step 1: In a large bowl mix together all the ingredients for the arancini. Set aside.
Step 2: Now, let's make the vegan cream cheese. In a blender place the plant milk, nutritional yeast, and sauerkraut. Blend until completely smooth without any pieces from sauerkraut.
Step 3: Place the milk mixture into a small saucepan on medium heat and mix in the rice flour. Cook until the mixture is thick, stirring constantly. (it will take around 3-4 minutes) Turn off the heat and set aside.
Step 4: Preheat oven to 180 C. (or you can deep fry them in oil, or fry in the air fryer)
Step 5: Take around 1 tbsp from the rice mixture, place in the middle the cream cheese, and form a ball with your hands (add a bit more rice mixture if needed). Repeat with the remaining rice mixture. Place on the baking tray covered with baking paper(if you are going to bake them)
Step 6: Bake for around 20-25 minutes.