Custom Search




----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Frank 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Wednesday, July 11, 2001 10:27 PM
  Subject: Arancini

  I have just returned from a trip to Sicily and would love 
  to have a recipe for the Arancini which are found throughout 
  Sicily. Thank you in advance for your assistance.


Hi Frank,

Since I'm sure you want a recipe that's as close to what you had in Sicily as possible, I concentrated on authentic Sicilian recipes. There are a lot of recipes around for arancini, but many of them are "Americanized". By that I mean that some of the ingredients and cooking processes have been changed for convenience' sake. That may seem practical, but it can also change the final product into something that only partly resembles the original dish. As a recipe becomes Americanized, Arborio rice becomes ordinary rice and then instant rice. Pecorino cheese becomes romano cheese and then mozzarella. Marinara sauce becomes ordinary spaghetti sauce and then pizza sauce in a jar. Soon you have recipes that are called "arancini", but that taste like something from the supermarket frozen microwave dish selection. Below are two arancini recipes. The first is the most traditional. Also, the Italian food guide has an excellent article on arancini, with several recipes. The url is:


  Sicilian Arancini
  makes 12 Arancini
  Pronounced "ah-ron-chee-nee", this word translates literally 
  into "little oranges" because of the way these golden-fried 
  rice balls appear. They are a favorite Sicilian street food, 
  eaten out-of-hand at rosticerrie. They are also a favorite at 
  the dinner table accompanied by a large salad. They are usually 
  eaten warm as opposed to hot, and the filling, for the most part, 
  is chopped pork and onions, or chopped chicken and peas cooked in 
  tomato sauce. Often you will find them loaded with soft Mozzarella 
  cheese in the middle. 


     1 quart water or HomeMade Chicken Broth
     1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
     1/4 teaspoon pepper
     1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, finely chopped, 
	      or 1/8 teaspoon ground saffron
     2 cups arborio or Vialone rice
     2-1/2 cups Marinara Sauce
     1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese
     8 ounces uncooked chicken meat, boned, 
	    or the same amount pork, or 8 oz both
     Lard for browning meat, q.b.
     1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
     1/2 cup fresh or frozen tiny peas
     4 large eggs
     1-1/2 cups plain, fine bread crumbs (you'll have lots left over)
     3 cups olive oil 

  Optional: use Mozzarella, Teleme, or Monterey Jack cheese instead 
  of the chicken mixture as a stuffing. Allow about 1/2 ounce per 
  rice ball. Make the arancini as directed below.
  Place the water or chicken broth, salt, pepper, and saffron in a 
  medium-sized saucepan with a lid, bring it to a boil over high heat, 
  and then lower the heat. Add the rice all at once, and stir for a moment.
  Replace the lid on the pan, and simmer rice for about 16 minutes, 
  or until it is tender but al dente. The liquid should be thoroughly 
  absorbed. If you find it is not, continue to cook the rice over medium 
  heat with the lid off until the rice is sticky but not wet. When the 
  rice is done, remove it from the heat, and add the tomato sauce and the 
  grated cheese, and mix it well. Set it aside in the pan to cool for 
  about 2 hours. (You may refrigerate it, well covered, after 2 hours 
  if you wish, and continue the rest of the recipe the next day.)

  To Prepare The Meat Filling:

  Cut the meat into large chunks, and in a frying pan brown them in 
  some olive oil or lard over medium heat. When the meat is brown, 
  add the onion, and gently brown that also, but do not make it too dark. 
  Add 1 cup of marinara sauce, and cook the mixtire slowly for about an 
  hour. Add fresh or frozen peas and cook it for 5 minutes longer.

  Remove the meat from the sauce with a slotted spoon, let it cool until 
  you can just handle it, and using your fingers and perhaps a fork, 
  shred all the meat into fairly small pieces. Return the meat to the pan.

  When the rice and tomato mixture is cool, add 2 of the eggs, and mix 
  well. Take about one twelfth of the mixture, and pat it out on the palm 
  of one hand so that it looks like a thick crepe. Place about 
  2 tablespoonfuls of the meat mixture into the center of the rice crepe, 
  and gently close your hand so that you envelop the meat. Do the same 
  thing if you are using the optional cheese. Shape the mass into a 
  rounded ball using both hands, gently circulating one against the other. 
  Lay the finished ball on a cookie sheet or on a large piece of wax paper, 
  and continue until you have used up all of the ingredients.

  To Fry The Arancini

  Beat two eggs lightly in a low-sided dish. Spread the bread crumbs in 
  a low-sided dish. Roll the arancini in the egg mixture, and then roll 
  them around in the bread crumbs. As you finish each one, set it on a 
  cookie sheet or some wax paper.

  Heat the oil to about 350deg. F in a deep fryer, put in as many arancini 
  as will fit comfortably in the pan, and fry them until they are a deep 
  golden color. Remove them with a slotted spoon, and lay them on absorbent
  paper or on a clean kitchen towel. If you have a lot of them, store them 
  in a warm oven as you make them. Keep the oven door ajar so they will 
  stay hot but with the air circulating around them.
  Arancini can be very successfully frozen after forming them into balls. 
  Arancini Sicilian Style 

  1 cup rice
  4 cups boiling water
  1/4 lb chopped beef
  2 chicken livers
  2 tbsp olive oil
  1 clove garlic
  1/2 small white onion
  1/4 lb sliced mushrooms
  2 tbsp tomato paste
  1 cup warm water
  1/4 tsp salt
  1/4 tsp pepper
  1/2 cup butter
  3 tbsp grated romano cheese
  2 egg yolks
  1 egg beaten lightly
  1 cup bread crumbs
  1 cup olive oil 

  Wash rice and cook in boiling water until tender (or use instant rice.)
  Meanwhile, place chopped beef, chicken livers, oil, garlic and onion in 
  a saucepan and brown gently. Add mushrooms and cook about 1 minute. 
  Add tomato paste and water and cook 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper. 
  Drain rice, add butter and romano cheese and let cool a little. To this, 
  add egg yolks and tomato gravy, holding aside the meat and mushrooms. 
  Mix rice well. Make little balls of rice, placing inside each ball some 
  of the meat, livers and mushrooms. Dip rice balls in egg, roll in bread 
  crumbs and fry in hot olive oil until golden brown all over. 

Basa Fish

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Richard
  To: 'phaedrus 
  Sent: Tuesday, July 10, 2001 9:19 AM
  Subject: Basa

  Have you heard of a fish called BASA that is showing up in our 
  supermarkets. In Florida they refer to it as "catfish"

Hello Richard,

Yes, I know basa. Basa is a relative of the catfish that comes from Vietnam. Fish farmers in Vietnam raise the fish in floating cages on the Mekong River and feed them rice bran, water spinach and so-called "trash fish". It's one of the fastest growing fresh-water fish exports in the world (648,000 pounds exported to the U.S. alone in June). In this country, it's sold under the names basa, white roughy, bocourti, Pacific dory and China sole. The flesh is firm and white and milder than our catfish. It can be used in any recipe that uses firm, white-fleshed fish. There are two good recipes below that have been adapted from various white fish recipes.

For More on basa, see: basa


  Basa Creole

  1-2 Tbs olive oil 
  4-6 fish fillets (about 1 lb) 
  1 medium onion, sliced 
  1 small bell pepper (green, yellow, red), julienned 
  1 clove garlic, minced 
  1 small fresh hot chile (variety and amount to taste), chopped, 
    or 1 - 4 oz can diced green chiles (e.g. Ortega) 
  4 large tomatoes, chopped or 1 - 14.5 oz can crushed or whole tomatoes. 
  1 Tbs red wine vinegar or lemon juice 
  3/4 tsp dried basil 
  1 pinch of powdered cumin 
  2 Tbs parsley, chopped 
  1/4 tsp salt 
  Several twists of black pepper from a grater 
  Heat oil in large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. 
  Sauté onion, garlic, bell pepper, basil, parsely, and fresh chile 
  (if used). Add tomatoes, canned chiles (if used), vinegar or lemon 
  juice, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Simmer covered for about 
  30 minutes. Add fillets, spooning tomatoe mixture over top. Simmer 
  covered for another 12-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily when 
  tested with a fork. Serve with noodles, brown rice, or white rice.
  Roasted Basa Fillets with Artichoke and Crab Relish

  4 6-ounce Basa fillets
  Juice of one lemon, divided
  Garlic Powder
  Cajun Seasoning
  Salt and Pepper
  1 tablespoon butter
  1 10-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, defrosted
  8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  8 ounces lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
  2 green onions, chopped
  1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  Cayenne, salt and black pepper, to taste
  1/4 cup whipping cream

  Preheat oven on Convection Bake to 375 degrees or regular bake 
  to 400 degrees. Sprinkle the fish fillets with half of the lemon 
  juice, then season to taste with garlic powder, Cajun seasoning, 
  salt and pepper. Place fillets in a baking dish and bake for 8 to 
  10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets.

  Meanwhile, heat the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. 
  Add the mushrooms and green onions and saute until the mushrooms 
  are golden. Add the remaining lemon juice, artichoke hearts, 
  crabmeat, thyme, oregano, garlic powder and cayenne, salt and black 
  pepper to taste. Add the whipping cream, and cook until the artichokes 
  and crabmeat are heated through. Taste and adjust seasonings.

  When fish is cooked, place on individual serving plates and top with 
  the relish.

  Makes 4 servings.

Rum Cake

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: LYNN 
  To: phaedrus
  Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2001 3:21 PM
  Subject: Lost Rum Cake Recipe

  My mother made a wonderful rum cake in the early 1960's.  
  It was a bundt cake, very, very moist.  Both the cake and 
  the glaze icing were made with artificial rum flavoring.  
  I have many rum cake recipes but so far none have compared 
  with that one.  The icing was a glaze (not runny) made with 
  confectioner's sugar that was poured on the cake and allowed 
  to harden but the icing also had a very creamy, rich taste as 
  well as a rum taste.  If you could find this recipe for me, 
  I would be very grateful.


Hi Sue,

Well, I can't be sure if it's the same recipe, but the first one below seems to qualify. I am also sending a second one that sounds good, but isn't a bundt cake, and several others that are similar but use regular sugar in the glaze rather than confectioners' sugar.


  Rum  Cake 

   Ingredients : 
   1 box yellow cake mix with pudding
   4 eggs
   1/3 c. oil
   1/3 c. water
   1 tsp artificial butter rum flavoring
   1 stick butter
   1 c. confectioners' sugar
   1 tsp artificial butter rum flavoring
   1/4 c. water

   Preparation : 
      Flour and grease a bundt cake pan.  Mix all cake ingredients and
   pour into bundt pan.  Bake 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  Turn
   out onto rack or cake plate.  Mix glaze ingredients; boil until
   sugar melts.  Poke holes in cake; pour glaze over cake after cake
   has cooled. 
  Rum  Butter  Cake 

   Ingredients : 
   1 box Duncan Hines golden butter cake
   1 pkg. (3 oz.) instant vanilla pudding
   3/4 c. oil
   3/4 c. water
   4 eggs
   1/4 c. chopped pecans (put in bottom
      of pan)
  Rum Butter Icing:
   1 c. confectioners sugar
   1/2 stick margarine
   3 tbsp. water
   1 tsp. rum flavoring
   1/2 c. chopped pecans

   Preparation : 
      Grease and flour 10-inch tube pan; put pecans in bottom of pan. 
   Beat remaining ingredients at medium speed until blended.  Pour into
   pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until done.  Combine
   first three (3) ingredients in saucepan.  Bring to bubbly; when
   sugar is dissolved, add rum flavoring and pecans.  Pour over cake
   (while hot) in pan and let sit 15 to 20 minutes.  Turn onto plate
   covered with waxed paper and then back over on platter.  NOTE: 
   Angel food or bundt pan will not work for this.
    Aunt  Clare's  Butter  Rum  Cake

   Ingredients : 
   1 box Duncan Hines butter cake mix
   1 box instant vanilla pudding
   1/2 c. oil
   4 eggs
   1 c. water
   1 tsp. rum flavoring
  Butter Rum Glaze:
   1 stick margarine
   1 c. sugar
   1/3 c. water
   1/2 tsp. rum flavoring

   Preparation : 
      Mix all ingredients in order.  Beat 3 or 4 minutes.  Pour into
   greased and floured bundt cake pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 45 to
   50 minutes.  Mix margarine, sugar and water; boil 1 minute.  Remove
   from heat, add rum flavoring and pour over cake while still hot in
   the pan.  Wait 20 to 30 minutes until soaked up.  Turn out on plate. 
   Rum  Cake

   Ingredients : 
   1 yellow cake mix
   1 instant vanilla pudding mix
   1 c. water
   1/2 c. oil
   4 eggs
   1 tsp. rum flavoring
   3/4 c. pecans
   1 stick butter
   1 tsp. rum flavoring
   1/2 c. water
   1 c. sugar

   Preparation : 
      Mix together.  Bake in bundt pan sprayed with Pam for 1 hour at
   325 degrees.  Mix together topping ingredients in sauce pan and
   bring to boil.  Boil for 2 to 3 minutes.  Pour over cake while cake
   is still hot.  Let stand in pan for 30 minutes before turning out on
   cake plate. 

Casada Cake

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Wanda
  To: phaedrus 
  Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2001 3:06 PM
  Subject: casada cake

  i am searching for the casada cake recipe also did you happen 
  to find one?...i have been searching for two years for one..
  plz point me to any link you may have found..than  you so much...

Hi Wanda,

I do have a few casada cake recipes now. See below.

There's also one at this link:

See the recipes below.


  Casada  Cake

   Ingredients : 
   1 pkg. yellow cake mix
   2 lbs. Ricotta cheese
   1 c. sugar
   1 tsp. almond extract
   1/2 to 1 c. miniature chocolate chips
   1/2 to 1 c. chopped filberts
   1/4 c. each red and green candied cherries
   2 c. whipped cream, whipped with 1/4
      c. powdered sugar

   Preparation : 
      Prepare cake according to package directions, baking in bundt
   pan. Remove cake from pan.  When cake is completely cool, slice into
   3 layers.  For Filling:  Combine Ricotta cheese, sugar, almond
   extract, miniature chocolate chips, chopped filberts, and candied
   cherries.  Spread mixture between layers.  Frost cake with whipped
   cream, whipped with 1/4 cup powdered sugar. 
    Pineapple  Casada

   Ingredients : 
   1 box yellow cake mix
   1 sm. box instant vanilla pudding
   1 sm. Cool Whip
   1 (8 oz.) cream cheese
   1/2 c. chopped nuts
   2 lg. cans crushed pineapple, drained

   Preparation : 
     Mix cake as directed on box.  Mix pudding while cake is baking and
   refrigerate. Soften cream cheese and beat with mixer.  Mix pudding
   and cream cheese together, put on top of cooled cake.  Put on
   drained pineapple, then put on Cool Whip and top with nuts.  
    Italian  Casada  Cheese  Cake

   Ingredients : 
   2 lbs. fine Ricotta cheese
   28 eggs
   2 c. sugar
   2 tsp. cinnamon
   1 box citron (may omit)
   1 (8 oz.) bottle maraschino cherries,
      chopped and drained
   1 (13 oz.) Hershey bar, grated

   Preparation : 
      Combine with electric mixer eggs and sugar until sugar is
   dissolved. Add Ricotta; mix thoroughly.  Add Hershey; mix again. 
   Pour into greased springform pans (2-8 inch or 1 large pan).  Drop
   in citron and cherries; sprinkle cinnamon on top.  It will make its
   own crust.  Bake at 350 degrees for 2-2 1/2 hours.  Check with
   tester until not wet in middle. 

Insalata Florentine

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Camille
  To: phaedrus 
  Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2001 3:28 PM
  Subject: (no subject)

  Macaroni Grill has a wonderful salad called Insalata Florentina. It has orzo, 
  spinach and a lite garlic lemon dressing. Do you have the exact or amost 
  exact recipe for this? 

Hi Camille,

Menu description of the Insalata Florentina: fresh spinach & orzo pasta tossed with grilled chicken, sundried tomatoes, capers, pine nuts and black olives with roasted garlic lemon vinaigrette and shaved Grana parmesan

See below for a recipe.


Macaroni Grill Insalata Florentine (Spinach, Orzo and Chicken Salad)

3 ounces julienne-shredded fresh spinach
3 ounces grilled chicken, sliced and chilled
1 ounce ripe Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 ounce pine nuts, lightly toasted
1/2 ounce sun-dried tomatoes, julienne cut
1/2 ounce capers
1/2 ounce sliced black olives
1/2 ounce julienne-cut radicchio
5 ounces orzo pasta, cooked and chilled
3 ounces roasted, garlic lemon vinaigrette
1/4 ounce shaved Grana Padana Parmesan
Fresh cracked pepper, for garnish

In the order listed, place all ingredients, except Parmesan cheese, in a chilled mixing bowl.
Toss and serve on a decorative wide bowl. Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese and fresh cracked pepper. 
Note: Radicchio is a red-leafed Italian chicory.


Copyright (c) 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 Phaedrus