Spinach Arancini

To start our meal, we created some amazing Spinach Arancini. Arancini are sold all over Sicily, from bars, cafes, high end restaurants, fish stalls, to little carts on the side of the street or in markets. They are an institution. I have seen Arancini in other parts of Italy, but I have never seen the Sicilian Arancini, which sometimes grows to the size of a baby’s head.  The tradition of making these dishes, like many other culture’s quintessential dishes, came out of reusing leftovers. The best Arancini are made from day old risotto, so I recommend making the risotto a day in advance and letting it absorb all of the flavors of the spinach and wine overnight for best results. You can also make the Arancini themselves up to a day before, but make sure you fry them the moment before you are ready to serve.

Rabbit Paella with Artichokes

One of the stars of our Catalan dinner was the Rabbit Paella with Artichokes. Many of the dishes on our menu were Pescatarian, a nod to the thriving fish markets in Barcelona and the whole Catalan region. To balance this out, I wanted to add some meat to our menu. Chicken seemed boring, and I have been cooking a lot of lamb of late, so I decided to go with some game. I couldn’t get my hands on more venison in time, so I decided to go for rabbit.

Squid Rice with Shrimp and Aioli

I have been particularly interested in squid ink. I love the idea of it and have wanted to use it for a very long time, I figured this would be my opportunity. Here, we combine squid ink and calamari to create a wonderful tinny, “oceany” flavor. The black rice is enlivened with coral shrimp or prawns (I didn’t have prawns on hand but believe it would be a more delicious flavor/presentation) and a garlicky aioli. Find my Aioli recipe here.

Mochi Ice Cream

Mochi Ice Cream Daria Souvorova 2 hours active, 12 hours + rest makes: 10-60 mochi ice creams (dough recipe is for 10) Cute! That is the best way to describe these lovely, colorful balls of deliciousness. I love ice cream, but hate it dripping down my hands as I try to finish off my cone….

Temaki Hand Rolls – California and Spicy Tuna

When everyone thinks Japan, they think sushi! I wasn’t exempt from this presumption, but I figured since my maki and sashimi skills are not quite up to par, I would make some Temaki Hand rolls as part of our first course.

I made two varieties, Spicy Tuna, with the highest quality sashimi tuna I could find and a California Roll made with real lump crab. I follow Morimoto’s recipe for sushi rice which I find to have a more nuanced flavor than the traditional rice vinegar and sugar recipes I have found online.

Goat or Lamb Biryani

This dish is always a crowd pleaser in the best Indian joints I frequent. Only once did I see it presented traditionally with the chapati crust. Reading many recipes, I decided this was an amazing challenge to make authentically with the crust and the goat meat that it would traditionally be served with. I have…

Shrimp and Andouille Sausage Jambalaya

Jambalaya is a quintessential New Orleans dish. The preparations can go either in the direction of Cajun or Creole, depending on use of tomato. My version, I believe, is more in line with Creole traditions with the use of diced and cherry tomatoes. The trinity of onion, celery, and bell pepper are a required ingredient…