Street food: a simple food at your fingertips

Street food is definitely one of my favorite food. Almost everyone knows it but for those who still does not know what street food is, I'm going to explain it in a few simple words. The name in itself helped you already to understand what we are talking about. Street food in fact was never as famous as nowadays thanks to television programs, events and food bloggers who talk about it and its hail goodness. In fact all street food is very good because of its simplicity and its cost which is almost always cheap.

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FAO has estimated that everyday nearly 2.5 billion people eat street food. Incredible...right?
At the time of  Greeks and Romans, street food was a real need, especially among the poor, because as they didn't have real kitchens in their houses, they used to cook ”poor” food on the road, for example fried fish. Many people say that street food was "born to fill, not to feed", and its origins in fact tell us just that. Nowadays however, street food is becoming increasingly popular even among the most famous chefs, who are re-proposeing their own version of it (revised or not) at not very affordable costs.
The term "street food" matches very well to another term that we know quite well: finger food. Finger food in fact means that kind of food that you can eat with your fingers and in fact almost all the street foods in the world are enjoyable just using your own hands.
Obviously, as I'm Italian, I consider Italy the real street food paradise: arancine, lampredotto, olive all'ascolana, pane e panelle, but also in the rest of the world they do not miss anything. First street food I had that I can remember was an  hot dog I bought in New York city roughly twenty years ago in one of those little kiosks you can find walking in the streets of the city. A divine goodness, a combination of fat and sauces that I still remember today. And still my mouth is watering and I desire to use teleportation from here to them just to be able to eat one. Or two. Or ten.
In the world, as I said, there are a lot of street food, that we all know quite well: falafel, kebabs, tacos, burritos, empanadas are those among the most famous. Now I'm going to give you one recipe that could be an example of street food, because you can cook it fast and you can eat it strictly by hand while walking around.

Here's my version of my fried stuffed paccheri:

Ingredients to fill 12 paccheri:

 100 g of cooked ham
100 g of halloumi
60 g grated Parmesan cheese
80 g of Philadelphia
1 whole egg
1 liter of sunflower oil
... ..and of course 12 paccheri

How to

Begin with cooking the paccheri in plenty of salted water. You'll have to cook them until they are “al dente”. I recommend not to cook them too much otherwise they will break and you won't be able to fill them. Once the paccheri are cooked, al dente, drain and plunge them immediately in a bowl full of cold water. This will helps to stop them to cook. Drain the paccheri water, and place them on top of abundant kitchen paper. Dry them well and set them aside.
Now you can start to make the filling: in a mixer put ham, Philadelphia, halloumi and parmesan and chopped it all together. Put the mixture into a bowl and then refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
Begin to heat the oil in a pan with high sides. While you wait for the oil to get to temperature, with the help of a pastry bag, started to fill your paccheri and make sure they have no air bubbles inside them.
Beat the egg in a small bowl and one at a time put one paccheri in the egg, then remove the eccess, and then in bread crumbs. Take some breadcrumbs and make sure to pass them also on the sides of the paccheri, to seal them well so that during the cooking the stuffing does not come out.
When the oil temperature will be reached, immerse three or four paccheri at a time. Fry paccheri about a couple of minutes and when they are golden brown on all sides, drain on absorbent paper towels plentiful.


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