One hint my friend gave me was to use arborio rice and to cook the rice a day in advance. I have to say that was the tip that I think made this rice ball making experience a success.
Rice balls or in Italian they are called arancini were made by my great grandmother while she was alive. My grandmother and mother would help nonna prepare the arancini for the holidays. Nonna would put ground meat seasoned with cinnamon in the center of each rice ball.
I still remember how delicious they were. Needless to say my grandmother and mother began making the arancini after nonna was gone and we always looked forward to having them at the holidays.
Here is my recipe without the chopped meat (I forgot to buy the meat). I think this is a very flexible recipe since I didn't have a written recipe to follow. I just used my intuition.
I did use only 1 uncooked cup of arborio rice which yielded about 8 medium rice balls. A nice size for serving as a side.
- 1 cup uncooked arborio rice
- chopped parsley
- 1-3 TBLS. grated parmgiano reggiano cheese
- salt and pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 egg white beaten
- mixture of seasoned bread crumbs & panko bread crumbs
- oil for frying
- Marinara Sauce
- Cook the rice according to directions. Drain rice and place in a bowl to chill at least 1 day in advance.
- Heat oil either in deep fryer or frying pan.
- Beat egg white and set aside in dish next to the bread crumb mixture.
- Add the cheese, parsley, 1 egg and salt and pepper to the chilled rice. Mix well and begin forming the balls.
- Dip each rice ball into beaten egg white, then roll in the mixture of bread crumbs.
- Place into hot oil and cook on all sides until nicely browned.
- Drain on paper towels.
- Serve with marinara sauce on the side for dipping.
If you would like to make a more Italian style arancini just saute a small amount of chopped onion and about 1 cup of chopped meat. You can add a handful of baby peas also, then season with salt and pepper.
If you are adventurous you can and add a dash of cinnamon. When forming the rice ball use your thumb to make an impression in the rice ball and add a 1/4-1/2 teasponful of the chopped meat mixture and then continue to form the rice ball with the meat in the center of the rice ball.
I've shared this on Friday Potluck and at Home and Pantry
and Tuesday's Delicious Dishes at It's A Blog Party