One of the best things about being in love with food is that I am constantly trying new food when I am out and about, searching for new recipes at home, and trying to replicate some of the foods I have tried while out about. This is definitely the case for one of my new favorite rice recipes.
A while back I was eating at a restaurant in Lawrence and ordered Arancini. Arancini are rice and cheese balls, breaded and fried. Hello. They were so delicious that I ordered them again the next time I was there; and the time after that. It was one of those dishes that I love to order, but thought it would be too hard or time consuming or use ingredients that I don’t commonly have.
I was delighted and thrilled when I discovered just after the holidays that it was none of the things that I thought it would be.
Finding myself hungering for Arancini one evening and did not want to drive the 45 minutes to Lawrence. I perused the web for some that sounded as close to those I loved as possible. No meat or white sauce, just melty cheese and rice balls served with a marinara. I found something that was close and reworked it a bit. I’ve made it twice in less than two months, it is definitely one of the best rice recipes.
This is also a good example of why, in life, we should not allow our preconceived ideas or fears to limit us. The reality may be (and often is) that it is easier than we thought and are lives are better for trying. I recommend you making these arancini yourself. You’ll be a better person and might find yourself with a new outlook and something to add to your rice recipes.
Arancini (Rice Balls)
- 2 cups cooked Basmati or Jasmine rice
- 8 ounces Ricotta cheese
- 8 ounces mozzarella (shredded)
- 1 cup grated Parmigiana
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (seasoned with salt and pepper)
- 4 eggs (beaten lightly)
- 2 cups Italian bread crumbs
- In a medium bowl add all ingredients for the filling. Stir well to combine. Refrigerate for about an hour.
- Place the flour, seasoned with salt and pepper, into a low sided dish or shallow dish such as a pie plate. In another similar dish crack the eggs and beat slightly. In a third dish place the seasoned breadcrumbs. Set aside.
- Preheat a deep fryer or deep pan filled with oil to 350 degrees.
- Remove the rice mixture from the refrigerator. Using a tablespoon measure out mixture into hands and roll into a tight ball, smaller than a golf ball.
- In small batches of 1-3, place the rice balls into the flour rolling or tossing them lightly to coat. Gently shake the rice balls allowing any excess flour to fall through your fingers back into the pan. They should be lightly coated. Place the floured rice balls into the egg coating and roll gently to cover. Then place the rice balls into the breadcrumb coating, ensuring they are completely coated. Repeat with remaining rice mixture.
- Gently place rice balls into the hot oil, several at a time. Turn to cook evenly until golden brown. Remove and drain on a paper towel.
- Serve hot arancini on a plate or platter with marinara and freshly grated Parmigiana.