Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Fancy Pants App: Arancini (Stuffed Rice Balls)

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Arancini are an amazing Italian invention that my dad grew up on and that we love to indulge in during the holiday season.  They really use a lot of leftovers so you can start preparing this dish a few days before the actual event and freeze all of the arancini individually.  It also helps to have several extra hands in the kitchen, just like the Italians do, to help this go a little faster!
Arancini (adapted from Things I Made Today)
Serves:  16
Risotto:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups arborio rice, dry
4 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (the good stuff, please)
1 egg, whisked

Filling:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound meatloaf mix (or ground beef)
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup peas, frozen
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
4 ounces mozzarella, cut into small 1-inch squares

Frying:
1 1/2 cups flour
2 eggs, whisked
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
olive oil (for frying)

Risotto:  In a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt butter.  Add rice, stirring to coat all the rice in butter, and let it toast for 3-5 minutes.  Stir in 1/2 cup of broth.  When it starts to boil, add garlic powder and stir.  Keep adding the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until the rice absorbs all the moisture, before adding the next 1/2 cup.  It should be al dente (soft but chewy). 

Remove rice from heat, stir in Parmesan cheese and let cool.  Once cooled to the touch, add whisked egg.  Spread rice out on a baking sheet, lined with tin foil, and let cool completely.

Filling:  Heat olive oil in a skillet.  Add ground meatloaf mix and tomatoes, cooking until meat is browned.  Stir in peas, parsley, and Parmesan cheese.  Set aside and let cool. 

Assembly:  Thoroughly wet your hands.  Then, take about 3 tablespoons of cooled rice and form it into a bowl in our hand.  Place 2-3 tablespoons of filling in the middle, top with a cube of mozzarella.  Take another 2 tablespoons of cooled rice to fully cover the meat mixture, forming a ball.  Set on a cookie sheet.  Continue this process until all the rice is used up, being sure to re-wet your hands between every 2-3 balls.  We have frozen them after this step for up to 2 weeks without issue. 

Fry:  In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat oil to 370 degrees F.  Make sure you have enough oil to fully submerge each arancini. 

Dip the balls into the flour, then whisked egg, then breadcrumbs.  Immediately place into the hot oil and fry until the outside is a nice golden brown.  Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and let cool slightly. 

Serve with marinara sauce and extra mozzarella on top.

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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