Arancini (Stuffed Rice Balls)
Linda's italian Tab le
I’ve been on this cooking kick and my daughter suggested I make arancini. In all of my experience, I have never made them but the thought of them immediately made me think of my Aunt Wanda! While growing up she made the most wonderful arancini, and I hope I did her justice tonight!
5 Cups Chicken Stock (I used stock I made but you can use canned reduced sodium chicken broth or water)
2 Table Spoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Cups Short Grain Rice such as Carnaroli or Arborio. I used Arborio
4 Large Eggs
2 Cups grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
2 Cups Fine, Dry Bread Crumbs
2/3 Cup Vegetable Oil
1/3 Cup Olive Oil- Plus Extra For Frying
For the rice
To Coat and Fry the Arancini
Bring the stock or water and 2 tablespoons olive oil to a boil. Stir in the rice and return the stock to a boil, then adjust the heat to a simmer. Cook the rice, uncovered for about 12 minutes or al dente.
Drain the rice and spread out on a tray to cool to room temperature. When the rice is cool, place it in a mixing bowl and beat in the 4 eggs and the grated cheese.
When the mixture is combined, take a handful (1/3 cup) and shape into a ball. Do this until all of your mixture is used and you have your formed rice balls ready to be coated.
Whisk the 2 eggs in a mixing bowl. Spread the flour on one plate and the bread crumbs on another. Dredge the rice balls in the flour making sure to coat all sides and tap off excess. Roll the rice balls in the beaten egg to coat, allowing any excess to drip back into the bowl.Then, roll the rice balls in the bread crumbs, pressing slightly to coat evenly, remove and set aside. Complete this process with the remaining rice balls.If you would like to serve the arancini hot, preheat your oven to 200 degrees. While the oven is warming up, pour the vegetable and olive oils into a deep skillet. To test, place one of the rice balls into the oil, if it steadily sizzles, you are ready to go, if nothing happens- the oil is too cold- and if the oil boils or cracks- the oil is too hot.
Once you have the appropriate temperature, cook about 4 at a time. (How many you cook at a time depends on the size of your skillet. We used a 12 inch skillet and found that the rice balls cook more even if they were not crowded). While they are frying you will have to turn them, about every 4 minutes, so they achieve that beautiful golden brown color on all sides.
Once you are done frying, place the rice balls on a paper towel lined plate so any excess oil can absorbed by the paper towels.
When the oven is ready, place the fried rice balls in a pan and place in the oven for about 20 minutes. Finishing them in the oven like this ensures they are cooked fully through the center.
Serve with Marina's Italian Tomato Sauce