Thursday, May 21, 2009
Lest anyone think I've not been blogging due to lack of inspiration, I present Arancini to thwart those thoughts. I'm full of inspiration, creating like mad lately, but with very few opportunities to photograph and write. I also had a couple nights of 'no cooking' with meals provided by Omaha Steaks from Martin's Aunt Joan - we even had dessert with them - lovely little caramel apple tarts that were perfect with vanilla ice cream. This is the second package from Omaha Steaks from Martin's family; the other was from his cousin Chris. I feel positively spoiled.
This recipe for Arancini is my submission to this month's Royal Foodie Joust. Last month's winner, Núria of Spanish Recipes, offered up tomato, bacon and rice as the three ingredients for this month's Joust. My first thought was rice and beans, but let's face it, that's not exactly a winning entry in such a tough competition unless it's presented in a truly fabulous way - which I don't seem to be very adept at. My second thought was rice balls, but not onigiri, which are wonderful in their own right, but not what I was looking for. I had thought on something more Hispanic in flavor, but Arancini seemed to fill the bill for me.
Normally Arancini is made with leftover risotto, but as my arborio rice had gone missing since the move and I didn't have the energy to head to the store for that single ingredient, I made these with regular long-grain leftover rice. They were just as delicious as the risotto kind and the kids are asking me to make them again very soon.
4 cups leftover cooked rice OR leftover risotto
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (if you use rice or if the risotto didn't have any added already)
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 large eggs
1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon
8 - 1" cubes mozzarella cheese
2 Tablespoons water
1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1 cup all-purposed flour
2 cups thick Marinara sauce
Combine rice, 1 egg, Parmesan, salt and crumbled bacon together until well blended.
Form into 8 evenly sized balls. Flatten each slightly and add a cube of cheese to the center of each ball, making sure to wrap the cheese completely within the rice.
Bread each rice ball by dipping in flour, egg wash (the other egg and water mixed well) and then breadcrumbs until well coated. Fry each in deep hot oil until golden brown. Drain well on paper toweling and serve with warm Marinara sauce.
**The consistency of these should be like dough - they should hold their shape easily. If they don't stay together well because they are too dry, try adding another egg to the mixture.