Arancini and it's Party TIme!

Arancini is one of my favorite Italian dishes, but sadly I don't make them very often.  I make rice balls regularly, but they are usually done the Japanese way, aka onigiri, which is much easier and quicker to make since they are not deep fried.  But I love deep fried rice balls.  It's a bite of heaven when you pop one into your mouth while they are still hot.

I made these to bring to a party and I was very happy with the results.  Happy enough that I quickly grabbed my camera and took photos before we left. 

These are basically seasoned rice shaped into balls, then coated with flour, egg wash and panko crumbs and deep fried.    Like many deep fried foods, they do take a bit of time to prepare, but they are so worth it.  And I do recommend to make your own marinara sauce if you bother to make these yourself.  Go all home made then eat them while they are hot!


Arancini: makes 15 medium balls

two cups rice
2 1/2 cup water
one bay leaf
one cup grated reggiano parmigiano
salt and pepper
eight ounces mozzarella cheese
one cup flour
one egg
2 cups panko 
vegetable oil
basil leaves (optional)

Rinse rice a few times with cold water and put it in the rice cooker with a bay leaf, some salt and pepper.  Cook rice in a pot if you don't have a rice cooker.  Grate reggiano parmigiano and dice mozzarella cheese.  Spread flour and panko in plates.  Whisk egg and put it in a bowl.  Heat oil in a deep frying pot to 380 F°.  

Add grated cheese into rice and mix well.  Take a handful of rice, put a piece of diced mozzarella and wrap it with rice to make a rice ball.  Roll each ball in flour, dip it in egg wash and coat it with panko crumbs.  

Deep fry about three balls at a time until they are golden brown outside for about a minute and rest them on paper towel.

Marinara sauce:

two cups crushed tomatoes 
two tablespoons tomato paste
two cloves garlic
one medium onion
a handful italian parsley
a handful basil leaves
1 tablespoon vinegar
a dash of worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Mince garlic cloves and dice onion.  Chop parsley and basil.  Heat olive oil in a pan at medium high heat and sauté garlic and onion.  Once diced onions are sweated, add crushed tomato, tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper.  Simmer for 20 minutes and add chopped parsley and basil.

To serve, pour sauce on a large plate and place arangini balls on top.  Garnish with basil leaves.


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