Tre Formaggio Arancini (Three Cheese Rice Balls)

Arancini

This recipe may seem a little labour intensive, but trust me, the end result is worth it!! Of course, it’s always easier if you just happen to have left over risotto sitting around your kitchen :). For those of us that don’t though, you’ll find this a very easy recipe as it does not involve the time consuming process that a regular risotto does. Buon appetito!

Ingredients:

2 ½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
½ cup dry white wine
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup arborio rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese (2 ounces)
½ cup shredded fontina cheese (2 ounces)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 large eggs
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 ½ cups breadcrumbs, divided
vegetable oil, for frying

Directions:

Bring the broth and ¼ teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the rice, garlic and onion, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let cool completely (if you’re in a hurry, try sticking the sheet in the fridge or freezer!). Combine the pine nuts, mozzarella, fontina and parsley in a bowl and set aside. Beat the eggs in a large bowl, then stir in the cooled rice mixture, the parmesan and ⅔ cup of the breadcrumbs. Shape the mixture into sixteen 1 ½ -inch balls. Put the remaining breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. Press your finger into the centre of each rice ball, and insert 2 teaspoons of the cheese mixture, then pinch the rice around the filling to seal. Roll the balls in the breadcrumbs and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Loosely cover and refrigerate, at least 1 hour or overnight. (If refrigerating overnight, roll in more breadcrumbs before frying). Heat ½ inch vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees F. Working in batches, fry the rice balls, turning, until golden brown on all sides, about 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels; season with salt. Enjoy hot with marinara sauce or plain!

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Italians… My “Other” Mishpacha

Jews & ItaliansHave you ever noticed how similar the Jews and Italians are? Is it just me? It can’t be just me! We both are family centred, religion driven cultures, who spend way too much time focusing on food and guilt! Yes, there are major differences, but they are so obvious, there is no need to focus on them. I rather look at our similarities and see how we stack up to our “brothers from another mother”. Mainly due to religious reason, we have large families, with multiple generations often living in the same household or neighbourhood. This means, in addition to your parents, you have your aunts and uncles (Memas & Fetas for the Yids and Zie & Zii for the Italians), your grandparents (Bubbe & Zaidie and Nonna & il Nonno), not to mention a whole slew of cousins raising you and your siblings. You can never hide! But, that also means that you have tons of people slipping you sweets and many a table to eat at. And yes, that is a big similarity. Both the Jews and Italians know how to eat! Multiple courses, many dishes at each, never ending plate after plate… whether it’s in Yiddish, Hebrew, English or Italian, food is a common language! So on that note, welcome to Italian week… Mangiare!