Friday, January 15, 2010

Sicilian Rice Balls

Arancini or Sicilian Rice Balls make an excellent antipasti at parties. Make them in small batches with different fillings. I like Truffle and Marscapone, Chianti and Smoked Mozzarella, Peas and Prosciutto...Be creative...Put your signature on it..You can do it!!!


Arancini with Prosciutto Peas and Parmesan

5 1/2 cups chicken stock
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 1/4 cups arborio rice (approx 1 pound)
3/4 cup dry white wine
4 ounces diced prosciutto
1 cup baby peas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup flour
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups plain dry bread crumbs ( or panko)
1 quart oil, for deep-frying

1.In a medium saucepan, heat the chicken stock until just boiling; keep warm. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until absorbed, about 3 minutes.
2.Add 1/2 cup of the hot chicken stock to the rice and stir constantly over moderate heat until the liquid is completely absorbed, about 3 minutes. Continue adding the stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until absorbed before adding more. When half of the stock has been added, stir in the prosciutto, peas, rosemary and thyme and continue cooking. The rice is done when it's tender but still slightly firm to the bite. Remove from the heat, stir in the cream and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Spread the risotto on a baking sheet and let cool. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.
3.Roll the risotto into hors'doeuvre size balls. Roll each ball in the flour, then dip in the beaten eggs and coat with the bread crumbs.
4. Heat 4 inches of vegetable oil to 360°. Working in small batches , fry the risotto balls until golden, about 45 seconds; (fry for about 4-5 minutes). Transfer to paper towels to drain. While hot, roll the risotto balls in the remaining 2 cups Parmesan to lightly coat them. Transfer to platters and serve immediately.

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