All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013
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I love arancini which are simply breaded rice balls traditionally made with risotto. I made these once with grits (recipe HERE) & absolutely loved them – maybe more than the risotto variety. They froze & reheated very well, too.
Looking at my giant container of bulk rate brown rice – I thought – why not try making arancini with brown rice rather than arborio? And so I did. I fried mine but I think you can bake these at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes & get virtually the same (and somewhat healthier) result.
Brown Rice Arancini or Fried Rice Balls with Three Cheeses
4 cups cooked brown rice
1 tsp each of S&P
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (or grated Gruyere)
Fresh mozzarella AND/OR goat cheese – cubed
Olive oil (enough for frying the arancini – if you are frying – less if you are baking them)
2 cups bread crumbs or panko (maybe more)
1 cup flour (maybe more)
several sprigs fresh rosemary – finely chopped
additional chopped parsley as garnish
And you might was some spicy tomato sauce to serve these on.
Cook the rice & allow it to cool.
Blend the rice with ONE egg, salt, pepper, oregano, basil and grated cheese.
In the palm of your hand scoop a small quantity of this mic & press a cube of either mozzarella or goat cheese (or other cheese) into the center & add more rice mix on top. Form into a ball about the size of a golf ball. Place onto a wax paper lined cooking sheet & repeat until all the rice mix is gone.
CHILL the arancini at least 30 minutes so they can solidify a bit.
Pre-heat your oven to 425.
To assemble – mix the chopped rosemary into the flour. Put the flour in one bowl, whisk the two eggs in another bowl & place the breadcrumbs or panko in a third bowl. Dredge each rice ball first through the flour then the egg & then the breadcrumbs. You might need to add more flour or egg or breadcrumbs to the bowls to complete all the arancini.
If frying – heat enough olive oil to reach about half way up the rice balls. Fry in small batches, placing the finished balls on a cooking sheet in the warmed oven until all are fried.
OR – skip the frying & simply drizzle a little olive oil on the arancini & bake them all at 425 for 20-30 minutes or until the balls are evenly golden. They might require being turned a bit.
I serve these with my easy arrabbiata sauce and extra chopped parsley as a garnish. Again – these freeze & reheat very well.