Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Arancini Balls

I made these last week and they were sooo good that I already want to make them again! I actually almost cooked a lot more brown rice than usual at the beginning of the week just to have some leftovers for this! :o)
These Mozzarella-Stuffed Arancini were delicious, creamy and gooey from the mozzarella on the inside and crusty on the outside, yes, the outside got incredibly crispy. I was amazed with the results, as were the husband and Matheus, they both loved it too and there was no leftovers after dinner on that day! Yum!
Arancini is a Italian savory concoction; rice balls stuffed with cheese and usually made with leftover risotto. I made this one with brown rice, but if made with aborio rice (or risotto rice) it would certainly be even better, and probably even creamier. I don't know if this recipe is true to its origins, but is definitely one worth trying. Also, Arancini are normally fried, but these were just how I like, going directly to the oven, they came out great and I loved them being made this way too. You may save some calories, and in my case, some stomachache too.
As usual, I adapted the recipe accordingly to what I had on hand, but nothing too major that would alter the end results so much. First, I used leftover cooked brown rice that I had on the fridge instead of cooking some instant rice as the recipe calls for, second I used grated Parmesan instead of Romano and omitted the green onions (didn't have), and finally, I used some regular mozzarella, as I didn't have any marinated ones around. I sort of eyeballed the amount of rice and halved the recipe. And even though I changed the recipe a bit they still came out great!
Easy and delicious, simple to make and to put together when you have rice and marinara sauce hanging around. We enjoyed this a lot, hope you like it too!

Mozzarella-Stuffed Arancini
(Adapted from Vegetarian Times, February 2007)

1 1/2 cups instant brown rice
4 green onions, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/3 cup grated Romano cheese
2 cups breadcrumbs
16 marinated fresh mozzarella balls
Olive oil for drizzling
Marinara sauce for serving

Combine rice, 1 green onion, garlic and 3 1/2 cups water in a saucepan. Boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until rice is soft and slightly sticky. Remove from heat, remove green onions and let cool.
Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with foil or use cooking spray. Chop remaining green onions.
Fold eggs, parsley, cheese and onions into rice. Spread the breadcrumbs on a plate.
Place about 1/4 cup of the rice mixture in the palm of your hand, shape it into a ball around one mozzarella ball. Roll your arancini in the breadcrumbs and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
Drizzle the balls with olive oil (alternatively, you can use the oil from the mozzarella marinade for this) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until browned on the outside.
Warm marinara sauce and serve with the arancini balls, garnish with parsley if desired.


brisa said...

Ana, querida,

What a good way of using leftovers (rice or risotto)!! Yummy!!

Loved the recipe and the review..Thank you!!



Evandro said...

nossa q delicia ana!!!
fiquei com fome a essa hora da madrugada!ehehh

Cinara said...

Ana, eu fiz meu primeiro risoto recentemente, e a Patricia Scarpin me mandou uma receita de Arancinis para fazer com as sobras de risoto. Eu adorei a idéia, o problema é que não sobrou nem um grão de arbório! :o) Os seus estão really yummy... Bjs!

Akemi said...

Ana, adorei a sugestão! Que delícia esse queijo derretido! Hummm!!!!

Karen said...

Parecem muito bons!

valentina said...

Ana, I love this dish and it was a lovely surprise to see it here.

Kathleen said...

Thank you for posting this recipe and description! I had tried this recipe when I received my February VT, and I blogged about it, but didn't actually write out the recipe. So I linked to here. It is a great dish to use leftover rice!