Sunday, May 31, 2009

Risotto Balls

Risotto balls aren't as difficult as they sound.
In fact they could be your leftover rice-- at least that's what I did. It turned out to be a great summer afternoon snack. It could also be a wonderful appetizer.
My experiment turned out to be great the first time around :-)

4 cups of cooked rice (brown or white)
1 cup of milk
1 block or about 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
4-5 slices of ham, coarsely chopped
3-4 T coarsely chopped herbs (it could be flat-leaf parsley, basil or chives)
salt and pepper to taste
3 eggs, beat till fluffy, flour, Bread crumbs (ordinary or japanese type)

Simply heat milk till warm and add to the cooked rice. (You may add the milk to the rice and heat in the microwave for about a minute). This allows the starch to act up and make the rice stick better. Simply add the grated cheese, chopped ham and herbs. Form into balls.
(I would use a small ice cream scooper for uniform sizes).

Prepare a plate of flour, a bowl of eggs, and a plate of bread crumbs.
Now get ready to assemble.
Simply roll the rice balls on the flour, then dip in egg and roll in bread crumbs.
Put on a tray and you may chill them a bit in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

Heat oil in a deep pan. There should be enough oil that will accomodate the rice balls. Just put about 3-4 at a time in order to keep the heat consistent. Otherwise,you will not achieve that crunchy exterior.

When the balls turn golden brown, put on kitchen paper towels to drain the excess oil.
Serve while piping, gooey hot! Just as good served by itself or with salsa.

(If you're feeling a little bit more Italian, tuck-in a small cube of mozzarella--to get a stringy bite everytime. If you're the meat lover type, instead of chopped ham, tuck-in a small cube of any cooked sausage of your choice.)

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