Monday, August 3, 2009

Sunday Experiment

It must be dating an Italian, but after having my first arancini, I had to try and make them on my own. This are super fun to make, but next time I will make a few changes. It seems like a lot of ingredients, but trust me, its worth it, and VERY easy.

Spinach Arancini

4 cups chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled...( I WILL NOT be using this again. It was $15 for a tiny little plastic bag. Forget that.)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice ( I could not find this in a regular grocery store. I went to three grocery stores and finally had luck at good old Trader Joes)
sea salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white wine
2 cups chopped fresh spinach (use 1 cup, 2 was way too much)
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
...Next time I will add crumbled chicken sausage...

vegetable oil for deep frying

Bring 4 cups chicken broth and saffron threads to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Stir in Arborio rice, return to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, yet still a little firm, about 16 minutes.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onion, and cook for one minute, then stir in garlic, and continue cooking until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in wine, spinach, and butter, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and fold in cooked rice and Parmesan cheese; cook a few minutes until the mixture is a little stiff. Spread onto a baking sheet, and cool in the refrigerator until completely cold, 4 hours to overnight. I just froze the rice for 10 minutes because you know I have no patience!)

Once the rice mixture has cooled, form the arancini by enclosing a cube of mozzarella cheese in about 3 tablespoons of the rice to form a 1 inch ball; set aside. When you have finished making the balls, place flour, eggs, and bread crumbs into separate, shallow bowls. One-by-one, gently roll the arancini in the flour to coat, then shake off excess. Dip into beaten egg, then roll in bread crumbs; set aside.
Heat the oil in a deep-fryer or electric skillet to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Deep fry the arancini 5 or 6 at a time in the hot oil until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Be sure to roll the arancini around with a metal spoon as they cook so they are evenly browned on all sides. Drain on paper towels, and serve hot.


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