Nerds unite! Pi Day often is celebrated with pie, but I opted for a different route last night.
I’ve only had arancini, fried rice balls, once before. After nabbing a recipe from my cousin’s mother-in-law, I set out to make these spherical wonders for Pi Day.
We all recall how to find the area of a sphere:
The only math you need to worry about is how many you can eat before your friends call you a gluttonous swine.
They take a bit of work and small hands. Two things I’m not always fond of when it comes to cooking. Find a helper to assist with compacting these tight spheres of wonderment.
- 1 cups raw white rice, cooled
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 8 Tbsp butter, divided into 2 chunks of 4 Tbsp (MATH!)
- ½ cup grated Parmesan (I used the canned stuff. It was lackluster.)
- 1 egg
- 10 small cubes fresh mozzarella
- 1 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
- About 1 cup of vegetable oil for frying
- Melt 4 Tbsp butter, then brown the rice. You want all the grains to be coated in butter.
- Once the rice starts to brown, add the vino. Stir frequently until the rice absorbs all the wine. This process is similar to how you’d make risotto.
- After the rice has absorbed all the wine, add the chicken stock, cover, stirring occasionally.
- Once the rice is done, beat an egg (not a sphere) with a fork (also not a sphere), then add shredded Parm cheese and butter. Stir in with the rice. The cheese and butter will help the rice bind/clump together.
- Let the rice/cheese mixture cool.
- Use an ice cream scooper to form uniform spheres. Make an indentation with your thumb and place a cheese cube inside. Mash into a tight sphere.
- Roll in breadcrumbs. Set on a plate. Once you have all of them made, pour a glass of wine. That’s tedious work. Put the rice balls in the fridge to congeal.
- Heat the oil in a medium sauce pan. I let mine heat for about 8 minutes on medium heat. You’ll start to smell the oil. Or you could be all fancy and use a thermometer. Aiming for burn-your-skin hot, or 375.
- Gently place the breaded rice balls in the oil with a slotted spoon. Think Mighty Ducks pass-the-egg-scene gentle.
- Flip after 1-2 minutes. Then remove to a plate with a paper towel to absorb the excess grease. Lightly salt after they come out of the oil.
This was my first time and there is definitely room for improvement. Mine were uber wet and tough to form into tight spheres. Dipping sauce is a great way to add some more flavor. I’d opt for my spicy arrabiatta sauce. Or maybe something with even more kick and chipotle peppers.
Check out my friend Kelly’s recipe. Hers look a ton better than mine. She also has some good tips. Wish I’d read her advice before this adventure. Let me know how yours go.
Bust out that ruler if you want to figure out the area of these versatile little appetizers.