My husband doesn’t cook. Except for this new rule we have which is that he cooks. Once a week, every Thursday, I give him a super detailed recipe and he follows it step by step and I go far away so I don’t have to see the mess. The result has been pretty delicious so far. But whenever I am not there for dinner and he needs to eat he likes to go to a place around the corner that makes rice balls. They are fried risotto balls. Crunchy on the outside, flavorful on the inside. The flavors depend on what you fill the balls with: peas, chorizo, mozzarella, jalapeno and corn… pretty much whatever you can fit in there.
I had never made this sicilian specialty until I discovered a recipe in this cookbook called Amazing Grains (by: Neuer Umschau Verlag). When I told my husband that this was going to be the next challenge for the blog he got really excited.
Honestly, making the balls was a big mess and not very easy. But the outcome was delicious! I fried them in coconut oil, to at least keep the illusion of a healthy dish and that gave it a nice extra hint of a flavor. Liz told me the same thing: too difficult and messy to make but then they were so good that even her daughter ate them – and she never eats rice! By the way: Liz used a beautiful plate my by Botz.
And another tip: Liz obviously forgot to buy breadcrumbs and didn’t have old bread in her house. For breading the riceballs she let her daughter hit on a package of bread sticks (Grissini) until they were fine as flour. You just have to be inventive for some of our challenges!
So here is the recipe, taken from Amazing Grains (translated from German):
1/2 liter vegetable broth
300g risotto rice
some ground nutmeg
25g pecorino cheese, ground
25g parmesan cheese, ground
100ml olive oil (I used coconut oil)
salt and pepper
For the filling
1 handfull peas, cooked
1 mozzarella ball, cut into small pieces
a cup of breadcrumbs
Once the broth is boiling add the rice and let it simmer with a lid for 15-20mins. Let chill. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Then add the eggs, butter, cheeses and mix everything well.
With your hands form golf ball size balls and fill it with the peas, mozzarella or chorizo and or any combination of all of these ingredient. Roll the ball first in the flour, then the beaten eggs and then the breadcrumbs. Put all balls into a container and chill for 30mins.
Heat oil in a large pan. Fry the balls in plenty of oil for about 5mins. Keep rolling them around so they will keep their round shape. Once they are golden brown place them on paper towels and then serve immediately.