Sunday, January 24, 2010

Grandma's Rice Balls (Arancini)

Grandma's Rice Balls were a mystery for years then dad finally figured out, he was trying way to hard to figure out what she put into them that tasted so good.




Grandma Victoria lived to be 94, she was brought up to be very resourceful woman, and especially on stretching her food budget, to make sure nothing went to waste. Everything she made was always a taste you couldn't forget, and we always spent years trying to duplicate, and never really totally exceeded. These are as close as we are going to get at this point. They are pretty darn close.

I can't believe how fast time flies. Years ago as a child, my grandmother, Victoria, would always make these out of leftover rice..She actually did the same with leftover mashed potatoes.. You know in an Italian family at least mine, you would have to go to confession for throwing out or wasting food, as it was a sin.

This little rice ball, ended up being one of the tastiest grains for an anytime snack we ever had. After she passed away at 94, my dad spent hours trying to remaster her recipe, trying all kinds of ingredients. Then trying the simplest ingredients worked, it was perfect. Victory to us all that dad had finally figured out, it didn't take brain surgery to figure out she used whatever she had, and it was out of this world good...The good ole days, wow we all have them, where does the time go anyway?

These go well with any meal or a great snack.



Not fried but bakes. A delicious blend of spices make these so tastey!





Not much of a recipe. Grandma threw in a little of this and a little of that.
There was lots of leftover rice. So she would take one egg to every 2 cups of rice.
Then she would add breadcrumbs to the mixture around 1/4 cup per cup of rice. Then during the summer months there was lots of fresh parsley growing in our yard, a few tablespoons of fresh parsley went in. ( Lots of home grown would be dried. My mom and grandma would heat the oven till very high heat turn to low after that, just to heat it up ( had a gas old fashioned oven ,lit with a match!) Spread out the over abundance of fresh parsley on stainless steel cookie sheets .Then to dry the rest of the parsley in the gas oven, turned down to the lowest setting, and leave in there for about an hour, crumble and put into jars.) I do that all the time now!
Finally, add the spices to taste and a handful of grating cheese. She would add plenty of grating cheese, salt pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic minced into the rice. Mix it up really good. Then rolled in Italian flavored bread crumbs. She would then fry them in hot oil.

Believe it or not these pictured are rolled, placed on a cookie sheet and drizzled Olive oil over them then baked till golden about a 400 degree oven....I always try and find a healthier way to eat these days, but of course the original way is to fry them of course. If you want a nice little snack, these are a great appetizer, side dish or snack.....you will have to really add the spices to your own taste.

So here is the basic recipe
2 cups of cooked rice( leftover's are fine even flavored)
1 egg
1/2 cup flavored Italian bread crumbs
1/4 cup grating cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder or 1 teaspoon minced chopped fresh garlic
2 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley or dried
2 cups of Italian flavored bread crumbs to roll the mixture of rice into.
Optional Mozzarella cubes, ground sausage, meatball chunks
Mix together. Roll into a ball, (if your making them stuffed, add the cheese or meat now) then into bread crumbs. Please on greased cookie sheet and drizzle olive oil all over them. Bake at 400 till golden brown. If you want to do the fry method, heat oil till very hot, drop into fry pan till golden brown and crispy on the outside.
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