Ingredients

1 2 pound bag of white rice
1 pinch of Saffron
3 large eggs
Egg and milk wash (2 eggs plus ¼ cup milk, whisked)
1 ½ cups freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
½ cup finely chopped parsley
4 cups Bolognese Sauce
1 cup thawed frozen peas
22 ½ inch cubes of Fontina cheese
4 to 5 cups of Muddica Bread Crumbs
1 small bowl of warm water

Directions

1. Gently fold peas into Bolognese sauce to make a meat- pea-ragu.
2. Adding Saffron to the water, cook rice according to package directions. Drain any excess water. Spread rice out onto a baking sheet to cool. When rice is completely cool place it in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add eggs, cheese, and parsley. Dip hands in bowl of water and mix well.
4. Using a large ice cream scoop, place 1 scoop of prepared rice onto the palm of one hand, and flatten out. Place 1 ½ tablespoon of meat ragu on top of flatten rice.
Place a piece of Fontina cheese on top of ragu, and top w/ another large ice cream scoop of rice. Very gently press the rice down over the ragu, cupping your hand to form a ball. (Note: If your hands become sticky at any point dip them again into water.)
5. Gently roll arancini ball in egg & milk bath then roll in Muddica bread crumbs.
6. On high heat, in a large frying pan heat 2 inches of La Spagnola (vegetable/olive oil blend excellent for frying). Fry arancini 2 to 4 minutes. Using a pastry knife or small off-set spatula, loosen ball and gently flip. Cook till golden brown on all sides. Drain on cookie rack.
7. Serve on a bed of meat-and-pea-ragu, top with fresh basil and a sprinkle of grated cheese.

Can be served as an hors d’oeuvre, snack or main course!

Recipe courtesy of Felicia (Ciaramitaro) Mohan, 2010.

Felicia Mohan shares another one of her grandmother’s favorite Sicilian family recipes, fried arancini. One of Felicia’s own personal twists to this traditional recipe is to boil the rice with saffron, which makes the rice more colorful and flavorful. The inside of the rice ball is stuffed with Bolognese sauce, peas and a piece of Fontina cheese. The ball is then rolled in an egg and milk wash before being covered in the family Mudica bread crumbs. After frying in a blended olive oil and briefly cooled on a wire rack, it is served on a bed of the same Bolognese sauce and sprinkled with fresh basil.

Arancine are fried rice balls stuffed with a meat and cheese stuffing. They're absolutely delicious. They make a great snack, an appetizer, or I serve them as a meal. I love, love, love to have them for lunch. It's one of my favorite lunches. So I would love to prepare for you some arancine.

The first step in preparing our arancine is to boil some white rice. I like to use pure saffron in the water as I boil my rice. Now, I know that saffron has a reputation of being extremely expensive. And it actually is. It's one of the most expensive spices on the market.

But you really only need to use like a pinch. And I really mean a pinch. This vile right here cost about $8. And I use only that amount-- just about a pinch, a quarter of a teaspoon. And I cook four cups of white rice. So, really, it's not that expensive in the way that I use it. It's gives the rice a beautiful golden color and a really delicious taste.

Here I have our prepared rice, cooled. Best way to cool your right rice, I find, is to put it on a cookie sheet. It will cool much faster. If you want to make the rice the night before, you also can do that.

So here we go. First I'm going to add the three eggs to my bowl. Next thing I'm going to add parsley, chopped parsley. About a half a cup. And I'm going to add about a cup to a cup and a half of fresh grated Parmesan cheese, because everything tastes better with cheese. It's my favorite.

This recipe I learned from my grandmother and my grandfather. My grandfather actually really enjoyed making arancine on Sunday mornings. I'm not sure if everybody uses parsley at this stage. I like the way that it looks, so I add the parsley.

I know that you definitely, most recipes you'll find, will add the eggs. Cheese and parsley is just something that my grandmother did. I like to do it. And, again, I always like my food to look as good as it tastes. So I'm just going to fold it in, get messy.

Here, I've put on some blue surgical gloves. This is one of my treasures that my husband brings home for me from his work. He's always bringing something home. And I'm always finding a use for it. So we call them bury treasures. And I realized if I use surgical gloves and dip my hands in water when I'm making my arancine, the rice doesn't really stick to your hand as much. And makes an easy cleanup also. So thank you to my husband for bringing me home my blue surgical gloves.

So the first thing we're going to do is we're going to add some milk to three eggs beaten. And I'm just going to mix this up. This is going to be our egg wash. First I'm going to dip my hands in water. That's another trick that I found that really, really helps. I also do this and use my blue gloves every Sunday when I make my meatballs.

So my hand is wet. This scoop works great-- an ice cream scoop. I found that when I use my ice cream scoops, my arancine all come uniform, and they cook much better. So here we have one scoop of our rice, our saffron cheese and parsley rice. We're going to flatten it out like this.

The next thing we're going to do is we're going to take a scoop of our bolognese sauce that I've added some frozen peas to, about a cup of frozen peas. So it's a great way to use your bolognese left over from Sunday. You are going to add a nice cube of fontina cheese. I love fontina cheese, it's the greatest cheese to melt. It has an awesome flavor.

Then we're going to add another scoop of our rice right on top. See, now you see these in stores and you think in restaurants that they are so hard to make. They really are so simple to make. So we're going to gently pat it.

We're going to form a ball the size of an orange. And it's OK, if you see a little sauce here, don't panic. Grab a little rice. Just like we're performing surgery on our rice ball with our surgical gloves.

So here we have our ball all formed. Now I'm going to gently roll it in our egg. And then roll it in our modiga. So here's another way that we use our modiga. I told you that I use it almost every day in some way, shape, or form. And here's another way that I use it. So here's our first arancine. That wasn't so bad, was it?

OK, so now we're going to place our arancine into our nice hot la spagnola oil. So here's a trick that I discovered on my own. Use one of your little pastry knives and you loosen the arancine on the bottom so that it doesn't stick. It works really well.

Sometimes, if you have more in the pan, trying to get a spatchula in there is way too big. And you're going to break the arancine. We need to be very gentle with the arancine.

So I think we're ready. You can see it's kind of golden. Let me give it a turn. Ooh, look at that. So pretty. As my daughter would say, momma so yum. These are frying up really nice.

You can see our modiga with the parsley and cheese, and garlic. It's delicious. And right now, as these are cooking in the hot oil, that fontina cheese is melting. And wait until we cut into it, you are going to really see what I mean of why I like to use fontina cheese.

Normally, I would fill this pan. Let's see, I could probably get at least three more into the pan. You can crowd the pan, but you just don't want them touching. So whatever size pan you're using is fine. And I have about an inch of oil, inch and a half of oil into my frying pan.

Oh, these look gorgeous. I'm just going to give one last flip, just to make sure we're all even. And this one looks perfect. Lift it right out.

And there we go. It's as simple as that. The cooking process is really quick. Once that oil is hot, it's minutes. And really you can probably do-- in this pan I'd probably do five at a time.

So now we're going to plate the arancine. How I like to serve it is use some of the [? gonza, ?] which is the filling that we stuffed the arancine with, onto the plate. This is a bolognese sauce that I made on Sunday. And I just added some frozen peas to it. It's a great way to use your bolognese left over.

I'm going to place an arancine right on top. I'm going to sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top. We're going to sprinkle some basil. You can see the fontina cheese is melted and it's all oozing from the inside. So delicious. Let's have a taste.

We were very successful. These are delicious. I hope you enjoy.

Arancini
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