Wednesday, March 6, 2013

This week's recipe



Prosciutto Arancini
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Italian by Michele Scicolone (Oxmoor House, 2007). 


Try this recipe with these two wines....
2011 Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio
2009 Villa Antinori Toscana


Arancini means “little oranges,” which is exactly what these round, deep-fried rice croquettes look like when they are lifted from the hot oil. They are served as snack food in bars and caf├ęs all over Sicily.

Ingredients: 
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth 
  • 1 cup medium-grain white rice such as Arborio ***
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter 
  • Pinch of sea salt     ***
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese     ***
  • 1 whole egg, plus 1 egg yolk     ***
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 2 cups fine dried bread crumbs (I prefer panko for added crunch)     ***
  • 3 egg whites     ***
  • 2 oz. prosciutto, chopped     ***
  • 2 oz. Sottocenere with Truffle *** grated medium on a box grater (the original recipe calls for mozzarella but the Sottocenere adds a deep earthy flavor from the truffles while maintaining the soft melted texture of the mozzarella)
  • Olive or canola oil for deep-frying     ***
 *** In stock at The Wine and Cheese Place

In a saucepan over high heat, bring the broth to a boil. Stir in the rice, butter and salt. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, 18 to 20 minutes.

Transfer the rice to a bowl and stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Let cool slightly, then stir in the whole egg and egg yolk. Let cool completely.
Spread the flour on a dinner plate, and spread the bread crumbs on a separate plate. In a shallow bowl, lightly beat the egg whites until blended. 

In a small bowl, mix together the prosciutto and sottocenere, moisten your hands with water. Scoop up 1/4 cup of the rice mixture and place it in the cupped palm of one hand. Flatten out the mixture slightly and place a good pinch of the prosciutto-sottocenere mixture in the center. Shape the rice into a ball. Roll the ball in the flour, and then in the egg whites to coat completely. Finally, roll the ball in the bread crumbs and place on a rack. Continue with the remaining ingredients to make roughly 12 balls total. Rinse your hands frequently to prevent the rice from sticking to them (this is important to be able to shape the arancini). Let dry on the rack for at least 15 minutes before frying, or refrigerate for up to 1 hour.


Position a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 200°F. Line a large baking sheet with paper towels and set it next to the stove, in order to keep the cooked arancini warm while frying the rest. Pour the olive oil to a depth of 3 inches into a deep, heavy fry or sauce pan and heat to 375°F on a deep-frying thermometer. The oil must cover the balls by at least 1 inch so they will cook evenly and not burst.

Using a slotted spoon or wire skimmer, gently lower a few of the rice balls into the hot oil, being careful not to crowd the pan. Fry until golden brown and crisp all over, about 2 minutes. Using the slotted spoon, transfer the arancini to the prepared baking sheet, sprinkle with sea salt while hot and place in the oven to keep warm. Fry the remaining arancini in the same way, allowing the oil to return to the original frying temperature before adding the next batch.

Serve warm with sauce of your choice, I enjoy the Rustichella d’abruzzo Napoletana sauce with these arancini.


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