Rice Ball Romance

15 Aug

When I met my husband for our first date we went to a little restaurant in Victoria called “Johns place”. I had been there many times before but I thought it would be a great place to go with him. It was a casual place with an amazing menu for a great price. We settled into our booth and talked for a while and I ordered the rice balls as an appetizer. Little bites of heaven with a sweet chili dipping sauce. I think my husband loved them right away. It’s a food memory that we talk about still. Maybe we started to fall in love over the rice balls…maybe it was our song on the jukebox…who knows but that was about four years ago and we just celebrated our first year wedding anniversary recently.
I’ve always wanted to try to make these little bites of goodness. There are recipes all over the internet but I suppose I got lazy. While in Costco I picked up a new cookbook. Yes I needed another one. It is called “Italy, a journey for food lovers.” It is a comprehensive book with lots of pictures. Perfect. While flipping through I saw the rice ball recipe and decided that I would be a good little wife and make these asap. These take a couple days to make only because you have to let the risotto sit and cool overnight in the fridge.
The traditional name for these rice balls are “Suppli al Telephono” which means in a few words that when you bite into them the cheese pulls out to resemble strands of telephone wires. Try these one day. They are pretty easy and would be a hit as an appetizer or maybe a starter for a nice romantic meal with your loved one.

Suppli

3 tbsp butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
6 cups chicken stock (i just used one container)
2 cups risotto rice (arborio. this is a must! you can’t substitute)
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
9 basil leaves torn in half (i opted out cause hubby doesn’t like)
18 small cubes of good quality mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups dried breadcrumbs
oil for deep frying (i used grapeseed. You want a high smoke point oil so it doesn’t burn)

Melt your butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook over low temp until onion is soft but not browned. In another pot heat up the chicken stock.

Add the rice to the onion and butter mix and make sure you coat all the grains of rice. Time to make risotto. It’s not as hard as you think. Just time consuming. Add several ladles of the stock so it’s just covering the rice. Keep stirring every couple minutes to make sure the rice cooks evenly. Keep doing this process of covering the rice with stock and stirring for about 20 mins or so or until the rice is creamy on the outside and al dente. Your done! Not so hard was it?

Remove from heat and stir in the parmesan and eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Spread mix onto a large baking tray covered in parchment paper. Let cool for a bit then store in fridge over night.

Divide the rice into 18 portions. Take one portion and shape into a ball then place a cube of mozzarella cheese and basil in the centre. Fold the rice over to encase the cheese in the centre. Continue on with this until all balls are made. Once done roll the balls in the breadcrumb mix and place on a baking tray.

Now here you can do one of two things. Use a deep fat fryer or use a small amount of oil in a deep saucepan. I don’t have a fryer so I used my trusty old Le Cruset pot with about an inch or so of grapeseed oil. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F or until a piece of bread fries golden brown in 15 seconds when dropped in the oil. Fry the suppli in batches until evenly golden brown, flipping them over a few times. Drain on paper towels to get that excess oil off.

You can serve while hot with a big bowl of homemade tomato sauce or sweet chili sauce. Enjoy.

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One Response to “Rice Ball Romance”

  1. frenchpressing August 16, 2012 at 12:34 am #

    Drooling

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