arancini



Italian style filled rice croquettes in the shape of little oranges. Apparently Italian oranges are shaped like pears. They can be filled with pretty much anything. These are filled with a chicken and mushroom mixture.

Boy, I sure wish I had watched a few of those YouTube videos before doing this. The Italian video looked like they were using processed rice. It looked like masa. Come to think of it, masa would probably be pretty darn good too. The Epicurious video I watched in English used egg and and another liquid in the rice mixture. Theirs was stuffed with chunks of mozzarella. They called them aranchini telephono because when you take a bite and withdraw the piece a string of mozzarella stretches like a telephone chord (as if telephones had cords). The recipe I read on Al Dente deep-fried them one at a time then baked them all to bring up the internal temperature. Giada De Laurentis mixed some of the bread crumbs in with the rice mixture. There appears to be a broad range of variance for these things, but arancini elitists agree they're seldom as good outside of Italy.

My breadcrumbs were the processed crusts from sourdough loaves that were trimmed previously for hors d'oeuvres. They were frozen while fresh so not dry, and there was no egg or bread crumbs in my rice mixture which would have made forming the balls a lot easier. Mine made a HUGE MESS in my kitchen which probably wasn't necessary. I would not bother with these for a large party, and I'd be careful with a small party. I can see how a single arancini could satisfy an appetite, and then tragically there would be no room for dessert. I forgot to add cheese so I grated some at serving. I served with jarred sun-dried tomato and olive bruschetta sauce.

This filling was made from what I had on hand and wanted to clear out. Next time of course it will be different.

* onion
* button mushrooms (last chance to use remnants)
* dried mushrooms (some kind of Japanese things)
* fresh garlic
* zucchini (one grocery store another balcony, both on their last leg)
* diced chicken breast
* Italian seasoning (dry)
* canned chicken broth
* flour and corn meal (because it was there and I wanted to use it)

The rice was leftover brown rice in the fridge for a week, and freshly cooked white rice with saffron and honey.

These were deep fried longer than they should have been then baked to even out the temperature.

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