This is one version of the wonderfully crispy and spicy fried rice balls and croquettes that I used to love making all the time, but I've been out of the habit for a long time now because I despise wasting several cups of good quality olive oil for deep-frying and I absolutely refuse to use cheaper vegetable oils. But they were always such a tasty treat that I kept returning to the idea when thinking of something to accompany the Italian-style cannellini bean soup with fontina gremolata I had planned for my menu. To overcome my scruples, I came up with a healthier alternative to deep frying and baked the rice balls instead. I was delighted when they turned out just as delicious as I had remembered them, crunchy and brown on the outside and creamy and chewy in the middle.
These rice balls take little time to prepare, but can take some while to cook, especially if they don't all fit in one baking dish. You can cut down on the time by cooking the rice in the morning and letting it cool during the day. Leftovers can be wrapped in foil and reheated in a 350° oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
These rice balls would also be a good appetizer or snack, served along with some salsa.
|Baked Italian Brown Rice Balls (Arancini)|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
Published on March 20, 2008
Crispy, spicy and cheesy Italian-style rice balls — heavenly, and baked instead of fried