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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Beefcake's Redux with Chris Nogiec and Kevin McDermott

There have been other arancini recipes posted here. This one was stolen from Chow.com with and posted here with some modifications. The pictures were stolen from photographer Kevin McDermott, the subject of which makes for delicious fantasizing.

Arancini are small Italian rice croquettes traditionally from Sicily. Their name translates to mean "little oranges", which is indicative of their shape, size, and color. They are usually filled with cheese, though centuries of experimentation have resulted in varieties with anything from meat to vegetables.

I’ve adapted the recipe from its traditional, deep-fried goodness into a whole-grain, health-packed kind of goodness. The recipe is now vegetarian.

What to buy: Short grain Brown Rice, sometimes called Sweet Brown Rice, is used in brown-rice sushi and is sticky enough to use here.

Use a dry, unoaked white wine like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.

The arancini can be formed and chilled up to 12 hours ahead of time. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to finish them, bread and bake them.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, two tablespoons
White Onion, small, minced
Whole Grain Rice, two cups
Dry White Wine, one third cup [see above and below]
Broth, vegetable four and a half cups
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, one cup, finely grated [Pecorino is good]
Mozzarella, one pound, diced [the recipe called for fresh--our take: not necessary]
Basil, one bunchm fresh, stems removed
Grape Tomatoes, two cups, (Can substitute peas for this and leave out the cheese)
Olive Oil to spritz
Whole Wheat Pastry Flour, half cup
Eggs, six large, lightly beaten
Dry Whole Wheat Breadcrumbs, two cups
Oven pre-heated 350F

1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent.
2. Add rice and cook, stirring frequently to coat each grain with olive oil, about two minutes.
3. Add white wine and cook until almost completely evaporated.
4. Add broth, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cook until rice is completely tender and almost overcooked, not al dente (as for traditional risotto). Stir occasionally, and if rice starts becoming dry, add water.
5. When rice is finished, stir in cheese and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from heat and spread risotto on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Set aside to cool.
6. Place about one quarter cup risotto in your palm and use it to enclose a piece of mozzarella, a basil leaf, and a cherry tomato. (Moisten hands and pack rice into tight spheres.)

7. Place arancini on a tray and repeat. Cover in plastic and place in the refrigerator to chill, at least 30 minutes and up to 12 hours.
8. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set up separate shallow containers with flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs. Working with one arancini at a time, roll in flour, egg wash, and finally breadcrumbs.
9. Place a finished ball on the baking sheet. Repeat until all balls are breaded. (Use one hand for the dry ingredients and the other for the egg wash.)
10. Spritz the arancini with olive oil, then bake until golden. 6-10 minutes depending on your oven and the size of the arancini.

Prosecco is not only a good subsitute for cooking the rice but also great accompanimnet for cocktail hour. The rice would also be excellent cooked with beer.

Chris Nogiec is also an excellent photographic subject and a perfect accompaniment for photographer Kevin McDermott.

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