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Arancini are stuffed rice balls of Sicilian origin, which are deep fried. They are crisp on the outside with a shattering crust that breaks open to reveal tender grains of rice in a rich and flavorful creamy mozzarella sauce. Arancini are the perfect versatile snack, which can be prepared as a salty snack or even as a sweet chocolate snack version.
- 4 cups short-grain Asian rice
- 1 pound low-moisture mozzarella, diced
- 1/2 cup any grated cheese
- 1 1/2 cup bechamel sauce
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 2 cups oil for deep-frying
- Pepper to taste
For bechamel sauce:
- 3 cups milk
- 2 oz butter
- 2 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 tbsp flour
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- Cook rice in salted water.
- Meantime, prepare the bechamel sauce: pour milk into a small saucepan. Add 2 cloves, bay leaf and nutmeg. Put the saucepan with milk on low heat, bring to a boil and continue cooking for another 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Take out cloves and bay leaf.
- In a saucepan, put chopped butter sprinkled with flour. Cook on medium heat, stirring and rubbing with a wooden spoon, for 3-4 minutes, until the butter and flour form a single mass.
- Pour in 1/2 milk. Cook, continuously kneading the flour mass, until it starts boiling. Then pour in the remaining milk. Continue cooking without letting the milk boil again until the sauce has the consistency of thick cream. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Drain the rice and let it dry for 5 minutes.
- Mix rice, chopped mozzarella, grated cheese. Stir well. Roll out balls of rice. Then flatten the balls. Put 1-2 tablespoons of bechamel sauce in the middle of each ball. Roll the balls.
- Beat up eggs in a bowl and dip each ball, then transfer to breadcrumbs and roll to coat.
- Heat oil for deep-frying to 340° F (170° C). Gently set balls on a slotted spoon and dip it into the oil. Fry the balls until golden brown. Take out with a slotted spoon and immediately transfer to paper towel-lined baking sheets or plates.
- Let cool slightly, then serve.