Sunday, May 9, 2010

Rice Balls

Rice balls are fabulous as a side dish or as an entree.  They certainly go over big in my household!  For this recipe I use sticky rice.  Not minute rice, arborio rice, or sushi rice… sticky rice.  You shouldn’t have a problem finding it.  You’ll prepare it the way the package indicates.  Make sure you rinse the rice before cooking it.  I’m going to give you a basic recipe here.  Keep in mind you may add anything you like to the center of the rice balls; corn, peas, meat, sausage meat, there are no limits.  I have to make mine plain, because I have a ‘plain’ child, that likes ‘plain’ food, (she’s getting better though).

14 Rice Balls
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2 cups sticky rice
3-1/2 cups water (prepare as directed on package)
2 cups breadcrumbs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup grated romano or parmesan cheese
1 egg
3 cups of your favorite tomato sauce
1/2 Mozzarella cheese ball
oil or spray oil
Oil for frying. (Oil should be about 2” to 3” deep)

Cook rice as per directions on package.  Don’t forget to rinse it first. 
Prepare the breadcrumb mixture.  Put the following ingredients into a shallow dish or pan; breadcrumbs, salt, garlic powder, 1/4 cup of grated cheese. Set aside.
Once rice is cooked, remove from heat and add 1/4 cup of grated cheese and 1/2 cup of tomato sauce (doesn’t have to be hot).  Mix well.   Cool rice just enough to be able to handle it.
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While rice is cooling a few minutes, crack egg in a small bowl and beat with fork, set aside.  Cut mozzarella into small cubes..about 1 inch x 1 inch.  If you want to put anything else in the middle of the rice ball, now is the time to get that together. Make sure whatever you put in the centre of the rice ball is already cooked. 
When rice is ready to handle, spray both your hands with spray oil (or oil).  Take a heaping tablespoon full of the rice and pat it flat in your hand, add a cube or two of cheese (and any other ingredient at this point) then another heaping spoonful of rice formed into a patty and put that on top.  Form this little rice sandwich into a ball, about 2-1/2 to 3 inches in diameter, but you could make then larger if you like.   Keep oiling hands as needed.  Dip rolled ball into beaten egg and wash it all over with your hands. Roll in breadcrumb mixture.  Shake off excess bread crumbs and fry in heated oil. Keep rolling the balls and turning them constantly while frying.  Fry to a nice golden brown color, frying time should be about 3 minutes. Don’t let oil get TOO hot.  Drain on paper towel.

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Serve alone or topped with sauce.  Bon Appétit
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