I had my first taste of Arancini recently at a restaurant in Souk Al Bahar. It is rice croquettes stuffed with goat cheese. I loved how crispy and golden it was on the outside with fresh bites of gooey cheese in the inside. I have been craving for it since, but did not have all the ingredients at home. So instead i did my own version of Arancini- Potato and rice stuffed with cheese. I used the basmati rice, and cooked them in vegetable stock to give it flavour. Mixed it with a Italian seasoned mashed potato. Tucked in a small wedge of cheese and rolled them in breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. This recipe make about 20 lemon sized croquettes. I froze a batch for later. Its a great snack and could be easily turned into a meal by serving with a side salad.
Potato; boiled and mashed – 400gms
Onions; chopped finely – 60gms
Green chilly; minced finely -1 no.
Basil; dried -1/4 tsp
Oregano; dried -1/4 tsp
Thyme; dried -1/4 tsp
Smoked paprika -1 tsp
Salt and Pepper -to taste
Olive oil -2 tblsp
Rice; Basmati -1 cup
Vegetable stock -2 cups
Processed cheese – 4 wedges (each cut to 4 equal pieces)
Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes. After half an hour, cook the rice in vegetable stock. Cook until the rice is well done and absorbs all the stock. (I used the rice cooker). Keep aside to cool.
In a nonstick pan, heat two tablespoons of Olive oil. To the hot oil add the onions and green chillies, sauté this until the onions turn translucent. Add the Italian seasonings, paprika, salt and pepper and stir well. Add the mashed potatoes and mix thoroughly. Turn the heat off and then add the rice and stir through.
Once the potato and rice mixture cools, shape them into lemon sized balls. Dent the balls with the thumb, and stuff the cheese. Roll the mixture to cover the stuffing.
Coat the potato and rice balls with a mixture of bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Deep fry in vegetable oil until golden brown.
This can be served as a snack or as main meal with a side salad.