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Why a PINK chef's coat?

Simply put, I carry my Dad's legacy with me through my cookbook, cooking and everyday I am writing my food columns, he is always with me. I carry my Mom with me through a silent reminder of her struggle with breast cancer that took her life, as well as the lives of many other women who have dealt with, and are still dealing with, this horrible affliction. Besides, why not pink? It makes a man look good!

Simple Italian Meatball Arancini

This recipe is a favorite at my home and I am truly proud to offer it with any of you who have children. My kids have fun with these little crunchy critters, but not too much fun. After all, being a Yankee, we take a lumberman's approach to dinner. Be happy, but eat!!! The cheese-infused rice is such a great way to accent the tasty meatball inside, and with marinara sauce for dipping, your kids will certainly have no problem eating this Italian street food favorite. Prepare the rice at least 3 hours in advance of serving to make life alot easier.

You can also bake these by simply lining an oven pan with waxed or parchment paper, spray each Arancini with nonstick cooking spray and bake for about 20 minutes, or until crisp and hot.

Ingredients

For 10 Serving(s)

Recipe

  • 1 3/4 cup(s) beef or chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup(s) uncooked rice
  • 10 prepared meatballs, room temperature
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup(s) shredded cheese or your choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) each salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoon(s) flour
  • 1 teaspoon(s) hot sauce, if desired
  • 1 3/4 cup(s) crushed crackers
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 3/4 cup(s) hot Marinara sauce

Simple Italian Meatball Arancini Directions

  1. Over high heat in a medium saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Add rice, stir, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15-17 minutes, or unitl rice has absorbed all of the liquid. Remove from heat and set aside for a few minutes before transferring saucepan to referigerator to completely cool, This will take at least 3 hours.
  2. When ready, remove rice from refrigerator and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in egg, cheese, flour, salt and pepper and hot sauce. Mix well. It should be sticky and hold together well. If not, add a tablespoon flour at a time until it holds together.
  3. Heat oil to 350-degrees F over medium heat in a heavy pot, or use deep fryier according to manufacturer's instructions. Wet palms of both hands with water and grab a couple tablespoon measures of rice mixture. Flattenout rice in one palm and take a meatball, placing it in the middle of the rice. Now wrap the rice around it, rolling the mixture between the palms of your hands to completely hide the meatball. Repeat with remainder of meatballs. Then roll each meatball in crushed crackers, pressing firmly to coat.
  4. Fry 4 rice balls at a time for 4-5 mintues, or until nicely browned. Transfer to a paper towel-lined platter to drain. Give yourself a minute or two to let oil come back up to temperature before continuing with remaining arancini's. Serve with hot marinara sauce.
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