Well! I’ve made my first attempt at making a Sicilian rice ball, and it was certainly an adventure. I’ve gotta say, for a first go ’round, I’m pretty impressed with myself.
As I said yesterday, once you’ve made your risotto and fillings and allowed them to cool, you’ll want to cut out portions of the risotto from your cookie sheet, make them into little bowl shapes, stuff your filling in there, and then wrap the risotto around the filling to form a sphere. It’s actually more difficult than it sounds, trying to completely enclose the filling in the risotto, but after a few attempts, I (sort of) got into the rhythm.
Once you’ve formed those spheres, you’ll want to roll them in your batter and then finally roll them around in breadcrumbs. And voila! You’re ready to cook your balls! (Sorry, it was just too easy. Writing about making Sicilian rice balls is a constant struggle in trying not to make too many testicle jokes. So let’s just get that out in the open and out of the way.)
Now, traditionally, these rice balls are fried. I thought I’d go out on a limb and try baking them instead. A little untraditional, a little more healthy, and probably admittedly a little less delicious. Here’s how it all went down.
Here they are going into the oven. I sprayed them with some cooking spray to give them a little more shine on the back end, but it didn’t really seem to do much. Anyway, I put them in at 425 for about 35 minutes, which may have been a bit long, but only a little.
And here’s how they came out! My first experience doing the whole “rolling in batter and then breadcrumbs” thing was obviously a little bit of a misfire, as you can clearly see that I missed some spots. And I’d like them to look a little prettier in general. But! Check this out:
That looks more like it, right?! This particular one was stuffed with my turkey/cranberry/goat cheese/pecan concoction, and if I do say so myself, it’s pretty damn delicious. Not perfect, but actually much closer than I thought to what I think could be a sellable product.
So here are my takeaways:
-I definitely want to try frying these suckers. Baking them actually proved to be much more successful than I thought it would be, but still. Fried stuff is delicious and I’m curious how much better they’ll be. Just keep your fingers crossed that I don’t get 3rd degree oil burns!!
-Two things that I think will put these over the top:
–The risotto needs to be fancier. I made a pretty basic cheese risotto, but I think if I tailor the risotto for each individual filling, it’ll really make these pop.
–I’m definitely intrigued by playing around with some spices in the breadcrumbs. I used plain breadcrumbs because I wanted to keep it simple, but I have a feeling some cumin mixed in there might make deliciousness abound.
Recipes are still to come, I promise! I just want to make everything perfect before I send these out into the world. So, more soon! Thanks for reading, dear readers.