Aracini – Cheesy Rice Balls



2 tbsp olive oil + 2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 onion, diced
1 cup ham, diced
2 cups jasmine rice, unrinsed
1 cup dry white wine
5 cups chicken stock or broth
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/3 cup italian parsley, chopped
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
4 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes

For frying:
1 cup all purpose flour
3 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cup bread crumbs
Oil for frying


In a large pot with a lid, heat up the pot on medium heat, then add 2 tbsp olive oil and then 2 tbsp of butter. When hot, stir in diced onion and saute until golden. Add in the ham and cook until beginning to brown, then add in the rice and stir to coat.

Pour in 1 cup of white wine and cook until evaporated, then add 5 cups chicken broth. Cover and cook until liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Stir in the peas and cover and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Spread rice on a baking dish to cool down quickly.

Stir in 1/3 cup parsley and 1 cup of cheese into the rice once its cooled completely. Form into ice cream scoop sized balls and stuff with a cube of mozzarella in each one. Form into a tight ball and set aside. Continue until all rice is used.

Set up a dredging station with 1 cup of flour in one bowl, second with the eggs and third with the bread crumbs. First take each ball, dip in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs.

Add a inch of oil in a deep skillet or pot on medium heat, once hot enough add the balls in batchers and cook about 3 minutes per batch. Turn to get all sides brown. Serve warm.

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