Saturday, November 11, 2006

Chicken Soup into Arancini

So sod Margaret Mason, here's what I had for lunch today...

A few days ago, I made risotto with the chicken stock I made with my mom. It was really good and you could really taste the difference - the risotto somehow seemed more intense and yet at the same time quite subtle in its flavor. A contradiction, I know, but there was definitely something there I couldn't put my finger on. It was a pity that I wasn't able to finish the risotto.

I have had it in mind to make arancini out of the leftover rice, but not having any mozzarella in the house, I wasn't sure if I wanted to go through with it. But then, I decided on an asian twist, and went ahead and used my latest new ingredient, panko bread crumbs. I had bought the crumbs a few days ago not really sure how I will use them but was curious all the same. Lunch today presented as a great opportunity.

The rice balls were fabulous. The panko bread crumbs provide such a crunchy and sturdy shell. I could really imagine this being fabulous with pork chops and chicken breast too. Mmmm, I love panko bread crumbs.

Asian Rice Balls with Tangy Spinach Salad

1 cup leftover risotto or sticky rice
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup light olive oil
1 cup baby spinach leaves
juice from 1/2 lime
maldon salt
extra virgin olive oil

Form small balls with the leftover rice and dip them in flour, then in egg, and finally in the panko bread crumbs. Let them rest on a flat plate or chopping board while the light olive oil is heating in a non-stick pan.

When the oil is hot, quickly fry the rice balls, turning them all over so that they are golden on all sides. This should take 5-7 minutes.

Meanwhile, start the spinach salad. Toss the leaves in extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt. Drizzle the lime juice over and toss again. Serve with the rice balls.

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