Preparing Sicilian Rice Balls is somewhat of an art.
This Sicilian appetizer is stuffed with cheese and meat and coated with a light crispy batter.
They faintly resemble the color and texture of an orange after frying.
Sicilian Rice Balls can be served as snacks, for holiday parties or as a light dinner served with a nice salad.
They will take a couple of hour to make but they are well worth the effort.
There are many variations of this recipe.
The stuffing varies but the technique is still the same.
4 cups of cooked rice
1 cup of fresh grated Parmesan cheese
4 egg whites
4 egg yolks
2 cups of seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup of tomato sauce
1/2 pound of ground beef
1 cup of mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 cup of peas, cooked
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
In frying pan sauté the ground beef breaking up the meat into little pieces.
Add the garlic, salt, pepper, peas, mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup of tomato sauce.
Simmer together for about 10 minutes.
Let the mixture cool down.
Add the egg yolks and the Parmesan cheese to the rice.
Add the remaining sauce to the rice a little at a time.
Roll the rice into balls shaped like a medium sized oranges.
Poke a hole into the center of the rice and insert around 2 Tbls of the meat mixture.
Pat the ball with the unbeaten egg whites and roll into the breadcrumbs.
In a large frying pan, fry the rice balls in the olive oil until golden brown.
Makes 4 to 6 rice balls.