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Children and adults love these cheesy rice balls. They’re such a treat fresh off the stove stuffed with glorious gooey cheese….
Ingredients [ For 22 to 24 people ] [ Preparation time : 22 minute – Cooking time : 38 minutes ]
- 2 Tbsp olive oil + 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 med onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup ham, finely diced (about 3 oz)
- 2 cups medium grain rice such as Jasmine rice (un-rinsed)
- 1 cup dry white wine such as Chardonnay
- 5 cups hot reduced-sodium chicken broth/stock
- 1 tsp salt (we used sea salt)
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- ⅓ cup fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 4 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into 24 (1/2-inch) cubes
For Breading/ Frying
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs, beaten with a fork
- 1½ cups dry Italian Breadcrumbs
- Oil for frying (vegetable, canola, or grapeseed oil)
- Using a dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot with tight-fitting lid, over medium/high heat, add 2 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp butter.
- When hot, stir in diced onion and saute until soft and golden (4-5 min). Add finely diced ham and cook another 2 min or until golden.
- Add rice and stir to coat with oil.
- Pour in 1 cup white wine and cook until mostly evaporated (2 min).
- Add 5 cups hot low sodium chicken broth and 1 tsp salt then cover and cook until liquid has been absorbed by the rice (about 15 min).
- Stir in the peas in, then cover with a tight-fitting lid and finish cooking (2 min).
- Rice should be soft and the liquid mostly absorbed. Spread rice mixture onto a large rimmed baking dish to cool.
- Once rice is cooled, stir in ⅓ cup finely chopped parsley and 1 cup parmesan cheese.
- Form rice balls using a heaping ice cream scoop for each.
- Stuff each rice ball with a cube of mozzarella cheese and form a tight ball with the rice mixture to enclose the cheese.
- Set up 3 shallow bowls, the first one to have 1 cup flour, the second with 3 beaten eggs, the third with 1½ cups breadcrumbs.
- Dredge each rice ball in flour, shaking off the excess, then dip one-by-one in the beaten egg allowing excess egg to drip back into the bowl. Finally, roll balls in breadcrumbs until evenly coated.
- It’s best to roll and bread all of the rice balls before beginning frying since the frying is quick.
- Add an inch of vegetable oil into a deep skillet or pot over medium heat (a pot is nice to reduce splatter).
- Once the oil is hot, add the breaded rice balls in batches without crowding the pot and cook about 3 min total per batch, turning to get all sides golden brown.
- Transfer to paper towels and serve warm with marinara, or with ranch (as my son prefers),