How Do You Pronounce Arancini?
Ah-ran-che-nee? Air-ran-chen-nee? Someone will have to tell me how this is pronounced.
Anyway . . .
I frequent Angelo Caputo’s Fresh Markets quite a bit since there is one near work. Everytime I’m there, I ponder in the deli section and stare into the cases like a food perv. But I’m not talking aobu the deli meat – the creepy stare is saved for the Italian-prepared dishes. The arancini always caught my eyes. And a few times I’ve brought some home. Fried risotto balls with a side of Caputo-made marinara. It’s good stuff.
Except for the pile of cheese in each ball.
I will admit it: I am lactose intolerant. Stomach-cramps-and-bathroom-episodes-type of LT. It’s getting better as I get older, but I still have reasons to avoid dairy.
So I decided to try my hand at making arancini. Without cheese. Then, Sparky requested that they not be fried (his attempt at eating better despite his 2-desserts-each-night habit). A bit more tricky, but I was going to make it happen.
But I’ll admit: I didn’t feel like making risotto. We weren’t going to have it for dinner that night anyway. So I went old school (and a little healthy) by dumping 2 cups of brown rice (instead of the traditional arborio), chopped green onions (3 stalks), a big handful of peas (I will probably add this @ the end of the cooking process next time – the peas got soggy and disintegrated into the rice), 2 vegetable bouillon cubes and 6 cups of water into a rice cooker. Yup, I really did use a rice cooker. Giada will probably shun me.
After the rice was done cooking, I squeezed in a lime, cut in some sun-dried tomatoes (from Caputo’s, of course) and folded in some baby spinach. My clean hands became sticky hands when I started rolling out baseball-sized arancini. Each ball got rolled in some bread crumbs (mixed with some Italian seasoning) and were placed in the fridge overnight to firm.
They look like meatballs, don’t they?
I sprayed each Arancini with some olive oil with a Misto (a new purchase – love it) before putting the tray into a 375–degree oven for 45 minutes.
You know what? It was pretty good . . . and I didn’t end up frying anything. As we each enjoyed an Arancini with a side of marinara, we really didn’t really miss the fried taste.