I’m back in the comfort of my own kitchen again! I had a great week traveling home to Massachusetts, and to Florida for a couple days too. Talk about a strangely packed suitcase- I had winter boots and sweaters next to flip flops and swimsuits. It was fun, but I’m really glad to be home.
The downside of my week away was the fact that my husband is not the best at grocery shopping. There was not a lot to work with in my fridge and pantry when I got back, and I wasn’t in the mood to run right out to the store. So I threw together this hearty little snack from what I could find- blue cheese stuffed arancini with a honey hot dipping sauce!
Arancini are Italian rice balls. You can use day old rice, like I did, or risotto, but the latter is a lot more work with the constant stirring. Traditionally arancini have ingredients like mozzarella, peas or ham stuffed inside. Mine definitely have a more American twist.
Yields 8-10 rice balls
- 8.8 oz instant rice (I am going to be honest, I used a bag of good ol’ Uncle Ben’s 90 second rice), cooked and refrigerated overnight
- 3 cups vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan
- 2 eggs
- 3-4 Tbsp blue cheese crumbles
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1/8 cup sriracha sauce
- 1/8 cup honey
- Heat oil on the stove top in a small pot over medium-high heat. Don’t use a skillet, because you want the rice balls to be completely submerged when you fry them.
- In a bowl, throughly mix the rice, the parmesan and the eggs together. In a second bowl, combine the panko bread crumbs, onion powder, garlic powder and oregano.
- With damp hands, pick up about an ounce of the rice mixture and place a couple large blue cheese crumbles in the center. Gently mold the rice around the crumbles and into a ball, sealing them inside. (It should be about the size of a golf ball.)
- Roll the rice ball in the bread crumb mixture until completely coated and place it on a piece of wax paper. Repeat until you run out of rice.
- Fry the balls in small batches, about three or four at a time, for 4-5 minutes, until golden brown. Don’t crowd them in the pot. You can gently turn them once halfway through, but they should be submerged in the oil, so it shouldn’t be necessary. Remove from the oil and let them cool on a paper towel or fresh wax paper.
- For the dipping sauce: stir together equal parts sriracha sauce and honey. I made about a quarter of a cup, but you can make as much as you like.
If you don’t have sriracha and honey, you can substitute the dipping sauce for buffalo. I’m a little burnt out on buffalo after football season and I’m really into the spicy sweet sauces at the moment like honey hot, pineapple habanero, Thai sweet chili etc.
This is a great appetizer or party snack. They aren’t too big, but a couple of these are all you need. It’s also a great way to use up last nights leftover rice and turn it into something completely different. They don’t have to be made my way either. You can do them plain or with traditional stuffing, like mozzarella, and some marinara sauce to dip. I love, love, love dishes that use up leftovers.
Another thing I love is seeing people try recipes! I got a couple pictures from people last week, which was so nice to see while I was away from my kitchen. So if you make any of these, please send it to me on Twitter or Instagram!
You can also check out some of the food I ate (but didn’t cook) while I was traveling. I admit it was pretty nice to eat out a lot and not worry about making dinner, but it’s good to be back. I’m sure I’ll have a couple more posts this week because I’ve been inspired and excited to get back to work!