Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Baked Arancini

One of my best food memories from childhood growing up on Long Island is going to the Italian specialty shop and getting Arancini. The place we went to was right by the hair salon, so my sisters and I would get hair cuts and then my mom would pick up some fresh pasta and we'd get one of the delicious fried risotto balls. I can't remember the last time I had one, it must be at least ten years ago!
I was at an Italian restaurant that had them on the menu, and knew I'd have to make them at home. Traditionally they have saffron risotto, peas, ground beef and mozzarella, then they're fried and served with marinara. I left out the beef and baked mine rather than fry. They tasted great, not as good as the crispy fried balls, but still delicious!
Oh, and I just googled the place we went, and here's the info:
St. James Pasta
244 Lake Avenue
St. James, NY 11780

Baked Arancini

1 tbsp. butter
1 small yellow onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 c. arborio rice
1/2 c. dry white wine
3 c. vegetable stock, warmed with 1/2 tsp. saffron threads
Salt and pepper
1/2 c. frozen peas
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
1/2 c. grated mozzarella cheese
1 c. Italian breadcrumbs
1/2 c. Panko breadcrumbs

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat, add onions, garlic and rice.
Stir and coat with butter, toast rice grains.
Add white wine, reduce.
Season with salt and pepper.
Add vegetable stock 1/3 c. at a time, stirring well between additions.
Cook for about 25 minutes, or until rice has absorbed all liquid.
Add peas, parmesan and mozzarella.
Stir well to combine, pour into a tupperware dish and refrigerate overnight or until thoroughly chilled.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Scoop out rice in 1/3 c. balls, shape and place on a baking sheet.
When all rice is in balls, toss in breadcrumbs.
Pack breadcrumbs on with hands, place back on baking sheet.
Drizzle with EVOO or spray with oil spray.
Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Serve with marinara.
Makes about 12 balls


Ashley said...

I didn't realize you lived near St. James growing up. I recently moved to Long Island and one of my favorite restaurants is Kitchen a Bistro in St. James- Have you ever been there?

Ashlee Wetherington said...

nope, haven't been there! i don't remember going out to eat much (besides pizza!) but my favorite memory was the st. james general store... lol

Joanne said...

I used to eat a lot of the larger rice balls growing up...we got them from the local Italian deli in Queens (Iavarone Bros.). Good stuff but so bad for you looking back on it. I will try to recreate them using your recipe!

Kelly said...

Those look delicious. I'm not going to lie, I love the fried version. Glad to know these work baked too.

sandy said...

I went to Stony Brook back in the late 60s-early 70s. does anyone have a recipe for the St. James General store oatmeal cookies? they were baked in the bake oven part of the fireplace but i remember they were small rounded and very very good.