Oct 16, 2013

Mini Rice Balls with Eggs and Cheese

 
Mini Rice Balls with Eggs and Cheese are a fun finger food for the whole family. Just serve these with our Mom's quick marinara sauce for dipping and watch as they vanish!  Italian mini rice balls are made with tender rice, eggs, cheese, butter and parsley, then gently fried in oil until golden brown. Yummy!
 
A classic Neapolitan recipe from Mom, and Aunt Tina.  Aunt Tina and Mom are both great cooks.  At family gatherings and on Sundays, you can bet Aunt Tina makes these rice balls every time!
These can be made to any size you prefer.  Our family loves them best when we make them into the appetizer size.  Make these a day in advance and fry them up just before you serve them.  They're fun at parties, great as an appetizer, or as a side dish.  Either way, everyone will LOVE THEM!

Here are some Tips:  For a healthier appetizer, use brown rice instead of white rice.  Also, if you make the rice balls slightly larger, 2 to 3 inches, you may add a small chunk of mozzarella in the center of each ball just before you roll into breadcrumbs.  Then fry them up!  Making them more delicious with a surprise waiting!


Mini Rice Balls with Eggs and Cheese

  •  1+ 1/2 cups  Long Grain Rice ( I prefer Carolina Rice)
  •  1/2 stick of butter
  •  1 cup of Parmigiana grated cheese
  •  3 whole eggs
  •  1 Tbsp. fresh parsley- chopped
  •  pinch of cayenne pepper
  •  salt and pepper to taste
  •  1 + 1/2 cups plain bread crumbs
  •  1 cup of canola oil
  •  1 cup Mom's Quick Marinara Sauce

Boil rice according to the directions,  3 cups of water with 1+ 1/2 cups of rice.
Cover. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Until all water has been absorbed. Turn off heat.

Add butter and eggs. 
Mix well with a large spoon until the butter has completely melted.
Add grated cheese,  parsley, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.
Continue to mix until well combined.
Taste the rice, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place rice mixture into a large bowl and set aside to cool for about 15 to 20 minutes.
As the mixture cools , the rice mixture will start to thicken and become sticky enough to make into balls.
 
In a different bowl,  place bread crumbs.
Using your hand and a teaspoon. 
Take one teaspoon amount of rice and form a 1 + 1/2 "  ball in your palm.

While in your palm,  place your hand over the bread crumbs and  take some bread crumbs to coat the rice and pat gently until the rice ball is completely coated.  Repeat this process with each rice balls until all entire rice mixture is gone.





Using a 10" frying pan or skillet.  Heat canola oil on medium to high heat.  When OIL is HOT, gently add the Rice Balls one by one (no more than 9 at a time, or it will cool down the oil).

Fry until golden on all sides.  Remove and drain on paper towels.
 
Place rice balls into a serving platter. 
Place a cup of Marinara Sauce in a small bowl for dipping.

Optional: Add some crushed red pepper to the dipping sauce - to spice it up. And serve. Enjoy!


Yields: 28 to 30 rice balls ( depending on the size you make).

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20 comments:

  1. This recipe is what floods my mind with memories of my lovely family in NY. I've never had a meal with any of you without rice balls on the table. :)

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  2. Hi Carla,
    yes good ol aunt tina's rice balls...they were the best.

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  3. I made them for Easter along with the sauce. Everyone liked them a lot. I found them equally good the next day. I'd alter the recipe a little by doubling the parmigiana. I used light olive oil, too. A deep fryer would be best, especially with peanut oil.

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  4. Mike, you can certainly use olive oil and adding more cheese will make them even creamier!

    I try to keep them light - less calories per ball.

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  5. I am not a huge fan of eating fried foods because they often upset my stomach. BUT I think that you could totally make a baked version of these to still get that crunch. I think I just might try to do that. :)

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  6. Yes I believe you can Sara, My Mom makes this recipe in a pie form and bakes it, similar to her potato pie. Its just as creamy and delicious with a slight crunch on top. Go for it!

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  7. I enjoy very much your recipes and I look forward to learning more Italian cooking sincer my husband is Italian! Thanks again, Lisa

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  8. Wow, those look and sound amazing. Perfect finger-food indeed!

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  9. OMG, these are so crispy and crunchy looking I wish I could get a bite or two:)

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  10. Hello, ladies! Thank you so much for your kind comment and I'm glad it brought me here. I'm you newest email subscriber. I've never made rice balls and they sound like a delicious appetizer. I'll be making some with mozzarella too. I think my family will love these.

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    1. Oh thank you Susan! We hope you like the rice balls, and we hope to see you more often! xxoo Anna

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  11. These look so good! I love anything you can prep the day before and just cook the day of.

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  12. Hey girls! These look amazing. I love anything that is fried and crispy. These sort of remind me of mozzarella sticks especially since they can be dipped in the marina sauce. Yum! xoxo, Jackie

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    1. Hey jackie, you're right! Mozzarella sticks is now on my list of things to make! I haven't made them in a long time, its goes on my endless list of things to do...thanks xo

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  13. I have to say, fried food is the best finger food. These look absolutely wonderful!

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  14. We used to get huge rice balls all the time from an Italian deli but now that I'm seeing these, I think I'd like the mini more! More crispy surface area. :)

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  15. I especially like the idea of making them bigger and hiding mozzarella inside. They look so crispy and delicious!

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  16. I am new visitor to your blog. Really nice to find and go through it. You have shared some amazing recipes. The recipe shared here is delicious, healthy and crispy. Surely will try it in my breakfast. Continue sharing such recipe. Thanks for sharing.

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  17. Hi Josie! And welcome to our site- its so nice to meet you! Glad you came by to visit and hope you see you again.

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  18. I think I could dunk a few of these! Yum

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