Saturday, October 6, 2007

Appetizer par-tay

Eva hosted our monthly ladies night in October and chose the theme to be all about appetizers. Sweet- some of my favorite food are tapas. For inspiration I turned to a childhood favorite- Rice balls.
In every decent Italian deli where I grew up there was a huge prepared food and meat counter and this was always a popular item, even for the pickiest of kids. The basic gist- you make a ball out of rice and cheese, possibly put something in the center- cheese or peas perhaps, bread the thing and throw it in the frier. How bad could that be?!
For mine I made a mushroom risotto the night before the party with dried porcini and fresh chanterelles, and finished it off with a little truffle butter. About an hour before the party i formed the risotto into balls, put a little chunk of buffalo mozzarella in the center, and did the usual flour, egg, breadcrumb prep before shallow fry in some olive oil. I let them cool a bit on a baking rack (is it just me or does is seem that putting fried stuff on paper towels just makes them soggy?)
The result was a crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, earthy, nutty, gooey cheese centered ball of deliciousness. I fried up a few sage leaves for a little color in the dish too.

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