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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Rice Fritters

Have some leftover rice? That's never a problem in my house. Leftover rice always gets used. There are so many things you can use it for. I love taking cold rice salads for lunch (leftover white rice, tomato, cucumber, green onion, garlic and a splash of red wine vinegar and olive oil - yum). My kids simply adore fried rice, which I often make for them with leftovers. You can also throw leftover rice into soup or stew or a sandwich (OK. OK. You got me. I've never put in a sandwich, but I bet you could!!)

Anyway, here's my favorite way to deal with leftover rice. Usually I would make this with leftover risotto, but any leftover rice that is a little on the sticky side will do (you just need to be able to shape it into a ball that will stay formed). This time, I had some leftover Persian Rice. Sadly, I had my Mom and Dad for dinner the night I made it, and in all the excitement I forgot to take pictures of the original rice recipe.

The next day, I made these Rice Fritters.

These are really tremendous! I am surprised that you don't see this on appetizer menu's in restaurants more often, alongside the fried zucchini, potato skins and the nachos... (and they are WAY better than your run of the mill deep fried mozzarella sticks).

I am going to leave the amounts out of the recipe, because it really all depends on how much leftover rice you have. Just start with one egg and about 1/2 cup of crumbs, because you can always add more if you run out, but if you crack 8 eggs and dump out your whole box of panko... well... that wasn't very smart. Why'd you do that?

Rice Fritters

Leftover rice
Panko crumbs
Mozzarella Cheese
Dipping Sauce (Marinara Style)

1. Shape the rice into balls that are, in diameter, precisely halfway in between a walnut and a golf ball... just kidding! Just make your balls "yay big".

2. Cut some mozzarella into little cubes (about 1 cm square).

3. Make a depression with your finger in each rice ball and press in a mozzarella cube. Close the rice back up to completely enclose the ooey-gooey mozzarella goodness.

4. Roll the rice balls around in beaten egg, and then in panko crumbs until well coated.

5. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes or so, to set coating.

6. Preheat oven to 400F (use convection if you have it). Place the rice balls on a baking sheet that you've sprayed with cooking spray. Spray more cooking spray on top of the rice balls. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Turn them around and give them another squirt of cooking spray halfway through. (FYI - the original recipe called for these to be deep fried, but I don't like to deep fry at home).

7. Serve with your favorite marinara-type dipping sauce (I used canned pizza sauce).