I'm not sure how many Jets fans there are out there who are also full-blooded Italians, but if you're one of them or if you just really love Italian food, I know you will appreciate this blog!
I come from a 100% Italian family. My father's side is from Naples and my mother's side is from Sicily. It was only a matter of time before I was making my own sauce and digging my hands into a bowl of seasoned ground beef to make the perfect "meat-a-balls!"
Cooking has become a passion of mine and I enjoy trying new recipes. When I'm not at practice, at the gym, coaching my kickline team or out on the sidelines at New Meadowlands Stadium, you will most likely find me in the kitchen.
I thought I would share a recipe with you that I received from a very close family to me. Have you ever had a rice ball? Would you like to make the best rice balls you've ever had in your life?! Well then you have to try this recipe! I have made it several times and each time my family and friends have raved about them. I have slightly altered the original recipe but I still kept the fundamentals that make this recipe a hit!
2 cups rice
½ cup butter
1 small finely chopped onion
¼ cup dry white wine
5 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
¾ cup diced mozzarella
1 tablespoon parsley
3-4 chopped meatballs (depending on the size) with sauce
1 cup flour
In a pan, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook until it's transparent, which should take only a couple of minutes. Add the wine and the 2 cups of rice. Stir until the rice absorbs all of the wine. Add all of the chicken stock and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, or until rice is "al dente."
On the kitchen counter, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the pan from the stove and pour the rice onto the lined baking sheet. Sprinkle it with ½ cup of parmesan cheese, keeping in mind that you still have another ½ cup remaining. Let it cool. This may take about 20 minutes or so.
In a mixing bowl, mix the mozzarella cheese, the remaining ½ cup of parmesan cheese, parsley, one egg, and the chopped meatballs with the sauce (you do not want too much sauce so only use a small amount). Mix well. On the side, beat the remaining two eggs and put it into a small separate bowl. Pour the flour into another small bowl and the plain bread crumbs into a third small bowl. Set these aside.
Once the rice is cool, lay it in your palm and put a spoonful of the mixture into the center. Add a little more rice to the top and roll it into a ball using your hands. Then roll the rice ball into the flour, dip it into the beaten eggs, then roll it in the breadcrumbs.
Repeat this until all of the rice is gone and you have all of your rice balls ready to go. Place them all on a plate and let them rest for about 20-30 minutes, then fry until they are golden brown. If you are using a deep fryer, this will only take a few minutes.
I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I have. It may seem like a lengthy process but the end result is well worth it! In my family we eat together every Sunday and prepare a big Italian feast. Try this recipe the next time you are having a family dinner and make sure to invite everyone over.