Dana Treat – Treat Yourself

Successful Party Food

Posted May 31, 2009

Oven-Fried Rice Balls with Gruyère
Adapted from Food and Wine
Makes 20-30 rice balls

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup arborio rice
2 cups water
3/4 cup shredded Gruyère cheese (2 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup mixed chopped herbs (DT: I used lemon thyme, oregano, and basil)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

1.  Preheat oven to 450°.  Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan.  Add the shallot and garlic and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 4 minutes.  Add the rice and cook, stirring for 30 seconds.  Stir in the water and bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the water has been completely absorbed, about 10 minutes.  Scrape the rice into a bowl and let cool to room temperature.

2.  Stir the Gruyère, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and all the chopped herbs into the rice.  Season the rice with salt and pepper.

3.  In a medium stainless steel bowl, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt until firm peaks form.  Stir one-fourth of the whites into the rice to loosen the mixture, then stir in the remaining whites.  Roll the rice into 1 1/2 inch balls.  (DT: Periodically wetting your hands will keep the rice from sticking to you and will allow you to make more compact rice balls.)

4.  In a shallow bowl, toss the panko with the remaining 1/4 up of Parmesan.  Dredge the rice ball in the panko crumbs and transfer to a large baking sheet.  Bake the rice balls in the upper third of the oven for 25 minutes or until golden and crisp.  Let stand for 5 minutes then transfer to a platter and serve.

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