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Smoked Cheddar Arancini

Smoked Cheddar AranciniYour guests will thank you for serving these crispy, deep-fried rice balls flavored with smoked cheddar. Recipe by Chef John Caputo.

Recipe Ingredients:

4 ounces butter
1/2 yellow onion, minced
10 ounces arborio rice (Italian risotto rice)
1 cup white wine
1 1/2 quarts water
Salt to taste
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) Wisconsin Smoked Cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large, whole eggs, beaten
2 cups finely ground bread crumbs
1 quart peanut oil for deep frying

Cooking Directions:

  1. For Arancini: Melt butter in large sauce pot over medium heat. Add onion and slowly sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add rice and toss with onions and butter. Stir in wine; cook until wine is absorbed. Add water 4 ounces at a time, stirring often, until water is absorbed each time. Add enough water, cooking until rice is tender, stirring constantly near end of cooking time. Remove from heat and season with salt.
  3. Spread on baking sheet and refrigerate until cool.
  4. Place a bowl of water, a bowl of the grated Smoked Cheddar cheese and the cooled rice on work surface. Wet palm of one hand so rice doesn’t stick to it. Press 2 level tablespoons rice into circle on your palm. Place about 1 teaspoon of the cheese in the center and form the rice into a ball around the cheese. Balls should be about the size of a golf ball.
  5. Place flour, eggs and bread crumbs in 3 separate bowls. Coat rice balls with flour, shaking off excess. Dip in eggs and then in bread crumbs. Press bread crumbs into sides of balls. Refrigerate until ready to fry and serve.
  6. Final Preparation: Heat oil in deep sauce pot to 350°F (175°C).
  7. Place 4 or 5 rice balls in the oil at a time using tongs. Cook all sides of the arancini until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes. Remove and drain on absorbent towel.
  8. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Inc.