Gluten-Free Arancini

19 Jun

After a long day of home improvement projects I was craving some comfort food. When I was little my mom (and grandmother) would make rice croquettes served with tomato soup and it was always a hit. Their recipe calls for American cheese with a Saltine crust, but unfortunately neither of those sit well with me anymore.

When I first went gluten-free I craved the delicious, salty, fried carb bombs but had no idea how to male them gluten-free. It didn’t take me long to figure something out. Instead of breadcrumbs or Saltines I used gluten-free pretzels. That’s right – salty, crunchy pretzels. Worked out perfectly. For the flour in the roux I used rice flour, which also worked well.

This recipe is an adaptation of my family’s beloved rice croquette recipe, and is similar to arancini, which are yummy balls of rice that are fried and are often filled with mozzarella, meat, etc.

Here we go:

6 Tbl butter

6 Tbl gf flour – I used 3 Tbl white rice flour + 3 Tbl sorghum flour

1.5 c milk (I used lactose-free milk and it worked just fine)

4 egg yolks, white egg whites reserved

1/2 c mozzarella

1/4 c parmesan

6 c cooked rice (roughly)

2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp garlic powder (fresh garlic would be great if you have it on hand – I didn’t)

1 tsp dried basil

2 c gf Glutino pretzel crumbs (I used a food processor to make crumbs)

Oil for frying, enough for depth of about 3 inches

Cook your rice according to instructions, and let cool. I think I used 4 c water, 2 c rice, and it made a big ol’ bowl full. I’ll be honest – I am guessing at the 6 c rice thing. I know I could look at the bag and see exactly what it makes, but hey.

In a saucepan combine butter and flour to create a roux. Cook through and add milk. Stir until thickened. Add cheeses, egg yolks, salt, pepper, garlic, and basil. Combine with rice and stir thoroughly.

My mom always put her mixture into a glass baking dish to chill in the fridge, and so do I. I think it may be to help spread it out to let the heat disperse more quickly. I’m not really sure, but hey – it works. Spread it into a greased baking dish (whatever you have on hand) and cover with plastic wrap. Let cool for at least an hour, although you could skip the chilling if you are very hungry (or excited).

Once your rice mixture is chilled, cut it into 18 pieces. Here is where I differ from my family’s method: I made mine into delightful disks, but my family makes logs. Either way, they fry up the same and are just as tasty. Once you’ve shaped, rolled, or smashed all 18 pieces pull out your egg whites and pretzel crumbs – each in their own dish. Dip each morsel into egg whites, then coat with crumbs. Easy.

When the oil is hot (I have no idea how hot mine was, but it took about 2 minutes per side for the disks to cook) fry up a few at a time. Don’t crowd your pot – it will lower the temperature of the oil. Fry until golden brown, and cooked through (check the first one – taste test!) and drain on paper towels. Salt them while they are hot, too.

My family serves theirs with tomato soup, but since mine were a little different I switched things up. I used some gf jarred tomato sauce (whatever was in my pantry), some lemon zest, and some fresh basil. The lemon zest give it a brightness that is wonderful, and helps to cut through the richness of the cheesy rice.

 

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