Ashlee DeMartino's Sicilian Rice Balls

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(Source: Ashlee DeMartino) (Source: Ashlee DeMartino)

My mother was born and raised in the south, my father was born and raised in upstate New York. To say cooking is a good old past time is an understatement in my crazy big family. Between Thanksgiving and the New Year, it is all we do. I have 100 of holiday items we make but this is one of my favorite secret family recipes. You see these on the menu at restaurants as Arancini.  

Ingredients
6 cups (2 lbs.) cold cooked rice 
2 eggs yolks (reserve egg white from 1 of the eggs)
1/4 cup romano or parmigiana cheese 
1 tablespoon chopped parsley 
1/3 stick butter
Salt and pepper to taste 

Filling: 
2 lbs. ground beef 
2 tablespoons olive oil  
1 small can tomato paste 
1 egg white
3 eggs
Breadcrumbs 
Salt and pepper – dash  

Directions
Put the rice in a large bowl and stir in butter, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper and one egg yolk. Let cool. 

In a separate pan, cook ground beef. Drain off any fat and then mix in parsley, salt, pepper and tomato paste. Simmer for 5 minutes and set aside to cool.  

In a bowl, beat one egg white and 3 whole eggs, set it to the side.  

Fill a paper plate with bread crumbs; set it to the side.  

To form the rice balls: 
Take some of the rice, cup it in your hand. Make an indent in the center and put some of the meat mixture in and then cover with more rice/ Shape into a ball.

Dip the rice ball into the egg mixture and then roll in the breadcrumbs. Repeat until all balls are made. Makes about 12 balls.  

Heat oil in a deep fat fryer or deep pan to 375 degrees. Fry the rice balls until golden brown.

Drain on a paper towel and ENJOY!  

[ANOTHER TASTY TIDBIT FROM ASHLEE: Grandma Nora's Sugar Cookies]

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