Italian Rice Balls

Appetizers

An Italian classic. Perfect for entertaining.

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    Ingredients

    2 cupsArborio or Italian-style rice
    2 tbspButter
    3 1/4 cupsChicken Broth
    2 egg whites
    1/2 cupSALERNO - Mozzarella Cheese, cubed
    1/2 Onion, chopped
    1 cupGreen Peas
    28 ozCrushed Tomatoes, (1 can)
    bread crumbs
    Vegetable Oil
    1/4 cupSALERNO - Grated Parmesan Cheese
    Salt And Freshly Ground Pepper
    1 lbLean Ground Beef
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    Instructions

      1. Melt butter in a pot.
      2. Add rice and sauté for a couple of minutes.
      3. Reduce heat to low and add enough stock to just cover the rice. Continue adding warm stock as needed to maintain coverage. Continue this process for about 20 to 30 minutes, until rice is tender.
      4. Add grated Salerno Parmesan Cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Let cool.
      5. Drain excess oil. Add crushed tomatoes and cook 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
      6. Combine Salerno Mozzarella Cheese, peas, and meat sauce in a bowl.
      7. With moist but not wet hands, form a 1 to 1 1/2 inch ball of the rice mixture in the palm of one hand, and using the other thumb, make a depression as deep as the first joint of your thumb. Into this depression, place some of the meat mixture. Pull the rice surrounding the hole over the filling to cover and seal the filling.
      8. In a pie plate, beat egg whites. Pour breadcrumbs into a shallow dish.
      9. Dip each ball quickly in the beaten egg and then roll in breadcrumbs to coat.
      10. Deep fry the rice balls a few at a time until golden brown.
      11. Drain on paper towels, and serve hot.

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