Well, it is the week before the Big Game, and I have lots of great game-day snacks for you this week! A quick word of warning-nothing that I post this week is going to be healthy. So if that is what you are looking for, look elsewhere 🙂
What makes something great game-day snack?
Something with cheese.
These Rice-a-Roni Arancini are all of the above!
Every year, we host a Super Bowl party, and I always make way too much food. I love it! Each year, I try to make a dish to represent the teams that are facing off. This year, we have the San Francisco 49ers, and the Baltimore Ravens.
So, what could I make to represent these two teams? Let’s start with the 49ers.
Rice-A-Roni! The San Francisco treat! But Rice-A-Roni on its own does not meet any of my criteria for being a football friendly food. I thought about what I could make with or out of the Rice-A-Roni, and landed on arancini!
Traditionally, arancini are little balls of leftover risotto or rice that are stuffed with cheese, rolled in bread crumbs and then fried until they are gold brown. Now that meets ALL the criteria for a great game-day snack!
Your Italian grandmother is probably rolling over in her grave right now. But fortunately for me (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) my grandmother was not Italian. So, I was OK with trashing up traditional arancini and making it with Rice-A-Roni.
I have to say, it was a good choice. The outside is crisp and crunchy, the layer of Rice-A-Roni is creamy and soft, and the melted mozzarella cheese oozing in the middle ensures that these arancini are the perfect football snack. Dip them in warm marinara to take them over the top!
makes about 16 arancini
- 1 package Rice-A-Roni, prepared according to package directions and completely cooled
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups seasoned panko breadcrumbs
- 5 oz mozzarella cheese, cut into cubes
- canola oil for frying (about 3 inches deep in a pan)
- marinara sauce for serving
- In a large bowl, combine prepared Rice-A-Roni, eggs and 1/2 cup of bread crumbs. Mix well until all ingredients are evenly combined.
- Pour the remaining breadcrumbs in a separate shallow bowl.
- Flatten about 2-3 tablespoons of the Rice-A-Roni mixture in the palm of your hand. Press a mozzarella cube into the center, and form the Rice-A-Roni mixture around the cube to creat a ball. You may need to wet your hands a bit to keep the Rice-a-Roni from sticking.
- Roll the ball in the remaining breadcrumbs to coat it completely. Set aside, and continue this process until all balls have been formed.
- Heat oil in a deep pan to 375 degrees. Fry the arancini in batches so as not to reduce the temperature of the oil too much from overcrowding. Flip the arancini to evenly brown all sides. Fry for about 2-3 minutes per side, or until the outside is evenly golden brown.
- Remove the arancini with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.
- Serve with warm marianara sauce for dipping.
Make sure to check back later in the week to see what I’ll be serving to represent the Baltimore Ravens!