Saturday, July 14, 2012

Arancini di Riso di tonno - Deep fried rice balls with tuna...

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Can I just say it's been one busy day?  It's been nonstop since I  awakened at approximately 4:13 a.m.
I wake up early Monday thru Friday anyway, so on the weekends, it's a "gimme" that I will be the first one to arise.  Being the early riser that I am, all my energy and stamina is in the morning... by mid afternoon, I'm at a snails pace!!

That being said, I brewed coffee this morning, sipped it lovingly on my deck with my dogs.  Heaven forbid they're not lounging on the cushions with mommy!!!  Once I finished the first cup, I was energized and motivated!!!  I proceeded to  clean, organize and wipe down all my kitchen cabinets and purged the clutter (I hate clutter, HATE IT)!  Yes, yes, I did, and this was all before 8:30 a.m. 

I have to say though, I absolutely loved watching the sunrise on the deck, the sun just showing its first golden rays, the birds are just waking and starting their  songs, neighbors just starting to rise... yes, heaven!!!
While drinking my first cup of coffee, I was also on the internet looking at estate sales.  I don't know about you, but I have purchased some amazing finds at estate sales and garage sales over the years.  Do I shop them at every chance I have?  Heaven's no, I'm a foodie remember!!  However, every once in a while a few certain items will catch my eye and I will attend.  I usually end up going on the "last day" of the estate sale, which for the most part, but not always guarantees 50% off (basically because I'm working the first few days).  Mind you, the really nice platters you are drooling over, or this trifle bowl, or that "out of this world area rug" that has caught your eye are gone!!
Be prepared for disappointment, my friends and moving quickly over to "plan B" and looking thoroughly over all the remaining stuff.  
Can I just beg, BEG you to PLEASE, I say, please don't be those people with the headlight gear over their heads that are examining each and every piece of silverware and serving ware... I BEG YOU!!! Please, don't do it!!!  Just don't!!  It's aggravating, annoying as all get out and basically as rude as can be!!!  If you are a collector, you will know right away, if you want to be a collector and are attempting to increase your "spotting skills"... can I give you a piece of advice?  Practice on the day that most people are working, aka, THURSDAY AND FRIDAY!!! It's gotten to the point that these so called "collectors" are just plain RUDE!!  Therefore, you will hear... 
"Seriously, are you kidding me right now, wow this is ridiculous"! That would be "me" talking out loud so the terribly obnoxious persons doing just that will hear me, and HOPEFULLY get out of the kitchen and dining areas!!  UGH!!!!
Silver is NOT my thing, but if it was, I would so like a chance to peruse it as well!  Hello, "McCfly"?? Get a life, really?  Seriously?  No, really?  Get a life!!

Today's finds were, YES, WOOHOOOO, ALLRIGHT, *fist pump*!!!  Wanna see??

Beautiful pitchers for drinks, etc.  The one of the left the wider one is actually Princess House, YES!!!!  I got both for $3 each, oh yeah baby!!  Who's in for Green Apple Tini's??  Common, I'll make appetizers too!! ;-)

Look at these beauties... 2 matching platters in white and very light teal blue (scuse the camera), and a plain white, all for $3.50, YES!!!!

Second estate sale, this one was a little distance from me, and the entire house was wiped, literally... I was walking out with hubby when the one estate lady came out from who knows where with this lamp in their family room.  She asked the other lady how much she should charge for this?  The lady said, $25, I looked at her and said $10 and you have a deal... SOLD!!!!!  I couldn't wait to bring it home!! This will look so good in my family room!!

Okay, where am I going with this you ask?  Aha!! So at the first estate sale there were the cutest little Italian couple and sister in law.  Having lived in Toronto for as long as I did, multi-culturism is the name of my game!!  My best friend in Toronto was Italian and I actually started to speak and understand Italian, (hmmmm who needs Rosetta Stone).  So I basically understood what this Italian couple was saying to each other, and it was the cutest thing, ever!!

Him: "We don't need more plates, my mother sent you the best plates on earth from Italy".
Her: "Your mother has horrible taste"!
Sister-in-law: "You don't like my mother's taste"?
Her: "no, not really and I really like these plates and coasters".
Him: "I want this generator".
Sister-in-law: "what about these doilies"??

So, my friends, my Italian love came to play today... 
I remembered all the dishes my best friend's mom showed me how to make and explain like a mother would to her daughter!  I remember her "foccacia", her "pizza", her spaghetti aglio e olio", her amazing tiramisu (OMG), and lastly... the most amazing, decadent "ossobuco" ever in the entire planet!!
My memories were running rampant I say, and one of the fondest food memories I have is "mama" showing me how to make Arancini Di Riso!!  She made these amazing balls with meat; (veal, beef), she made them with just veggies (spinach, mushrooms and cheese), and my ultimate favorite ever... with tuna!!  Or, as she lovingly said; "Di tonno"!!  Yes, yes, and triple yes!!  Especially with a basic Aioli sauce!!!  Talk about mouth watering good!!  Heaven's!!  She served it with sauteed greens with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sliced fresh tomatoes drizzled with more olive oil and sprinkled lightly with thyme, and the most amazing homemade crusty bread ever.  Salivating...
Here is my tribute to "mama", I hope I do you proud "mama" Lena!!
Ready for the recipe? Here we go:
1-1/2 cups rice
1-1/2 tsp salt
3 cups water
2 cans tuna
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1/2 onion grated
2 tbsp capers, chopped
4 tbsp olive oil (divided 2+2)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1-1/2 tbsp mayonnaise
Pinch of black pepper

Dredging Ingredients:
2 large eggs
1-1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
1-1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp water

In a medium saucepan, add your rice and water and salt.  Bring to a boil, turn off heat, cover and let steep for approximately 20-22 minutes.  This will make the best sticky rice ever!!

As rice is steeping, prepare your tuna mixture.  Open your cans of tuna.

Drain them well, and add, your capers, your grated onion, parsley, 2 tbsp of olive oil, your 1/4 cup bread crumbs, pepper and lastly your mayonnaise.  Place in fridge till ready to use.  

Your rice should be cooked now.  Take out of pan and place in a bowl (as above) let cool.  Once cool, add your 2 eggs and your 2 tbsp of Parmesan cheese and 2 tbls olive oil.  Place in fridge till ready to assemble.  Prepare your favorite aioli sauce and place in fridge to chill till ready to use.    

Okay, let's get our dredging material under way... 
On dinner plates add your 1-1/2 of seasoned bread crumbs, on a separate plate add your flour and in a bowl, beat your 2 eggs along with the 2 tbsp of water.  You are now ready to assemble.

Using your deep fryer, or fryer of choice, add enough oil to pan to ensure that rice balls are evenly covered.  Bring oil to medium / high heat. (350F)
As fryer / oil is heating; take an ice cream scoop of rice mixture and place onto very clean palm of hands.  Roll onto palm, then flatten onto palm.  Once flattened, add about 1 tbsp of tuna mixture to center of flattened rice.  Add a smidgen more rice mixture from the bowl,  and proceed to fold the rice over the tuna mixture till it has been incorporated into a ball.  Roll and squeeze ball simultaneously as to ensure even structure!!  
Dredge the  ball first in the flour mixture, then egg mixture and finally into the bread crumb mixture.
Fry your rice balls for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.  

Remove onto paper lined plate, keep warm till finished with rice balls.  Enjoy with aioli sauce.

Till next time!!!

Dishing with Didi


  1. I love your Estate Sale day! So much fun!! And this recipe sounds wonderful!!!

    1. Thank you love, it was so good, especially the memories that go with the dish, I hope you try it!!

  2. I need a favorite aioli sauce... I definitely dont have one.. but I'd like to. :D

    Looks & sounds delish! Glad you had fun and got some goodies at your estate sales.

    1. I love estate sales... I should go more often but then it will definitely become an addiction!!

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