Italian (Sicilian) Rice Balls w/ Chicken, Peas & Tomato Sauce

Rice balls are fabulous as a side dish or an entrée. This dish can be modified in various ways; for a healthier version opt for ground turkey or chicken rather than beef, or if you are a vegetarian omit the meat altogether. We hope you enjoy our first Italian recipe!

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef / turkey / chicken
1 jar of tomato sauce
2 tsp salt
1 bag sticky rice
½ bag frozen peas
1 small brick of mozzarella cheese
2 tsp parmesan cheese
1 small onion chopped
1 tbsp garlic finely chopped
1 package of bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for frying

Directions

Sauté the onions and garlic for a couple of minutes with a little oil, then add the ground meat. Sauté the meat until it is fully cooked. Season the meat with a pinch of salt.

In the meantime, begin to boil the frozen peas in a pot of water on the stovetop.

Cook the rice on the stovetop. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package. Once the rice is cooked, add some tomato sauce a little at a time to ensure that the rice remains sticky. Then add the parmesan cheese and mix well. Let the rice cool for 5 minutes. The rice needs to be fairly hot to make it easier to work with when forming the rice balls.

Place the bread crumbs into a large casserole dish. Cut up the mozzarella into small cubes and place into a bowl. Place the cooked meat and peas into two separate bowls.

Form a ball of rice in the palm of your hand. Insert your finger into the ball, and place a small amount of peas, ground meat, and 1-2 cubs of cheese into the middle of the ball. Close the ball by adding more rice.

Roll the ball into the bread crumbs until the ball is completely covered.

Fill the deep fryer pot with vegetable oil and place the rice balls into the oil until the ball becomes a light brown colour, approx 5-8 minutes.

Heat up the tomato sauce and generously slather some sauce on each ball before you serve.

ENJOY!

The Perfect Biscotti

Biscotti is an Italian cookie which is twice-baked. It makes a wonderful snack and is a great accompaniment to coffee, tea or wine. It is a light and textured cookie and makes a great alternative to the more sugary cookies available at the local supermarket. With biscotti you can really experiment with the ingredients: you can add chocolate chips, any time of nut, and even dried fruit like cranberries. Here Eva shows us her recipe for biscotti. We’ve tried many different biscotti recipes and found this one to be the best.

  • 2 cups of corn oil
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 5 1/2 cups of flour
  • 4 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • The zest of 1 orange
  • 1 cup of sliced almonds or sesame seeds (to roll your biscotti logs)

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Lightly brush your large pan with oil.

Using an electric blender, mix together 2 cups of corn oil and 2 cups of sugar. Add the zest of 1 orange and continue mixing. Add 1 tablespoon of vanilla and then add the six eggs. It’s best to crack each egg into a small bowl and then add the eggs to the mixture one by one.

In another bowl add 4 teaspoons of baking powder to 1 cup of flour and mix together, and then add this to the egg mixture. Slowly add in the remaining 4 ½ cups of flour to the mixture. Continue working the dough with your hands.

On your countertop sprinkle some of your almond/sesame seeds in front of you. Take a large handful of the dough mixture and roll it into a log on your countertop, rolling it onto the almonds/sesame seeds. Be sure to oil your hands before handling the dough; the oil makes it much easier to work with the dough and keeps the dough from sticking to your hands. Continue working the dough into logs and place these on your greased pans. Sprinkle any remaining almonds on top of your biscotti logs.

Bake in the oven at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the biscotti logs from the pan and place them on a cutting board. Slice the logs into diagonal pieces and place these pieces sideways on your pan and put it back in the oven at 250 degrees for another 30 minutes to dry them out.

These biscotti are wonderful served with Greek coffee!