One of my most favorite appetizer dishes is none other than Arancini, or more commonly known as stuffed rice balls. This is a dish of little Sicilian or Italian Rice Balls that are usually filled in the center with a creamy cheese or meat sauce ragù, then breaded and fried. They’re reminiscent of little orange balls.

Arancina means “little orange” in Italian and thus.. hence, we have these little “orange” balls of stuffed rice bursting with flavor. For this recipe I used Mushroom Risotto that was leftover from the prior days dinner.

Served with a tasty marinara sauce and topped with fresh Parmesan Cheese and fresh basil

18aThe cheese of choice for these delectable morsels was Havarti. Of course choose the cheese or cheese combination of your liking

zootooPrepare your rice or risotto per package instructions. Allow it to cool completely

shroomzI had on hand some very nice looking Shiitake mushrooms. I greatly enjoy the taste of these east Asian mushrooms. I add them at the end of cooking the risotto as I want them to retain texture and firmness

3Take a scoop or risotto or rice–about 2 Tbsps full and flatten out a tad in the palm of your hand

4Place your cheese of choice, or ragù in the center of the risotto and fold it over using your palms to make a ball

7aOh, they look so nice. Can you spot the shiitake mushrooms and orange bell pepper?

8aRoll them in the flour

10aA little dip in beaten eggs

11aCoat with seasoned Panko bread crumbs. I seasoned the bread crumbs with parsley, pepper, a little onion & garlic powder

12aOut of the bread crumbs and into the 350 oil frying pot

13aFry a few at time until nicely golden

14aPlace on paper towels to drain off excess oil

16aAdd a touch of parsley, fresh basil, and Parmesan cheese and that’s it!

17aA very delicious appetizer or snack — Arancini

22aThat Harvarti cheese tho…


Clams Casino

I don’t know why that name excites me so. Perhaps it’s the “Casino” that does it, although I’m not a gambler and you’ll never spot me at a casino. In any event, the name just rings excitement to me, and it reminds me of classic, old school Hollywood glamor.This is one of my favorite Sea Food dishes that I cook often.

There are three principle varieties of clams–soft-shelled, hard-shelled, and razor clams from the Pacific. The so-called soft-shelled clams are oval and come from northern New England. The hard-shelled clams are round and come in small littlenecks, medium cherrystones, and large quahogs or chowder clams. Small clams are eaten raw, steamed or on the half-shell; quahogs are good minced and in soups.

These were so very tasty. The Clams along with it’s tantalizing toppings just slid off of the shells

Cast & Crew;

  • about one dozen littleneck clams
  • 5 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped fine
  • andouille sausage
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs – seasoned with cracked black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and oregano, and Old Bay
  • Parmesan cheese
  • garlic butter–Recipe; 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped, 1 stick butter, 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. In a mortar, with a pestle, mash the garlic into a paste. Beat the garlic into the butter, then add the lemon juice and parsley. Season well with salt and pepper. Form the mixture into a cylinder, wrap in waxed paper, and chill until ready to use.

Wash the clams under running water, using a small kitchen brush.To open the clams, insert a knife between the shells near the muscle and cut through the muscle, twisting the knife a little to pry the shells apart. Hold the clams in a towel as you do this. Drain the juice and loosen each clam form its shell by gently running the knife under the clam meat.

Just before adding the garlic butter and chopped bacon

Preheat the broiler.

Cook the sausage on medium heat, giving it a good fine chop as you do so. Add the garlic and continue cooking until the garlic is softened and well incorporated. Place this mixture into a mixing bowl and add the seasoned bread crumbs and 1/4 of the chopped bacon.

Place the clams on a baking sheet, top with the sausage/breadcrumb mixture, and place a dollop of garlic butter on each and top with the chopped bacon. Place under the broiler about 4 inches from the heat and broil for about 4 to 6 minutes—keep a watchful eye as you do so.

Remove from the oven and add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, serve ‘right directly.’

This will be one of my “Super Bowl” Sunday dishes.


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