The first time I tried fried Arancini Balls was in Sydney Australia at a modern Italian restaurant.  This is a beautiful coming together of fried mozzarella and risotto into a delicious bite sized finger-food that is perfect for any New Year’s Eve dinner party. The base ingredients are rice, and cheese, both naturally gluten free ingredients. But Arancini balls are usually not gluten free because they are dipped and fried in flour and breadcrumbs. For gluten free aranicini, you can use store bought breadcrumbs or make your own gluten free breadcrumbs out of old gluten free bread that you have at home.

Orly's Gluten Free Fried Arancini (Risotto) Balls

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely minced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 ½ cups arborio rice
1 cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups vegetable broth, heated
2 cups chopped spinach
2 tablespoons butter
1 ½ cups grated parmesan cheese
1 cup fresh mozzarella cut into small cubes
2 cups Blends by Orly Sydney Blend
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups seasoned gluten free bread crumbs  
Vegetable oil, for frying

In large, deep saucepan over medium-high heat, sauté the onions in olive oil for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and stir. After 5 minutes, add the rice and white wine, salt and stir. Allow to reduce for about 5 to 10 minutes. Add 2 cups of broth. Allow broth to absorb into rice for about 10 minutes, stirring, then add another 2 cups of broth and allow that to absorb for about 10 minutes. Season with freshly ground black pepper. Add spinach to broth and rice and stir in with butter. Add 1 cup of the parmesan cheese.

When all ingredients are hot and mixed, pour and spread onto a parchment lined cookie sheet to cool. Once cool, cover with a layer of plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cooled and firm.   When completely cooled, cover rice and spinach with remaining ½ cup parmesan.

With lightly oiled hands or gloves, roll into 1 ½-inch balls. Insert 1 small cube of mozzarella in the center of the ball, and cover with more rice.  Place Blends by Orly gluten free flour, beaten eggs, and seasoned gluten free breadcrumbs in separate bowls. Coat each ball with flour, then with whisked egg, then with breadcrumbs. Repeat with all balls and lay the coated balls on a sheet pan and refrigerate until ready to fry.  In a heavy large pan, heat vegetable oil to 350 degrees F.  Fry the balls, in batches, until golden brown. Remove each ball with a slotted spoon and place on parchment paper or paper towel lined cookie sheet to dry. Serve hot with a side of marinara dipping sauce.