½ small yellow onion, minced
1 cup Arborio, vailone, nano, or camaroli rice
1 ¼ cups chicken stock
1 ¼ cups milk
2/3 cups olive paste*
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 cup all purpose flour
½ cup water
4 cups finely ground toasted fresh bread crumbs
Mixture of canola and olive oil for deep frying
Heat two tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-low heat in a frying pan. Add the onion and sauté until soft, 7 minutes. Add the rice and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes.
Place the chicken stock and milk in a saucepan and heat just to a simmer. Immediately add the simmering liquid, 1/3 cup of the olive paste, and salt & pepper to taste to the rice. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook slowly until the rice is cooked, 20 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1/3 cup olive paste and the Parmigiano. Let cool completely.
Place the flour in a bowl. Whisk the eggs and water in another bowl. Place the bread crumbs in a third bowl. Season each of the three bowls with a pinch of salt. Form the rice mixture into small olive-sized balls approximately 1 inch in diameter, using less than a tablespoon of the mixture for each one. Roll the rice olives in the flour, then the egg, and then the bread crumbs. Place them on a baking sheet until you are ready to cook them.
Heat 1 inch of equal amounts of canola and olive oil to 375F in a deep heavy pan.
Fry the rice olives, a few at a time, until golden on all sides, 60 to 90 seconds. Remove and serve immediately.
Makes 50 balls to serve 12
*A mixture of olives, garlic, and olive oil blended in a food processor, or purchased premade at Italian markets.
Reprinted with permission from From Tapas to Meze, copyright 2004 by JoAnne Weir, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA.
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