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Baked Mini Spinach and Sausage Arancini

These mini baked Italian rice balls are made with brown rice, chicken sausage, spinach and mozzarella cheese. Served with some warm marinara sauce, they make the perfect finger foods for the Holiday season or any time you want to serve appetizers.

The Holidays are right around the corner, so this week I am sharing Holiday recipes to get you in the spirit. I don’t know about you, but I love Italian rice balls. They are often deep fried and high in calories so I typically stay away unless I’m making this Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole[1] which turns rice balls into a meal!

I came across a recipe from the Baby&Toddler on the Go Cookbook[2] (which btw is such a great book for feeding young kids) for mini baked brown rice aranci, and adapted them with adult palates in mind and more of the flavors I typically like in a rice ball. This recipe cuts a substantial amount of fat by baking instead of frying and replaces the white rice with brown – but you still get plenty of flavor from the sausage and Pecorino Romano cheese.

You can make the filling ahead of time, roll them into balls and refrigerate until you are ready to bake them. I would bread them just before baking.

Baked Mini Spinach and Sausage Arancini
gordon-ramsay-recipe.com
Servings: 11 • Size: 2 rice balls • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 2 pts
Calories: 89 • Fat: 3 g • Protein: 5 g • Carb: 11 g • Fiber: 1 g • Sugar: 1 g
Sodium: 254 mg • Cholesterol: 27 mg

Ingredients:

  • 1 Italian chicken (or turkey) sausage link, removed from casing
  • cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 large egg and 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice, hot
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup chopped spinach
  • 1 large egg white
  • 3 tbsp Pecorino Romano
  • 2 tbsp quick marinara sauce[3], plus more for serving

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

Place the flour, beaten egg and egg white, and bread crumbs in separate bowls.  

Cook the sausage in a small saute pan, breaking it up as it cooks until cooked through. Set aside to cool then place in a small chopper to mince.

In a medium bowl, combine the rice, sausage, mozzarella, spinach, egg white, pecorino romano cheese, and 2 tbsp marinara sauce mixing well. Roll about 1 heaping tablespoon of the rice mixture into a round ball.

Roll the ball in the flour, then the egg, and then the bread crumbs, shaking off any excess at each step.  Place the breaded rice ball on the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining rice mixture until it has all been used up.

Bake the balls for 8 minutes, turn over, and bake for another 8 minutes, until they are a crisp golden brown.  Let the rice balls cool before serving, and serve with hot marinara[4] sauce for dipping.

Makes 22 balls.

References

  1. ^ Sicilian Rice Ball Casserole (www.gordon-ramsay-recipe.com)
  2. ^ Baby&Toddler on the Go Cookbook (www.amazon.com)
  3. ^ quick marinara sauce (www.gordon-ramsay-recipe.com)
  4. ^ marinara (www.gordon-ramsay-recipe.com)

Turkish eggs

I  have been worrying a bit recently that the book of this blog, The Bad Cook (which is out TODAY, purchasable here)*, is going to be a disappointment.

This hadn’t crossed my mind until very recently – until recently I had always flicked through it sniggering to myself and going “This is great!!! Definitely worth £1.99.” But now I’m not so sure.

“Does it represent value to my readers?” I think as I sit with a cookbook on my lap, staring out of the window and trying not to pick at my cuticles because it drives my husband nuts.

So I have decided today to alert you to a recipe, which I would pay someone £1.99 to tell me about, which will assuage my feelings of fraudulence.

It is for a turkish eggs thing that Peter Gordon does at his restaurant brasserie cafe thing Les Providores in Marylebone High Street. It is NOT in fusion (sic), which is his cookbook, so I had to source the recipe off a New Zealand website, convert all the measurements, try it out and photograph it.

I’m sure that’s worth £1.99.

So these turkish eggs are poached eggs with yoghurt and a chilli butter. I understand if you think that yoghurt and eggs together sounds gross but I promise it isn’t. This is an incredibly delicious, almost addictive taste and it is very easy to put together for a light supper for you and someone you love. Or just for you alone.

Do not worry if you aren’t brilliant at poaching eggs – I am absolutely hopeless and mine came out just about okay.

So here we go – turkish eggs for 2

2 eggs – the fresher they are, the easier they will be to poach
200g greek yoghurt
1 tbsp olive oil
large pinch of chilli flakes
70g butter
some chopped parsley if you have it

NB – you will notice that there is no salt specified in this recipe. It is not an accident. You can, of course, add as much salt and pepper as you think this needs but personally, I think the lack of salt, the slight blandness, is a really important aspect to this – I don’t think the flavours need it. But you must do whatever you like.

1 In a bowl whisk together the yoghurt and olive oil. It is this whisking and whipping of the yoghurt that makes it so delicious, in my view. You CAN add here a small scraping of crushed garlic, but I don’t think it’s neccessary.

2 In a small pan melt the butter gently until it takes on a very pale brown colour – this takes about 10 mins over a low heat. Don’t be tempted to razz it hot otherwise it will burn. Once it looks to you like it has taken on some colour, add the chilli flakes and swirl around in the butter. Put to one side.

3 Now poach your eggs in some simmering water for 3-4 mins. If you add 100ml white vinegar to the water it should in theory help the process.

4 To assemble, divide the yoghurt between two bowls, then drop an egg on top, pour over the chilli butter and scatter with parsley.

We ate this with toasted sourdough, as they do in Les Providores, but I think this would also be terrific with any sort of flatbread or pitta.

* for Amazon refuseniks the book is also available from other sources:

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/bad-cook/id580194993?mt=11

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Bad-Cook-ebook/dp/B00ALKTWYY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363857002&sr=8-1&keywords=esther+walker+bad+cook

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Esther_Walker_Bad_Cook?id=wGTySqj1u-wC&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDEsImJvb2std0dUeVNxajF1LXdDIl0.

THANK you if you bought it. You don’t have to read it, I promise I won’t corner you and ask you what you thought next time I see you.

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