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Southern-style Arancini

1 batch Garlic Cheese Breakfast Rice Grits (Cooled)(Click Here for recipe)
¼ cup flour
½ cup water, divided
2 cups well-seasoned panko bread crumbs
Good pimiento cheese (homemade is best) or cubes of your favorite cheese (pepper jack, colby jack, or smoked gouda would work well).
Oil for frying

This recipe works best with leftover garlic cheese breakfast grits. The grits need to be cooled in a refrigerator for at least an hour before beginning. Place well-seasoned panko breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. In a small bowl, whisk ¼ cup flour with ¼ cup water to make a smooth paste. Then whisk in an additional ¼ cup water to form a slurry. Scoop about ¼ cup garlic cheese rice grits into one hand and form it into a flat disk. Place a rounded teaspoon of pimiento cheese (or one cube of cheese) into the center of the disk. Form rice grits into a sphere with the cheese in the center. Roll the sphere in the flour slurry. Then roll it in the breadcrumbs. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Heat oil to 375 degrees. Fry rice balls until golden brown and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate, allowing the rice balls to drain. Serve while warm. Store leftovers in the refrigerator and reheat in a 350 degree oven.

photo by Jennifer Johnson |
The Coastal Table