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Pomegranate Fontina Rice Balls

  • yield: Makes about 50

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 pound arborio rice (21/3 cups)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups water, plus more if needed
  • 3 small sprigs rosemary
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup diced fontina cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 4 cups fine plain breadcrumbs
  • 4 large eggs, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Safflower oil, for frying (about 8 cups)

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Heat grapeseed oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and cook until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add rice, and toast, stirring often, for 2 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    Remove from heat. Add wine. Heat over medium-high heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until wine has reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add 2 cups water and the rosemary. Cook, stirring constantly and adding 2 cups water at a time, plus more if needed, waiting for each addition to be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is al dente, about 20 minutes more. Discard rosemary sprigs.

  3. Step 3

    Add Parmesan and butter, and season with salt and pepper. (Mixture will loosely hold its shape.) Transfer to a baking sheet, and refrigerate until cooled, about 2 hours or overnight.

  4. Step 4

    Transfer rice to a bowl, and stir in fontina and pomegranate seeds. Form into 1 3/4-inch balls, and transfer to a clean baking sheet. Place breadcrumbs on a plate. Roll each ball in breadcrumbs to coat, then in egg mixture, then again in breadcrumbs, returning to baking sheet as you work.

  5. Step 5

    Heat 4 inches safflower oil in a medium pot until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 350 degrees. Working in batches, carefully drop rice balls into oil, and fry until golden, about 2 1/2 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined plates to drain. Sprinkle with salt.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, December 2009

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Reviews (2)

  • 23 Aug, 2012

    Had this before for my bday. Always wonder how the chef made that for me... now I know. (PS: minus pomegranate)

  • 21 Feb, 2010

    Actually, I was just kidding.