Italian Rice Balls

Italian Rice Balls

20-24 balls

2 eggs
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried basil or dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups chicken broth or water
1 cup uncooked white rice
1-1/2 cups dried breadcrumbs
2 cups olive oil or vegetable oil
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, in cubes (optional)

In a bowl whisk together the eggs, Parmesan cheese, basil or parsley (I
prefer basil), pepper, and salt; cover and refrigerate.

Pour the chicken broth (or water and a teaspoon of salt) into a large
saucepan and bring to a boil; stir in the rice and reduce the heat to low.

Cook the rice until liquid is almost absorbed, about 15 to 17 minutes.

Remove from heat and gradually pour in egg mixture, continually stirring
rapidly to coat the surface of the rice and prevent the egg from scrambling;
allow rice mixture to cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Pour bread crumbs into a shallow dish.

Dampen your hands with water and create 1-inch balls from the rice mixture,
then coat each one with bread crumbs.

In a small, deep skillet, heat enough oil to cover the rice balls to an
adequate frying temperature (350 degrees F) so that a piece of rice from the
mixture actively sizzles when dropped in; alternately, a deep fryer may be

Fry the rice balls 4 to 6 at a time, turning as needed to ensure even
browning. Drain on paper towels, then serve warm as is or with a bit of
marinara sauce.