Christmas with Riceland

My weakness has always been food and men– in that order.

Dolly Parton

It’s been a minute since we spoke! And as always, life has been crazy, work has been insane, and before I knew it, the holidays were here! Around the holidays I like to disconnect, to spend time with family, and to enjoy the spirit, food, and people I’m surrounded by.

Rice: Bringing the Family Together

And today, I want to talk to you about my FAVORITE food in the world. Please note, this post is sponsored, BUT I legit LOVE what I’m about to talk to you about. I would live off this food for the rest of my life if it was sustaining enough. I’m talking about rice. It’s an amazing food, a culinary building block, a dietary staple for nearly every country, and it’s naturally gluten free (holla at that Celiac life). Riceland was kind enough to send me this box, and I could not have been happier to tear into this package and to tell you about this amazing new brand of rice being brought to grocers near you right here in SC.

The Riceland Gift Box

So, this gift box is from Riceland Foods, grab yours here, and it’s got a pretty great story behind it. Riceland is a family owned farm, and it has been for over 90 years. Their rice is grown right here in the USA and they’re partners with Feeding America. And, this holiday season, every box you purchase, $5 off the proceeds will go to Feeding America, which means 50 meals will be provided to families in need. The box retails for 24.99 and you can buy it right on amazon! You have the choice between white or brown rice, and it comes with a great spoon, an oven mitt, and a cute kitchen towel. It’s an amazing gift for a foodie, or a great after Christmas gift to yourself.

Just Look at These Goodies!

My Recipe

As always, rice plays a huge role in my family when it comes to holiday meals, and of course, my day-to-day life. At the holidays, we break out the rice based dishes, cioppino, risotto, paella– the list goes on. But my favorite holiday recipe is none other than amazingly crunchy, gooey, flavor packed Arancini! They’re a bit labor intensive, BUT SO DANG WORTH IT.

Let’s Get Cookin’ Good Lookin

To make my arancini you’ll need: chicken broth (3 cups), porcini, shiitake, and chanterelle mushrooms (1 cup chopped), riceland rice of course, plus pine nuts (2 tablespoons), parsley (a chopped handful), mozzarella (1 cup shredded), parmesan (1/2 cup), and pecorino cheese (1/2 cup), gluten free breadcrumbs (simply toast some gluten free bread and blitz) (1 1/2 cups), eggs (2), and vegetable oil.

To start, cook the rice in the chicken broth (substituted for water) as directed. Once the rice is cooked, empty it onto a baking sheet, and let it cool. I tend to like dryer rice and usually use less water but DO NOT do that in this case. You’re going to be frying these, so the moisture doesn’t really matter here.

Next, combine your mushrooms, parsley, pine nuts (toast these first), and mozzarella and pecorino into a bowl and set this aside. Next, beat your eggs and add in your parmesan, 2/3 of the breadcrumbs, and your rice. Mix this all together.

Thinkin bout that Arancini doh

Then, roll your gooey egg mixture into balls until the mix is gone. This should make about 12-16 depending on the size of your arancini. Then with your thumb, create a hole in the center of the ball and insert about two tablespoons of your cheesey mushroom mix. Then pinch the hole closed, and roll in breadcrumbs. Repeat this step until all arancini are stuffed. Then refrigerate the arancini for at least an hour.

After chilling, heat a pot of oil to 350 degrees, and fry the arancini until golden brown all over, or about 4 minutes. Make sure to do these in batches or you will cool your oil and they won’t fry. Once fried, fish them out with a slotted spoon to drain the oil, sprinkle with finishing salt and boom, perfect arancini!

Get Cooking!

Now, you’ve heard what I have to say about Riceland, about making Arancini, and about my favorite food–rice. So get cooking. Support local farmers. Support Feeding America. And let me know how your Arancini turn out!


All photos courtesy of Peter Dezzi and Pd.Likeness photography

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