Arangini (Italian Rice Balls)
3 ¾ cups water
1 ⅓ cups uncooked brown rice
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon salt
4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
4 ounces mozzarella cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
5 egg whites
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup dry bread crumbs
3 cups vegetable oil for frying
Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in the rice, and add the garlic, bay leaf and salt. Return to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until rice is tender. Remove from heat, discard garlic and bay leaf, and allow to cool.
In a medium bowl, combine the prosciutto, mozzarella cheese, and basil. Pour 2 teaspoons of the olive oil over, and toss to coat.
Stir 3 egg whites and the Parmesan cheese into the rice until well blended. Stir the resulting rice mixture into the mozzarella and basil mixture until ingredients are evenly distributed.
Heat 2 inches of oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place bread crumbs in one shallow bowl, and whisk together 2 remaining egg whites and 1 teaspoon of olive oil in another shallow bowl.
Wet hands, and shape the rice mixture into 24 balls. Dip each ball in the egg whites, then coat with bread crumbs. Deep fry the rice balls a few at a time until golden brown, about 30 seconds per batch. Drain on paper towels, and serve hot.
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