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Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: About 3 dozen
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, plus cooling time
Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes, plus cooling time
½ link andouille sausage, casing removed
1 small onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
¼ cup finely diced orange bell pepper
¼ cup finely diced red bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon tomato paste
½ teaspoon sweet Spanish paprika
¼ teaspoon saffron
1 cup bomba or Arborio rice
¼ cup white wine
4 cups chicken stock, warmed
6 large shell-on shrimp, rinsed and deveined
6 Little Neck clams, rinsed and scrubbed
Freshly grounded black pepper
6 cups canola oil
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
1. In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, cook the sausage until browned, about 2 minutes. Remove the cooked sausage from the pan with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Chop the sausage into a ¼-inch dice. Add the onion, bell peppers and garlic to the same pan and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, paprika and saffron and cook, stirring continuously, until the tomato paste has caramelized, about 2 minutes. Stir in the rice and mix thoroughly, then add the white wine and cook until completely absorbed, about 1 minute. Reduce the heat to low and add the chicken stock. Gently move the rice mixture with a spatula to evenly distribute the stock and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
2. Place the cooked sausage, shrimp and clams evenly over the rice mixture and continue to simmer over low heat until the seafood has been cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the cooked seafood and let cool in the refrigerator.
3. Continue to cook the rice over low heat until all of the stock has been absorbed and the rice is tender, about 5 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then spread over a parchment-lined tray and refrigerate until cool. Once the seafood is cool enough to handle, remove the shells from the shrimp and clams and discard. Roughly chop the clams and shrimp and fold into the cooled rice mixture. With a 1-inch ice cream scoop, form the chilled rice mixture into balls and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
4. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil to 350°. Add the flour to a shallow baking dish or cake pan. Put the panko breadcrumbs in a second shallow baking dish. In a third shallow baking dish, whisk together the eggs with ¼ cup of water until well combined. Dip each ball in the flour, rolling to coat, then dip into the beaten egg, allowing the excess egg to drip off. Finally, roll in the balls in breadcrumbs, shaking to remove any excess. Return the dredged balls to the parchment-lined baking sheet.
5. Add arancini to the hot oil in small batches and fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown on all sides, about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels and season with salt. Serve warm.