Sunday, June 1, 2014

Rice Balls

As you may have gathered from previous posts, some of my grandchildren have some pretty severe food allergies, the primary ones of which are wheat and dairy. Since they are living with us on the boat for a few weeks while they prep their boat for their new life as full-time liveaboards, I've been back to cooking primarily gluten free. This means a lot of rice and, while I happen to love rice, eating it with nearly every meal I was beginning to tire of it. A little creative thought and we have found their new favorite recipe. Like most of the recipes I post here for galley preparation, this one is highly adaptable, and is even more fantastic if you happen to be one of the lucky ones who can have dairy and wheat. It's a bit reminiscent of the ubiquitous Tater Tots. The recipe uses cold, leftover rice and you can turn these balls into a savory side dish by adding Italian spices and parmesan cheese, or you can make wonderful cinnamon raisin ones similar to donut holes which we had this morning and didn't last very long. Use your imagination!


2-3 cups of cold, leftover rice
1 cup fresh bread crumbs (you can use gluten free crumbs if you have allergies)
2 tsp Italian seasoning
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (optional if you have a dairy issue)


Mix everything in a bowl well. Wet your hands and roll large tablespoons of the mixture into balls the size of golf balls and put them on a cookie sheet.  In a large, straight sided skillet, heat several cups of oil (1/2" or 3/4" depth) to 375°. Gently place half of the balls into the skillet. Turn frequently while cooking so they cook evenly. Cook them until they are deep golden brown. Drain on a paper towel lined plate and repeat with other half.

If you want to make the donut version, use the following:

2-3 cups cold, cooked rice
2 eggs
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins

This recipe was an experiment that ended up turning out incredibly delicious and I wanted to share it with you. I hadn't done very many process pictures before I realized it was turning out this well, so the pics are pretty limited.  It's a pretty simple recipe, though, so give it a try!

Sweet and Smokey Spice Mix

I've been playing around with spice mixes lately. There's a group of McCormick spice blends that I really like, but I can only seem to find them at Walmart and I can't get there very often so while we were in the Bahamas I decided to try my hand at mixing something close and was pretty happy with the result. So enjoy, and please if you have some additions or suggestions feel free to comment.

Sweet and Smokey Barbecue Spice Mix

1Tbl Garlic Powder
2 Tbl Chili Power
1 Tbl Onion Powder
1 Tbl Salt
1 Tbl Smoked Paprika
1 Tbl Cracked Pepper
3-4 Tbl packed brown sugar
1 Tsp Cinnamon

Mix the spices well in a bowl and sprinkle heavily on pork chops  before pan frying.  I really intended to have a picture of the finished product, but I had some very hungry toddlers underfoot and somehow it completely escaped my attention. This picture of the chops in progress will have to do. Enjoy!