Special equipment: a deep fryer with basket
For meat portion: Saute onion, celery and carrot with olive oil until translucent. Add ground beef and season with salt and white pepper to taste. Once beef is added, with a wooden spoon, break down any chunks, the beef should be as fine as possible. Add tomato paste. Once the ground beef and tomato paste begin to simmer, turn down heat to low and cook for 30 minutes. If mixture begins to stick, add a touch of water. Add peas once cooked. Let cool in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
For rice portion: Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in medium sized skillet over medium heat. Add rice (stir until evenly coated with oil. Add half of chicken broth and saffron, stirring continually. Once broth has been absorbed, continue to add small increments of broth, still stirring continually. Once all the broth has been absorbed, add cheese and pepper, the rice should be tender but "Al Dente". Pour rice onto a baking sheet and place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Rice should be able to form into a ball once cooled properly.
For assembly: Take handful of cooled rice, flatten while forming an indent in middle of the ball. Take a teaspoon or so of cooled meat mixture and mozzarella cube and place in the indentation of rice. Take another half of handful or so of rice and finish forming the rice ball. Once all rice balls are formed, dip each into water and flour mixture (combine 1 cup of flour and 1 1/4 cups of warm water with a pinch of salt and pepper), once evenly coated in flour mixture, coat in plain bread crumbs. In a deep-fryer, fry rice balls on medium to high heat until golden brown.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Sabrina DiPasquale, DiPasquale's, Baltimore, MD