Rice Fritters: Crespelle di Riso
Place the rice, milk, 2-1/2 cups of water, a pinch of salt, and the orange zest in a 10- to 12-inch saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then turn the heat to low, stirring constantly. Cook until the rice is soft and has absorbed all the liquid, about 20 minutes.
Place the cooked rice on a serving platter and let it stand overnight or for at least 8 hours.
The next day, remove the pieces of orange peel from the rice. Place the rice, the ricotta, and the flour in a large bowl, and stir to combine well. Keep stirring until you have formed a well-blended, firm paste.
Using a wooden spoon or spatula, spread the rice out on a flat plate or a wooden cutting board that you can keep at hand while you fry. The rice should be spread in a layer that is about 1/4-inch thick. Cut the rice into strips about 2-inches long and 1/2-inch wide.
Fill a deep pot no more than halfway with extra-virgin olive oil. Heat oil over medium-high heat until it reaches a temperature of 350 degrees. The oil should remain at or around this temperature throughout the cooking process. Working in small batches of 6, carefully lift the slices of rice paste and lay them in the hot oil. In order to for the slices to remain intact, use a flat, slotted spatula to lift and transfer the slices. Fry the crespelle until golden brown. Use the same slotted spatula to remove the finished fritters to a plate lined with paper towels. Drain on paper towels as they cook. Continue this process until all the fritters are cooked. Allow the fritters to cool slightly.
In the meantime, heat the honey and the remaining water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Dip each fritter in the warm honey, remove, and place on a serving platter. Sprinkle the dipped fritters with sugar and cinnamon and serve warm.
Recipe courtesy Mario Batali