Meet Kristina Gill and her Suppli Classici - Rice Croquette Recipe
Thank you to guest blogger Kristina Gill as she presents her Suppli Classici – Rice Croquette recipe below. It’s the first recipe from her gorgeous cookbook, “Tasting Rome: Fresh Flavors and Forgotten Recipes from an Ancient City: A Cookbook.”
We interviewed Kristina on Ep. #23 of This Is Yu Podcast which you can listen to here.
The podcast notes here, list the podcast segments – Kitchen Hacks Round Three, Kristina’s interview, and Scott speaks with Carole about the time she lived in Rome for a year.
Suppli Classici - Rice Croquette
Here it is, the first recipe from Tasting Rome and one of my favorite recipes from the book. The classic supplì, or rice croquette, is essentially a ball of risotto that is battered and fried. At its core is a piece of melted mozzarella which, to me, is the best part. I do not like my supplì so dry that it crumbles when you eat it. At the same time, it should not be so saucy that it becomes unwieldy when you try to eat it. I developed this recipe after my personal ideal supplì. Let me know if you like it! You can find me at Instagram.com/kristinagillfood or www.KristinaGill.com
Why I love this recipe:
When I first discovered the Suppli Classici – Rice Croquette, I went around Rome sampling them from various places. I found that the cheese was always in one end of the supplì and sometimes wasn’t even melted. One single bite could make or break your experience — you either got all of the mozzarella at the beginning or at the end, and if it wasn’t fully melted, you just got a piece of not-so-soft cheese to boot! Therefore, my trick in making supplì is to use a long, rectangular piece of mozzarella that almost runs the length of the supplì, and once fried, I let them rest for five minutes to ensure that the heat from the supplì really melts the mozzarella. That way, you get a bit of cheese in every bite, and it is always wonderfully gooey.
Rice in Roman Cuisine
Risotto and other rice dishes are common in many parts of Italy, but rice doesn’t play a huge role in Roman cuisine. This fact helps make a case for supplì, rice croquettes, as an import. Some say their name comes from the French word surprise and credits Napoleon’s troops for bringing them over in the early nineteenth century. Whatever their origin, supplì are served at Rome’s pizzerias and pizza by the slice shops, though most are mass-produced frozen versions with a scary fluorescent orange crust and a filling of meat sauce and mozzarella.
The old-school homemade variety used chicken innards instead of beef, and often bits of sausage as well. This classic version reaches its apex at Supplizio and L’Arcangelo, two venues owned by chef Arcangelo Dandini, Rome’s undisputed supplì (and gnocchi!) master. A crispy exterior gives way to a rich mixture of rice, chicken livers, and pork sausage in a tomato-based sauce. The “surprise” is a bit of melted mozzarella in the center. Our recipe and Arcangelo’s are based on Ada Boni’s version, from her iconic cookbook The Talisman Italian Cookbook.
Suppli Classici - Rice Croquette
- medium skillet
- Wooden Spoon
- pie pans or plates for breading
- frying pan/cast iron skillet for frying suppli
- paper towels
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 oz pork sausage casings removed
- ½ yellow onion (about ½ cup) finely chopped
- 3 oz chicken livers finely chopped
- 1 cup Arborio rice (7 oz)
- ½ cup white wine
- 2 cups beef broth warmed
- 1 cup tomato sauce warmed (8 oz)
- 3-4 fresh basil leaves (optional)
- ⅔ cup Pecorino Romano grated
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 lg. eggas
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 3 oz mozzarella cut into 10 equal pieces
- Neutral oil for frying
- Line a large platter or baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.
- When the oil begins to shimmer, add the sausage in small pieces and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon as it cooks, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes.
- Add the onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 10 minutes.
- Add the chicken livers and stir, breaking them up with a wooden spoon, until cooked, about 5 minutes.
- Add the rice and stir to coat. Continue stirring until the rice is lightly toasted and becomes translucent, about 2 minutes, then add the wine.
- Stir until the alcohol aroma dissipates, about 1 minute, then add 1 cup of the broth.
- Cook, stirring continuously to prevent the rice from sticking to the pan, until the broth has been absorbed, about 3 minutes.
- Add the tomato sauce and cook, stirring continuously, until it has been absorbed, 5 minutes more.
- Add another 1/2 cup broth, stirring continuously, until it has been absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes. If, once the rice has absorbed the broth, more liquid is needed, add the remaining 1/2 cup broth. The rice is done when it is al dente.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the basil (if using), Pecorino Romano, and butter. Season to taste. Spread the rice over the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate until cool, about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, set up your breading station: Place the flour on a plate or in a shallow bowl. Beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Place the bread crumbs on a plate or in a shallow bowl. Season the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs with salt.
- Remove the baking sheet from the refrigerator and form the rice into 10 equal-size, egg-shaped balls. Working with one at a time, hold the ball in your palm and make a depression in the center. Place a piece of mozzarella in the depression and re-form the rice around the mozzarella. If the balls aren’t holding together, return them to the refrigerator for 30 minutes more after shaping.
- Dredge each supplì first in flour, shaking off excess, then dip in egg, allowing excess to drip off, and finally coat in bread crumbs. Repeat for a thicker crust, if desired. Set aside.
- In a medium frying pan or cast-iron skillet, heat 2 inches of neutral oil to 350F. Fry the supplì in batches, until deep golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes, turning once to ensure even browning.
- Drain on paper towels, sprinkle with salt, and serve hot.