Cheesy Artichoke Rice Cakes

By Julie Cader

These Spanish-inspired spicy rice cakes have a yummy Manchego cheese center. Manchego hails from milk of the Manchega sheep in the La Mancha wilderness of central Spain. The cheese has a tart flavor that blends well with artichokes and California rice. Makes 24 rice cakes.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 white onion, finely chopped
1 8.5 oz. can quartered artichoke hearts, finely chopped
6 roasted piquante peppers, seeds removed, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Sriracha hot sauce
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 cup California Koshihikari short grain rice
4 cups chicken stock, heated
4 oz. grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
2 oz. grated Pecorino Romano cheese
8 oz. Manchego cheese, finely diced
1 fresh egg, beaten
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil for frying

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a large pan, and gently sauté the garlic, onion, artichokes, peppers, hot sauce and seasonings for 5 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the rice and cook for about 2 minutes, or until rice is nicely coated and starting to brown.

Keeping the heat fairly high, very slowly add the heated chicken stock, stirring until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked (about 20 minutes). Transfer hot rice to a large bowl and stir in the Parmesan and Romano cheeses. Let mixture slightly cool, stir in the beaten egg, and then chill in refrigerator for a couple of hours.

Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the cooled mixture into the palm of your hand, and place a few pieces of the diced Manchego cheese in the center. Shape the rice around the cheese to make a cake.

Shallow fry the rice cakes in hot olive oil for 4-5 minutes, or until they are crisp and golden brown. Drain cakes on paper towels before plating, garnish with shredded Parmesan cheese, and serve hot.


Julie recently retired as the Finance & Administration Manager for the California Rice Commission, and is a big proponent of trying new recipes- especially if they feature California rice.