Crunchy on the outside with a delicious ground beef-rice filling oozing with melted chunks of feta cheese, I would suggest to purchase the block of feta cheese and coarsely crumble into small chunks, you may freeze the remainder of the feta to use for another time --- due to the high sodium amount in the feta cheese and Parmesan cheese I strongly suggest to season with salt until after you have added both cheeses --- I have listed the yield at 35 balls this is only estimated you may get a few more more or less, good thing this makes lots you will have them gone in not time! --- you may adjust amounts to suit taste, this recipe is very versatile.
- 1⁄2 lb ground beef (or use spicy or mild Italian sausages with casings removed)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped (garlic-lovers use more)
- 3 cups cooked rice, firmly packed when measuring
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1⁄3 cup melted butter
- 2⁄3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 tablespoons dried parsley (can use 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley)
- 1⁄3 cup coarsely crumbled feta cheese (can use more)
- 1⁄2-1 teaspoon garlic powder (optional add in for more garlic flavor)
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg (may need another egg)
- 1 cup dry breadcrumbs
- oil, for deep-frying
- In a skillet cook the ground beef with onion and garlic until browned; drain fat then transfer to a large bowl, cool slightly.
- Add in the rice with the next 6 ingredients; using hands mix to combine, then season with salt and pepper and some garlic powder if desired for more garlic flavor.
- Chill the mixture for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Shape into about 1-1/2-inch balls.
- In a small bowl lightly beat the remaining egg.
- Place the dry breadcrumbs into another bowl.
- Dip each rice ball into the egg then coat in the breadcrumb mixture (I would suggest to coat all the balls and place on a plate before starting to fry them).
- When you have all the balls on the plate flatten down slightly with the palm of your hand this will allow for a quicker and more even browning.
- Heat oil in a skillet or a deep-fryer to 375 degrees.
- Fry the balls until golden brown (about 3-4 minutes).
- Serve with hot marinara sauce.