Bacon and Cream Cheese Arancini

This is a compensated review by BlogHer and Kraft.



When I was asked to come up with four original recipes using PHILADELPHIA brand Cream Cheese I screamed, jumped, and danced around. I was excited. I love cream cheese and PHILADELPHIA brand Cream Cheese just happens to be the kind that I always purchase.

Then I stopped and thought about the task ahead of me.

Four. Original. Recipes. Suddenly, that sounded kinda hard. What if I couldn’t come up with four recipes? I usually start out with someone else’s recipe and, sure I tweak it, but that’s not ORIGINAL, is it?

So I made a list of possibilities. That list just kept on growing. Turns out that it’s pretty easy to come up with recipes using cream cheese. The hard part? Narrowing my list down.

This appetizer I’m sharing with you was actually a possible side dish that I was going to use, but decided to go in a different route for the side dish. So I did what any normal person would do and I took that side dish and deep fried it.

What? That’s not weird at all.

You see, the side dish was a Bacon and Cream Cheese Risotto. Yeah…it was pretty much delicious. Lucky for you, you’ll get that recipe as well. You can choose to go ahead and eat it as a side dish or you can continue on to make the most delicious Arancini evah.

Oh, and Arancini, in case you were wondering, is deep fried balls of Risotto. It’s outrageously delicious, especially when bacon and PHILADELPHIA brand Cream Cheese are involved.

If you haven’t entered the Real Women of Philadelphia contest yet, what are you waiting for? As I said last time, the prizes are PHENOMENAL. We’re talking the chance to meet Paula Deen, contribute to cookbooks, and win $25,000. Head on over for the full details. Let me know if you enter…I’d love to watch your video!

Even if you don’t enter, there are some fabulous recipes to try out! I’ve been stalking the recipe submissions myself.

Print this recipe!

Bacon and Cream Cheese Arancini

  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 ounces PHILADELPHIA brand Cream Cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • oil, for frying

In a large stockpot, bring the chicken stock to a simmer.

In a deep frying pan, fry the bacon slices until crisp. Set bacon aside and chop into bite size pieces. Discard all but three tablespoons of drippings.

Saute garlic in the bacon drippings for one minute or until fragrant. Add the rice and stir until it is coated in the grease and starting to toast. Stir in 2 cups of the hot chicken stock, stirring constantly, until the rice has absorbed the liquid and turns creamy. Repeat this twice more, stirring nonstop, until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid and is soft and creamy. This process should take between 15 and 20 minutes.

Remove the risotto from the heat, stir in the PHILADELPHIA brand Cream Cheese and chopped bacon. Add salt and pepper to taste.

(You can serve this now as a side dish, thinning it out a bit if he needed with more chicken stock as the cream cheese thickens things up quite a bit.)

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until fully chilled and firm.

When ready to fry your Arancini, pour oil to a dept of 2 inches in a deep frying pan. Heat oil to 350 degrees.

Scoop out rice into equal sizes to roll into balls. If you are serving these as an appetizer, I would make them smaller than the ones pictures, but as a side dish, the larger golf-ball sized balls are perfect.

Pour your flour, egg, and panko into three separate shallow dishes. Roll your rice balls in first the flour, then the egg, then the panko.

Place the coated balls in the oil (careful not to crowd the pan) and fry until golden brown on all sides, turning as needed. These keep wonderfully in a warm oven for up to 1 hour.

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