Picture: Supplied
Arancini Picture: Supplied

Hosting a country themed dinner

By IOL Supplied Time of article published Apr 26, 2018

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A themed dinner party is always a lot of fun and what better way to get into the spirit of the evening than to match you décor, entertainment and menu to a specific country theme. 

The latest season of Come Dine With Me South Africa took  fans on a whirlwind culinary trip with contestants serving up culturally inspired dishes in a bid to snag the R10 000 prize.

Take a trip to Italy and serve an Italian inspired extravaganza with an Arancini starter, followed by Filetto arrostito con pesto di basilica, dolce carote con rosmarino fresco, patate al forno and Beignet for dessert. Before you whip out your translator guide that’s essentially, fried and stuffed rice balls for starters, fillet roast with basil pesto, baked potatoes and sweet carrots with fresh rosemary for mains and deep fried, utterly delicious, choux pastry for dessert.

2 cups basmati rice 
3 cups water
2 eggs
½  cup Parmesan cheese
½  cup fresh bread crumbs
1 chopped onion
500g beef mince 
½  cup baby peas
1 tin of whole peeled tomatoes
1L oil for frying

Italian bread crumbs

1 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 tsp Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried oregano 
1 tsp garlic salt
Salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs 


Ciabatta bread
Micro salad leaves 
Olive oil 
Italian cheese assortment 


Cook rice in boiling water, and a pinch of salt, until soft. 
Allow to cool to room temperature.
Add eggs and Parmesan cheese to the rice. 
Add bread crumbs until the desirable pliable texture is achieved
Fry finely chopped onions until golden. 
Add beef mince and cook. 
Add tomato and cook until reduced. 
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Prepare Italian bread crumbs by combining fresh bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic salt and salt and pepper together.
Form rice mixture into a cup shape and add the mince mixture to the centre. 
Form the rice around the mince to form a ball. 
Coat in egg wash followed by Italian bread crumbs.
Fry for 5-10 mins until golden in oil.
For garnish, on a bed of micro green salad. 
Add thinly sliced ciabatta crostini topped with an Italian cheese, garlic, chili and olive oil dressing.

Watch Come Dine With Me South Africa, on BBC BRIT (DSTV channel 120) on Thursdays at 8pm.

Recipe by: Gianfranco Vizzini

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