As a countdown to the Best of Broward Palm Beach 2011,
coming in June, Clean Plate Charlie is serving up a hundred of our favorite dishes in South Florida.
Send your own nominations to Deirdra.Funcheon@BrowardPalmBeach.com.
No. 97: Arancini Rice Balls from D'Angelo
D'Angelo, the downscale Italian "tapas" bar from one of Fort Lauderdale's most heralded chefs, Angelo Elia, fully embraces the simple glory of food and the sanctity of tradition. Among the carefully layered strata of salumi, thin-crust pizzas with exotic cheeses, and crudo so fresh it tastes like it leapt out of the ocean and onto your plate is D'Angelo's take on an Italian classic -- rice balls.
These delicate lumps of crusty goodness are at once soulful and elegant. The center of these balls are smooth and supple thanks to a risotta-like rice filling that's creamed with ricotta and seasoned with saffron and fresh green peas. At the edges, a tectonic plate of panko bread crumbs, a layer that gains even more in the satisfying department once dipped into D'Angelo's accompanying tomato sauce. Creamy and crunchy, homey and refined, these rice balls are proof that the wonderful simplicity of Italian cooking can be translated across the Atlantic.
Check out last year's 100 Favorite Dishes.