Old Salem Jail – Great Escape
Now that our oldest daughter is living in Salem I have many opportunities to explore this wonderful little town with its infamous history. I remember many years ago taking the walking ghost tour with with my daughter. She is such a good sport about all the crazy places her mom drags her! This particular night, toward the end of the tour, our group stopped at the Old Jail. Our guide told us about the building’s dark history. When he was done he pointed across the street to an area that appeared to be a construction site of some kind. He leaned toward us, as if sharing a confidence, and said “As you can see an apartment building is going up over there. You couldn’t pay me enough to live in that place when it is completed.” He never elaborated further. Can you guess where my daughter is living now? Yep. I should have known. The apartment is complete and the spooky jail is now apartments also. I figure my daughter ended up in the better location of the two! The jail also houses the “Great Escape” restaurant and bar. I have eaten there a few times and the food is excellent. My very favorite there so far is there Arroncini. For those of you who haven’t had it before, they are rice and cheese balls, deep fried and served with Maranara sauce on the side. At this restaurant, they are served singly and are huge! When I made them, I made them smaller as appetizers. Either way, these are amazing! I didn’t have the restaurant’s recipe so after some research and experimenting, I found one that I love:
2 cups leftover rissoto. (or equivalent of sticky rice such as Aborio or Sushi)
1 egg, beaten
2/3 cup Grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 lb. fresh Mozzarella, cubed into 1/2 inch cubes
Oil for frying
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
– Combine rice, eggs, cheese, salt and pepper until well mixed. Set aside. – Beat remaining 2 eggs and set aside.
– Place breadcrumbs in a small shallow bowl. Set aside.
– Roll rice mixture into whatever size ball you prefer. I found if I dampened my hands slightly, they were easier to roll.
– Make an indentation in each ball and insert Mozzarella cubes. Reform ball around cheese. Roll each ball in egg mixture and then into crumbs, coating well.
– Fry Arancini in 375 degree oil. Don’t overcrowd the pan. Fry until golden brown, then remove them to paper towel to drain. Salt while warm. These can be served warm or at room temperature with Maranara sauce for dipping.
This recipe make up to 12 rice balls.