Saffron Rice Cakes



2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup chopped onions
½ cup chopped red pepper
¾ cup Valencia rice
2 ½ cups chicken stock
Pinch of saffron threads
Salt, to taste
½ cup frozen peas

Ingredients for Cake:

2 eggs
2 cups panko bread crumbs
½ cup canola oil
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup olive tapenade


Directions for Rice:

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepot over medium heat. Add the onion and pepper and cook for 5 minutes until tender. Add the rice and stir to completely coat all of the rice kernels. Add stock, saffron, salt and peas. Cover and reduce heat to low. Let cook for 20 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed and rice is tender. Allow to cool until slightly warm about 30 minutes.

Directions for Cake:

Using a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon, scoop out tablespoon size balls of rice and flatten out the balls to form cakes about 11/2 in diameter. Place cakes in a baking dish and place a sheet of wax paper between layers.

In a small bowl, beat together 2 eggs with 1/4 cup of water. Place the breadcrumbs into a baking dish. Dredge each of the rice cakes into the egg mixture and then into the breadcrumbs making sure they are completely coated. Place the bread cakes into a baking dish that has a layer of breadcrumbs on the bottom. Place a sheet of wax between the layers and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

Heat the oil in large sauté pan over medium high heat. Fry the cakes in batches, 3-4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Place onto a baking sheet lined with a paper towel to drain. Blot the tops of the cakes with paper towel to remove excess oil.

Transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and bit of tapenade.