Suppli al Telefono
December 19, 2016
When I traveled to Rome a few years ago, it was one of the best times of my life. I basically just wandered the streets and ate all the foods while taking in the sights. The juxtaposition of so many eras of history combined in a modern city was breathtaking to me. I was inspired by many of the foods on that trip, from the carbonara and amatriciana, to the long pizzas served by weight and cut with scissors, but a street food called suppli stood out in my mind.
On first glance, suppli can seem like just another version of arancini, the more popular brother of the fried rice ball sibling family, but a few things make this version unique. First, the rice is cooked in a tomato sauce instead of chicken stock. This gives the rice a deep tomato flavor that permeates the suppli. The other is the cheese. Suppli are made with a stringy mozzarella that stretches when you break into them. This earned them the nickname “suppli al telephono” because the cheese was reminiscent of the telephone wires that were strung across the city.
Now, four lucky Capital One 360 debit cardholders will be heading to Paris, London, Hong Kong, and my beloved Rome thanks to Capital One and Mastercard’s Priceless Surprises campaign. Check out the video below, where Adam Richman surprises each lucky winner in my hometown of Boston!
When I learned that Capital One would partnering with Adam to surprise these four individuals with international trips of a lifetime, I wanted to provide some advice to the travelers that are inspired by my own travels.
I was new at traveling when I went to Rome a few years ago, but since then I have been traveling a ton! I think when people go to new large cities they wear themselves out by trying to see everything in a short amount of time. My favorite thing to do instead is to break up a city by neighborhood and choose your favorite one or two to tackle. I plan out a walking path, because I love to walk and I think it is the best way to experience a city and see the people going about their daily lives. Only plan one big meal a day so that in between you can stop and snack on more common food and street snacks like these suppli al telephono. If you see something you want to eat, GET IT! Even if you aren't that hungry.
I mentioned some of the street food in Rome, but what about the other cities? In Paris, the obvious choice is grabbing baguettes and cheese and eating them somewhere outside. In London, don’t miss all the Indian food, and street eats at Borough Market. In Hong Kong, don’t be afraid to eat adventurously! Try whatever looks good and is served on a stick. Even better…Capital One debit cards have no foreign transaction fees, so you don’t have to worry about using your card abroad!
Now on the the recipe for Suppli al Telefono!
Step one is to make risotto. Onion, garlic, rice, and a can of crushed tomatoes.
Get the cheese ready, along with the chilled risotto and some breadcrumbs. I like to use string cheese to make it extra stringy!
Just wrap the cheese with the rice.
Then coat it in breadcrumbs. Most recipes for this will use a flour, egg, and breadcrumb coating, but for me, I don't think it is nessicary to go through all that trouble. The bread will stick to the risotto easily.
Then just fry them up in a thin layer of oil.
So Tasty! Crispy on the outside and tender in the center.
Then that oozy cheese surprise in the center.
Now there is just going to be some gratuitous cheese-pull pictures.
Does this look like a telephone wire to you guys?
It's kind of like a mozzarella stick but with rice!
Suppli al Telefono
- 1 cup Arborio Rice
- 1 small Onion diced
- 3 cloves Garlic minced
- 14 ounces Canned Crushed Tomato
- 1 tablespoon Oregano
- 4 sticks Mozzarella Cheese (string cheese)
- 2 cups Breadcrumbs
- Olive Oil
- Saute the onion in olive oil for about 5 minutes to soften. Add the rice and cook for 3 more minute while stirring. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes.
- Add the can of tomato along with the oregano and cook about 5 minutes stirring until most of the excess liquid has evaporated. Fill the can with water and add to the pan. Repeat, adding more water everytime the mixture looks dry and tight, until the rice is tender and fully cooked.
- Refrigerate the rice overnight or at least for a few hours till chilled and firmed up.
- Cut each mozzarella stick into thirds.
- Heat up about an inch of olive oil to 375 in a deep frying pan.
- Wrap rice mixture around each stick of cheese, and coat it in breadcrumbs. Press the breadcrumbs onto the rice. Keep the rice layer fairly thin around the cheese to form the cylinder shape.
- Fry in the oil to brown on all sides, flipping to brown evenly.
- Remove from oil, to a drying rack and salt. Allow to cool before serving.