The Most Delicious Time of the Year with Meliz Berg | Blossom Avenue

The Most Delicious Time of the Year with Meliz Berg

Published: 2 December 2020

The Most Delicious Time of the Year with Meliz Berg

The countdown is officially on! And while this year’s Christmas celebrations might look a little different, I know there’s one thing that will definitely be on your Christmas list this year – delicious food!

I’ve teamed up with Blossom Avenue to bring you a series of exclusive seasonal recipes over the next few weeks. Covering everything from canapes right through to the dessert for your festive feasting, all in signature Turkish/Cypriot flavours.

First up, we have a spin on arancini with all the flavours and spice of Cyprus with my Magarına Fırında Supplì di Riso.

If you’re giving these a go this year, let us know by tagging Blossom Avenue or myself on Instagram: @blossomavenueinteriors and @melizcooks including #HeartoftheHome.


Meliz Cooks Christmas Canapes: Magarına Fırında Supplì di Riso


20g unsalted butter

A few sprigs of thyme

250g arborio rice

800ml chicken stock

2 tbsp olive oil

1 brown onion, finely chopped

250g beef mince

½ tsp cinnamon

2 tsp dried mint

½ tsp salt

½ tsp coarse black pepper

50g finely grated hellim (halloumi)

250g Italian Ricotta or Mascarpone

150g mozzarella

1 large egg

100g plain flour

100g breadcrumbs

1 ltr sunflower / rice bran / rapeseed oil for frying



Firstly, make the risotto and meat filling so both have time to cool down.

Melt the butter in a large pan on a medium heat, and add the sprigs of thyme. Add the arborio rice, stir well, and add a little pinch of salt and coarse black pepper, then pour in ¼ of the chicken stock. Stir, and allow the risotto to gently simmer. When most of the liquid has reduced, add another quarter, and continue for 20 minutes or so until all of the stock has been mostly absorbed by the rice (the rice should still have a bit of bite to it). Pour into a large dish, so that it cools quicker, but with high sides so that you can mix the other ingredients into the rice once cooled.

In another pan on a medium heat, heat up the olive oil, and add the finely chopped onion. Soften the onion for 10 minutes or so until translucent, then add the mince, breaking it up well in the pan. Brown for 5 mins or so, add the cinnamon, 1 tsp of dried mint and a good pinch of salt and pepper, stir well, then take off the heat and stir in the chopped parsley. Leave to one side to cool.

Once the risotto and mince mixture have both cooled down, add the mince to the rice along with the ricotta or mascarpone, finely grated hellim and the remaining dried mint, and stir everything together, gently but thoroughly. Cover the dish and pop in the fridge to cool for a couple of hours. The supplì di riso will be much easier to roll once the mixture has been refrigerated.

Once the mixture has been in the fridge for a couple of hours, prepare the rest of the ingredients so that you are ready to roll the supplì di riso.

Pat dry the mozzarella and cut into 24 equal cubed pieces.

Beat the egg in a bowl and leave to one side.

Put the flour in a large plate and do the same with the breadcrumbs in a separate plate. Your supplì station is now ready.

Take the risotto mixture out of the fridge and take enough of the mixture to form the size of a ping-pong ball (I use my tbsp measuring spoon to scoop out roughly the right amount of mixture), flatten the mixture a little, then pop a piece of mozzarella in the middle, close up the sides and roll the mixture into a ball. Once the ball has a smooth exterior texture, coat it in a little flour, dusting off any excess, then lightly coat in the egg, allowing any excess to drip off, then gently roll and coat in breadcrumbs. Repeat until you have 24 equal-sized supplì.

At this point, you can either freeze the supplì (in freezer bags or Tupperware) to cook another time so that they are hot and fresh to serve, or if serving immediately, you can cook them straight away.

Heat up the oil in a large frying pan, on a high heat for 6-7 minutes. Check that the oil is hot by throwing in a small piece of bread; if it sizzles immediately, then its ready. Turn the stove down slightly to a medium-high heat and cook the supplì in batches (so not to overcrowd the pan), carefully spooning the hot oil over the tops of the exposed supplì (the balls are not deep-fried, so the top half of the supplì are likely to be exposed in the pan). Repeat until all the required supplì have been cooked.

Serve hot (but be careful, as they will need to cool for a couple of minutes), so that the mozzarella is still oozy and stretches as you bite into it. Absolute heaven, perfect for your festivities, flavours courtesy of Cyprus and Italy combined.

Written by: Meliz Berg

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