Get creative with the fried risotto balls to incorporate unique sauces or vegetables and a delicious appetizer.
The Italian classic, arancini – are balls of risotto stuffed with whatever takes your fancy, then crumbed and fried. I opted for simplicity my first time out, but have grand plans for future adventures.
We make risotto once a week, so, instead of making a special batch with the challenge recipe, I just made a double batch of my regular garlicky risotto recipe and removed half to chill overnight. I semi-shallow fried these because it would have taken way too much oil to deep fry them.
- 5 – 6 cups vegetable stock
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 cups risotto rice (e.g. Carnaroli, Arborio)
- ⅓ cup dry white wine
- ½ cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups dry breadcrumbs
- 100g mozzarella, cut into 1.5cm cubes
- vegetable oil for frying
- Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan.
- In another large, heavy-based saucepan, heat the oil and butter, then cook the garlic for a couple of minutes, until fragrant but not browned.
- Add the rice to the saucepan and stir to coat well.
- Add the white wine and stir until it has evaporated.
- Add the stock one ladle-full at a time, stirring constantly until each addition has been absorbed before adding the next. The whole process will take about 25 minutes.
- When the stock has been used up and the rice is no longer very wet, stir through the Parmigiano Reggiano.
- Transfer risotto to a bowl, cover tightly and chill. It will become thick and glutinous as it cools.
- Lightly beat one of the eggs and add along with the parsley to the chilled risotto and mix well.
- Lightly beat the other two eggs in a shallow dish. Spread the breadcrumbs in a second shallow dish.
- Take about 2 tablespoons of the risotto and flatten it a little in the palm of your hand, put a cube of mozzarella in the middle and press the risotto into a tight ball around it, making sure the mozzarella is completely covered.
- Roll the ball in the beaten egg, allow the excess to drip off, then roll in breadcrumbs. Place on a paper-lined tray and repeat until all the risotto is used up
- Pour enough oil into a large, deep skillet to reach a depth of 2.5cm (1?). Heat to 190°C over medium-high heat.
- Add several risotto balls to the oil and cook, turning gently, for 4-5 minutes or until golden. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a wire rack lined with paper towel. Repeat cooking in batches, reheating the oil between batches.
- Serve hot with sauce as desired.