Weekday Vegetarian: Arancini Fried Risotto Balls
Photo: Kelly Rossiter
I've been eating alone a lot recently, and here is another entry in my personal annals of "while the husband is away, the cook will play".
My husband raises his eyebrows at me whenever I fry anything, but it doesn't stop him from eating it, or indeed, going back for seconds. So I took advantage of both leftover risotto and absent husband and made myself some arancini fried risotto balls.These are traditionally made with mozzarella inside, but I still had some Gruyere left over, so I used that. It doesn't quite give you the same strings of cheese that the mozzarella does, but if you've ever eaten French onion soup, you know it can still be a pretty messy affair.
Don't make the risotto balls too large, or the cheese won't melt in the centre, and that's really important. If you are like my husband and don't want to fry, you can always bake these. I think a 375-400F oven for about 15-20 minutes would do it. I ate these straight up, but they would be terrific dipped in a bit of marinara sauce.
These are very easy to make and they are always a hit. I've served them as appetizers with drinks at parties. You can make them in advance and re-heat them in the oven, but the cheese won't pull apart if it's been heated twice. Of course, at a fancy party, that's probably a good thing.
1 cup cooked risotto
Mozzarella or Gruyere cheese, chopped into cubes, one for each arancini
2 tbsp flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for frying
1. Take a heaping tablespoon of risotto and place it in the palm of your hand. Place the cheese cube onto the risotto and then form the risotto over the cheese so that it is completely covered. Repeat until all of the risotto is used.
2. Place the flour and bread crumbs on two separate plates and the egg in a shallow bowl. Roll the arancini in the flour, then dip it in the egg, then roll it in the breadcrumbs until it is evenly coated. Set aside and repeat with remaining arancini.
3. Heat oil in a skillet, and when it shimmers add the arancini. Allow to cook until it starts to turn golden brown, then turn. Once the entire outside is golden brown, remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon and drain on some paper towel. Serve immediately.