The other night we had a little dinner party at our house and our friend Katie brought up Risotto she had made. Katie makes great Risotto and this was no exception, it was awesome and there was lots of it! Thank you, Katie! I have been wanting to make Arancini balls for quite some time, but I so rarely make Risotto, that I hadn’t gotten around to it. Good news for me: Katie left us with the leftover Risotto, the main ingredient for Arancini.
Arancini are fried balls of rice, stuffed with whatever you like. They are so good and as it turns out, really fun to make!
Some people make it all from scratch, but I think leftover Risotto is the perfect thing to use for this. I did a very basic stuffing, but next time I will experiment more. I am thinking blue cheese, mushrooms and caramelized onions. Mmmm.
leftover Risotto. Apx 3 – 4 cups, cold
cheese, meats or veggies you’d like to use for the stuffing (I used mozzarella and peas)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 – 3 cups bread crumbs
canola oil or another oil that you can heat to a high temperature
Lay out a sheet of parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Form the leftover Risotto into fairly good sized balls, using about a half a cup of rice for each ball. Push a hole into the middle with your thumb and shove in whatever you’d like to find in the middle of your fried goodness. Like I said above, I used mozzarella and peas, but you can use meat, more flavorful cheese, whatever you like. Once you’ve stuffed them and closed them back up into a nice ball, place on cookie sheet. I found that if my hands were wet when I rolled the balls, it was easier. Once you have made all the balls, put in the fridge for an hour or so.
Before you take the balls out of the fridge, get your breading goods together. I used three pasta bowls. One for flour, one for eggs (well whipped with a fork) and one for bread crumbs. Roll the balls through each in that order, letting the extra egg drip off before rolling in the bread crumbs. I stopped and cleaned off my hands a couple of times.
Use a deep pan to heat up your oil, you want it to be enough oil to easily cover the balls (I cooked 2 at a time), about 4 inches worth. Heat the oil to 375 degrees. When I fry things (which I don’t do very often) I like to let the oil strain off in a wooden bowl lined with paper towels, but you can get a plate or whatever and line it with paper towels. Once you’re all ready, put your first ball of goodness in the oil. I cooked them two at a time. After about 3 minutes, when they’re a nice golden brown, remove and put on the paper towel. Eat them while they’re still warm. You can serve them with marinara sauce or anything else you like! Just enjoy immediately. Fun and yummy!