Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Arancini......What? (Risotto Balls)

This recipe is a great use of leftovers.  Sometimes we make risotto, just to have these the next day, or so.  These risotto balls are stuffed with a little cube of cheese just to put them over the top. I used Fontina Fontal, but once again, use whatever cheese you like or have on hand.

Risotto Balls (Arancini)

2 cups risotto, chilled (great use for leftovers!)
2 ounces cheese, cubed 1/2"
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper
Fresh basil, roughly chopped
1 T Italian seasoning
½-3/4 cup of bread crumbs
½-3/4 cup of grated parmesan (don’t use shredded)
1 ½ cups Panko bread crumbs
Peanut oil, for deep frying

You can use a deep fryer to make these, but I make them on the stove, using a heavy pan and heat about 3" of oil to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, add the salt and pepper, basil and Italian seasoning, mixing well.  Add in the Risotto, depending on how sticky the risotto is how much bread crumbs and parmesan you will need to add.  The eggs will act as a binder, but will also loosen up the mixture, so by adding the crumbs and parm, it will tighten up with mix.

Prepare a baking sheet with waxed paper. Take about 2 heaping tablespoon(or a small cookie scoop, scooping out 2 balls) of risotto and form it into a ball, about 2 inches.  Make a small hole in the ball and insert the block of cheese. Reform the ball so the cheese is covered. Cover and chill for approximately 2 hours.

Remove from the refrigerator.  Balls should be sticky.  If you find they are not, whisk another egg and dredge each ball in the flour then into the egg then into the Panko crumbs.  Otherwise you can just dredge the balls in the Panko.

Drop into the heated oil and fry until brown and heated through, about 4 minutes, turning the balls halfway through frying. Drain on paper towel.

These can also be made ahead and frozen.  Wait until you are ready to fry to coat in Panko.

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