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These little guys – officially known as arancini – are tricky, but worth all the effort. Prepare to make a few extras, so you can snack while you’re frying, because they’ll be gone as soon as they hit the table.

Makes 30 – 40 balls. Serve alone, or with a dipping sauce of your choice

Ingredients:
Canola oil, for frying
2 large eggs, beaten
2 cups risotto (recipe follows), cooled
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs

Directions:
1. Combine eggs, risotto and 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs in a large bowl.

2. Place the remaining breadcrumbs in a medium bowl. Form risotto mixture into 1.5″ diameter balls, then roll the balls in breadcrumbs to coat.

3. In a large pan, pour canola oil to depth of 1 inch. Heat the oil over medium heat to 350 degrees F. The oil is ready when a drop of batter sizzles and rises to surface.

4. In batches of 4 or 5, add risotto balls to oil and cook until golden on each side.

5. With a slotted spoon, remove risotto balls from pan and drain on paper towels to drain. Season with salt then serve hot.

Herb Risotto:
1 1/2 cups of arborio rice
1 medium white onion, diced very fine
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
3 tablespoons fresh basil, julienned
5 sprigs of thyme, leaves stripped and minced
10 leaves of fresh sage, minced
Zest of half a lemon
Salt and pepper
8 cups chicken broth or water
2 tablespoons olive oil
Zest of half a lemon
Salt and pepper
8 cups chicken broth (you can use vegetable broth or salted water, if you don’t have chicken broth)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Over medium flame, heat olive oil in a heavy, large saucepan. Add butter and melt.

2. Add the onions and saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook til softened.

3. While snd arlic are cooking, bring the broth to a simmer. Keep warm over low heat.

4. Add rice to the onions, then let toast for a few minutes. Ladle in 1 cup of hot broth and cook over medium-low heat until the liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 3 minutes.

5. Continue this process until the rice is creamy – about 20 minutes.

6. Mix in the Parmesan, mozzarella, milk, lemon zest and herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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