There’s something about “Rice Balls” that doesn’t sound very glamorous. If you had to present a classy appetizer, wouldn’t you rather roll out Arancini than Rice Balls? Or even Risotto balls? I guess potato, potahto, they’re essentially the same thing. Arancini just sounds infinitely better.
Really, there is one reason and one reason only I thought to make this recipe. I had tons of leftover risotto. You didn’t think I ate all of that by myself did you? No, I made arancini and ate those all by myself. Mostly. S helped a little.
I found a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis, and in the process, realized I have spelled Giada’s last name wrong for years. Oops. I’m never happy when someone spells Kara with a “C” instead of a “K” so I completely commiserate and understand if Giada would be offended by my blunder. Please consider this my formal apology. Also, moreso than my name being spelled wrong, I hate when people think my name is Karen. That’s not my name!
Arancini (recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis at the Food Network)
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
2 large eggs
2 cups Risotto, cooled
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups dried Italian-style bread crumbs (I had panko on hand, which is a coarser crumb)
2 ounces mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Chop your cheese. I used the gruyere cheddar mix I had left over from the gougères, just because I had it on hand. You can never go wrong with mozzarella though.
Make sure your risotto is completely cool. You may want to refrigerate over night. I made the mistake of freezing my risotto initially, and then defrosting and trying to make this recipe. I don’t have a microwave. It got a little sketchy for a while. The texture wasn’t as nice as it could have been. They were still delicious anyways.
Mix together risotto, 1 egg and parmesan and 1/2 cup of the breadcrumbs. In a separate bowl, beat the remaining egg. In a 3rd bowl or on a plate (or on aluminum foil if you’re classy like me), place the remaining breadcrumbs. This will serve as a dredging station.
Take about 2 Tablespoons of risotto and roll into a ball. Insert one cube of cheese into the center, making sure it is completely covered by risotto. Dip the risotto ball in the egg, and then in the breadcrumbs, rolling to coat evenly. Place aside and repeat until all risotto has been used.
In deep saucepan, pour enough oil to reach a depth of approximately 3 inches. On medium high, heat to approximately 350 degrees F. I honestly have no idea how hot my oil was. After a few seconds the aranici sizzled when I put them in, so I knew it was hot enough.
In batches, fry the arancini until golden brown. Turn as necessary to ensure they are evenly cooked. This should take around 4 minutes depending on the size of your balls (don’t you dare try to turn that into something dirty, you perverts). Using tongs or a slotted spoon, remove the arancini from oil and place on a paper towel to drain. Sprinkle sparsely with salt for seasoning.
So good looking, and this was only the first batch! These are best served hot.
Mmmmm… gooey. This is the best leftover I’ve ever had. I will readily admit I don’t like leftovers, but I’d eat these any day. I hope you like them as much as I did!