Arancini are balls of risotto stuffed with whatever takes your fancy, then crumbed and fried.
We make risotto once a week, so, instead of making a special batch with the challenge recipe, I just made a double batch of my regular garlicky risotto recipe and removed half to chill overnight. I semi-shallow fried these because it would have taken way too much oil to deep fry them.
My boys have never liked risotto, so I was wary of telling them what I was serving up… until they devoured six each!
Makes about 24 medium-sized arancini (about 5cm/2″ in diameter)
5 – 6 cups vegetable stock
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp butter
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups risotto rice (e.g. Carnaroli, Arborio)
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Bring stock to a simmer in a saucepan.
In another large, heavy-based saucepan, heat the oil and butter, then cook the garlic for a couple of minutes, until fragrant but not browned.
Add the rice to the saucepan and stir to coat well.
Add the white wine and stir until it has evaporated.
Add the stock one ladle-full at a time, stirring constantly until each addition has been absorbed before adding the next. The whole process will take about 25 minutes.
When the stock has been used up and the rice is no longer very wet, stir through the Parmigiano Reggiano.
Transfer risotto to a bowl, cover tightly and chill. It will become thick and glutinous as it cools.
1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 cups dry breadcrumbs
100g mozzarella, cut into 1.5cm cubes
vegetable oil for frying
Lightly beat one of the eggs and add along with the parsley to the chilled risotto and mix well.
Lightly beat the other two eggs in a shallow dish. Spread the breadcrumbs in a second shallow dish.
Take about 2 tablespoons of the risotto and flatten it a little in the palm of your hand, put a cube of mozzarella in the middle and press the risotto into a tight ball around it, making sure the mozzarella is completely covered.
Roll the ball in the beaten egg, allow the excess to drip off, then roll in breadcrumbs. Place on a paper-lined tray and repeat until all the risotto is used up.
Pour enough oil into a large, deep skillet to reach a depth of 2.5cm (1″). Heat to 190°C over medium-high heat.
Add several risotto balls to the oil and cook, turning gently, for 4-5 minutes or until golden. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a wire rack lined with paper towel. Repeat cooking in batches, reheating the oil between batches.
Serve hot with sauce as desired.