Monday, April 11, 2011

Ravishing red risotto follow up - Arancini

One of my most favorite things about making risotto at home is the chance of  for leftovers at the end of the meal. Risotto the next day isn't too appetizing on it's own, in fact for me once risotto has cooled to room temperature I've lost interest in it completely. The key to a perfect creamy risotto is to serve and enjoy it right away.  Once the satisfying rice dish cools it becomes stiff and cement like loosing all it's luster.  That is until the next day when the pliable rice patty can be formed into balls then stuffed with beautiful cheese, coated with bread  crumbs and fried to perfection. This dish is know as Arancini named for it's appearance and resemblance to an orange (in Italian orange means arancini). The dish  originates in Sicily and can be found filled with meat, nuts, mushrooms or cheese and served with marinara sauce or on it's own. This simple dish is a wonderful appetizer and will definitely wow with or without a surprise filling. 
left over risotto - for ravishing red risotto recipe 
fresh buffalo mozzarella
egg - lightly beaten 
panko bread crumbs - any bread crumbs will do, panko fries up extra crunchy and light
fresh grated  pamagiano reggiano - pecorino romano will also do
canola oil for frying 
PREP: cut small (bite size) pieces of mozzarella then take  table spoon of rice and mould around the cheese to form ball. * if rice doesn't stick together you may quickly blend it to make a paste. Once all the rice balls are formed then create a dredging station of egg, and panko each in their own small bowls or plates. First dip the ball in the egg, then roll into the panko... do this for all of the balls. 
COOK: Heat your oil in a medium frying pan with about an inch of oil (the arancini will be shallow fried ie. not completely submerged in the oil which is a deep fry) I don't use a thermometer, but if you are using one to check your temp for frying you'll want it to be at around 350. To test the oil without thermometer just toss in a small amount of panko (or make a small sample arancini) you'll want little bubbles to start forming right away. Be very careful frying the oil can splatter and easily burn you. Only put a few arancini in at a time - do not overwhelm the pan (this will drop the temperature of the oil too quickly and the balls will fry up gross and greasy). Fry in batches and  have a paper towel handy and place the cooked rice balls after removing from oil. The balls will only take a few minutes until they turn golden. If you desire lightly salt and pepper the ball when they come out of the oil - I just grate some of the cheese on at this point since the risotto has already been properly seasoned. 
SERVE: As I said before you can serve with simple marinara, but honestly the beet risotto is excellent in it's own. I served with a simple arugula salad with citrus vinaigrette, we didn't even touch the tomato sauce.
Mangia bene !!

1 comment:

Thanks for your two cents. I love change!